Let's talk about bedroom closets. Thanks to Cher Horowitz's virtual wardrobe in Clueless and Princess Mia's remote-controlled dressing room in The Princess Diaries, it's safe to say we've seen our fair share of impressive walk-in closets. But is this look transferable to our own homes?
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First of all, what exactly is a walk-in closet? Well, it's a room designed to house your clothes, shoes, and accessories while also acting as a changing room. As the name suggests, unlike a traditional closet, you should be able to walk into the actual space.
One of the primary benefits of having a walk-in closet is that they tend to be open so you can see all of your clothing. Another plus? They can help up your organization game, as well as keep you from purchasing duplicate items. Walk-in closets can also make a huge statement both in terms of beautiful design and functionality — it doesn't need to be a bland space. You can experiment with colors and different fixtures to create a stylish scheme. Ready to transform your wardrobe? These 21 walk-in closet ideas are all the inspo you'll need.
21 Walk-in Closet Ideas and Design Tips
1. Ditch the doors.
Being able to see all of your clothing can help you plan your outfits effectively and shop more sustainably, so why not ditch the closet doors like this open setup from Ashley Nicole Interiors? To keep things looking clean and tidy, arrange your wardrobe by color and keep similar styles, such as dresses, in the same place.
2. Let in natural light.
Oftentimes, dressing rooms lack natural light, but that doesn't mean you have to put up with that. Justin of Design at Nineteen took matters into his own hands and transformed the loft area into a stylish closet, complete with a Velux skylight, ensuring there will always be plenty of light.
3. Maximize vertical closet storage.
Typically standard closet designs don't reach the top of your ceiling, but it's important to make use of every square inch available to you. Extend your storage space, from floor to ceiling, by stacking baskets, bins, and even vintage suitcases to stash your seasonal wardrobe.
4. Consider using a hallway.
If you have a primary bedroom and bath that are connected by a small corridor, think about how you can turn that narrow space into a dressing area. The void between your sleeping quarters and washroom could provide the perfect area for cabinetry and drawers. Interior designers Kyal and Kara nailed the idea in this peaceful transition space.
5. Add seating.
Trying on clothes is hard work, right? Add seating to your walk-in closet so you can take a load off in between outfit changes. Plus, it will also add a luxurious note, as proven by this setup from Lifestyle by Anna Elizabeth. Here, a large ottoman looks right at home positioned below a delicate chandelier.
6. Install extra shelving and drawer dividers.
If you're struggling with the sheer quantity of clothes that you own, extra shelving is never a bad thing. Follow the lead of Chango & Co. and incorporate closed cabinetry to hide an unsightly mess, drawer dividers, and slanted shelving so that you can see all of your shoes at their best angles.
7. Focus on lighting.
Is natural light nonexistent in your walk-in closet? You'll need some functional task lighting to illuminate your space. Think pendants or chandeliers, LED strips, floor lamps, and wall sconces. And we're not talking boring utilitarian fixtures either. Make the lighting a design moment, as shown in this eclectic dressing room by Em Gurner.
8. Use a closet organization system.
For budget-friendly walk-in closet inspiration, just search "PAX Wardrobe IKEA hack" on Instagram — there are plenty of DIY projects to help you design a functional arrangement that is still unique to you. The PAX system is perfect for customizing your dressing room to suit your exact needs, without spending your life savings.
9. Don't forget about the hardware.
The hardware in your walk-in can totally elevate the design scheme, while also tying it to the adjacent spaces. Jacey of Damsel in Dior opted for leather pulls on the drawers of her IKEA dressers, adding a boho touch to the glossy white finish. Additional on-trend options worth considering are luxe brass or sleek matte black.
10. Set up a vanity.
Your dressing room doesn't have to lack in personality. Case in point: This vintage artisanal retreat. The midcentury dresser and chair inject loads of character and timeless flair into an otherwise functional space. Dress yours up however you like.
11. Get creative with mirrors.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the prettiest of them all? You, of course! Remember that as well as boosting your ego, mirrors can help make your walk-in closet feel bigger. For those that want to go above and beyond, a mirrored wall will definitely make an impact and reflect light. For those with a small closet, consider wardrobe cabinets or dressers with mirrored inserts instead. Olivia Culpo used mirrored drawers as well as a sliding door with a full-length mirror.
12. Use an area rug.
Add pattern and color to your custom closet with a statement area rug à la Debi from Simply Beautiful Eating. A soft landing pad underfoot will add a cozy element to your walk-in, effectively breaking up the sea of hard casegoods — cabinets, cubbies, and shelving — that are commonly found in a wardrobe.
13. Include an island.
Looking to make a big statement? An island dresser is the ultimate luxurious addition to any dream closet makeover, especially if comes with a marble top, like the one in Rachel Parcell's gorg walk-in. As well as being a valuable storage solution, an island also provides a surface for styling accessories such as sunnies and jewelry.
14. Put baskets to work.
Woven baskets and rattan storage boxes are secret weapons when it comes to closet organization. If you need somewhere to stash belts, scarves, hats, purses, or anything else that can't be easily stored, just pop them in a basket and voilà! Bonus points for finding styles in interesting textures and colors to add interest.
15. Invest in matching hangers.
Level up your closet space with matching hangers in a lustrous metallic finish. It's a simple way to organize your clothing in a stylish way and add a cohesive feel to your walk-in without undergoing a complete overhaul. Don't forget to invest in non-slip hangers, too. They will keep those slinky camisoles from sliding right off the hanger. Pro tip: Slim hangers take up less space, which leaves more room for your clothes.
16. Prioritize closet organization.
Okay, so you're ready to go all-in on revamping your closet? We're talking bag holders, hanging rods, shoe racks, jewelry organizers — anything that helps you navigate your walk-in. Amber from The Pink Millennial even went so far as to meticulously organize her drawers using dividers and organizing trays. If you want to take things a step further, incorporate labels, too.
17. Show off your shoe collection.
Your clothing can act as decor in its own right if you display it right. Make like Amber Fillerup Clark and showcase your shoes as if your walk-in is a swanky store. Try placing them on open shelves or shoe racks at different heights and angles. Save a few shoe boxes and use them as risers.
18. Incorporate home decor.
Whether you want your closet space to be minimalist, maximalist, or something in between, use art and decorative objects to inject your personality into the design. Consider how you want the walk-in to look and incorporate elements that will complement your scheme like candles, books, and artwork — let Ballingslöv show you how it's done. Just be careful not to take up valuable hanging or storage space.
19. Bring in soft elements.
Add tone and texture to your closet with different soft goods, such as window treatments, area rugs, and upholstered seating options — anything to make your space feel cozier. Take this space by Chris Loves Julia. It almost looks like a study, but features a full-length mirror plus both open and closed storage for clothing.
20. Hang a statement wallpaper.
Bring pattern to your walk-in closet with statement wallpaper, as seen in this glam design by Katherine Carter. The black floral print (and arched French doors!) ooze sophistication and make this the perfect place to take OOTD selfies.
21. Double up as a laundry room.
Where there are clothes, there is laundry. While they are often not seen together, it absolutely makes sense for them to be in the same room. The team over at Studio McGee designed the ultimate walk-in closet-meets-laundry room for a client, adding in an island, hanging rods, shoe shelves, and more. What a dream!
Just a Few Important Reminders
In summary, when it comes to reconfiguring your walk-in closet, it's vital to work with the space that you have. Take advantage of IKEA's planning tools, which can make designing your wardrobe a little easier. But if you want a bit of help, you can often get free consultations from brands such as West Elm or California Closets. Or, you can also hire an interior designer or professional organizer to make the most of your space. The most important thing to remember is to think about form and function, but be sure to incorporate your personality whenever possible, too. Getting dressed should be fun, after all!