14 Tips for Creating a Functional Yet Elegant Walk-In Closet

If you’ve got a walk-in closet, you’ve probably got a few jealous friends. If you don’t, you’ve likely dreamed of a walk-in closet to solve your wardrobe storage problems. Finding the space and creating a beautiful walk-in closet is a matter of following a few guiding principles. Keep reading for some tips for creating the walk-in closet you’ve always wanted.

1. Think Big

It simply might not be possible for everyone, but more people have space for a walk-in closet than they think. For example, how many nights a year do you host overnight guests? Does that number justify keeping a guest bedroom empty most of the time or could that room become a knockout walk-in closet? 

Consider space in your home that could be transformed into your walk-in closet. A seldom-used guest room, a storage room where very little is stored? If your kids have flown the nest, it’s okay to commandeer a high-school bedroom. Or, talk to a contractor about building a wall along one end of a large master bedroom to create a space for a walk-in closet. Transform a wide corridor between the bedroom and master bath into a closet with strategic, built-in custom cabinetry.

2. Give Everything a Home

Design a custom walk-in closet to hold your things. If you collect purses or denim or just have a lot of floor-length dresses, take those things into account when you plan your closet. Utilize custom cabinets and shelving systems to create a place for everything because that’s the surest way to ensure everything will be in its place.

3. Don’t Forget About Dead Space

Leave no corner unfilled and no overhead space empty. Closets are an ideal place to take advantage of inconveniently located storage (such as high overhead) due to the seasonal nature of wardrobes. Talk to a professional about designing a custom system that takes advantage of vertical space, awkward corners, and everything in between.

4. See Everything at a Glance

It is easier to plan your wardrobe and keep track of what you have if you can see your clothes. Of course, it has to look good if you’re going to see it all the time, so enlist all types of organizing tricks like adjustable shelves. Display your shoes in a way that pleases you: on low shelves along the room’s perimeter or under a bench or boutique-style on lighted shelves. 

5. Build an Island

If there is space in your walk-in closet, don’t underestimate the impact of including an island. You will not regret it. Include custom cabinetry solutions like a locking cabinet for valuables or even a small refrigerator depending on how much time you spend in the closet: you might need a refreshment!

6. Remember Finishing Touches

Once you’ve solved all of your storage problems with custom walk-in closet solutions, don’t forget the details. Invest in a plush rug to create a hush or add a piece of art you’ll be pleased to see every day. Display fresh flowers on the island. Make sure to include a full-length mirror, of course, and consider a well-lit three-way mirror so you can check your outfit from all angles.

7. Don’t Forget Custom Lighting

If you update a builder-grade walk-in closet or transform a space into your dream closet from scratch, pay attention to the lighting. Include something beautiful like a chandelier, but don’t forget task lighting. If your shoes are displayed, include under-cabinet lighting so you can see them. The backs of closets can be dim, so think about including LED lighting that doesn’t generate heat that comes on when you open the doors.

8. Mix High and Low

Empower yourself to include touches that make you happy in your closet, and don’t be afraid to save money where you can. Wire shelving systems are an affordable way to completely transform a space to your specifications, for example. If you splurge on a knockout light fixture, get a rug you love at a discount and don’t look back.

9. Take a Seat

No matter how big or small your walk-in closet is, try to find room for somewhere to perch while you take off your shoes at the very least. Go big with an armchair or built-in bench if you can, but a pretty stool will work just fine as well. 

10. Show Off

You are likely to be the one who sees the inside of your closet most often, so you should love it, and you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment. Hang wallpaper you’d never put in your bedroom or paint the ceiling midnight blue if you want. 

11. Calm the Visual Noise

Invest in a set of matching hangers so there’s enough for everything you’ll need to hang in your closet. For open shelving, consider organizing things by color to create order. Corral any odds and ends that don’t have a spot in matching baskets or bins.

12. Protect Your Clothes From Sunlight

While a closet with a window is just about perfect for getting dressed, make sure to include a way to block the sunlight when you’re not in the closet. Drapes, shutters, blinds, or a shelf on a hinge that swings over the window when needed will do.

13. Don’t Forget Your Accessories

If you collect handbags or scarves, you’ll probably design custom storage to accommodate your collection. However, most people have at least some purses or belts or things that are likely to topple over and create a mess. Don’t forget to plan for all the odd accessories you own.

14. Work With the Pros

Few spaces can benefit as much from professional guidance as a walk-in closet can. Harkraft’s designers have been working with Twin Cities homeowners to design and install the walk-in closet they’ve wished for a long time, and we’ll share our expertise with you. Get in touch with us to find out about custom shelving and cabinetry, mirrors, and finishes, plus professional design services that can turn your closet dreams into reality.