overall view of finished closet

Small Walk-In Closet Remodel

Our walk-in was sad when we bought our house. The walls were the same off white that the contractor had painted them 20 years ago, complete with old water stains on the ceiling. Teal is an awesome color, but for carpet not so much. (It was in both bedrooms upstairs, but the hall was tan. It was awful!) The shelving that was in our closet was broken, and cheap to start with. I knew we could do better so I set off on a mission.

Closet Prep & Planning

I removed the old shelving and did my best to patch the massive holes it left. I got the upstairs painted before we got new carpet installed (read about painting and carpet replacement). The closet was the first room in the house that I painted. I used Sherwin Williams SuperPaint semi gloss in Extra White for the trim and their Eminence Ceiling Paint in Bright White.

After some debate about the wall colors, I went with Swimming, a light vivid blue. I wanted our closet to be a happy, bright space to get dressed in every morning. Make sure when you buy paint, you watch for sales. Especially if you’re painting a lot of rooms. We bought paint for 2 floors of our house when it was all 40% off! Boom. Homeowner win.

Our closet, while a walk-in, is not very big and is tucked at the end of our bedroom, right beside the bathroom. We opted for a floor based closet, that was anchored to the wall, but the weight was supported by the floor. IKEA was an affordable way to do this (I looked into some of the closet installation companies, and the were super pricey). I spent way too many hours playing around with IKEA’s Pax Wardrobe Planner. If you like to organize, I’m sorry, I’ve just introduced you to your next big time suck.

One 19″ and two 39″ wardrobes worked out to fit perfectly along the back wall of our closet. The width our closet wasn’t enough to have storage on both walls. We went with the taller wardrobe options since our ceiling height could handle it. Plus, having an option that covers the entire wall covered all of the patching from the old closet rod holes. I customized the interior accessories to match what we needed to store. My priority was hanging space, especially for dresses. Mr. PC wanted a sliding pants rack. As you design, the planner keeps track of the cost and items you need to order to create the wardrobes you’ve planned. Too easy.

Building Our Closet

The baseboard in our closet bumps out the wardrobe frames so they can’t sit flush against the wall. We used 1×4 board that we had custom cut to fit the length of our wall to bump out the wardrobe frames the same amount at the top as the baseboards do at the bottom. The board was screwed into wall studs toward the top of the wall. Mr. PC did all of the hard work. He’s the best.

Because our closet is so small, and the wardrobe frames are so tall, we used the standing assembly instructions from IKEA and assembled each frame inside the closet. There was no way we could have flipped the frames upright after carrying them through the door. The pictures do not show much for this step because room to maneuver was pretty scarce. This part was not fun, but we managed. Mr. PC followed IKEA’s directions for securing the frames to each other and to the wall.

Organizing Our Closet

This is the best part of a new closet by far! Adjusting the shelves and closet bars was super easy to do by myself. Meanwhile, Mr. PC was laying on the floor somewhere out of the way stretching his back. We were both able to store some shoes at the bottom, and I keep a small folding step stool handy to reach the shelves at the top. In the future we can cheaply change the interior accessories if our storage needs change. Having everything in the same place and on the same wall makes it easy for us to stay organized.

How do you maximize your closet storage?

our small walk-in closet remodel

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