The 19 Best Closet Makeover Ideas of All Time

updated Jan 11, 2023
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Closets have a way of getting out of control quickly, and that’s especially the case when you have a small closet (or a microscopic one, for that matter). Without a closet organization system  in place, all it takes is one busy week to go from a beautiful stack of sweaters to a tangled mess of fabrics. That’s why an update in this space can be so rewarding. 

No matter how small your closet is, there’s a good chance an organization upgrade will help you discover more space. But before you begin, it’s a good idea to define exactly how you’d like to use the space. If you only have room for the bare minimum essentials, you’ll want to pare down and display things wisely to maximize the space. But if you have more room to work with, you could consider making this a multi-purpose space by adding a dresser, or converting part of your closet into a reading nook or vanity. 

These 16 closet makeovers will get you started with some inspiration. You’ll find innovative ideas along with bold patterns, bright light fixtures, and of course, plenty of stylish boxes. Perhaps one of these closet makeovers is the right one for your space!

1. This closet goes from builder grade to brilliant for $600.

While Sara Hennessy’s closet has plenty of space, it’s arguably short on style, with a basic, builder-grade setup and green carpeting. For just $600, she was able to make the space into something amazing that showcases both storage and style. First, she ripped out the carpet and repainted the space. Then she broke up the closet with a tall shelving system right in the middle, which separates hanging rods at two different levels. It just goes to show that there’s a stylish way to store clothing and accessories. 

2. A large closet space is reimagined for two purposes. 

Sometimes you get stuck with a small closet. Other times, you have to figure out what to do with an entire wall of closets. That’s just what happened to this homeowner, who decided to use one entire side as a dog hangout (no pups? Could be a cozy reading nook for you!). With a little effort and an even smaller amount of money (this reno was completed on an astounding $100 budget!), this room takes on a whole new vibe. 

3. A small closet gets an attractive makeover. 

Did this cluttered closet get any bigger? Nope. But it certainly did get a glam up, courtesy of Tasha Agruso of Designer Trapped In A Lawyer’s Body. The use of removable wallpaper creates a fashionable look, which pops against the black door. And color-coordinated storage containers do a great job of corralling clutter and keeping the small space organized. 

4. The happiest, most colorful little closet you’ve ever seen.

The secret behind the success of this Studio DIY closet redo isn’t just that it’s organized for all the knickknacks of a nursery. Kelly and Jeff Mindell installed shelves and drawers, but they did so in a tropical design that’s punctuated by botanical wallpaper and bright yellow doors. Pom-pom accents on the overhead baskets and rattan weaving on the smaller bins match the theme, making it easier to hang loose when putting everything away.

5. This $100 storage closet makeover comes with so many organization lessons.

Leanna Laming got the first part of organizing a toy closet right before this project: Every piece had a place. But when she took a step back, she noticed that each of the boxes were opaque, making it impossible to see what was inside. She swapped those bins out for clear ones, labelled them, and ensured that smaller odds and ends had lids for safety. Now when she takes a step back, she can account for everything.

6. This KonMari-ed IKEA closet cost $1,700 and is basically a boutique.

Jane Ko had a walk-in closet with potential, but for years, that’s all it had. She was using storage units to organize her things, but that just meant that she spent too much time digging for items she planned to wear. Once she finally decided to hire a TaskRabbit to install IKEA’s classic PAX system, that’s when this space became what it should’ve always been: a boutique. Categorized racks for clothing mix with wide shelving for accessories, while underhead lighting and flamingo wallpaper set a glamorous mood. It took all of two days to bring this potential to life.

7. This living room coat closet is a total surprise inside.

Coat closets tend to be the middle child of spaces, stuck between the entryway and the living room. Instead of ignoring it, give it the attention it deserves. Kyla Herbes did just that with pink crane wallpaper accented by purple palms, which makes the first impression of her home feel like a warm-weather getaway. With a few matching hangers and wide boxes, the fresh pattern is sure to get the spotlight.

8. Proof that a linen closet can actually look stylish.

While linen closets tend to be a free-for-all, Cara Newhart noticed how that approach didn’t maximize the potential of her space. She took everything out — the toilet paper rolls, sheets, luggage, and more — and organized the necessities in baskets that matched their size and regularity of use. For instance, sheets were stored in woven baskets, toilet paper rolls got stacked in wire ones, and luggage got placed at the very top ledge. And speaking of shelves, she also installed the new wooden rows herself.

9. Boring white closet doors get a stylish makeover.

Adriana Sadkiewicz already had a beautiful room, but she thought the closet doors didn’t quite fit in. While the rest of the space was awash in a warm blue, the white walls of the closet looked plain. So, she used a customized ombre-like wallpaper on its doors that transition from a deep blue on one end to a bright white on the other. Now, it’s definitely part of the space.

10. This bedroom refresh has a smart hack for covering dated closet doors.

As functional as a mirrored closet door may be, the truth is that they’re also dated. When form is more important than function, turn to this idea from Megann Gresham in her daughter’s bedroom. She used white peel-and-stick floor tiles to cover the mirror, which also match the shade of three surrounding walls. That neutral backdrop allows the pink board-and-batten accent wall to shine, without needing a reflection.

11. Let this $200 closet redo be your spring cleaning inspiration.

It took eight years for Tiffany Bario to organize her linen closet, but it was worth the wait. After purging unnecessary items down to the cleaning supplies, sheets, and towels she knew she’d use, Bario bought trendy baskets and containers to conceal everything. And while that’s satisfying in itself, the game-changer happened when she installed terrazzo contact paper on the back wall and painted the door black. It’s not a problem anymore if she happens to leave the door open.

12. Just $125 gave a cramped closet a colorful new life.

All of the closets in Amanda Walker’s home are small with deep sides, which is tough for adult-sized organizing but great for kid-sized reading. Walker removed the metal shelf and rod in this one — which had the added challenge of having the attic’s access point — and replaced it with pine-slat shelves for a reading nook. The far side of the closet still has room for clothes, but in the meantime, this reading nook closet the perfect place for little ones to practice their ABCs.

Credit: Ashley Domm
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13. A closet-turned-office makes use of every inch—for under $1000.

Ashley Domm had an COVID-era conundrum: figuring out a way to turn a closet into a workspace for her and her school-aged son. Once she removed the clothes and painted the walls white, she had a pro install a butcher-block floating desk that’s roomy enough to share. A matching seat below the existing round window is accented by pillows and blanket for much-needed breaks.

14. A $110 closet makeover filled with smart, renter-friendly DIYs.

Rental apartment closets tend to leave a lot to be desired, and that was the case for Ashley LeDuc and her overstuffed storage space. She was looking for a way to simplify and stylize the closet, which came in the form of decluttering, boxing, and shelving. But here’s one tip she used that’s definitely renter friendly: washi tape. LeDuc went through about three rolls of black washi tape to create a herringbone-like pattern on the back wall, bringing the look together.

15. A $500 closet redo packed with smart storage ideas.

The walk-in closet inside Zoe Bleak’s 1970s home had the space for an organized system, it just didn’t have the necessary compartments. After repainting the teal walls a bright white shade and paring down clothes into can’t-live-without-them necessities, she hired a professional who installed budget-friendly custom shelves using thick MDF boards. Not only do they look luxe, but they also keep everything tidy.

Credit: Elizabeth Munro
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16. This “awkward corner” laundry closet gets an organizational overhaul.

Elizabeth Munro had lots of shelves in her laundry room, which was a good thing, but because their L-shape was so awkwardly jammed into a corner, the arrangement quickly turned sour. Piles of laundry ended up crammed into those shelves, forcing Munro to reimagine what the area could be instead. She replaced the L-shape with straight stacks and added baskets where needed, using the bottom area for matching hampers. There’s nothing bad about that.

17. $140 turns a cramped closet into a super-organized entryway.

Living in Florida, Jaclyn Quinones and her family didn’t necessarily need a coat closet next to their front door, which is why it was almost never used. They did have a need, however, for more storage on the other side of their front door, where the laundry room and garage entry were located. So they blended the coat closet into the laundry room, drywalling the front and demoing the back, making room for a bench that would highlight a new mudroom. Add in baskets and hooks, and this space gets daily use.

18. An unused closet becomes a cozy reading nook for less than $100.

Lindsay Cisewski and her family had a lot of books, but nowhere to display or read them. That’s when an idea was hatched to turn their never-used basement closet into a reading nook. Using leftover sage-green paint, lumber, and a recovered floor mattress that just so happened to fit perfectly, the little library came together in no time.

19. An elevated IKEA PAX closet hack for the ages.

Erin Kestenbaum bought the IKEA Pax system for her walk-in closet, but its modern finish clashed with the rest of their 1940s home. By painting everything a moody, bluish-gray shade and adding brass hardware, the closet began to fit more into its surroundings. But thanks to black-and-white striped wallpaper on the ceiling, a fancy floor-length mirror, and even a window seat, this closet is cool enough to hang out in long after getting dressed.