This winter has been a long one in my neck of the woods. In an effort to use my free time for things other than watching TV in sweatpants, I’ve completed some good indoor home improvement projects. First, my amazing dad helped me paint the living room and hallway. We went with a lovely greyish green by Benjamin Moore – HC116 Guilford Green. Then, in an effort to decorate the newly painted walls and add usefulness to the space, we built some nice coat hooks. Coat hooks you say? Yes, coat hooks!
Feel the excitement! On this, the first day of Spring, I thought I’d look back at a nifty little project the whole family helped complete. My mom and I started the design, my husband and dad did the heavy construction. Take a look at the result:
Now a closer look:
And then, just to be crazy, an even closer look:
I spent some time googling coat hooks in the days before we painted (truly, this is why the internet was invented). I wanted something vintage or antique – something unique. Antique coat racks were often too large or expensive. The solution? Make our own with salvaged wood! The piece of wood we used is roughly 100-year-old moulding – the type of trim that might have originally been found around a door frame. My dad sometimes comes across architectural details that he keeps to be repurposed when the need arises (for instance as garden decoration). Dad came to our house with a few choices, and we went with this one because of its greyish patina and graceful lines. Old wood can be found anywhere from sources on the internet (try googling “reclaimed wood”), to curb side garbage, thrift stores, lumber yards, and even Habitat for Humanity’s Restores. We cut the wood to size, then waxed it with regular Minwax paste finishing wax.
Once we had our piece of wood we had to find the perfect hooks. We needed strong, double hooks capable of holding up parkas. We found them at Anthropologie. Anthropologie is like Zooey Deschanel’s version of Restoration Hardware, if that makes any sense. It’s pricey, but you can find lovely unusual and vintage styled items. They have a great selection of knobs, hooks and door knockers. These hooks cost $12 each and I really liked their porcelain tops and slightly distressed metal.
Once the wood and hooks were found, it was a simple matter of putting it all together. We measured the hook placement, screwed the hooks into the wood (we used drywall screws because they were the only black screws we could find), and then screwed the wood into studs in our wall. Ta da! A super simple project with beautiful results.
We also put my grandmother’s vintage mirror up in our hallway, so now you can put your coat on and see what you look like before you leave the door:
If you are looking to add style to your coat hooks, I highly recommend repurposing some antique wood. If you’re going for a rustic look this could include trim, barn boards, even drift wood. Reclaimed doors or window frames can be really nice too. Be creative – your hooks can match or be completely different for an eclectic style. The two most important considerations will be strength of the wood and strength of the hooks. Really old wood might be too brittle to secure your screws, and really thin wood will not support much weight. Take a careful look at the piece of wood and figure out what shape of hooks you will need and where you can place them. Our hooks, for instance, had to be horizontally secured to the wood and needed enough space to clear the shape of the ledge on top.
In the end, it’s not rocket science but it can be very rewarding to give the humble coat hook an upgrade with reclaimed lumber. You will be recycling a piece of wood (and maybe hooks), giving your home character, and making something unique. All that and it keeps your coats off the floor?! Winner all around.