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  • Writer's pictureAlice

Are There Rules for Designing a Closet?

Updated: Sep 27, 2022

Transform an Empty Shell into a Custom, Luxury, Closet

I bet you having a walk-in closet is at the top of every homeowner or renter’s wish list. And while the average property may not check off this box, I am here to tell you it is still very possible to create an organized and luxurious closet (walk-in or not) with some simple, and cost-effective resources that most of us have access to. I’m referring to: paint, lighting, hangers, and our very own trusted Ikea.

So, how do you go about maximizing the storage capacity of a tiny closet while still making it look beautiful? I would say, you start with the following basic rules:

  • Assess what you have,

  • Determine what you wish to keep or toss,

  • Outline how your items will be organized (you can literally sketch this out on paper - I do this all the time).

  • Always:

    1. make room for hanging long dresses, pants, or dress shirts,

    2. have a couple of shelves for clothes you frequently wear (T-shirts, jeans, etc.),

    3. integrate drawers for your intimates or pieces you don’t use often,

    4. set aside a spot for your jewelry

  • Incorporate lighting if you can,

  • Purchase any relevant items you need to set up the closet (hangers and organization systems are a must); and

  • Get to organizing.

Sounds easy, right? Yes it is! That said, I understand most people (including me) like visuals, so I have linked to some smart Ikea hacks to enhance your closet storage needs.

But what if you need just a little bit more space to store your priced and precious possessions (for me that’s shoes and more shoes) and you have a spare bedroom and/or a decent size walk-in closet? Now, the fun begins.

The basic rules I noted above still apply, but in a larger space you can be a bit more creative with how you layout the room i.e., adding seating, an island, art, massive chandelier, rug – the choices are endless. In my case, I considered these additional elements:

  • Brightening the room with paint and lighting – I believe lighter paint colors and daylight bulbs make the room feel bigger and showcase the true color of clothing.

  • Maximizing my seating options – my kids and I love to be in my closet, so having seating is key.

  • Protecting my shoes and bags from dust and sun rays – If you have items that you use albeit sparingly, keep them protected behind glass doors or a curtain if you can. This will ensure you don’t have to clean them before each use.

  • Bringing nature in – I love branches and flowers and I add them to every room whenever I can. I think it just gives the room some life.

  • Embellishing with art, and mirrors.

  • Placing an island in the middle of the room for my seasonal items – I did a simple hack on the Ikea HEMNES three dresser chest - can you guess what it is?

Hopefully, this post demystified the art of designing and organizing a closet.

If this article inspired you, sound off in the comments below with any questions or comments you might have. I’d love to hear your thoughts.



ODD Tips for Closets (Small or Large)


  • Plan and budget accordingly (Custom closets or organization systems can be pricey)

  • Use the basic rules I outlined above


  • Layout the room on paper before you begin purchasing anything

  • Don’t be afraid to use unconventional items like bookcases for clothing or shoes – they are just the right depth and can accommodate a lot


  • Repetition is key to creating a cohesive space – notice any repetition in mine? (hint: copper, gold, blue, and white)

  • Have fun with your closet accessories – they help elevate your design e.g.,

    1. Thin velvet hangers – they come in fun colors and accommodate lots of clothes

    2. Display perfumes using cake stands – I did it (twice in the same space)

    3. Ditch the generic hanging rod and go for an acrylic one (if you wish to give your space a custom look)

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