Our Cloak Room Make Over

So first of all....a cloak room?  Yep.  I guess in the UK this may refer to the lavatory.  However, here in the USA it refers to a room for coats in a place like a gymnasium or school.  We had such cloak room when I was in the 5th and 6th grades.  I remember it well.  The dark oak panels with vintage hooks down the long room with just an overhead light.  When we built our house, I knew we needed a "cloak room".  We didn't go for the paneled walls or vintage hooks.  Budget...time... Maybe that could be an upgrade in the future. Basically, it's a walk in closet without a door.

For now, when my second daughter said suddenly on Monday that she would paint a small project for me, the cloak room came to mind.  It's been looking rough and not only needed cleaning out, but fresh paint.  This is the before with the coats already removed.

Yes, those are egg cartons.  We eat a lot of eggs. :)
And, that is a HUGE bulletin board on the right. It extends three times the width you see.  Two big office sized bulletin boards screwed into the wall.  I put them all the way to the floor so my kids could reach it to hang up their own art work and papers.

This bench was refinished before we moved into the house.  I cannot at all remember where we bought it.  But, it has been used hard over these past 18 years and needs to be refinished again.  Not happening right now.

Empty (shelves lift out) and ready to go.

Almost done!  I had to paint the trim the next day, but that went quickly.  My #5 is peaking around the paint tub waiving.

This is the vintage light fixture that we have in there.  Seems like the kind you may find in an old school cloak room.

I picked greenish blue color from paint chips I had on hand.  We weren't sure about the color at all once it was on, but now I'm liking it.  It makes the area cozy.  The paint chip was on the same color palette as the color of the other walls in the laundry room which is where the cloak room opens up to.  The rest of the room can be seen here and here.

No fancy organizing, but it seems to work well when we actually use it.  

Now, the kids hear me say, "Shelf or a hook"  when we walk in the door.

So far... they can still find the bench to actually sit on to put on their shoes.

To make it cozier in there, I hung up this bunting I made quite a few years ago.  I posted about it here.

It's been in storage for quite awhile so I'm happy it's found a new home.

This print, a gift from my oldest daughter a year ago, is so pretty in here!

Then we thought a mirror would be a nice thing to have by the door.  (ugly electrical panel...first world problems, huh?)

I have been thinking lately about a beautiful message sent to me years ago to teach your kids.  It was written in the form of a letter to your child telling them that when they go out in the world to remember who they are. It goes into detail about who you are in Christ and how you've been taught to be a Christian.  Sadly, I can't find it now.  

This is what I want to remember myself and what I want my kids to know. 

So, with my basic skills, I painted this little watercolor to remind us.

I can hear Father Volker from Christ the King Priory at the St. Benedict Center say, "First you must know that you are a beloved child of God".  Now hear that in a German accent with a loving grandfatherly tone of voice.  Makes you kind of believe it.

When I showed it to my 9 year old, she smiled big and said she liked it.  I asked her if she understood what it meant and she nodded.  I said, "It means that you are a child of God" and she said, "Oh, I thought it meat that I'm Audrey Ruskamp!"  but with a slight note in her voice hinting that there was a bit of embarrassment that she was wrong, and yet still wanting the answer to be 'Audrey Ruskamp'.  

I  said, "Yeah, you're right!"  She was.  That's the mystery of His love.  He delights in each one of us and loves each one of us in a way that is unique to each one of us.

The cloak room: smartest thing we put in our home.  (I got that huge bulletin board cleaned up too!)


  1. Wow, if I see this fantastic result I should start to do mine!!! Great job!
    Happy days

  2. Great project; lovely process; sweet thoughts. Isn't that the best kind of work there is :)

  3. Awesome makeover and I love the watercolor you painted.

  4. I love your paint color, your painter, and your lovely and thought provoking watercolor painting - AND the sweet lady peeking in the mirror!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

  5. The very word "cloak room" brings up images of elementary school where each student had their hook for coats and a cubby for shoes/lunch box in an alcove off the classroom.
    Love the paint colour and your watercolour reminder for your children. What a great thing to remember as one goes out the door!

  6. you mean the back of the barstool is not where my coat goes???? Great room! love it.


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