Today’s the day! This project has been a long time coming, and I am so excited to share it with you.
A little context before we dive in: Our home is over one hundred years old, 1200 square feet, and has two closets for the four of us. Jordan and I share one closet, and the other closet in 12-year old Chloe’s room houses…everything else. Because of the limited storage throughout our home, this slightly larger closet had become a bit of a clown car of clutter, housing everything from our suitcases to sentimental items, seasonal and formal clothes, and Chloe’s books and school stuff. Thankfully, Chloe doesn’t like to hang her clothes, but even so, it bothered us that the closet rod was broken and the closet shelves weren’t stable.
Here is a little peek of the closet BEFORE (please don’t judge!):
I had worked with California Closets on our last closet design and install and was thrilled to partner with them on this new closet transformation project. The process couldn’t have been easier: I met with closet designer, Maggie Erickson, to discuss our storage needs, and she created a detailed and customized design plan for the space. I also decided to visit my local showroom so I could personally pick out and confirm the finishes. Our main challenge was to create a closet that served our family’s current storage needs (four suitcases, sentimental bins, long hanging items, and a place for laundry), but could also function as a practical closet and wardrobe system for the future (including if we ever sell our home). Maggie’s design included long and short hanging rods, plenty of shelves, space for our four carry-on suitcases to be stowed out of the way, and the cherry on top – a concealed laundry hamper system.
Once we finalized our design plan, all we had to do was clear everything out to prep for install – a great opportunity for us to reevaluate the things we were storing and get ruthless with donating.
Here is a picture I snapped once we had removed everything from the closet.
AAAARRRGGHHHHH! I know. I was shocked too. Even the dog was confused. I thought we were minimalists! The good news is that once we removed everything from the space, it took less than an hour to sort, relocate items that belonged elsewhere, and fill several large bags with donations. Jordan gave away the suit he never really liked. I parted with the snow shoes I never wear. We realized that items we only used once a year, like sleeping bags, could be packed up and relocated to the basement. It felt great to lighten our load, and it made it exponentially easier to set things up in the new space.
Here is a picture of the raw space just before install.
Once the space was empty, the team at California Closets arrived for demo and install. They had to remove the rods and shelves in order to install the new system. Since we have old stucco walls, there was a little patching and painting, but the whole transformation was completed in a single day!
Ready? Here is the closet AFTER:
What a transformation, right?! The best part is Chloe is super thrilled with the new closet because she feels like it is finally her own space, but we still have designated spots to tuck away our suitcases, memento bins, and hang longer items. File that under win-win. I also transferred my mementos and photos into sleek white storage boxes so they would blend in, and I used white wooden hangers to create a cohesive look.
The long hanging storage in the very back of the closet is minimal but perfectly functional for hanging the few long dresses I own – and I will also plan to store my long coat here when it’s not in use.
I am consistently surprised and delighted at how little upgrades like a closet system can make such a big difference in your day to day life. It literally took one weekend for the closet that filled our whole family with dread to be converted into a cheery and functional space we all love. And we’re all a little bit jealous of the super sleek built-in laundry drawer that Chloe now uses instead of her old bulky laundry bin.
Thank you to California Closets for partnering with me on this fun project!
Photo Credit: Vivian Johnson Photography