Inspo for Customized Walk-in Closets & Glimpses of Real Life Renovation

It truly matters not that I’m a design blogger sharing visual inspo since the 2000s. When a new project looms on the horizon, I need my exhaustive deep dive into creative possibilities–fantasy, frugal, or funkytown. You too? Last winter, smack dab in the middle of our primary suite renovation, we were gearing up for a closet makeover. Not a terrible closet as traditional Georgian homes go (although the poor door is clunkily situated…ugh). Find out how we improved it and see dreamy customized walk-in closets for inspiration.

Inspo for Customized Walk-in Closets

We improved our own walk-in closet by capturing vertical space, providing concealed storage (Modular Closets!), upgrading the lighting, and adding a much needed aesthetic boost.

Hello Lovely's before & after walk-in closet shares a custom closet DIY with white Shaker style towers and drawers from Modular Closets. This his and hers closet makes the most of every inch. #closetupgrades #diycloset #customclosetideas #closetmakeover #closetmodules #diyclosetmakeover
Hello Lovely – we chose Modular Closets for a DIY custom closet

Let’s explore inspiring designs that may help you with your own schemes.

Treat the Closet Like a Room

It’s all true what the pros will tell you: if you address the closet/dressing room as if it is a room, you’ll keep it organized and it will add daily value. Look at this fantasy example:

Schooler Kellogg Interiors designed fantasy dressing room closet with settee and Preston Collection from The Container Store in Kips Bay Showhouse 2022.
Veranda (Aaron Dougherty); Design: Schooler Kellogg Interiors

If you have the space or can steal some from adjacent rooms, what a prospect to add beautiful lighting, create a boutique atmosphere, and customize the space you’ll use every single day as a beautiful room. And there are colors beyond white for a truly custom space…

Custom light blue grey closet with window seat and dresser - Marea Clark Interiors (Photo: Dyer Photo). #customcloset
Customized Walk-in Closets – Marea Clark Interiors – @dyerphoto

The beautiful tranquil tone above seems reminiscent of Farrow & Ball Parma Gray.

Custom Paint Color Ideas

Isn’t it interesting that most of us see this as a blue, but blue is nowhere in the name?

Here’s another closet accented with a bright blue, and it’s important to make decisions about wall colors BEFORE installation begins.

Walk-in closet dressing room designed by Betsy Wentz and Tom Kirchhoff for Kips Bay Showhouse 2020.
Design: Betsy Wentz & Tom Kirchhoff for Kips Bay Showhouse 2020; Veranda (Brian Woodcock)

I kept the backdrop neutral in my own closet with walls painted Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray.

Hello Lovely's DIY custom closet with white Shaker style towers and drawers (Modular Closets). See the before/after photos and find tips for a successful closet upgrade. #diycloset #customclosetideas #closetmakeover #closetmodules #diyclosetmakeover
Hello Lovely – Customized Walk-in Closets

And did you notice we added beadboard paneling to our closet’s back wall? Subtle texture and a bit more design customization without much fuss.

Custom closet in light grey with island - Marea Clark Interiors. #customclosets #bespokecloset
Marea Clark Interiors – Customized Walk-in Closets and also My Closet Makeover

What? You don’t have that kind of square footage seen here in your closet? Most of us don’t. I’m not suggesting second mortgages and additions! So filter this inspiration creatively.

Incorporate Your Favorite Storage Options

Notice how like items are grouped together in this next fantasy space. And would you ever hang a piece of art on vertical storage or place a favorite chandelier in the closet?

Beautifully designed custom closet dressing room with island - Elizabeth Sesser and Ike Kligerman Barkley. #customizedclosets
Veranda; Elizabeth Sesser with Ike Kligerman Barkley

What about carpet and flooring for the space? Also, think about your personal preferences for shoe storage. Are little individual cubbies calling?

See? There are all sorts of details to collect even from the most fantasy of bespoke projects.

Diary of Our Own DIY Customized Walk-in Closet

Here’s that clunky, unfortunate door situation in our bedroom to which I referred:

Closet door - Hello Lovely Studio
Closet door is behind the primary bedroom’s door

Spoiler alert. We didn’t change this area structurally. It would have caused a domino effect we were not prepared to tackle at a time we were fully gutting the bath and remodeling the sitting area! This is where we were last year on the bath reno:

primary bathroom during renovation
During construction of Hello Lovely’s primary bath renovation

So many major details to address in our bedroom suite that we could have easily dismissed the idea of improving the closet. Below you can see the pocket door to the bath and the construction happening in the sitting room near the bath:

Primary bedroom renovation of sitting room - Hello Lovely
DURING Hello Lovely’s primary bedroom suite renovation

Doesn’t everybody have a seven window-ed sitting room situation to rectify in their second floor turret?

Primary bedroom renovation of sitting room - Hello Lovely
Sitting room in primary bedroom during construction

Oy. I was tasked with reconfiguring the sitting area to distinguish it from the sleeping area not for aesthetics, but because the room’s temperature was compromised by nine windows in the space. I designed a wall with an arched doorway (for an exterior door) to also block light from the windows.

Primary bedroom renovation of sitting room - Hello Lovely
During renovation of sitting room

Oh the angles and quirky design of this suite! We knew the renovation would challenge us in this fussy house, but it all definitely has aged us too!

Primary bedroom renovation of sitting room - Hello Lovely
Insulating the sleeping area from a chilly turret
Funny quote about a strategy for others to expect less of you - Hello Lovely Studio. #funnyquotes #midlifequotes

On the Road to a Customized Closet

Here’s where we began:

Closet before - primary bedroom
Primary Bedroom Closet BEFORE

My closet-office-dressing area turned out so well, we turned to Modular Closets again for the bedroom closet. We needed solutions for practical matters such as shoe storage. The existing custom shoe shelf actually didn’t work as it was installed at a strange angle. (Maybe it was strictly for stilettos? Not sure, but my husband’s shoes didn’t stay on the thing.)

Shoe storage in primary bedroom closet BEFORE
BEFORE

I think vertical storage makes more sense for shoes.

We also had to address lighting since we inherited an ugly fluorescent industrial ceiling light.

Closet before - primary bedroom
BEFORE

I always add a chandelier to a closet or pantry when I can.

Rustic knotty alder door to my closet with antique painted dresser and stenciled mirror - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

BTW. I happily passed along this Victorian dresser from my former closet which didn’t make the cut in our custom closet plan to a wonderful young couple who were thrilled to get it.

Hello Lovely’s DIY Customized Walk-in

I wouldn’t change a thing! I love the combination of white towers and shelves with natural woven baskets and lidded storage containers.

Hello Lovely's before & after walk-in closet shares a custom closet DIY with white Shaker style towers and drawers from Modular Closets. This his and hers closet makes the most of every inch. #closetupgrades #diycloset #customclosetideas #closetmakeover #closetmodules #diyclosetmakeover
Hello Lovely

It really helps to know yourself well and be acquainted with your organizational style.

Hello Lovely's closet makeover - I love mixing natural materials and warmth with the beauty and neutrality of white. Come see the before/after of this DIY closet project with Modular Closets. #diyclosets #customclosetdiy #whiteshakerclosets

Since I need a closet to have plenty of concealed storage, that detail alone transformed this closet and daily living.

Hello Lovely's closet makeover - I love mixing natural materials and warmth with the beauty and neutrality of white. Come see the before/after of this DIY closet project with Modular Closets. #diyclosets #customclosetdiy #whiteshakerclosets
Hello Lovely – Modular Closets towers, drawers, and shelves

It’s pleasant, airy, and still looks as organized and tidy today as it did last year when we completed it. šŸ™‚ This is definitely a favorite DIY because it isn’t about fluff or following any trend. We assessed our needs, made a plan and achieved a closet that delivers ease every single day.

Have Fun Making Your Closet Wish List

Have fun with the inspiration phase and dreaming because if DIY is in your future, the fun will only last so long!

Just keep your eyes on the prize and know you are in good company. After the many renovations we have undertaken, I have learned how it all works out in the end. No need to freak when your energy is needed to keep moving forward. BUT I’LL TELL YOU RIGHT NOW I WON’T BE THE FRIEND TELLING YOU TO “ENJOY THE PROCESS.”

Funny Robert Frost quote about people on Hello Lovely Studio. #robertfrostquotes

No. You can enjoy any companions along for the journey, breaks from the work, funny hiccups along the way, and the completion, but please don’t feel pressured to “enjoy” the laborious days of chaos. You’ll move through them. Maybe muddle through them and crawl at times. But I won’t set myself up for shame. I find it detrimental personally to reframe work as play or a process I should draw joy from.

Inspiring Closet Designs

We just have to start with my favorite bespoke closet with armoire storage and Pyne Hollyhock wallpaper. Designed by Katie Rosenfeld for herself, it is within her renovated 1920s Tudor:

Katie Rosenfeld designed customized walk-in closet with Schumacher Pyne Hollyhock wallpaper and bespoke cabinetry. #customizedclosets #pynehollyhock
Katie Rosenfeld Design; Photo: Read McKendrie

I’ll never get over the details and beauty! Even if you borrow just one detail (for example, the wallpapered statement wall), you’re off to a grand start.

Closet dressing room with terracotta tile flooring in elegant 18th century Provençal French farmhouse Château Mireille. Photo: Haven In. Chateau Mireille in St-Rémy-de-Provence.
Haven In’s Chateau Mireille – see more of it HERE

Armoire style storage in a customized walk-in closet or even within the bedroom proper? Someday you shall be mine!

Dorothy Parker friendship quote on Hello Lovely Studio. #friendshipquotes

Not sure when I discovered Katie Rosenfeld’s work, but you’ll get a sense of her personality in her youTube series:

That closet she created! It is actually the “her” closet. Even though most of us are not blessed with natural light from a window in the closet, I can imagine wallpaper and the reflective glass mirror elevating the view.

Here’s a modern room sized closet office with a wallpapered statement wall:

Dreamy cloffice with workspace and dressing area by @aloprofile. #cloffice #closetoffice #homeofficedesign
@aloprofile – Inspo for Customized Walk-in Closets as well as Shopping Resources

As I browsed beautiful closet inspiration, certain bespoke designs like this one spoke to me (John Lewis of Hungerford):

Beautifully designed two tone bespoke custom closet - @johnlewisofhungerford. #customclosets #luxurycloset #closetgoals
@johnlewisofhungerford – Warm wood tones and texture from the floor elevate this custom beauty

While our closet wasn’t customized with handcrafted design, you can still tweak a modular semi-custom design to make it unique.

Beautiful custom closet with window, chandelier, island, and bespoke details - @johnlewisofhungerford. #customcloset #luxurycloset #dressingrooms
John Lewis of Hungerford

LED lit shelves are dreamy if you can add them.

Beautiful custom closet with window, chandelier, island, and bespoke details - @johnlewisofhungerford. #customcloset #luxurycloset #dressingrooms

Lighting truly is a powerful design element to help a closet feel more like a boutique!

Beautiful custom closet with window, chandelier, island, and bespoke details - @johnlewisofhungerford. #customcloset #luxurycloset #dressingrooms

Notable Walk-in Closet Design Elements

Do you admire rollouts for storage? Mirrored doors to bounce that light around?

Here’s another style of rollouts with sections for keeping like things together:

Even the simplest modular designs can live large:

Remember that a mirror may be able to give you a similar effect as a window.

Beautiful custom closet with built-ins and window - @decelleleeker. #customclosets #closetgoals

Do closets sell houses in 2024? You can definitely set your home apart from the pack with customization…especially if most of the homes in your neighborhood are builder-grade specials.

You may remember that before we even moved into the Georgian, we began renovating it, and my big idea for a super quirky small extra bedroom was to make it a CLOSET DRESSING ROOM that could still function as a bedroom.

Pretty Closet Organization Inspo

Oh the possibilities when your budget is unlimited!

Magnificent custom closet with architecture by Reagan Andre and design by Ann Wolf Decoration. #customclosets
Reagan Andre Architecture – Ann Wolf

Right? But if nothing else, we can take away color palette inspiration from these fantasy closets.

Bespoke fantasy closet in black by Alison Victoria - photo by Anthony Tahlier.
Alison Victoria – see more of her work in THIS; Photo: Anthony Tahlier

Need proof that just a little tweak and turning down the busy-factor will make a HUGE difference in closet storage appearance?

Robert Frost home quote on Hello Lovely Studio. #homequotes #robertfrost

Since wallpaper is totally popular again, why not use a little in a closet for a happy pop of color and personality?

Find more closet organization ideas HERE.

Robert Frost quote EARTH IS THE RIGHT PLACE FOR LOVE on Hello Lovely Studio. #robertfrost #earthquotes

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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2 Comments

  1. Laurie L Cordeniz
    February 23, 2024 / 12:40 pm

    Would you have any ideas for reach in closets? I have an older home with only reach in and could use some ideas. Thanks!

    • Michele
      Author
      February 23, 2024 / 5:22 pm

      Such a great topic to cover. I’ll look into it!

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Let’s SHOP!

White Slipcovered Sofa
SHOP MY HOME!
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
White Matelasse Quilt on MY BED
SHOP MY BATH!
Trees White Wallpaper Mural
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcovered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
White Cotton Crochet Bed Skirt
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Rattan Basket With Lid
White Ruffle Bedding
Seagrass Basket Set
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Slipcovered Sofa
Upholstered Dining Arm Chair
Shop My Breakfast Nook
White Matelasse Quilt
Tree Mural Wallpaper
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slipcovered Linen Chair
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Laurel Wreath Mirror
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Tray Side Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Wreath Doormat
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing