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  • Sam

Pipe Dreams - A DIY Love Story

What do you do when you score an extra room in a NYC apartment?



This gorgeous room is the product of water pipes from Home Depot + gold spray paint, a super simple Ikea hack, dark blue paint and a stencil (NOT wallpaper!). It's 100% doable by anyone.

I'll give you the breakdown of how to do it, but first must admit this was my very first DIY - so it took about 6 months (but could probably be done in a weekend); I spent too much money (this could be cheap); and it was so much fun (you'll have fun).



Having an entire extra room in a NY apartment is an embarrassment of riches. How on earth did this happen? Pretty Simple actually: The room was a bedroom and when the roommate (my BFF) moved out, I was lucky enough to be able to afford to take it over as an office and closet since it was next to my bedroom. Voila!

For about 2 years, however, I just had a desk and Ikea wardrobe thrown in here with no thought to design whatsoever. Not until I became addicted to HGTV and Pinterest did I star thinking, "Maybe I could make this room something special?". And the rest is history.


First, I looked at a LOT (like... a lot) of custom closet storage options online. I knew I hated my wardrobe because it stuck out so far into the small room, taking up unnecessary space. I thought of building custom shelves, until I came across pipe shelving on Pinterest. I hadn't even known "industrial glam" was a thing, but now I was obsessed.

(*Needless to say, I owe all the credit to other bloggers who's tips and instructions I followed. I've sourced them all below).


What do you want the room to feel like / what's the vibe? What purpose will it serve? You have to ask yourself these questions so you can balance form and function.

For me, I wanted a super lux, rich palate that made me feel like I had one of those celebrity walk-in closets, a vanity to get ready at (so grown-up!), obviously clothes and shoe storage, and I needed to keep my desk to continue to work out of the room as well.

I spent time putting together an entire Pinterest Board and then an inspiration plan / mood board that ended up looking like this:

WALLS: I settled on a deep royal blue for the walls, and a stencil vs wallpaper (because #rental). I researched and found a great idea to use clear gloss vs. paint for the stencil to give it a glossy subtle sheen.

Gotta give ALL the shout-out to Crazy Wonderful Blog for the idea, stencil source and step-by-step. Check it out here. And yes, the stencil takes the most amount of time and care. As you'll see below, I wasn't sure about it at first haha (and I had to shower with it to clean it off - but that's a story for another time...). Honestly the directions and tools from Cutting Edge Stencils made it a breeze and it turned out gorgeous! I'd do it again in a heartbeat and I still have the stencil to re-use any time.

HANGING RODS: Never thought I'd know so much about flanges and nipple connectors! :)

Thanks to the perfect tutorial by Kate at Centsational Style - it was actually pretty straightforward. Took 2 quick trips to Home Depot, making sure I got the right sizes that all fit together, then cleaning the pipes (they have some grease on them) and laying them all out. I decided I'd cover them with gold spray paint and... DAMN GINA - so glamorous! It's been 3 years and I'm still in love with it.

**One tip when you measure the space and decide on the size of the pipes, the connectors take up an additional 1-2 inches! I've done additional "pipe closets" for friends, and we found this out the hard way.

VANITY: Another great Pinterest find, this time from "Chillin' With Tash". This is a SUPER easy Ikea hack of the Vittsjo laptop desk, again spray painted gold to match the pipes and (luckily) fit perfectly between them.


I will put in other posts how I added a fabulous shoe shelf (teaser pic below), added art of badass women to inspire me, and hacked leftover scrap wood into a jewelry board, but I'll wrap up this first DIY project by saying it's been 3 years and i'm every day with this closet. I love the shimmer of the stencil in the sunlight (I seriously stare at it from the doorway in the mornings haha), and the pipes are a sturdy & stunning solution for showcasing your wardrobe.

In total, the cost was about $600 between paint, the stencil, the ikea desk, and the pipes were the priciest part. But once you buy them they'll theoretically last forever!

When I first finished everything:


The other side of the room (for the next blog post :)

Happy Design & DIYing,


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