Posts Tagged ‘alma project’

Work Ready Closet Open House + Buffet Makeover

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Ten weeks of planning, building and design, and our work is complete! I wrote about the Work Clothes Closet project back in October, since then we’ve spent dozens of hours on this project to benefit our local Committee on the Shelterless (COTS). I’m proud to say that with a team of volunteers, donors, and brands stepping forward, we’ve laid the foundation for a space that will serve the needs of our community’s Work Ready program, transitioning people previously homeless back into the workforce.

This picture will give you an idea of what we started with back in September, nothing but taped sheetrock and a cement floor. I was brought in to help with design and saw this space as one with so much potential. Over the course of 2 ½ months, through a lot of efforts and generous donations, this project took shape and I’m so proud of the result!

cots work closet 2

Here’s a peek at a few corners now complete. We added dressing rooms with framed partitions and built four pipe garment racks to hold clothing, two on the women’s side and two on the men’s side.

womens side

Many local community members stepped up to help finish the project, and it’s an amazing space with a boutique vibe but soon it will be filled with more garment racks in the center to hold much more clothing and we plan to build shoe racks in January for the official opening.

womens side outfits

 work clothes closet mens side

 

The way it works is this: once the COTS Work Ready clients are trained in a trade, skill, or service, the new COTS Work Clothes Closet will provide them with clothing to reenter the workforce. Training and attire are the biggest self confidence boosters for people reentering the workforce but purchasing clothing is beyond the income level of COTS clients. With this program, they don’t have to worry about it !

Many of you donated money to the project and with those extra funds we were able to purchase extra building and painting supplies, thank you! The floors were painted with Glidden’s Porch and Floor formula in ‘Regal Wave’ a vibrant blue that is a cross between teal and navy. Blue Bori curtains on dressing rooms from World Market.

buffet and dressing rooms

On one focal point wall I created a jewelry station with an old buffet and accessories donated by World Market. This buffet was one of my first thrift store scores ten years ago, it sat in my friend’s dining room for a decade and when she upgraded her furniture asked if I wanted it back and I said “sure!” since it would serve as storage and display in the Work Ready Clothes Closet space.

It was damaged and the stain was discolored in many places, but a paint job reinvented it for our space.

buffet before

I primed and painted this piece with the same method I always use for furniture and for cabinets. I chose Benjamin Moore’s Advance formula in semi gloss in ‘Waterbury Green’ which is a sea green hue, almost aqua, but such a gorgeous color! 

painted buffet waterbury green

To hold jewelry I used World Market’s gold tiered stand and gold mirrored tray, also their wall jewelry holder (spray painted gold) for necklaces and their hooks jewelry stand for earrings.

gold tiered stand

 

world market gold tray

 

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Double Pipe Garment Racks + Closet Update

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

We’ve made a lot of progress on the Work Clothes Closet project I wrote about last month and the team is so excited to see this space transforming before our eyes with the help of volunteers and donations. Read all the details behind the purpose for this non-profit space here.

Sheetrock, sawdust, paint, these are some of my favorite scents (it’s true!) and every time I walk in here that’s what fills the air, the smell of progress! Two weekends ago, the local high school football team showed up to paint 2,200 square feet of walls and the ceiling in the space (paint donated by Glidden) and last week a local contractor stepped forward to build partitions since we raised just enough money to pay for lumber and sheetrock.

new dressing rooms

The two new changing rooms and storage room for clothes that come into the Work Clothes Closet are in progress, we can’t go all the way up to the ceiling due to existing pipes that run throughout the space but they’re tall enough for privacy. Over the weekend we built garment racks on each side of the space to hold the clothing for the men and women in our community going through the Work Ready program and preparing to renter the workforce and interview for jobs. 

We had a need for tall garment racks to maximize the vertical space on each of the long walls. The black pipe garment rack idea has been floating around the internet for years, I was inspired to use the same materials in this space too. Instead of including shelves in the rack design (several shelving units have been donated and will be used elsewhere), I came up with a more basic plan for hanging washed and pressed professional and trade clothing. We assembled four of these, two for the women’s side and two for the men’s side of the Work Clothes Closet.

diy double pipe garment rack

Each rack is 8’4” wide and 8’8” tall but this same design can be modified to be used in residences, commercial boutique spaces, garages, basements, anywhere where you wish to hang coats or clothing. Here’s the simple formula shown:

pipe garment rack diagram

Supply list for each garment rack shown above, all ½ inch pipes and fittings: 6 flanges (spray painted with oil rubbed bronze spray paint); six tees; four nipple fittings; two elbows; four 18” pipes (extend & anchor to wall); two 4 ft pipes for bottom; four more 4 ft pipes across; two couplings (only if connecting four 4 ft center garment pipes like we did); two 3 ft pipes for top; screws (we attached these to the studs but buy drywall anchors for if you don’t).

Note, the black pipes are oily and dirty when you purchase them so you’ll need to wipe them down, we used some Lysol wipes to remove the oil then quickly removed that cleanser with a rag. Be sure to measure your space and sketch out a plan first and be flexible! Originally I thought the design would work with two four foot sections for the top and bottom but that turned out to be too tall so we swapped the top pipe for a 3 foot version (see picture and supply list).

You can modify the width to fit with your project or space, we combined two four foot pipes with a coupling to create racks that were slightly wider than 8 feet when you include the coupling and tees. Pipes are available in widths from 2 feet to 6 feet.

Here is a close-up of how the tees come together in the middle, the 3’ pipe extends above to the top. Below is the tee that connects the 18” pipe to the wall, there is a nipple connector in between, then a tee to connect the pipes below, one stretches across for hanging garments, one connects down to the floor.

tee fittings

Here’s a look at the upper portion, the flange supports the extender pipe which connects to an elbow, a nipple connecter attaches to a tee that connects to the long pipe that holds clothing.

elbow and tee fitting

This space has a cement floor which we plan to paint soon so to stabilize the pipe racks, we used wedge anchors designed for concrete.

wedge anchors

We have several more projects to tackle in the upcoming weeks: building shoe racks, building a tie/belt rack, completing the accessories station (jewelry, scarves, handbags), hanging curtains and mirrors in the dressing rooms, adding lighting, and painting the cement floors. We’ve had a great team of volunteers so far, thanks so much to David, Isai, Jenna, and Kim of the KimSixFix for helping build these great racks!

Sending a big thank you to Lowe’s who donated $500 toward the project so we could build these four huge garment racks!

lowes pipe rack supplies

It’s exciting to see the space transform with the help of so many volunteers and generous donations. I’ll share more about the Work Clothes Closet project next month when it’s finally ready for the Open House!