This was one of these projects where a faint idea came to manifest itself along the way. We had a plan – it went totally wrong – the result is different. But in the end our requirements are met and we love it.

The Problem

In Autumn temperatures can vary between 0 ยฐC and 20 ยฐC. So you want both light jacket and warm and cosy winter jacket at hand. With growing kids the capacity of our wardrobe was maxed out. We found a solution for the shoes while looking for an office lamp for our younger daughter. See the last picture below on the right.

But all visits to IKEA and other furniture shops were unsuccessful offering a perfect solution for our wardrobe. So the idea arose for a custom built solution.


The only shops I pleasure walk are hardware / DIY stores. So when searching for components for a project in the garage I had stumbled over some birch trunks in the shop. Since then I had wondered for which project I could use these. I really like the idea mixing some of the comfy feeling of natural items with the more modern house we have. So this should be the match?


So I pitched the idea of a custom built wardrobe to my wife together with the idea to include the birch trunk somewhere in the project. The white color of birches resonated positively : ) So we both started brain storming. We discussed what exactly we don’t like about the current setup. Also what would be nice to have. And what problems the solution should solve. You can imagine – mood and expectations rising to the sky.


Since this summer vacation we know she has an allergic reaction to birch pollen. But since we wouldn’t be planting a live tree in our house what should be the problem? When we finally organized a kid-free Saturday for the project we ran into our roadblock. First thing in the morning we got into a discussion if I would be able to finish the project today! “What do I know? Well how long then? See – I really don’t know! But I don’t want a construction site for weeks again? Again!? when did that ever happen? Err… damn. I took a wrong turn there in my line of arguments…

I said I need to think the project through more thoroughly then. But this will delay going shopping for the bits and pieces required. And I wasn’t quite sure how I should solve the one or other construction problem yet. I had planned to search for ideas how to solve them directly in the shop. “But will you then be able to tell me how long it will take!!??!!” … awkwardly feeling reminded at situations at work ๐Ÿ˜‰

We settled on following terms: One cup of coffee (spent planning), go shopping (find solutions) and buy everything needed, only start the project if finishing it during the weekend is estimated a feasible time frame. As mentioned before we considered the probability very low, but I nudged my wife to test for an allergic reaction to the wood by taking a deep breath from the trunks in the shop. Ouch – only funny in retrospect. ๐Ÿ™‚ We left the shop with her coughing and not buying anything. All expectations shattered to pieces.


So we still had the original problem and now had added some unmet expectations. But after overcoming some of the disappointment we still shared the vision and ideas of what we had sketched out so far. And this is where one of my favorite sentences fits in very well: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.

I had been searching for other tree trunks or poles that could be used instead of the birch. It was difficult to find any really fitting solution. It had to be stable and reach from floor to ceiling – in our case 2.3m. All commercial products seem to be less than 2m or birches. After I had spent a week searching for solutions online we came home and our neighbor was cutting wood for his heating. There is my lemons! \o/

I told him about the idea and he offered me to just have a look around if I find something fitting. My hopes were low since most of them were not long enough. But then I found one that instantaneously triggered an association. The smaller piece (upper one) was already cut halfway lengthwise. Easy enough to do the same on the other one and connect them.

I still had some good screws and drive-in nuts from a project years ago (building a boulder wall). Sounded like a plan. You can also get a first glance of the overall idea on the first picture above and two pictures of the result of the plan.

Next blog post I will continue how the project unfolded and the final wardrobe manifested itself.

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