Our master bedroom was woefully lacking in closet space. It offered just one closet that was four-feet long.
Admittedly, this is not the smallest closet we have ever had. When we were first married, our 3-room apartment had a 2-foot-wide by x 3-foot-deep closet. But I had just purged most of my belongings to move from California to New York and Gary had been living with his parents until we were married, so we didn’t have as much stuff then. Our last apartment also had a four-foot closet, however there was more storage throughout the rest of the space plus a full basement.
Our closet in this house originally had bi-fold mirrored doors.
I liked how the mirrors reflected more light into the room, but these doors were extremely thick. When they folded open, they took up six inches of the opening on either side. That meant my four-foot closet had a three-foot opening.
They really limited my access to the space, so as nice as they looked, I sold them on Craigslist.
I have been dreaming of different ways to add storage to my bedroom for a while – built-ins, new furniture, storage containers under the bed? What we really needed was more closet space.
Building a Closet
The most logical place for another closet was on the far wall. If I didn’t have the window there, I would have built the closet the entire length of that wall. However, that window is the only window in the house that looks out to the driveway and I didn’t want to close it off or have it hidden in a closet. So our new closet is six feet long – not too shabby considering it will more than double our closet space.
The process of building the closet was fairly straightforward: cut out a section of carpet and frame out a short 2-foot wall to the ceiling.
We anchored the new wall to a stud in the existing adjacent wall and to one of the trusses above the ceiling.
On the other side of the closet, we had a heat run. We will end up with about 4 feet of the heat run in the closet, but we still have 13 feet of heat run in the other part of the room. It didn’t make sense to pay to have the run moved, so we built out the side wall so that the future closet doors will be flush against the wall. We added some drywall and mud primed and painted.
Our original closet got a makeover too. I hated that the closet opening was standard door height. I felt I lost at least three feet of vertical storage space. Growing up, I had closet doors that went to the ceiling, providing access to the top portion of the closet.
So while we were adding our new closet, we tore open the top of the other as well. (Note that this is not a load-bearing wall.)
Some drywall, mud and paint, and we now have two wide-open closet spaces.
For the guts of the closet, we found a great deal on Rubbermaid systems (here’s an affiliate link). They seem to go on sale in January/February when all the storage items go on sale.
While they weren’t my first choice for shelving, the fact that I can change and rearrange the layout was extremely appealing to me. We also priced out building shelves and it was heading up towards $250 without nearly as many shelves as the Rubbermaid system provides.
We also have so many projects going on right now that I didn’t really want to add another big project like building custom shelving to the list We just wanted to have the closets done so that we could enjoy them and get things put away.
Now that the shelves are up and the clothes are in, I love the new closet. You may be surprised to find out that Gary gets the larger closet. I figured since he has six feet of space, he will also get the safe and bed linens in his closet, while my four-foot closet will be just for my clothes and goodies.
Our final piece of the closet puzzle will be the doors. I think full length mirrored sliding doors would be nice, but those are easily $400 for each closet. My other option is to try to build some shoji-screen style doors, but that’s a project for another day.