Closets seem to be an all-or-nothing area of the house: Either head-to-toe wire shelving that organizes your stuff within an inch of its life, or everything crammed and stuffed in willy-nilly. But both of these are no-go’s in today’s modern closet.
Forget wood paneling, wire racking and behind-the-door storage that only makes the door impossible to open. Instead, create a boutique in your own home — a functional space that inspires your day. Here’s how to get started.
Create a room
If you have a walk-in closet, the space will transform into a room more easily. Consider wallpapering or painting the closet to create a room you enjoy seeing and that inspires you in the morning. Underfoot, select a soft rug.
When your closet area is beautiful, you’re more likely to keep it tidy. Stay organized with visible storage: transparent containers, jewelry on display and storage boxes within reach.
Provide flat surfaces
Consider putting a vanity, dresser or even simply a small table in the closet to give you a tabletop space. Here, you can use trays to organize jewelry, place a jewelry mirror, and utilize small sugar bowls, teacups or vases to display rings, bracelets and earrings.
Fish-hook back earrings love to be displayed around the scalloped rim of a milk-glass vase, and create a boutique finish.
Show off hanging items
Colorful knobs and hooks on the wall hold hats, scarves, bags and larger statement necklaces. Locker boxes, wicker baskets, clear plastic boxes and vintage crates are all fair game for storing your closet items.
For hangers, don’t neglect the various options offered. Bring in a mix of wooden hangers for heavy items, thin velvet hangers for everyday items, and padded hangers for sweaters or anything that needs a bit of structure but is delicate.
Even if your closet is just a reach-in, you can add touches to make it sophisticated and updated. Consider ditching the doors altogether — this will instantly magnify your small closet.
It may seem scary to have your closet on display, but when it’s well-organized, it will be lovely to see, and will serve as part of the larger room. Add curtains if you feel the need to close off the space.
If you can squeeze in an oversized knit pouf or low chair at the bottom of the closet, you’ll find it indispensable.
Pull it out to put on your shoes, to expand the closet into a dressing area when you wish, and to stand on to reach high shelves.
Divide the space into long hanging items (such as dresses, slacks, skirts) and short hanging items (short skirts, shirts and jackets).
Place a shelf above the short-hanging items and use it to hold baskets and trays. Then, hang art and cubbies above, potentially even on a piece of pegboard. This offers full utilization of the space while keeping it visually appealing.
Play up individual touches
For couples not lucky enough to have two separate closets in the master bedroom, have no fear. Individualized closets with split finishes are all the rage right now.
If one person’s style leans toward intricately framed or etched-glass mirrors, hang an industrial-style or nautical mirror on the other side. A vintage full-length mirror sets off a functional but attractive shoe-shine kit nicely.
Shine a light
Lighting is another oft-forgotten aspect of creating a closet you enjoy using. Much like the layered light ideal in a bathroom, layered light works well here, too.
Directed, recessed lighting spotlights your clothing options. Focus task lighting on the sides of mirrors to avoid shadows. LED lights can illuminate shelving, while decorative/mood lighting, such as a spectacular chandelier or stylish floor lamp can offer a pop of fun and offer more light.
Once the basics are handled and everything has a place, don’t forget art. Art in a closet? Sure! You use this space every day, and it should be attractive and inspiring.
A calming scene or motivational words framed and hung in the space will start your day off on the right foot. And so will having those lovely shoes neatly organized and ready to go.