One Room Challenge

Before and After: This IKEA PAX Closet Makeover Takes It From Builder Grade to Luxury Space

published Oct 6, 2022
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Before: a closet with multiples rows of clothes

Primary closets can have such an impact on how your day begins. A messy space with clothes crammed into a too-tight area can be stressful, making getting ready in the morning an ordeal — even if you don’t have to find something to wear or mull over an outfit. On the other hand, a closet where every single item has a place and picking out clothes is an experience of joy sets a whole different kind of tone. 

Camille Kurtz (@the_kurtz_home) wanted this for her own home, so she decided to make over her closet as part of the One Room Challenge. She was inspired to take this on because she wanted to create a space that was worthy of her new wardrobe. “I have recently been updating my wardrobe and I knew I wanted to create a space where I could be proud to have my clothes and a space that brought me joy each day,” she says. Camille also knew that by redoing her space, she’d be more motivated to keep it nice and tidy.

Previously, Camille’s closet was as hum-drum as could be. “This closet was very builder-grade basic, with white shelves and hanging bars,” says Camille. It had a lot of wasted space, too. Her plan for the closet was anything but, drawing inspiration from various closets she’d seen online as well as Carrie Bradshaw’s closet in “Sex in the City.” Her mood board featured dark and bold tones, wallpaper, wood floors, and crystal chandeliers. An instrumental piece — and the foundation — of her new closet would be the IKEA PAX system.

Camille then spent nights and weekends for two and a half months completing her project, which came out to a total cost of $4,500. In that timeframe she did the following:

  • Demoed the closet and added the IKEA PAX system.
  • Removed the carpet and installed new wood flooring.
  • Made the IKEA PAX look built-in and custom. One of the things she did was paint it with Benjamin Moore’s Black Beauty.
  • She added new trim and hardware.
  • The lighting was changed to crystal chandeliers.
  • The ceiling was painted with HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams’ Flat White from Lowe’s.
  • Livette’s Wallpaper in a bold leopard design was put up.
  • She added this full-length lighted mirror and beautiful decor pieces as the final touches.

When asked what she’s most proud of, Camille says, “I’m most proud that my vision came to life.” The riskiest element that she was so happy worked out was the choice of dark paint color. “I’m convinced now that a darker closet is the way to go,” she adds.

For anyone looking to improve their closet, Camille says that “it’s 100 percent worth the time and effort to upgrade your builder-grade closet. Tackle one task at a time and watch the space of your dreams come to life.” 

In the end, Camille’s hard work does give her joy. “From the dark cabinet color to the crystal chandeliers and the fluted details, I absolutely love every detail of this new space,” she says. “All of the elements make me so happy to see each day.” 

This project was completed for the Spring 2022 One Room Challenge, in partnership with Apartment Therapy. See even more of the One Room Challenge before and afters here.

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