Whether you find yourself in a historical Bay Area home, where clothes were often stored hanging from hooks on a wall, live in a smaller home, where space is of the essence and closet-space is scarce, or you’re interested in converting a den into an additional bedroom – you may need to be a little creative when it comes to closet space.
The following ideas can help you create a closet where there isn’t one. Some work well for renters, who will want to take their solutions with them, others involve more permanent changes. In any case, these tips will expand hidden storage options for you and your guests.
- Build a Real Closet. An after-market closet addition is your best move if you have the room for it and you own your home. If you rent, and you feel there is enough living space post-closet, your landlord may be willing to spring for it – especially if you do all the legwork to plan and design it. A bedroom closet add-on is a fairly inexpensive construction project in the big picture, especially because it will significantly increase the value of the home. In the state of CA, rooms can only be called “bedrooms” if there is a permanent closet. Thus, your current 2-bedroom home will instantly become a 3-bedroom home, which is pretty significant when it’s time to put the home on the market.
- Purchase a Gorgeous Armoire. You can never regret the purchase of a gorgeous armoire. For now, it can be the closet you wish you had. Down the road – in another home – it may become the entertainment center that elegantly houses that ugly TV screen when it’s not in use, or it could become your next favorite linen closet in a master bathroom renovation. The point is, armoires are versatile. And, they hold their resale value – so there’s that.
- Create an Exposed Closet Rung. Next time you’re out on a hike, look for a sturdy branch, about three-feet or more in length and bring it home. Trim it to its core, paint it any color you like, and suspend it horizontally from the ceiling using chains, rope, ribbon, or whatever material makes sense with the existing décor. If you combine that, with an attractive dresser beneath it, you gain clothing storage for both folded and hanger-worthy wardrobe options. Don’t want to spring for a new dresser? Cheap and attractive versions abound on Craigslist and a quick coat of paint will fix them right up.
- Get Yourself Some Bed Risers. You can purchase bed risers for a song and in a range of heights. Once your bed is elevated, you have just given yourself the gift of significant storage space. Now, you can free other closets of the seasonal and lesser-worn items, storing them in storage bins in your new, under-bed closet.
- Invest In a Loft Bed. Loft beds are pretty genius, especially if you have a room that is both small and tall. Once the bed is elevated to those lofty heights (pun intended) you can create a walk-in-closet of sorts underneath. If you have a more modern design, an exposed closet might work just fine. If you’re more of a traditionalist or the exposed space winds up looking cluttered, hang a beautiful expanse of fabric around the perimeter of the loft. The underneath space can also create room for a small home office. If this is a kid’s bedroom, divide the under-loft space in two, using one for their clothes and shoes and the other for their own personal hideout and quiet space.
- Use a Pre-Fab Closet Organizing System. You can also use a pre-fab closet organizing system. These will give you the hanging, shelved and/or drawer space you’re looking for. For stability, mount the system to the wall. If you feel inclined, a builder or certified handyman will have no problem installing “walls” on the sides for a real closet look. Then, using a curtain rod system, you’ll be able to enclose the space tastefully.
- Create a Closet Nook Just Outside the Door. Depending on the shape of your hallway and room entrances, you may be able to enclose a small nook and then install shelving and a small section of rod to hang nicer clothes. Again, you can choose to hide or expose the space using a rod and a curtain or piece of fabric.