Some of my favorite blog posts to read are ones where I get a glimpse inside someone's home. I love to see how others design and decorate, and in particular I love to look at closets!! Is that weird? I just really like to see how other women organize their clothes and accessories. Admittedly, a large walk-in closet will be high on my list when Les and I buy our first home. For the time being, though, I will say that I'm pretty lucky to have the set-up that I do in our apartment. The building we live in used to be a school, so we have these super tall ceilings and some exposed brick, which I love! And it came with essentially a small room for a closet... but let's back up a bit.
Les and I first moved to the North Shore in December 2017. We were in sort of a rush to find a place to live because it was right before Christmas, and we both had been commuting from Boston for a while. We found an apartment in a building that we liked, but there were a few problems with it. For one, we were on the second floor so taking the dog out was a little annoying. But even worse was the fact that the walls ended up proving to be pretty thin; we could hear precisely which episode of The Office our neighbor was watching through our bedroom wall at any given hour of the night.
So after almost a year in our place, we looked around town to see if we could find something different. We toured two units in what is now our current building, but they were lacking in storage space and natural light. There was one particular unit that we decided to put ourselves on a wait list for just based on the layout that was advertised online; we hadn't ever seen the inside, but we told our leasing company that if it was ever available, we would be very interested. But, since we couldn't find anything after two months or so of looking, we just decided to re-sign for another year.
About two weeks after that, we found out that the unit we put our names down for became available. We decided to go see it, but I told Les that I really didn't feel like relocating anymore. I had kind of given up hope and was also a little relieved to avoid the hassle of moving. I'm recalling this whole saga because essentially we walked in, I saw the closet, and I was sold. The brick encased walk-in (plus the patio we gained and the fact that our unit was single-entry) was enough to make me pack everything back up after only a year in our old apartment. So, right after the New Year in January 2019 we moved into our current place! Luckily it was owned by the same company so they had no problem transferring over the lease we had just signed.
So, without further ado, here's the closet that I moved across town for. I'm going to try to link to the products I have that are still available. All of our dressers are from Ikea (I think the line was called Brusali?) but they don't make them anymore. If I forget to link something and you're wondering about it, let me know in the comments!
Since there are no doors on our closet and you can see right into it from our living room, I knew I needed a storage solution that was both practical and aesthetically pleasing. And here is a super affordable hack (at least compared to custom closet solutions): I bought two of these Billy Bookcases from Ikea for my shoes and purses, and jazzed them up a bit by swapping out the wooden knobs for some gold pulls from Anthropologie. They have SO many cute knobs and handles that can give life to any old or bland piece of furniture!
The best part is you can adjust the shelf heights in these bookcases to whatever you need. So I made the top rows just tall enough for sandals and flats, the middle rows have a bit more height for heels and wedges, and then the bottom shelf I made tall enough to fit my boots! The same goes for the purse shelves; I just spaced them out for what I needed.
Yes, I am a shoebox hoarder. But, they all are actually being used to store things, so why not store things in style?! All of the shoeboxes on the left have whatever shoes I own that aren't "in season" at the time, and then I swap them out with the shoes in the cabinet (so think loafers and mules in the fall/winter and sandals and wedges in the spring/summer). With this cabinet, I have found that I wear more of my shoes because I can see them all when I'm putting outfits together. And, there's something to be said for having a large selection versus wearing the same pairs over and over again... your shoes will all last longer if you're not wearing the same ones every day. Just like handbags! I can justify just about anything... ;)
My jewelry box is from the brand Stackers (you can find it at Wayfair and the Container Store); the top has the earrings I wear on a regular basis, as well as my necklaces and rings. And then each compartment lifts off of one another so you can add as many as you need! In the middle one, I keep watches and some larger earrings that live in their little pouches, and then the bottom compartment has more earrings in it.
In terms of what I keep inside my dresser, here's a little map! Bras and underwear on top, shirts that don't need to hang are in the middle, and then all of my workout clothes (tops, shorts, leggings, yoga pants) are on the bottom.
Next up, my attempt at a little closet island! This shelving unit is also from Ikea, and we actually have a black one that used to be an entry table at our old apartment and that we now use in our laundry room for storage. P.S. the grey bins are from Target! They're some of the biggest I could find.
I bought two of these plastic cylinders to store my ~extensive~ headband collection. They come apart into two pieces so you can put hair scarves or other accessories on the inside, too!
My sunglass storage is another Stackers box, with a ridge on the inside made specifically to have glasses sit on top. I can't recommend this brand enough for jewelry and small accessories. I love that you can keep building on them!
Ok so here's what's hanging where...
Dresses are all on the right and then blouses and tops are in the middle section. There was no bottom hanging rod, so I actually bought a stand-alone garment rack for the bottom where I hang my skirts and some vests, jackets, and sweaters. I can't remember where I finally ended up buying this rack, but it was actually harder than I thought it would be to find. Most garment racks are tall, and the ones that I found at the height I needed were really flimsy and made for kid's (or doll's....) clothing. I want to say I bought it at Target or Bed Bath and Beyond? Either way, it's held up well!
On the top of my clothing racks (and on top of the glass cabinets) I have boxes and bins for all sorts of stuff... bathing suits, clutches, scarves, toiletry and travel bags, keepsakes like photos and cards, and even some engagement and shower presents that we aren't quite using yet. And down below, a few more shoe cubbies (remember what I said about the more shoes the better....).
Last but not least, (or in the case of quantity, technically least) I can sum up Les's section in two photos:
Before you feel bad for him: yes, I do have more hanging space and generally take up more space in the closet. But for one, he does not have as much clothing as I do; and two, he has a tall four-drawer chest and a wide four-drawer dresser in our bedroom all his own. Also, he has his own office (which doubles as our guest-room) in our apartment where he has a nice couch, a huge desk, his own bookcase, and his keyboards. We each have our happy places. As does Nestlie...
Thanks for touring my closet! Link below in the comments if you've done a similar post, I'd love to see it!!