Closets can be dark, dingy, and cluttered—a real eyesore that isn’t truly helped by just closing the closet and trying to ignore it. Like all spaces in our homes, there’s real value in making our closets more functional and stylish.
Whether it’s a regular bedroom closet, a sprawling master suite walk-in, or a utility closet in the hallway, here are six of our favorite ways to make your closet look more elegant.
1. Dress Up the Outside
The first place to start improving your closet is on the outside. After all, closets spend most of their time closed.
You can start by upgrading the handles. These small pieces of hardware draw frequent attention because we touch them every time we use the closet door. By choosing a stylish, high-performance upgrade that matches your decor, you can make your closet and the entire room look nicer.
It might not be enough to spruce up just the handles, however. The entire closet door may need a fresh coat of paint, or, with exposed wood doors (common in bi-fold closets), a fresh stain. Painting can be a great way to bring a room in your home to life! Be sure to pay special attention to the trim, if applicable.
With fresh paint (or stain) and new handles or knobs, you can personalize your closet doors with room-appropriate decorations to add extra energy!
2. Light It Up
You’ve done the outside! Now it’s time to open up your closet and—you can’t see a thing! It’s like a cave. Caves, at least, have an excuse for being dark. A modern home doesn’t—even the closets.
If you’ve ever had a closet that does have lighting, you know how much of a difference it makes! Good closet lighting instantly adds visibility and warmth. It’s not just illumination: It’s positive energy that makes the closet a pleasant place to use. And with good lighting, you’ll be able to find the items you need more easily.
Choose a unique, cozy light fixture that will do nicely in a small space. One overhead light is usually enough to get the job done, but, depending on the size of the closet, the type of shelving inside it, and the amount of “extra” you want to go for, you could opt to put in multiple lights, including wall lights, under-shelf lights, and door lights.
Installing a closet light can be a great DIY home design project. You don’t have to hire an electrician to run wiring inside the walls. Run a colorful DIY lamp cord from the nearest outlet and install a hook along the wall or ceiling where you would like the light fixture to hang. From there, you’ll have a customized plug-in fixture, made all the more convenient with a switch!
3. Lay Down a Nice Area Rug
For walk-in closets, and those with some space on the floor, here’s a great tip to add some charm: Lay down a rug! A small luxury area rug can make a big difference in adding visual allure and an aesthetic focal point at the bottom of the closet.
Oh, and don’t forget: Before laying down a rug, you can paint the inside of your closet, too, just like the outside. A couple of wild colors or some luxe wallpaper can be a lot of fun.
4. Update the Storage System
Many closets make do with cheap metal racks and shelving. You’ve seen it: Plain, all white, and wiry. It’s functional. It’s practical. But it’s not elegant. It’s the opposite of making a house into a home.
Other than lighting, the single most important thing you can do to make your closet more stylish is to update the storage. Think wood shelving and rods, maybe even a couple of pieces of nice furniture if the closet is large enough—like a dresser, or a stately chair.
5. Declutter Your House
Closets are often a dumping ground for things we don’t use but don’t want to get rid of. This accumulation of clutter makes even the best closets look frumpy and disorganized. You can fix this by cleaning out the rest of your house.
Freeing up space outside the closet is going to let you move some closet clutter out into the house where it can live its best life. And the project of decluttering might help you to make peace with letting some other closet items go to the thrift store. You could even hold a garage sale.
6. Get Inspired!
Closets may be small compared to full-size rooms, but that just makes it all the easier to give them a great makeover. Have fun with your closet DIY project!