How To: Light Your Closets And Make Your Apartment Grow

How To: Light Your Closets And Make Your Apartment Grow

Maxwell Ryan
Jul 26, 2004

There's got to be an invisible sun. Living in a small apartment can make you nuts. Not having enough room will stress you out and make you not want to hang out at home. We have found that even in the smallest of apartments, there is usually much more room than you think and creating the feeling of a larger space can rekindle the love affair with your apartment that you thought was over.

One way of expanding space is by using mirrors to allow your eye to keep traveling, creating an invigorating depth and reflected light that can make a room grow. Another, more sophisticated way is to illumine areas that are usually dark; closets being our primary targets.

By removing the doors to bedroom or hall closet, replacing them with curtains, and lighting the closet from inside, you get:

1. much more room for getting into and out of your closet
2. an easier time finding what you are looking for
3. a beautiful indirect light that warms as it illuminates your room.

It is this light that will give your room a much more expansive feeling.

See Slideshow

Lighting: To create a strong, indirect light that doesn't glare on the eye, we use simple porcelain fixtures screwed into the rear wall of the closet with silver topped crown bulbs. The crown bulbs are the key. Looking like regular bulbs that have been dipped in silver, they are extremely attractive when bare and direct the light against the back wall. Wiring is simple as the fixtures are linked one to the other in a line. A dimmer is inserted into this loop at the end so that the light can be adjusted to any mood, and simple DIY plugs are used to make it easy to cut the wire right where you want to.

Curtains: For the best effect, sheer or light curtains that allow the light to pass through are recommended. We like cotton canvas panel curtains from Pottery Barn (Carlisle), Ikea or West Elm because they are cheap and have a nice off white color. For rods, we use whatever works and is the least noticeable. We like pressure rods that fit inside the frame, tension wire (if needed) or simple metal rods that don't stick out (no finials). Lately, we really like the Drop-in Metal Rods from Pottery Barn (store only). MGR

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