Today’s post is all about our master closet! We love this space and I’m excited to take you on a tour. Let’s first start with how this closet came to be.
D E T A I L S
Our closet was custom designed with the help of Modern Nest, who built out a lot of spaces in our home (mudroom, breakfast nook, homework center, etc) Long story short, we moved into a new home but chose to have their builder grade (read : super terribly designed) closet temporarily installed just so we would have place to hang and store items right when we moved in (The reason we did this was that I didn’t like the closet company our builder contracted with.) A few months after move-in, we brought in Modern Nest and they created this space for us.
We removed a door and moved the existing door frame to make it feel more open, had wood flooring and a chandelier installed, and we also had speakers built-in with the house so that I can stream music in there with our home automation system. I think there is definitely more to making a closet than just the cabinetry work.
Ok now onto the tour!
M Y S I D E
About 75% of the closet is mine – I have no guilt for that and Russ never gave me grief for it, either. He is just much more minimal than me! My side is basically the main wall and the wall to the right of it, with a little bit of long-hang around the back of where you stand and enter the closet.
Here’s the shoe, bags, and drawer wall :
The short-hang and shelving wall :
And the long-hang wall (to the right of this is the door) :
When designing this closet, I knew I wanted a ton of drawers and a ton of hanging space, be cause I prefer to hang items. I also considered accessibility of my most-worn categories and items and easy visibility. That is why I chose to have a ton of drawers going across on the bottom so that I could look down into each one’s contents, and then have the shoes going across, because I didn’t like the idea of a tall shoe wall where I couldn’t reach the ones up high.
On the left side I have sandals and non-workout sneakers (and recently gave Russ some more shoe space ) :
The drawers below that have my two scarves (yes, I only have two) plus my skirts, shorts and jogger sweats :
It’s my camel cashmere travel wrap and my recently purchased black fur wrap :
(sorry, didn’t get a pic of my skirts, shorts, and 4 jogger sweat pants but they’re just folded in there, not missing much!)
Above this I have my two blue bags. I don’t know why but blue is like a neutral for me – it’s my favorite color. The crossbody is Hermes and I get it to stand up by stuffing it with it’s own duster bag filled with other duster bags. This is a big tip for getting slouchy bags to stand up on its own in a closet! The satchel is Celine (I get asked about this belt bag a lot – it’s the medium size.)
In the middle section are my heels and flats, with clutch purses in cubbies above it . All shelving is adjustable, which is a must when designing a closet so that you can fit in the variety of shoe heights.
Below that is my jewelry drawer (full post on that is here) plus my bra, underwear, and PJ drawer. I felt a little weird showing you my bra and underwear drawers so I intentionally didn’t want to take pics of them. But in doing so I forgot to take pics of my PJ drawer at the bottom so that will be coming to you in a follow-up post ASAP. (Sidenote : I used to have swimwear in the bottom drawer and PJs in my nightstand dresser drawers, but since I change at night in my closet and it was annoying to then walk out to get PJs, I moved the PJs into my closet and the swimwear out into the master bedroom because I use swimwear much less. So sometimes you just have to really try it out and then made changes as needed.)
But to give you an idea of the organizational systems : for bras and underwear I use the same drawer dividers I use in the drawers I will explain more about below (using these dividers) and for my PJs I have them folded up file-folded, just like I have my workout gear shown again in the drawers below. Just stay with me and you’ll see what I mean 😉
Since I’m showing you shoes and you might ask, I love Valentino and Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin and Steve Madden and Sam Edelman and Target. I’m totally all about the high-low!
On the left and right side above this section are small cubbies that have my clutch purses. The black leather envelope clutch in the middle is my mom’s vintage YSL she gave me, it’s a special piece and I use it often. To the right of that is another YSL bag (it’s the medium Lou Lou) and a Prada Saffiano satchel.
The right side of this wall is my workout section. I created a dedicated workout section, because that is something I wear pretty much every day (even on days I don’t actually workout haha.) I have my hats and workout shoes easily accessible :
And then drawers filled with everything I need from top to bottom.
When you do drawers, you want to arrange them top to bottom like you would wear the items on your body. So first drawer is sports bras (I don’t know why but I don’t mind showing you this one!) :
Then shorts/skirts, crops and leggings, file-folded :
Then socks :
Tip about socks : purge them all, then pick one type that you like in basic colors and just roll with that (literally and figuratively.) It’s SO much easier! You honestly really don’t need a trillion socks (even if you live somewhere colder) and it feels so much calmer. I have these no show socks, and then these are the other ones up top that are my cozy socks.
The bottom drawer has my three Lululemon gym bags that fold really nicely into there that I can grab and go when needed. You guys, I basically forgot to take pics of all the bottom drawers so forgive me – post and pics will follow if interested! But it’s just three bags laying in there – nothing special organizationally.
Ok now to the right side of the closet are where most of my clothes are :
If you are designing a closet, you have to think about whether you are more of a “folder” person or a “hanger” person. I am more of the latter so I decided to maximize hanger space in the design and I love to utilize with slimline hangers.
The two most impactful things you can do for a more streamlined closet, regardless of the design or size, are 1) matching hangers and 2) putting things in color order (ROY.G.BIV.) It seriously makes a huge, HUGE difference. I get my hangers from Costco (best deal) but you can also get them from Amazon (second best deal) plus the Container Store and Target.
Another note about hangers : yes, I hang my sweaters. I know you’re not technically supposed to. But I do and have for year and have never had an issue with stretch. Maybe this rule was made prior to these slimline velvet hangers coming onto the market and it’s easier on the shoulders and the hang, I don’t know. But because I love to have everything hung, I do so for sweaters.
One time I did a denim wall in a client’s closet and really liked having them all folded, so I decided to have that here in this closet and I love it. While I could have out sweaters here, I wear jeans more often so it takes advantage of this prime spot. I also have my black pants and some space below for boots ( like the drawers, you want to place heavier, bigger, bottom items at the bottom and also boots are for the feet so it makes sense to have them at the bottom.) This whole shelving section is adjustable. And In case you’re wondering, my fave jean brands are J Brand (these and these and these) and Madewell (these and these and these.) Also, white jeans are my absolute favorite all year long so I have four pairs :
Above that I have hats, which I wear more during the warmer months so I have those more accessible and then the winter hats higher above :
Finally, to the right of this wall is my long-hang section. In the very first design of this closet, there wasn’t a long hang, so remember to think about your categories when designing a closet because sometimes even the best closet designers can miss the sections you personally need. They are thinking more about maximizing space and mathematically working with the dimensions – not necessarily the things you are putting into the closet. A custom closet should really be custom, so take time, analyze, notice, and adjust. I have tons of dresses so I obviously needed room for that – so it was made!
OK so the long hang :
If your dress section is looking a little disorganized even though it’s color arranged, try separating the short dresses and long dresses and it will look much more streamlined.
Below the dresses are baskets of winter accessories like hats and gloves and another with flip flops. Flip flops don’t need to take up precious space on the shoe shelves, so a basket where you can casually grab and go works really well. I don’t have the baskets labeled because I’m the only one using this space and I can easily see what’s in there (if these bins were to be stored up high, I would definitely label them.)
Above the dresses are boxes. I 100% think you should toss all store boxes unless they have a use, and in this case they do. One of the pink boxes holds an old Louis Vuitton bag I don’t use but want to give to one of my girls some day, the orange boxes hold a Fendi baguette and wallet I don’t use but will keep forever, because my grandmother bought me the baguette in Japan and the wallet was my first designer purchase I made on my own in Rome in college. I’m generally not a sentimental person but combine designers, travel memories, and family and you got me 🙂 Anyway, didn’t mean to go that detailed here, but that’s a little story on these boxes. The reason the fourth pink box is there is to balance out the twos as stacked pairs.
Finally, to the right of that is a huge tip I have for closets – a valet rod :
I place items here when packing or getting ready. It’s so, SO key and a very inexpensive item to add to your closet for big impact. I bought this one and had my handyman attach it after the closet buildout.
Now let’s switch gears and head over to Russ’ side!
H I S S I D E
Like I mentioned earlier, Russ has a lot less than I do by design; he sticks to black Design Pickle and Warrior branded tees and black bottoms (with a few color pieces here and there for summer travel,) button ups, and sport coats and custom suits by a place called Stitched (Ricci is our guy there and he is amazing.)
Russ’ side is therefore divided into four hanging sections, with shoes and drawers anchoring the middle.
Russ has recently gotten a little more into shoes. He keeps some downstairs in the garage (we have a shoe wall there, too.)
These two Nike Jordans were custom made by Laced By Liv : one for when he spoke at Warrior Con, and the other a gift from his team on his 5 year sobriety anniversary. They also have my and the girls’ names on them.
For the drawers below, it’s his ties and pocket squares first :
(I used the same dividers as I used for my socks.) Then drawers below are his belts and briefs, workout pants and socks. Again, didn’t take photos but know that you’re not missing much; I’m using the same basic products and techniques as other drawers.
For his hangers, I used a combo of the slimline velvet hangers plus these suit hangers and shorts hangers. You definitely don’t want to put broad suits on a slim hanger. That will definitely mess up their shape.
And that’s it for his side! He has his PJs in his nightstand dresser drawer.
Q U I C K C L O S E T T I P S
Whether you’re reorganizing your current closet or designing a brand new one, here are some of my quick tips to consider :
- Think about accessibility. Think about what categories of items you have, how often you reach for them, and how much space you will need to sufficiently store them. Then place items (or design items to be stored) according to the most-used items being the easiest to see and reach on a daily basis.
- Arrange things by color. That’s white, pink, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet (ROY.G.BIV) brown, gray, and black. When organizing non-colorful items like denim and shoes, go from light to dark. This is a no-cost way to make your closet look way better.
- Invest time and budget in matching hangers. More so than the type of hanger (although I totally recommend the slimline ones for space and aesthetic) the fact that they all match makes another huge difference in the way your closets looks and functions, too (mismatched ones don’t line up and will get tangled up.) I mention investing time in addition to budget because switching out hangers takes time. When I used to do closets professionally, we would spend half the day doing hangers sometimes because you will be surprised they can add up to the hundreds even in a modest closet. So just want to give you aheads up – put on a podcast or audiobook and just get it done because it’s worth it.
- Minimize decor in your closet. There’s already a ton of items your closet by nature, so try not to add more decor like photo frames and memorabilia and decorative decor “things.” I do a case of fresh flowers when I can, maybe a candle, for their fresh atmospheric quality and that’s it.
Hope you enjoyed the tour! Sources are linked below. Let me know if you have any questions 🙂
S O U R C E S
Design : Modern Nest
Chandelier : Restoration Hardware
Pulls : Restoration Hardware
Valet Rod : Amazon
Slim Hangers : Costco or Amazon
Suit Hangers : Container Store
Bottom Hangers : Container Store
Baskets : Container Store