Take it from me: once you’ve converted a spare bedroom into a huge closet/dressing room/cloffice – whatever the cool kids are calling it these days – it is almost impossible to go back.
Recently, we moved into a new place (yay!) and while we were searching for our house, my husband and I knew that one of the rooms would be converted into a huge closet for me. For this reason, we wanted the designated spare bedroom to be right next to the Master bedroom. This meant no first floor Master, split levels with a Master on its own floor, nor Master bedrooms on their own side of upstairs with a bathroom or staircase separating it from the other bedrooms.
I’m sure our realtor thought we were nuts, but after having THIS for the past four years, there was no way I was going to try to cram all my stuff into a measly shared walk-in.
Not only were we planning on converting a spare bedroom into a dressing room again, we wanted to make this one better than the last one.
I searched Pinterest for different closet ideas and layouts etc. Pinterest is a WELL of inspiration for this by the way. Just search “dressing room”, “epic closet”, “celebrity closet” or “cloffice” and prepare to be AMAZED. Here’s my closet inspiration board!
After much research, I decided on three major elements I wanted in the new and improved closet:
1. An island
2. White shelving
3. Plenty of storage
There are countless, amazing custom closet building companies out there, but we decided to go the DIY route to save money. Yes, it’s not as “nice” as the professionally built closets, but it looks pretty good (in my opinion) plus doing it ourselves was both substantially cheaper and more satisfying.
And look how pretty!
We used the wood laminate “Closetmaid Selectives” shelving sold at Home Depot. There are plenty of other shelving options from places like IKEA, Lowes, Container Store, etc.
There are different ways to do the shelving. You can mount them on brackets (making each shelf adjustable) or drill them directly into the wall. Originally, we were going to use the brackets, but we decided to mount everything directly to the wall instead, so we returned the brackets.
(Full disclosure: this project was several hundred dollars and thus substantially more expensive than the last DIY closet we did that rang in right around $150. However, when you compare it to even the cheapest Container Store option, we came out WAY ahead!)
Shopping was the fun part! Once we got home, the real work began. Joe did the entire closet at our old house, this time, I helped a lot! I wouldn’t say it was 50/50 (s0meone has to take the photos!) but I definitely grabbed the drill a few times.
The toughest part was finalizing the layout and properly spacing everything out. Also building the drawers took FOREVER.
After we put together the closet, it was time to add a closet island. Those things are both RARE and EXPENSIVE.
Case in point: This one from Pottery Barn is $2,000!! Definitely. No.
I loved this one from Home Depot, but it was still $1,000. NO WAY!
After more Pinterest research, I got the idea from this blogger named Lauren Messiah to create my own island using shelving from IKEA.
Unfortunately, the closest IKEA to me is two hours away. Fortunately, I’m not easily deterred so I made the trip anyway!
Once there, I realized that there are tons and tons of options for DIY islands. Although I came armed with info from Lauren Messiah’s blog, I decided to go in a different direction after walking through the store.
Three big takeaways!
1)Literally ANY cabinet or shelving unit can serve as an island if you buy two and put them back to back.
2) The island needs to be the proper height. I’m 5’4 and a half so anything below 3 foot would be too short.
3) If you get open shelving, they sell extra drawers and doors to add. If you’re not going to keep open shelving though, it’s cheaper to find a cabinet with drawers or doors included instead of buying everything separately!
So instead of this:
I got two of these BRIMNES cabinet with doors:
I was going to buy the cabinet with glass doors (on the left), but I didn’t want the pressure of keeping the inside organized and in pristine condition, so I bought the cabinets with the white opaque doors (on the right) instead.
If you’ve ever put together furniture from IKEA, you know it is extremely time-consuming and unnecessarily complicated! Unfortunately, I had to put together TWO of these cabinets. (Plus a skinny mirrored cabinet for my dressing room and a dresser for our bedroom that I also bought when I was there.)
What’s missing? A full-length mirror!
After putting together the island, we put together the cabinet with a mirrored door. I decided instead of going with just a mirror to lean or mount on the wall, I would use a tall cabinet with a mirror on the door. Mirror outside, storage inside! Double duty! They sell these at IKEA in the bathroom section, but it’s perfect for a huge closet too!
FINALLY, after a few weeks of building off and on, the closet is done!
I’m still organizing and figuring out where I want everything to go. In my former closet there was a lot of hanging space and very little shelving. This is the opposite with mostly shelving and very little hanging space.
The only thing I don’t like about my dressing room is the huge window taking up a ton of wall space. It LOOKS pretty but I wish I could cover it up with another rack for clothing.
I still need to add a vanity that will possibly double as a laptop desk (this is where the “cloffice” term comes from). If I do, I will put it in front of the window and relocate my shoes elsewhere.
For now though, I LOVE IT!
I finally have my dream closet! Now our new place, feels like HOME!
[Note: THIS POST IS NOT SPONSORED IN ANY WAY. (I WISH!) I am just sharing this information for other clotheshorses who want to convert a spare bedroom to a dressing room. If you decide to buy anything from a shelf to an entire house to accommodate your clothing, it’s on you! If you’re a company listed here or just a very nice person and you WANT to pay me for this blog: please send $$ to firstname.lastname@example.org]