We probably all dream of having a large walk-in closet/dressing area in our home.  And of course, we picture it beautiful and organized with our clothes arranged by color and season, our expensive shoes neatly lined on the wall, and our jewelry organized in a beautiful center island.   I can even imagine myself retreating to my secret space to read a book, take a nap, or just to escape the kids momentarily when I need some “me” time!

{via House Beautiful}
{via House Beautiful}


Yes, it’s good to dream, but then reality sets in.  While dream closets do exist, they aren’t in the majority of homes.  Many homes are built with simple reach-in closets – plain alcoves with builder grade doors where you try to make the most of the space you have.  But a few updates to the space can make your reach-in closet look and feel more glamorous {and be more functional, too}!



6 Ways to Glamorize a Reach-In Closet



1. Clean Out

No reach-in closet will ever feel luxurious if it’s overstuffed and crammed with items, so first off, you’ll need to spend some time cleaning out the space.  If your closet isn’t big enough to comfortably store all of your clothes, consider dividing your items by season and storing out-of-season clothes elsewhere, like a dresser, wardrobe, another room or even in space saving bags underneath the bed.  Also, if you haven’t worn an item in the last year, chances are you won’t be wearing it again {excluding certain formal items, of course}.  You’ll be surprised how much room you create in your closet if you sell or donate anything that isn’t a part of your active wardrobe.

Here are some great tips for sorting through your clothes from Annie, on organizational expert who writes at Live Simply by Annie.  {#5 in the Ditch column cracks me up and is something I’m guilty of quite often!}

Tips for Closet Cleaning


2. Get Organized

Closet organizers can make a reach–in closet highly efficient.  Before you buy one, though, spend time thinking about the way in which you use your closet and how and organizer would be most helpful to you.  One thing I love in the picture below from California Closets is that instead of running the organizer parallel to the closet on the left-hand side {back behind the side wall}, it is turned perpendicular, making it so much more useful!

{via California Closets}
{via California Closets}


3. Personalize Your Doors

Sliding doors seem to be quite common with builders, but they aren’t always the most practical.  While they do save space by not opening into the room, you can only ever seem half of your closet at any given time.  If you have the space in your room, consider French doors, bi-fold, pocket, or even barn doors, which allow you to see your whole closet at once.  Moulding, paneling, trimwork, mirrors, corkboard, chalkboard, and more can all be added to the doors for added decoration and organization.  Note: If you use French doors, consider adding a mirror to the inside to make dressing even easier!

{via Houzz}
{via Houzz}
{via California Closets}
{This nautical themed room uses an oar as a curtain rod for added charm.  Image via California Closets}


4. Add Color

It’s easy to forget the inside of the closet since it’s behind closed doors most of the time, but if you paint {or even wallpaper} the inside of your closet, it will make you happy every time you look at it and help to make it feel like it’s part of the room.  You can also add additional color through storage baskets and containers.  One note:  If you paint the inside of your closet, consider using at least an eggshell finish, even if the rest of your room is matte.  Closets get a lot of wear and tear from hangers and shoes and are prone to scuff marks, which will be easier to clean off if you have at least an eggshell finish on the walls.

{via California Closets}
{via California Closets}


5. Lighting

Most reach-in closets don’t come with lighting, which is unfortunate because part of the closet is always lost in the shadows.  If you have enough clearance from the ceiling, add some recessed lights to the inside of your closet to illuminate your gorgeous clothes!  You can also opt for a battery-operated LED light to avoid the need to hardwire, including special sensor lights that are motion activated so they turn on when you need them, and off when you don’t!

Girls Closet with Light


6. Reimagine & Reinvent

As with any room in your home, a reach-in closet doesn’t have to be used the way in which it was intended if another option will work better for you!  Cabinetry can turn a reach-in closet into a built-in wardrobe that provides function while looking stylish.

{via California Closets}
{via California Closets}
Arched Reach In Closet
{via Traditional Home}



A few updates and a once plain and ordinary reach-in closet can be transformed into something as glamorous as the clothes it holds!


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  1. This is really helpful. I’ve only enjoyed one walk-in closet in my life and I long for it. But as you said, the reality is, we’re very happy in our house and so I’ll make do. I may wallpaper my closet, that appeals to me since we no longer have wallpaper in any other room in the house. Fun post.

    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      Hi Karen – I’ve been thinking about wallpaper, too! I am not quite committed enough to paper an entire room, but a closet seems doable. :)

  2. I LOVE that you used California Closets images! I actually work for them in Florida and appreciate your words of wisdom. :) Also, you mentioned possibly using a battery operated light for a reach in so that you don’t have to worry about wiring new lighting and I would recommend a product from a company called Hafele. It is a rechargeable LED light that has a door sensor on it and will shut off after inactivity (30 seconds). It’s called the LOOX LED 9003 (small round) or 9004 (larger rectangle) and can be recharged via a mini USB cable!

    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      Thank you for the info, Alicia!!

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