Closet Junkie

It’s true, I’ll admit it, I have a thing for closets! What can I say??? All that extra (overlooked) square footage, usually tucked away by conventional-closing-doors, is what I view as hidden DESIGN OPPORTUNITY!

You could have 2 rooms the exact same size: one with an exposed, well-thought-out closet, and the other with a concealed, cluttered closet. The brain would automatically calculate the open-closeted room as being larger because there’s more for the eye to see/take-in/process. Even with a closet as small as Ezekiel’s (2’x5′), that’s still 10SQFT just there to be taken advantage of!

I’m not saying every closet should be paraded for all to see… NO, no … sometimes you NEED those “panic-rooms” to ditch the daily mess and dirty laundry when that unexpected guest arrives! Am I right!? But for your non-storage spaces, do you necessarily NEED ordinary doors? Why welcome a barrier that creates the illusion of less space if you don’t HAVE to? If you’ve got it, flaunt it, baby! After all, square-footage doesn’t come cheap, so EVERY INCH COUNTS!

Here’s what I mean by taking advantage of a hidden design opportunity:

Sorry for the old iPhone 3 quality photo

Here you see a standard closet; basic shelving and bi-fold doors. We could have left it this way and been relatively fine, but we chose to maximize the space instead. (If we plan to live here till we’re old n’ gray, we best do it and do it right!)

First, we (Jared) removed the existing doors & shelves:

Then, we (Jared) remudded the walls to cover all the “scars”:

Luckily we have smooth walls, so there was no need for texturing!

Can’t forget the primer!

Next step, PAINT! Instead of painting the closet white, I continued the black from the rest of his room to avoid making it seem like a separate space. This way it feels like an extension of his room…

Paint & PSLs 

To make it fun, I also painted orange stripes on his ceiling to tie-in with all the details around his room…

As you can see, it needed a bit of TLC!

After a little light sanding and a coat of white paint to cover the lovely leftover lavender, I applied 4″ Frog Tape…

4″ wide Frog Tape, spaced 4″ apart

I sealed the corners with the edge of a stir stick to avoid bleeding onto the freshly painted walls

Next, I tried a trick I learned from the Property Brothers that was SUPPOSE to keep the orange from bleeding underneath the Frog Tape… but from now on I’m gonna stick with my own method because I found myself doing WAY too much touch-up afterwards!

Property Brother’s method:
Paint a coat of white PRIOR to painting your color,
this way you seal the tape edges & prevent any bleeding.

The other downfall to this method was having to wait for the white to dry before I could apply the orange. It added another hour or so to the process… which led to working with fans and shoplights in 0% daylight!!

…late into the night

After 2 coats of orange, time to remove the tape!

Tip: When working with reds/pinks/oranges, it can take 3-5 coats to arrive at its true color unless you buy a primer. I use (and highly recommend) the all-in-one Paint & Primer products when using these colors… the couple extra dollars will save you HOURS when painting an entire room. (However, don’t let them talk you into the all-in-one’s for colors you’d normally never prime for!)

After some touch-up…

^ Color: Behr’s Volcano ^

MY method for creating perfect lines that won’t bleed: squeeze a pea-sized portion of paintable caulk onto your index finger. Run your finger down the seam of the tape, repeating process till each seam has a THIN layer of caulk. (So thin you shouldn’t be able to see it). Rub it in as smooth as possible! The idea is that the caulk will seep into any air pockets, filling the gaps that the paint otherwise would have. If you remove the tape after your project is finished and can visibly see caulk dried onto the wall/ceiling, it will easily wipe off with a damp cloth AFTER you’ve given your paint a full 12 hours to set/cure. I was given this advice from a professional painter (Judah Schmoll) when we moved into our condo 7 years ago, and it’s never failed me since!  (This works beautifully on corners too!)

Finally, WE installed a new shelving system:

As usual, the Ikea BUILD-IT-YOURSELF system came
complete with instruction manual and involuntary profanity”

Why did I choose the Ikea Stolmen system?

a. It’s sleek, modern, with a retro 60’s vibe… one that I felt could be showcased. No need for doors!

b. It’s VERSATILE! As he grows older, the length/size of his clothing will change, so I was attracted to the adjustable brackets that can slide up/down the pole to accommodate him as he grows! I can change anything and everything from bar heights to drawer positions, add or remove shelves… you name it.

c. It’s removable. It’s not a built-in, so if for some reason we wanted/needed to take everything out or move this system to another closet, it won’t leave ANY wall damage. Besides the 3 brackets that are screwed into the ceiling, the rest of this suspended system floats! (A perfect example of why we’d need to remove this system: refinishing the hardwood floors. An overwhelming project made easy as 1,2,3!)

“Whoa, we’re halfway there!”
(IKEA has me singing BON JOVI ???) #livingonaprayer

Ready? Set?



Whites | Colors

Whites | Colors

I just love this little hamper I found for Ezekiel! Not only does it match his room perfectly, but it also has removable laundry bags and teaches him how to sort his whites from his colors! I designed the layout of his closet to accommodate this little hamper, then later when he finds it too juvenile I can simply remove it and readjust the shelves accordingly.

These hooks are perfect for hanging his hats!

These hooks are perfect for hanging his hats!

Z loves shoes! ( and running around pants-less)

Z loves shoes! (and running around pants-less)


His room feels so much BIGGER now!

His room feels so much BIGGER now!

Everybody’s lifestyle is different, so if the idea of having exposed closets still scares you after reading this post, I completely understand! I also like the feel of hanging curtains instead of doors too. They provide the option to quickly n’ conveniently hide your closet-contents, but in a more decorative, unconventional way. I did this in the studio closet at the condo and loved the way it looked. (Especially if the closet and window curtains are matching!) I’ve been thinking about doing this for Ezekiel’s closet in the future, just in case he’s not as clean and organized as his crazy OCD parents!

I’m sure most of you think I’m overboard, but it’s things like this that…
wait for it… wait for it… MAKE a house a HOME“!

Sorry, I got overly excited to use my tagline;)

Thanks for reading and be on the lookout for my next post: theposhpumpkin 




12 thoughts on “Closet Junkie

  1. Holy crap, you’re a riot! What a great tutorial on so many things! Ikea is indeed the store u love but gotta hate. The black closet with the Lil man’s rockstar gear is just fab. Love, love, love.

  2. Wow! I didn’t think the inside of a closet could be beautiful but Ezekiel’s is! As usual your patience and vision astound me! You have a gift and a pretty cute helper, haha! I have a pretty incredible daughter-in-law! You are loved! Brenda

  3. Wow! what a professional looking job! I bet Ezekiel will love it. I want a closet like that!!!!!!
    love your ingenuity!

  4. Why does it seem so easy?!?! I’m waiting until Nov. 4th for Destiny’s paint to go on sale and I’m NOT excited at all about painting. But I am very excited for her room to start having more character to it. I have open closets in ALL of our rooms. With painting her room grey I was thinking of painting her closet white on the inside so it wasn’t so hard to find clothes but you’ve shown that it can definitely work. So…wish me luck!! Looking great Brit! Thx for sharing the “How too’s”

    • Oh it’s NOT easy, that’s for sure! Although the one thing I DO enjoy is painting. I’m so happy to hear I’m not the only crazy one without doors on my closets… You’re officially my partner in crime;) One thing I did that you may want to do as well is put a lamp in his closet – But if black doesn’t seem too dark then grey certainly shouldn’t! Unless her room lacks natural light? Can’t wait to hear what you do with it! Did you decide what you’re doing with the dresser?

      – B

      • She has 2 big windows in her room facing back and side of house. Lots of trees around. Ill get new blinds, nice and white to help lighten them up. Ooooh and we put white bulbs in the chandelier in her room. When its all done that will be he main light in the center of her room. Love how these old houses put the lights in corners of every room lol. Dresser definitely won’t work in her new room. Gonna need to sell :0 (

  5. OH. MY. GOSH. I LOVE everything about THIS POST!!!!! This idea is so great and what a beautiful job you guys did on it. I could never imagine it would look so amazing if I just heard it in words but the pictures of the finished product tells all! The thought and detail and forward thinking to transitional steps are the BEST! I love and appreciate your HUMOR and all the time you take but then share your hard earned secrets for free…have I ever said “YOU simply amaze me?” hehe.
    love you!

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