Before and After: A $500 Redo Featuring a Trendy DIY Makes This Basic Hall Closet Look Bespoke

published Jun 29, 2022
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Credit: Chica & Jo

The arch shape isn’t new in 2022 — in fact, the design detail was made famous by ancient Romans — but it certainly is trendy in 2022. Many homeowners (and renters!) are swapping square and rectangular edges in their home for softer, rounder ones.

Credit: Chica & Jo

Design duo Chica and Jo made the switch from rectangular to round in this closet project, taking it from “builder grade” and standard” to space-maximizing. The closet was located in Jo’s laundry room, and “was so small that it filled up quickly, and the door just made it harder to access,” Jo explains. “It was jam-packed, but since our ceilings are a bit higher than normal, there was also tons of storage space at the top of the closet that couldn’t be reached and was totally being wasted.”

Credit: Chica & Jo

Chica and Jo took out the old shelving and the closet’s front walls to make an opening as tall as possible. “I wanted access to all that unused storage, so I decided it was time to start taking down parts of the wall!” Jo says. The closet’s front wall wasn’t a load-bearing wall, so they were able to remove unnecessary 2x4s that made up the closet frame.

“This left us with a very tall and deep box to start building out the new space,” Jo writes on the DIY team’s blog.

The next step for the pair was to install an arch-shaped opening at the front of the closet. Chica and Jo used an arch kit from Home Depot to create the frame; it’s pre-fabricated MDF that will fit inside any standard rectangular doorway.

Credit: Chica & Jo

Once that was in, the DIY duo filled in the new framing with drywall. “I had never tackled any drywall projects before, so I was really proud that I was able to learn how to do that,” Jo says. Then they added trim around the door, using a jigsaw to cut the rounded pieces for around the arch.

Credit: Chica & Jo

As for the interior, Chica and Jo wallpapered (using a fantasy-inspired pattern from House of Hackney), and built shelves, which they painted green to match the new color of the wall surrounding the closet ( Benjamin Moore’s Tate Olive). Jo also spray painted her storage bins to match the wallpaper using a brown shade and then a shimmery gold shade, Rust-Oleum’s Imagine. “I love the added function of these storage boxes almost as much as I love the rich brown and the pop of gold,” Jo says.

Jo’s pro tip when adding built-in shelving is to measure any storage bins you want to use first so you can make sure your design looks snug and custom. Before that, “make sure you think about what you want to store in the space before making any shelves,” Jo says. “It really helped me to figure out what storage containers I needed and then measured them all before deciding on the shelf spacing.” (For other advice on selecting the perfect storage containers for your space, check out this guide.)

Credit: Chica & Jo

Now, Jo has room to store lightbulbs and other backstock supplies, plus shoes, hats, gloves, and scarves. “I might actually have TOO much storage now,” she jokes on her blog. “I guess I have to go out and buy some more cute scarves to fill it all up!”