Let's make a closet!

Closets-- hell, ANY/ALL storage space-- is pretty much a premium in NYC. So often, one has to get real creative when figuring out how to store all their stuff. This can be really overwhelming for most folks. I actually enjoy this process, b/c over the years, it's helped me look at spaces/rooms and organizing (& ultimately decorating) in completely different ways than someone who has closets, garages, attics and basements for dayzzz...so I thought it'd be helpful to break it down & share some of what I've learned...

1. Think outside the closet. I KNOW-- who writes this shiot? ME. And it's GLORIOUS! You don't have a proper closet, so you have to make one. That means either purchasing a piece of furniture, like an armoire (which I don't recommend b/c no matter how roomy you think the piece is, y'all will inevitably outgrow it) or carving out space within the room you DO have with closet & closet-like pieces and parts. WTF's THAT, y'all ask? This:

 Pic by Hector Sanchez

Pic by Hector Sanchez

I created a walk-in closet by converting this entire space into usable storage. This room was right off my bedroom and was really teeny-tiny awkward in that, 'i have no idea what or how to use THIS room' kind of way. But with some clever repurposing of wall mounted vintage milk crates, vintage grocery store bins, steel rods from the hardware store and photo shoot production equipment (called autopoles) I carved out a floor to ceiling walk-in storage wonder. No extra awkwardly small room like mine? It's OK-- y'all can apply the same idea on a single wall of a room. The main point is to maximize the space you do have by using a component system, or closet-like pieces and parts like mine, that allows you the flexibility to go floor to ceiling and/or left to right. Also, don't forget your dresser! 

 

 Pic by Hector Sanchez

Pic by Hector Sanchez

 

2. Find a component system & OWN IT.  Uh huh, folks-- still ME and I'm here all week! I was super lucky to be given my autopoles by a photographer friend. They're amazing b/c you have total flexibility with where you place them & they're extremely durable...they're an investment and totally worth the $$$. Y'all will also want to purchase the clamps and other accessories that go along with them. See the clamps holding my hang bars (cut from 1" steel rods from my local hardware store) as well as clamps with shelf bracket accessories added that secure the vintage grocery bins? Oh and that main metal/silver counter height shelf is ALSO an accessory--  Brilliant! Click here to read more in depth about autopoles & all their amazing closet-making-ability-ness: they have sooooo many fun pieces and parts that can totally help create AND fulfill your closet dreamzzz!  I also made a closet out of another awkwardly small room using plumbing pipe & flange for a client:

 Pic by Bob Martus

Pic by Bob Martus

Plumbing pipe and flange is amazing, so versatile (comes in different thicknesses & black or galvanized finishes) and can be found at plumbing supply stores, usually larger hardware stores and Home Depot/Lowe's. The pipe is available in pre-cut lengths but can also be cut and threaded in whatever length you need and it's relatively easy to work with. 

 Pic by Bob Martus

Pic by Bob Martus

Technically, this small space already had a built-in closet, as pictured above, but it was just miniscule... with the pipe and flange wall unit, the dresser and by bringing in a small chair, area rug and the large antique 'licious pier mirror salvaged from a Brownstone, this space really came together and was super functional. And clearly my client loved reading large books in the space as well. Ahhh, styling.

 

But, friends, if y'all don't want to get all crafty and custom like the above scenarios, there's also quite a few store bought storage component systems available too: Elfa is wildly popular w/an endless amount of customization options...

 as is ClosetMaid...

 

IKEA has a very similar product line to my autopoles called, Stolmen. It's very chic manufactured in white & is intended as a closet storage solution, so it's consumer friendly in terms of price, installation & variety of pieces and parts...

 

IKEA also has Pax...which is available in an almost dizzying array of options...

And Algot, also from Ikea...

  

3. Don't be afraid to Display. Some folks cringe at the thought of having all their clothing and other items out in the open on display. But I think of it as these items are all extensions of you and are worthy of being displayed. As cheesy as that sounds...it's true. You bought that red jacket and those green shoes, so don't be scared to show the world. Besides, how many people are coming in and out of your room on a daily basis, anyway? Obvi, these closets require a certain upkeep to not look completely chaotic and messy. But, I think overall they look cool and have an industrial, utilitarian, almost loft-like vibe-- esp if you select the same color/ finish for your system. 

Y'all any one of these systems can help y'all get your closet groove on in the best way possible! And I'd love to see your results when y'all do!