Before and After: This Closet’s the Same Size, But Holds So Much More—for $600

published Oct 30, 2020
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Before: Closet with green carpet and black dresser
Credit: Sara Hennessy

Not every home is blessed with big, beautiful closets. In fact, in many homes, you’re lucky to get a closet at all.

That’s why Sara Hennessy wanted to make the most of the closet in her home, which she calls a “good size but basic builder’s closet that was just a bunch of wasted space.”

With just one combo shelf/rod in the closet, there wasn’t a great way to fit the various things Sara needed to store—some folded, some hung. The random green carpet on the floor was a head-scratcher, too: “It inexplicably had carpet even though the rest of the floors are laminate,” Sara says.

“I wanted the space to look beautiful and be more functional,” Sara says. Since she loves the look of an open closet, she decided to work with the shell of what was there and just trick out the inside to be more practical and suited to her needs.

Credit: Sara Hennessy

Over a couple weeks and with just $600 in materials, Sara totally changed the closet for the better. “The hardest part was making up the building plans because it’s my first big project like this,” Sara says.

She started by tearing out the old carpet and wire shelf, and painting the inside of the closet white. Then, Sara installed a high rod to hang dresses on one side of the closet, and two shorter rods for shirts on the other side. In between, shelves hold baskets for smaller items and make plenty of room for folded clothes, too. (But just in case there’s not enough space for those, the same dresser still fits perfectly inside the closet space.)

“The closet got assembled in just a few days but the trim, sanding, caulking, and painting took much longer than expected,” Sara says. “It was worth the extra work though!” The finished results look like a pro pulled them together.

“I love how the space is now so functional now,” Sara says. “There is a lot of shelf space, plus more room to hang clothes. I also love how big, bright, and clean the space looks. As you come up the stairs in my home, the closet is the first thing you see, and I’m so happy it’s no longer an eyesore.”

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