Before and After: A $120 Closet Redo Is a Storage-Packed Small-Space Game Changer

published May 23, 2023
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About this before & after
Home Type
Townhouse
Project Type
Closets & Storage
Office & Dens
Workspace
Style
Contemporary
Skill Level
DIY
Rental Friendly
No
Before: two white wire shelves in a white closet
Credit: Amber Fouret

Closet offices aren’t a new concept. At this point so many people have converted their half-filled linen closets or underused bedroom closets into compact workspaces, that the anatomy of a quality “cloffice” is pretty clear. For one, it needs to have a sturdy (often floating) desktop, a comfy chair that can tuck in neatly under said desk, shelves or hanging storage overhead, smaller storage containers, lighting to supplement the lack of windows, and, just for fun, wallpaper, paint, or decor to differentiate it from the rest of the space and make it feel like a real-deal office space. 

If you need a stellar visual for the perfect cloffice, look no further than this project from Amber Fouret (@poai.vega). With the help of her husband, Glen, Amber turned this small rectangular closet into a cute home-office setup with a curved frame, to boot. Amber, who owns her own business, says she was in desperate need of a designated office space, but she was limited on space. “In small-space living, it’s hard to find the room, and it’s even harder in your cookie-cutter townhouse,” she adds. She decided to use one of the closets in said townhouse as an office, but she didn’t want it to resemble a former closet at all. 

Credit: Amber Fouret

Enter: Glen, who helped Amber cut into the wall to round out the door frame. (After that was done, they drywalled and painted in Behr’s Shiny Luster.) “I had initially wanted to round the entire arch,” Amber recalls. “I decided halfway through that this shape was much more interesting and fitting … not only did I want it to function, but I also wanted it to have character, as if it wasn’t stamped out of a townhouse mold.”

Her asymmetrical door frame adds just the right amount of personality to the project, but the space is still plenty practical, too. “We placed a floating desk and added some shelving, then created our own outlet by running a cord into the kitchen, and voila!” Amber says. The shelving is made of pine that she and Glen bought and stained, and they ordered metal brackets online. Amber’s best DIY (and small-space living) advice? “Just because space is limited doesn’t mean your imagination has to be.”

Amber says the only slight setback of the approximately $120 project was that they initially wanted to plug the desktop computer into the wall in the closet, but there was no outlet, and they didn’t want a cord running over ceilings or across the floor. They ended up having to compromise on that, running the cord along the edge of the wall to the kitchen where the fridge was plugged in. They used an extension cord and hid it with a strip cord concealer painted to match the walls. 

Credit: Amber Fouret

Amber’s favorite part of the project is the new frame shape. “We had never changed the shape of a home’s feature,” she says. “It might seem small and superficial, but for me, it made my small townhouse feel made just for me. It made it one-of-a-kind.”

Amber completed her space with smart, space-saving solutions: a petite wicker chair and rolling cart from Target, wire baskets that hang underneath her pine shelves, glass jars and vessels for sorting pencils and pens, and hanging wire grid desk organizers. 

“Now with my own workspace, I can keep everything I need in one space instead of spreading it out all over the place,” she says. “I have a place to focus and be productive. And even though it’s small, it’s definitely mighty and gives me so much inspiration.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.