Before and After: A Masterful Master Closet Makeover

published Feb 25, 2018
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This is another in a series of bravely honest closet photos that have been submitted lately—such as this one—and we cherish each and every one. Keep sending your unfiltered closet pics so the rest of us can be wildly inspired by your brilliant closet makeovers!

But before we admire the closet now, let’s get a full-length view of the closet before . . .

You can see all the hallmarks of an overtaxed closet: jumbled hangers, overcrowded rods, crammed-together garments, a lack of organization, and the dreaded Shoe Heap.

This closet is my new dream home! The combination of wood paneling, copper pendants, and ornate rug is unbelievably luxurious, and that’s a shoe display worthy of Dre of Blackish—an enormous improvement over the shoe pile that plagues so many of our closets.

This glow-up was completed by Jessica Reilly of Domicile 37, who was going for (and nailed) a “shared his/her cigar lounge–inspired walk-in closet” aesthetic. All the bins keep less-manageable items corralled, and the black paint by Velvet Finishes adds a gravitas rarely seen in the closets of the world.

Here’s how Jessica described it, pre-makeover:

Prior to the makeover the closet was unorganized and on the brink of falling apart. The closet rods were bent and were held up using PVC piping. We could not maximize the space in this condition and were afraid to hang more clothes on the rod in fear of it all coming down.

We’ve all hit that point sometime, haven’t we, when we fix an unsustainable system with another unsustainable system? It never feels good, but it can buy a bit of time until a full remodeling can be undertaken. And while a closet doesn’t seem like the most exciting part of the home to tackle, fixing one up can have far-reaching effects:

We decided to upgrade our closet because we needed to get organized. We discovered that most of our organizational problems in our home stemmed from the fact that we were not utilizing our closet, therefore, our bedroom became a dumping ground for clean laundry.

That is an amazing point. A well-organized closet can be like a command center for the rest of the home. If everything has a place, things won’t wind up in a million other random places. And, as always, clutter attracts clutter, meaning that a messy closet is bound to get messier by the minute.

This is exquisite yet practical. A graceful mirror reflects light, jewelry pieces make for beautiful displays, and the addition of art makes it clear that this is a space to be enjoyed rather than simply tolerated. Such a dramatic change required a lot of work, but not a ton of money:

It took about 5 weeks and it cost approximately $500. I had to purchase some power tools to help make the dream come alive, so a chunk of the money went to that. I did not bring in any outside help. The only real surprise I discovered was that once the carpet was pulled up I realized that there was another type of flooring on one side of the closet. This realization led me to build up the closet and make it look more custom and built-in versus just hanging closet rods.

The resulting built-ins are totally covetable, and while I’m sure they took a long time to create, they seem well worth it.

While I generally advocate for white paint in closets, as it helps brighten up the usually poorly lit spaces, here it looks so bland and generic compared to the deep and dark style Jessica created. Here is her best renovation advice if you want to undertake a similarly ambitious project:

If someone plans to tackle something serious, I would advise them to plan and budget accordingly. You do not know what detours may happen when you start peeling back the surface of what you already have going on.

This looks like a swanky store that I can’t afford to shop at! The wood hangers are so classy and classic, and they really pop against the black paint. Now that the project is complete, Jessica is appropriately thrilled:

I love how organized it is and I also love how it feels like an addition to my home not just like a closet.

I couldn’t agree more, as this closet is more glamorous and finished than most rooms I’ve ever been in! Check out the full makeover process at Domicile 37.

Thank you, Jessica of Domicile 37!