Master Bedroom Closet re-do

When you live in a small space every inch counts. That’s why when we moved into our tiny 2bedroom condo, I found the master bedroom closet to be quite perplexing.  The closet itself was a decent size, but  a bit strangely shaped.  However, the perplexing thing was the size of the closet door which was very tiny in comparison to the closet.  Tackling this closet was actually a fairly quick project but it has made a HUGE difference both in terms of the overall look of the room and especially in terms of the functionality of the space.

For reference, here’s the “footprint” of the closet (from above):

As you can see part of the closet is standard depth, but there’s a part of it that is very narrow (this is because there’s a large but shallow built-in cabinet in the bathroom (which shares a wall with the closet( that takes up the rest of the depth.  You can also see in the diagram the placement of the tiny door (please forgive the blurry image!):

I never understood this itty-bitty door, or its placement all the way in the corner.  Most of the closet was almost impossible to get to.  We made it work for a while, but it was so hard to put anything away so (not surprisingly) things often ended up on the floor instead.

Enter my closet solution: elfa (from the Container Store) plus slatwall plus new, bigger, sliding doors.  The sliding doors allowed us to have a nice big opening for the closet so we could reach the whole thing without taking up any of the space of the bedroom since they don’t open into the room.  Here’s a shot of the new space where you can see what a difference just putting in the new doors made!

Most of the functionality of the new closet came with adding a customized Elfa closet solution (walnut décor and platinum shelves, if you’re interested).  The nice thing was how customizable it was—I now have space for dresses, shirts, and skirts at the perfect height for my things.  Plus, because the closet is not very big, it wasn’t super expensive, even with the “upgrade” to the nicer shelves. Here you can see the different “zones” I created – one for shirts and skirts on the right:

And one for dresses and other longer items on the left:

As much space as I think I gained by adding the Elfa, I knew I could eke a bit more space on the side wall, and especially in the weird not-very-deep part of the closet.  That’s when it occurred to me to try using slatwall for shoes and accessories, an idea which had been brewing for some time after seeing this stuff all over in store displays.  You can see the slatwall in both of the pictures above, but here is a closer-up pic in case you’re not sure what the heck slatwall is (it is what my shoes are attached to):

The slatwall was actually somewhat hard to track down.  Apparently it is usually sold in large quantities to stores, and not in single sheets for residential applications.   However, I did finally find out that the Menard’s near us sells single sheets of white slatwall, which is exactly what I needed.  Unfortunately it wouldn’t fit in our car (not even close!), but we were able to have our contractor pick it up for us in his truck as part of the install cost.  It was a quick job, but well worth it.  I then ordered from a from an online supplier of retail furnishing the interior fittings I wanted—slanted shoe shelves, hooks, belt holder, necklace display, and some shallow shelves.  I use some clear acrylic shelves to use the tiny bit of still-unreachable space in the narrow part of the closet to store large purses!

Just to help visualize the change, here’s what he new layout looks like (from above):

I’ve been very pleased with this combination and definitely recommend it if you have a non-traditional or narrow closet space.  I found that with all the many interior fittings that are available to use with slatwall that this is a great use of space for any non-standard size closet.

What do you think?  What have you done to find extra space in your closet?   Has anyone else tried slatwall in a closet?  I’d love to see pictures!



17 thoughts on “Master Bedroom Closet re-do

  1. Just found you when searching for Ballard banquette inspiration then saw your closet project and had to comment! We had a similarly odd set-up with two nice sized closets (for a little ranch style 2BR house) but the doors were tiny and we just couldn’t use most of the space! Here’s what we did and are so happy with:
    Love your use of the slat boards. Now that’s thinking outside of the boring closet box. 🙂

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    • Hi Pat! I’m pretty sure the came from Evanston Lumber. Our contractor buys most supplies from there. They were custom built for this job but pretty simple I believe so you could probably take a picture to any lumber supplier that does custom work if you’re not in the Chicago area!

      Good luck!

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  7. I love your doors. Are they sliders? And, what kind of glass is that on the doors? I was going to put up barn doors bc of limited space but I really like the sleek look of your doors.

  8. Gillian, great job on master closet! We are building house ourselves (subbing major steps). I have similar closet and slat board idea, but as you say, slat board is hard to find. I like to look at product before purchase and no Menards in SW Colorado. Any suggestions? I would appreciate any ideas you have to share. Liz

    • Hi Liz! Are you planning to purchase it online? My understanding from looking around for slatwall is that it is all pretty much the same except for the color, finish, etc. It usually comes in large sheets (I think 4×8) so you could order it but there’s probably a large cost for shipping it to you. That said, I think most large home improvement stores (Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc.) sell it so you could look into those options too. Sometimes even if they don’t usually sell it in-store you can have it shipped to your local store free of charge. I hope that helps, but let me know if you have other questions!

      • Great transformation! How high are your rods for hanging clothes? I’m planning our closet and I’m glad to find your dream closet!

      • Hi Diana! I wish I could go measure, but unfortunately we don’t live there anymore! But both sets of rods were pretty high. The lower ones were high enough that I could still put a laundry basked under some hanging knee-length skirts. The taller rod was high enough that I had to reach pretty high to hang things (I’m 5’4″). The rod for dresses was somewhere in between the two. The elfa closet system is very adjustable though, so you should be able to customize based on your specific set-up needs. We used elfa more recently in my husband’s new closet (you can see that here: Good luck with your project!

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