Step by Step Makeover: A Walk-in Closet from Drab to Fab

I rebuilt this closet a couple of years ago with Elfa shelving, hardwood floors, new trim and better lighting. Last month I finally got inspired (and motivated!) to finish this project and make it into the cozy and very girly dressing room I had always imagined.

Looking at the second photo above, you can see the exterior of the closet (the door on the right) so you know what I was working from. I chose Waterfall blue for the base coat in the closet for two reasons — one is that this hue of blue (it's a soft turquoise) looks lovely with the pink and cream colors of my bedroom, and two, I don't have any blue elsewhere in my apartment. Last year I had tried to wallpaper this closet and failed miserably, so this year I ordered a stencil. I chose gold shimmer paint to echo the gold frames that are hung throughout my bedroom.

Stenciling is a bit cumbersome because you have to wait for the paint to dry a few minutes before you move it to paint again, or else you will smudge your work as you go. This small closet took about 12 hours to stencil. Corners are definitely tricky in small spaces, but since it's a closet I wasn't overly concerned about being perfect. I knew I would be putting lots of distracting things over the painted walls.

Once the painting was finished, I reinstalled the shelving, lowering the racks for better access. I ordered a custom sized wall mirror ($100) from a local glass company and mounted it to the wall in the corner. I then added my new DIY jewelry organization pieces to the left of the mirror and installed six additional hooks around the closet to hold scarves, belts and purses.

I have long arranged my clothing by color, so I added it back in the same way. All of my shoes fit nicely on the floor under the hanging blouses, and I added a few baskets overhead to hold hats and small purses that don't hang.

My closet finally feels like a proper woman's dressing room! The color and the stenciling do not make the space feel small, and in fact make the space feel like a very special, hidden nook.

After finishing this project, I realized that I have always had a thing for decorating my closets. Going back to 5th grade, it was the place I hung all of my Tiffany and Madonna posters. My 8th grade closet was a floor to ceiling collage of magazine ads, and in my first apartment, I hung postcards, posters, and framed prints!

Have you ever dressed up your closet?

Resources:
Stencil: Large Peacock Fancy Stencil by The Royal Design Studio
Wall Color: Waterfall by Benjamin Moore
Trim: French Ivory by Martha Stewart
Stencil Paint: Benjamin Moore Studio Finishes Latex Metallic Glaze in Gold
Jewelry Storage: DIY Quilting Hoop and DIY Vertical Box
Closet Shelving: Elfa by the Container Store

(Images: Tanya Lacourse)

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