11 Small Space Closet Designs We Can’t Get Enough Of

published Aug 3, 2018
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(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Having little to no closet space is every renter’s nightmare—if you don’t have a proper place to store your clothes there’s always the fear they will eventually take your bed hostage or end up piled all over the floor. While the possibility of a permanently cluttered bedroom is a real fear, there are plenty of creative and innovative ways that you can carve out extra clothing storage. From creating DIY hanging clothes racks, to jerry-rigging open space closets, to upgrading simple IKEA pieces into attractive wardrobe nooks, there is a solution for every problem. Check out some of the most interesting ideas below, and solve your tiny-closet-problem once and for all.

1. From the Top Down

Depending on how small your room is (here’s looking at you, New York City studios) sometimes even a compact clothing rack can take up too much room. For moments like those, you can finagle a copper pipe clothing rack that hangs directly from the ceiling, opening up the space directly below it. To recreate this in your own room, you can check out A Beautiful Mess’ tutorial here.

2. Flank a Window

If you’re the type of person that actually puts away their clothes and doesn’t create a small Himalayan mountain on their desk chair, then you might just be the perfect candidate for an open closet system. You can follow this tutorial from A Beautiful Mess to see exactly how to measure and install the shelves and racks, but basically you take an empty wall and turn it into a wardrobe, decked out with storage baskets and rows of shelves. Stores like IKEA and The Container Store also have great open closet options.

3. Go Down Under

(Image credit: Fall For DIY)

If you’re not the type that likes to see their clothes displayed on the walls, cut the clutter and spring for a storage bed, like this one from Fall for DIY. Having a bed with huge pull-out drawers—or one that lifts to reveal a whole underbelly storage space—will allow you to neatly store your sweaters, pants, and dresses underneath in bins.

4. On Display

For those with an impressive shoe collection that’s too beautiful to hide, turn your heels and boots into decor by creating vertical free-floating shelves that will allow you to display them like trophies.

5. Wooden Wardrobe

If your room is big enough, or you have a studio open floor plan, then you can create your own closet by investing in a larger wardrobe. This UK apartment took a sturdy wooden wardrobe and stuck it right next to the fireplace, instantly creating a home for knits and work shirts. Or for a more IKEA-friendly aesthetic with skinnier closets, check out this San Francisco home tour that uses two IKEA wardrobes to house clothes.

6. We All Float On

For a tidier setup, you can couple floating clothing racks with low-sitting drawers where you can squirrel away knicknacks and items that you have a hard time keeping organized.

7. Shoe Storage

(Image credit: Emily Billings)

If you have a vast shoe collection, storing it under the bed or in bins isn’t a helpful tip. It won’t all fit into such a small space! For situations like that, convert a tall bookshelf into a shoe cabinet, allowing you to store your favorite pairs in one neat spot.

8. Put Your Nook to Good Use

If you have a pocketed nook in your room, you can transform it into a mini closet using a brilliant IKEA hack. Take a simple white cabinet and raise it onto a wooden base so you have room for purses, suitcases, or storage bins underneath. Add modern handles to give it some style, and then add wooden floating shelves in the gap between the cabinet and the wall for extra storage opportunities.

(Image credit: Urban Outfitters)

An industrial metal clothing rack accented with a natural birch wooden bar, this portable closet is nice and compact, but also has the added storage benefit of two bottom shelves for your shoes and bags.

(Image credit: Wayfair)

Or if you have the room for a little extra storage (about a whole wall’s worth,) then the Expandable Closet System from Wayfair is very well rated and brings an industrial touch to the room with its satin bronze finish pipes. And seeing how it expands and retracts, you can customize it to your own particular room.

(Image credit: IKEA)

To create that handy under-the-bed-storage, get a bed like the BRIMNES model from IKEA.

Even if it might be a pain sometimes, not having a closet doesn’t have to be a total burden. With some clever styling and smart purchases, there will be a place for every sweater and ankle boot you have.