That’s how long I was without my shoe collection.
Seriously, can you EVEN?
We took down my previous shoe shelves around a week before we moved out, you see. We had to do it: it was one of the conditions of the sale of the house, but what I had naively imagined would be a simple case of “remove shelves: DONE! Now go and drink wine!” was a little more involved than that, because, of course, once the shelves came down, the wall behind them had to be re-skimmed. And once the wall was skimmed, it had to dry out for a couple of days. And once it was dry, it had to be re-painted. And once it was re-painted… actually, that’s basically the end of that saga, because Terry was still putting the second coat on that wall while our friends were carrying all our furniture out to the truck. And then the new owner painted it a different colour anyway, but I digress. My point was: it took a while, so the shoes had to be the first thing to be packed for the move. And then they had to be the LAST thing to be unpacked AFTER the move, because there wasn’t much point in emptying out all of those boxes until I had somewhere to actually put them.
Enter Terry, and his all-round awesomeness. He’s worked really, REALLY hard over the past few weeks, and nowhere is that more apparent than in my shiny new dressing room, one wall of which contains this fabulous, made-to-measure shoe storage system. The other wall, meanwhile, contains literally ALL my clothes. It’s… not quite as neat as this wall is. It’s also not quite finished yet, and we have lots of finishing touches to put to the room before I can show you it in all its glory, but for now, here are the shoes!
(Apologies if the photos in this post are making you feel sea-sick by the way: the small size of the room, and the lack of a wide-angle lens to photograph it with meant that it was impossible to fit everything in without resorting to some crazy angles!)
(I also feel I have to point out that the 3rd photo down is two photos, both showing the same shelf: it doesn’t go around a corner. I mean, it’s good, but it’s not THAT good…)
The shelves are also not TOTALLY finished, and there are a few tweaks to be made, but what you see here is more or less IT. When we were discussing this room, we initially talked about using exactly the same kind of shelves as in the previous house, but given my propensity to keep buying MOAR shoes, and then cramming them onto the shelves anywhere they’d fit, they’d started to look a little messy by the time we took them down, so we decided to go for something a little bit neater, which would allow me to display the shoes as the little works of art they are:
As I said, these shelves were made-to-measure, and were totally created by Terry himself. We did look at some ready-made options, like the Ikea ‘Expedit’ bookcase, but we quickly realised that if we wanted to maximise our use of the space, and get as many shoes in as possible, we would have to DIY it. Or rather, TIY it. (Er, that would be “Terry It Yourself.” ) The Ikea system, for instance, would’ve ended up costing us more (Especially given that we were able to re-use the wood from the old shelves to make these: Terry chopped them up to create the vertical dividers between each shoe…), but would only have given us half the storage these shelves provide, so it was a no-brainer, really. Well, it was for ME, anyway. Poor Terry was the one who had to slog it out, working day and night to create the perfect home for my beloved shoes.
He finally finished it late Friday night, and I spent Saturday morning unpacking the boxes…
and then carefully deciding which shoe would occupy which space.
OK, I lie: we were going out in the afternoon, and I was already running late by the time I’d finished arranging them all in rows on the floor (Well, SOMEONE has to Instagram the hell out of those shoes, don’t they?), so I actually did the shelving of the shoes in about 20 minutes flat. Then I called Terry upstairs and we both stood there, basking in the glow of their beauty.
“That shoe’s crooked,” said Terry. “Also, those ones on the bottom row are, like, REALLY boring.”
And that was that.
I’ve tweaked the arrangement a little bit since then, and I’m sure I’ll change my mind a hundred times before I’m totally happy with where they all are, but for now I’m just enjoying having them all back in my life again, and in a place I can get to them without digging through three boxes first.
Terry, meanwhile, is just enjoying not having to think about shoes for a while, and thanking his lucky stars that I’m not a handbag girl. I think he deserves a gold medal, don’t you? Or a round of applause, at the very least…