Before and After: Just $125 Gave a Cramped Closet a Colorful New Life

published Oct 11, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Closets & Storage
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Post Image

Even the teeny tiny spaces in all corners of your dwelling deserve features that make them feel special. Need inspiration? Amanda Walker of @Dwellaware managed to make a unique and charming space in the wee confines of a closet in her 1983 house. “In our home, all the closets are small with deeper sides, which makes for some difficult and awkward organizing,” Amanda says. “When we moved in, this closet had the typical builder-grade metal shelf and closet rod. I found it not very functional for the space, considering the closet was for a three-year-old.”

It was especially head-scratching since the closet proved to be much wider than the door, so much of the storage space was virtually inaccessible. Further complicating matters: The closet also included the home’s attic access point, so any redos needed to accommodate that.

Working within the odd dimensions, Amanda drew up plans to redo the space with an eye toward function and fun. “I grew up with a closet that was very similar in size. I remember as a little girl turning half of my closet into a fort. I would read and play in it for hours,” she says. “I wanted my sons to have the ability to use it as a place of imagination, while also having the necessary items organized.”

In about three days and with just under $125, Amanda and her husband reconfigured the space into a splashy reading nook that still managed to pack in more storage than it did before. After removing a popcorn ceiling, they painted the walls bold yellow (Behr’s Buzz-In) and installed shelves made from repurposed pine slats across the back wall.

Amanda was inspired to pick a bold hue after seeing a friend paint the inside of her closets. “I love the calming environment that white walls bring to my home, but having this pop of yellow seemed like such a fun idea,” she says. “The color lends to an energetic and encouraging vibe for this library wall!”

On one side of the closet, Amanda added rods all the way up, which creates way more hanging clothes storage and holds plenty of items right at kid-height. The other side has some shallow shelves and stacked drawers, too.

The closet might be little, but its impact is big. “When the door is open, the little closet beams energy and positivity into the entire room! And that energy focuses around the library, which encourages falling into the world of reading and adventure,” Amanda says.

Inspired? Submit your own project here.