How to Make Your Walk-In Closet a More Stylish and Functional Space
These game-changing tips will elevate any walk-in.
It doesn’t matter how expansive or tiny your clothing collection is, having a walk-in closet is a dream come true for anyone. The space affords you more room to organize your belongings, try things on without feeling cramped, and has the potential to serve as a personalized, stress-free zone. To ensure every inch of your walk-in closet is maximized—and to boost the style factor—follow this advice from interior designers.
The quickest way to elevate and personalize your walk-in closet is to apply wallpaper or paint with a bold color. “Choose something fun, maybe even a bit bolder than you’d usually choose, for your closet. This is a space you can have fun with,” says Alessandra Wood, vice president of style at Modsy. “I personally love peel and stick wallpaper, especially if you want to try something different without putting in a ton of effort.”
If you really want to try something fun, opt for an accent ceiling instead of (or in addition to) an accent wall, suggests Cara Woodhouse, an interior designer based in Brooklyn, N.Y. “Wallpapering your ceiling can add a major impact to your space," she says. "It's a bit unexpected and a good way to infuse color, pattern and texture.”
Chasing Paper Multi Floral Peel-And-Stick Wallpaper ($40; chasingpaper.com)
Lighting is very important in a closet, and therefore a non-negotiable. “Lighting can impact the way you view yourself in a new outfit and the color of all of your pieces hanging up,” says Deborah DiMare, an interior designer based in Miami, Fla. “The key is to combine good track lighting with an adorable ‘centerpiece’ fixture, which can be anything from a full-blown chandelier to a series of pendants.” If your walk-in closet is large, Wood recommends lighting up dark corners with floor lamps or sconces.
Chandelier with Beaded Accents ($290; wayfair.com)
Think of how many times you’ve wobbled out of your closet or wrestled with the wall trying to slip on a pair of shoes. Now think of how glorious it’d be to be able to sit in the sanctuary of your walk-in closet and put on said shoes. “I recommend a stylish storage bench that allows for both seating and additional storage,” says Farah Merhi, an interior designer and founder of Inspire Me Home Décor. “It’s a great-looking, functional solution that any walk-in closet can benefit from.”
Project 62 Arthur Tufted Storage Bench ($170; target.com)
“If your closet is decked out with floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, you don’t need to do this, but if you have a walk-in closet with rails and racks, adding a dresser can create more of a custom feel. It also lends style and texture to the space in an ultra-functional way,” says Wood. “You might have a long wall that calls for a long dresser, or a short wall that would do well with a taller dresser. You can place a shorter dresser under a rail and hang only tops and blazers above it.”
CB2 Archer Lacquered Linen Low Dresser ($999; cb2.com)
Tiny details matter, and that hodge-podge of tangled hangers is killing your walk-in closet vibe. A complete overhaul of matching hangers is an easy way to elevate the space and foster better organization habits. “Believe it or not, they will make a huge difference in the way your closet functions while also taking your closet from drab to fab,” Mehri says. She’s a fan of narrow felt or velvet hangers in particular, which look stylish, are easier on your garments, and take up less space compared to bulky plastic or wood options.
Black Premium Non-Slip Velvet Hangers Pkg 10-Pack ($9; containerstore.com)
Your walk-in closet is where you’ll try on the most outfits, so it makes sense to incorporate a full-length mirror into the space. Even the humblest walk-ins can get away with this addition since a mirror takes up little room. “Mirroring doors inside your closet is great way to make your small closet look larger,” notes Woodhouse. “You can go to a local glass and mirror store and have them add mirror to your existing doors for a polished, customized touch,” she says, or you can simply buy one at the store and adhere it to your door. If you have a little extra room, a standing mirror can infuse even more personality.
Mercury Row Martinsen Full Length Mirror ($146; wayfair.com)