Do you need better storage inside the small bedroom closets in your midcentury modern or midcentury modest house? I sure do! So when I peeked inside this storage area built into the eaves of the upstairs bedroom at Duane and Mary’s 1948 Cape Cod house… 

… I was delighted to see this shoe rack tucked into the far edge of a small closet.  

This looks like an easy DIY using inexpensive wood. I wonder: Did the plans come from an old Popular Mechanix magazine — or one of those other magazines from back in the day with ideas for handy home woodworking projects? I bet it did!

I’m gonna do this in my own closet (as soon as I finish my other big project)!

  1. Ky says:

    Popular Mechanics compiled a number of their plans at various points and published them in books, one of them being “Things to Make in Your Home Workshop” published in 1930. While not exactly like the one you found, it has a similar layout , so a general carpenter likely came up with their own take on it, kind of like Pinterest is for so many of us today. Here’s a scan of the page with the shoe storage cabinet: http://chestofbooks.com/crafts/popular-mechanics/Things-To-Make-In-Home-Workshop/Shoe-Storage-And-Polishing-Cabinet.html

  2. Susan Halla says:

    We have Leigh Building Products built-in shoe racks in every bedroom in our home! (Albeit the 14-year-old’s feet are getting so GINORMOUS that I don’t think his shoes fit anymore!) I love how creative mid-century houses are in using all available space.

  3. Mary Elizabeth says:

    Love this little storage wall in the eaves. I do know that ideas like this were coming out in Popular Mechanics and other similar magazines as early as World War II. I know that from reading my father’s WWII letters to my mother. When my father was stationed in Hawaii, he was dreaming about the war being over and he and my mother and their first baby moving into a small house. He found an article in a magazine about how to build a storage wall if the closets in your house are too small, and he tore it out and sent it with one of his letters. I would love to say that my mother saved the magazine article as well as the letter, but unfortunately she didn’t. But the discussion in the letter is proof that even prior to the post-war building boom, mid-century folks were thinking up projects like this.

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