It seems like we could always use more storage. Often there is extra attic space behind a knee wall that might be finished for storage. A knee wall is a shorter wall, usually on the top floor of the home, that connects to the sloped part of the roof. They are especially common in older homes like the one for this project.
This farmhouse in Freedom, IN had seen lots of remodeling projects and additions, but there was still an older bedroom upstairs that didn’t have a closet or any storage space. The homeowners called me to explore adding some storage in the knee walls.
After much discussion, the best way to assess the possibilities of knee wall storage is just to make a hole in the wall and see what’s in there! You never know what you’ll find in the wall. In this case there was some extra framing from a downstairs addition that blocked part of the attic space, but most of it was just open space waiting on me to finish it.
I removed the plaster walls and added framing to make two closets, one about twice the size as the other. I always try to contain any dust that I’m making with plastic walls (photo right). The goal was to get as much storage space as possible out of that wall. I was able to open up nearly 3/4 of it, divided into two closets, one that was twice the size of the smaller.
After framing and drywall I added trim and some doors that I made out of maple hardwood plywood. Not as fancy as cabinetry, but still nice for a fraction of the cost and suited the homeowner fine. I added a single shelf in each of the closets, leaving room for large items. You can subdivide the storage space however you want and make as many nooks and compartments as your budget will allow.