If you've ever priced custom closets, you know that they cost a lot. Like, a whole whole lot. But the good news is that you don't have to spend a million bucks (or even a thousand) to get a closet that looks like a million bucks. Your secret weapon for custom-ish closets? IKEA.
It may seem strange to call a closet elegant, but nevertheless there is something quite elegant about IKEA's Elvarli closet range, which comes in freestanding units but is also available as a ceiling and floor-mounted system. The ceiling-mounted Elvarli, seen here in a bedroom from Cosmopolitan, almost looks like a something from a high-end retail store.
The freestanding Elvarli, seen here in an image from Stil Inspiration, also looks quite nice, and is suitable for situations where, for whatever reason, you're not able to mount your closet to the floor and ceiling.
The Pax is IKEA's workhorse wardrobe system, and it's seen here, on Fashiion Carpet, creating an almost-custom walk-in closet. (The option for the drawers with the glass fronts, and the pull-out trays for accessories, is particularly nice.)
Here's the dark side of Pax, seen in a few images from IKEA themselves. I love how dignified it looks against the dark walls. They also offer the Pax in an oak look, if that's your thing.
The most budget-friendly of IKEA's closet offerings is the Algot, seen here (at left) in a walk-in closet from Style at Home. I have the Algot in my own apartment, and while the drawers, with their propensity to fall off the tracks, can be a bit maddening, the system does look very nice — and the options for customizing it are nearly endless.
While making this roundup I've learned a few things about what makes for a good-looking closet, and one of them is uniformity. The place where you store absolutely all your clothes is probably going to tend towards chaos, so concealed storage, and consistent coloring, are a must. This Algot system is not just concealed behind a curtain: it also boasts opaque drawers, and plenty of storage boxes in coordinating colors.
IKEA's Billy, seen here in an image from Fashion Hippie Loves, isn't designed as closet storage per se, but it's great for shoes, especially if you're a lady and your shoes happen to not be too long. The Billy also has the advantage of closely resembling the Pax, so you can mix them together for the ultimate closet experience. See more examples of Billy at work as shoe storage here.