Mentor Jamie Beckwith, Principal of Beckwith Interiors, shows how she thinks about all of the little details when designing functional and captivating closets for her clients>>
It seems that we never have enough storage in our homes for all of the “stuff” that we accumulate. Space comes at a premium, especially if you live in an older home, apartment or condo. When I have the opportunity to design closets from blueprint designs I have the luxury to help the client organize and utilize every bit of existing space. Unfortunately, not everyone is building a new home and creating their dream closet from scratch…..so, I have some tips for your existing closet space and also some inspirational drawings and designs from some amazing closets that I have been fortunate enough to design and complete.
Remember that a closet has to function first and then second, with a little creativity, your closets can be as beautiful as the contents they hold.
1. Organize and clean out that Mess! If you are hanging onto a dress that still has the price tag on it, in addition to squeezing you in all the “wrong” places, throw it out! Separate out the winter and summer; organize all the belts, scarves, sweaters, shoes, jewelry, and any other accessories. Take an inventory of all the items that you need to store and decide where it will all go.
You will be amazed at how much more space you have when you release the clutter.
2. Is your closet well lit?? Lighting is imperative whether you have a huge walk in closet or a smaller 3 foot by 8 foot coat closet. You need to be able to see what you have, so items don’t get lost in the dark. Another fun way to add brightness and color in your closets is paint. Go ahead and pick a bright and bold color for that entry coat closet, you will be able to see all the hanging items and the unexpected pop of color will make you smile every time you open the door.
Now for the fun!
3. Every closet should have a full length mirror, and if you are really lucky, a three way mirror. This way you can see everything from every angle. I have even designed pedestals in front of the mirrors, so you can step up and see the way your hem line falls with your favorite stilettos.
4. Clothing islands can be wonderful if you have the space. They can take the place of a dresser and are an opportune place to lay out your clothing and also great to use as a packing station. They can be divided into his and her sections with drawers for underwear, socks and hosiery, gym clothes and lingerie.
5. Think about wallpaper or upholstery for the closet. The extra padding makes the space feel cocoon like and glamorous. Don’t forget about the ceiling either!
6. Give yourself a comfortable place to sit down. Whether it is a built in bench or a piece of furniture, this will give you a place to sit and put on shoes or place a suitcase while packing.
7. Incorporate unusual materials into the closet, such as glass or acrylic for the shoe shelves. It is a light and clean way to see your shoes and which ones may need a trip to the shoemaker. I have used LED lighting and acrylic to highlight shoes in a glamorous closet. Lighted clothing rods can also bring in an added layer of light.
Mirrors that have a patina look beautiful when incorporated with the cabinetry. Putting the mirrors in front of doors or drawers adds a feminine touch and also a little more light and sparkle.
Jamie Beckwith, author of this feature, and principal of Jamie Beckwith Collection and Beckwith Interiors is a Interior Design firm in Nashville, would love to talk to you about designing a space expressly for you.
You can also find a full list of all our global mentors [ who are top professional interior designers ] on our Mentors Page.