So after a bit of nudging from you guys, I have put together a tour of my closet – through pictures and commentary, of course. If videos are more your thing, you can find those under my story highlights on Instagram.
Let me start by saying that I was fortunate enough to design my closet when we built our house, a little over two years ago. I sat down with our architect and put her electric eraser to mad use when drafting our plans. (By the way, electric erasers are like the coolest things ever made. I threatened to steal it from her every time we met.) In other words, I wasn’t working with someone else’s vision, I was able to create my own. And, as I did with many things when building our house, I researched closets like crazy and came up with what is now mine. (Seriously, I hung pictures of certain finishes and details all over the room so that my trim carpenter wasn’t even slightly confused when building it. See how helpful I am!!! Or is that controlling? I don’t know. Maybe both. But either way, I got what I wanted and that’s what really matters, right?!?!)
From the beginning, I knew that I wanted my closet to feel more like a “room” and not just four walls that house my (and a FEW – like very few – of my husband’s) clothes. Which is why, I created a space that would not only be functional, but could also be gussied up (as us Southerns say).
WAIT, WHAT??? Gussy up your closet??? I’m sure you’re either rolling your eyes or sitting in complete shock wondering why anyone would want to waste their time or money decorating a room that would otherwise go unseen. Yet HERE WE ARE! I’m writing a blog post at the request of others to see my closet and couldn’t be happier to do so. This literally makes my heart swell and my smile reach my ears!
I love my closet! There, I said it. #sorrynotsorry
I don’t say that to be pretentious or arrogant, because there are many other closets that I still swoon heavily over, I say it because it was a labor of love. My love. My vision. My design come to life. Have I mentioned that I LOVE creating pretty things? Well, I do! And, the fact that some of you found my closet pretty enough to request this tour makes it all worthwhile.
So, without further ado, here is my closet!! Hope you enjoy!
My main goal when designing our closet was not just to make it pretty, but to make use of EVERY INCH of space. (I even have a hidden closet within my closet to store luggage and the like. This wasn’t a space built in by design; it happened because I noticed this otherwise “dead space” when the house was being framed and I refused to waste it!) Capitalizing on space is why you will notice the possibly considered “too-large-for-the-space” island and the L-shaped shelves in the corners. (My trim carpenter really enjoyed that request – 😉 🙄 ). He tried his best to talk me into just simple triangular shelves in the corners (because they’re easier to build), but I knew what my intended use for those shelves would be and a simple corner shelve just wouldn’t cut it. So, he accepted his loss and begrudgingly installed 12 L-shaped corner shelves. (I swear, it’s a miracle that we made it through that build without him shivving me! Only kidding!! He was amazing and we still hug it out when we see each other on the soccer fields. 🙂 But I’m sure, truth be told, he did dream of it a time or two during the 5 months+ he spent in my house.)
But all kidding aside, I wanted L-shaped corner shelves because I knew I could reach the items being stored there easier AND it would look prettier that way. In all actuality, having L-shaped corners gives you 3 defined sections within which to store whatever it is you would store on those shelves, rather than jumbling them up in a more haphazard way as it would be if it were triangular. (See, I do make sense!) I knew I would be using my corner shelves for storing sweaters, shoes, hats, handbags and to decorate with photos and the like. Had I not forced the L-shaped corners on my trim carpenter, the space would have looked totally different – even messy in my opinion. Of course, that is the opinion of a confessed neat freak with a touch of obsessive- compulsive disorder, so take it for what it’s worth! Seriously, “everything has its place” is an understatement in my world. Something being 1″ off can throw me into a complete tail spin. (You should see me decorate a Christmas tree! It’s both entertaining and disturbing.)
MY CLOSET MUST-HAVES
When I envisioned by closet, three things continued to come to mind: (1) a chandelier; (2) an island (under said chandelier of course); and, (3) a jewelry/dressing counter. It didn’t take me long to realize that these were my “must-have” items. Is that extra? Yep. Over the top? Maybe. Do I care? Nope. Because this was my closet and I could do what I want to (just like when it’s your birthday and you cry if you want to). Due to the space I demanded for our closet, I was able to achieve all three (at the reluctance of others – not my husband, he just cut me loose. Though he may not have if he had known then that I was only going to give him 3 drawers and 3 hanging racks for his things. 😆 ). BUT, in my defense, my husband works away from home 2 weeks each month, so he does not have, nor does he require many “real” clothes. Now before you start with the “Oh how selfish of her!” rest assured, he’s definitely not suffering okay!
These three “must-haves,” that some may see as too much, actually serve a whole lot of purpose. The chandelier provides FAR MORE light than can lights do. And, do I even need to address how much better it looks than the alternative??? The island, while giving me a place to display more girly decor, also gives us six additional three feet wide drawers to store our folded clothes. Lastly, my jewelry/dressing area, though a place to – you know it – decorate, also provides us (well, me) with an additional eight drawers to store jewelry and/or clothes that, without this area, would have been stored in a whole different room. SEE, FUNCTIONALITY PEOPLE! It wasn’t just all about the pretty facade’.
Clothing racks are, well… just that, clothing racks. However, by building a shelve above the lower racks, I not only hid the hanging rods but was able to create additional storage space. Most people would simply store extra shoes and such in this area, but I’m not most people. (I know, I just let you in on a huge secret, right??) I’m THAT extra! (I’m kidding… sort of) I found that if I double folded my jeans, I could use the shelf under them as a place to display other things – many of which just make the space “prettier” and others that actually get used daily, like my perfume.
Okay, so maybe I just wanted yet another space to adorn BUT, even if you aren’t into decorating your closet, this extra shelf does provide you with lots of space to store real closet items such as shoes, sweaters, hats, champagne, bags of potato chips you sneak and eat at night…. Hell, I don’t know what you keep in your closets! But whatever it is that you need to store and don’t have room for elsewhere, you can put here. Bottom line, it’s useful!
I designed my closet with floor to ceiling hanging racks, with no space above for storage. I knew that storage space would either be unused or, even worse, used to store things that are not aesthetically pleasing to the (well…, my) eye. But, aesthetics aside, doing this allowed me to fit six (rather than four) racks on one side (3 in each floor to ceiling section) and five on the other. I did two larger rack sections on one side of the closet to hang my jeans, dresses and other longer items. Because I’m a mere 5’2 and there was no good way to reach the top racks without the use of a full six foot ladder, I invested in one of those little hooks that you see in retail stores. It’s been a lifesaver. I use it several times a week. Consider grabbing one for yourself if you’re on the petite side or just have unreachable areas in your closet.
In order to further feed my obvious obsession with organization and compulsion with making my closet look “pretty,” I decided to color coordinate my hanging clothes and I used all grey velvet hangers to do so. (except for one section, where I had to scratch my itch for pink ones. I just couldn’t help it. They were so “me.”) I’m sure some of you are, again, thinking “she wasted so much money doing that.” But, those hangers not only make everything look more streamlined, because they’re velvet, my clothes don’t slip off or lose their shape as they would had I used plastic or wire. Having hangers of the same color also draws your attention to your clothes and away from what they’re hanging on. When I had hangers of all sizes and colors, my eye inevitably ended up on the portion of the hanger that was visible and not the clothes hanging on it. I realize that not everyone is as detail oriented (a/k/a finicky) as I tend to be and may not suffer from this malady (part of me secretly envies you). However, I know my limits and what can push me over the edge – crazy coat hangers fall into that category. (I know you’ll be shocked to learn this, but I also organized my husband’s clothes by color and replaced all of his hangers with black velvet ones. 🙂 )
In lieu of using more matching hangers to hang my jeans, I opted for S-hooks. I did this for three reasons, the first of which is obviously – how it looks. But, notwithstanding my vanity, if you have the right space in your closet to do so, using S-hooks allows you to store more jeans in that space, as well as making them much easier to get to. (Imagine simply slipping your jeans on/off a hook, as opposed to fighting with a hanger each time you wear them.) In the end, it was a cheap solution to years of frustration.
Let me just say that I love boots! I’m short, but that doesn’t deter me from wearing knee high boots every chance I get. Let me also say that I HATE storing boots. I knew when building my closet that I didn’t want to keep boxes for all my boots and shove them under racks of clothes as I had done in the past. I also didn’t want to see them toppled over at the ankle every time I walk into my closet. And before you say “But Bridget,…” Yes, I know there are ways to avoid this and I still need to do so, but I opted for the “if you can’t see it, it won’t bother you” approach of hiding them in a designated boot closet.
Since this boot closet stole the space I had otherwise designated for my full length mirror, I decided to place my mirror on the outside of the boot closet door. I will admit, I would have enjoyed having a larger mirror in my closet, but I would have hated seeing my boots slumped over more. I also found the inside of my boot closet provided the perfect place to hang long necklaces that would get tangled at the bottom of most standard jewelry towers. I used removable wallpaper to cover the back of the mirror and then simply added 3M hooks from which to hang the necklaces. This was a super easy update to the space and is also easy to remove later should you so choose.
Other than my tall boots, all other shoes are stored in plain sight. I store my booties and sneaker primarily on the L-shaped shelves we discussed earlier, with my heels being displayed front and center. I had my trim carpenter build the shelves on either side of my jewelry/dressing area approximately eight inches apart. I figured that would be enough room to fit even my tallest heels in the space comfortably, without wasting precious real estate on air. The shelves are deep enough to easily place four pairs of heels on each one (2 in front; 2 in back).
As I did throughout the entire closet, I tried my best to organize my shoes by color and heel height. I choose to store my heels with both toes facing forward. I realize that storing them heel/toe (1 toe forward; 1 heel forward) allows you to fit more on a shelve, however, I had plenty of space to store them toes forward. And, honestly, I just prefer this look. I tried it both ways and this way won.
So, this sums up my closet tour! I’ve linked several of the items you see in the photos to this post, should you care to add a few to your closet or other area of your home. I hope you enjoyed this tour as much as I enjoyed creating my closet space. And, maybe it’s even inspired you to create a similar space for yourself.