Over the years, I’ve converted 5 different bedrooms into my office/walk in closet. I’ve always worked from home, so I’ve needed the spare bedroom to be as functional as possible. Up until our most recent home, I was renting, so I never wanted to spend a ton of money on built ins! I had to get creative! Here’s what I’ve done to maximize my spaces on a budget.
DIY Walk In Closet
Ikea Billy Bookcase
The absolute BEST, most affordable closet shelving unit has been the Ikea Billy bookcase. I’ve had both the regular bookcases and glass door bookcases – both are amazing. If your space allows it, I would get 3-4 of the Ikea bookcases to store your shoes and bags. (And this is another great bookcase/shelving option!) I’ve always liked the look of seeing my shoes + bags displayed, but if you think it will be too messy, I would get the one with glass doors. Then I would get a white or taupe linen fabric from a fabric store, and use a staple gun to add fabric behind the doors. This really elevates the entire look of the cabinet.
Last step would be to swap out the knobs. I love a tiny brass knob like this, or even a fun crystal or painted knob from Anthropologie! This DIY Billy Bookcase hack is perfect for an office, kid’s playroom, or bathroom! Ikea has a ton of other closet systems that are more built out with hanging and drawer options as well. PS if the exposed white shelving holes bother you – you can buy these caps to fill them in!
Past Home Set Ups
In my first NYC apartment, I used a simple rolling rack to hang my clothes. It was perfect for the time being, but I didn’t LOVE the way the silver rack looked in such a small space (I wish they had made this one back then!) In my second West Village apartment, I paid a contractor to create a simple white built in closet with cubbies and hanging space on one side of the wall. I was renting and *technically* shouldn’t have done this, but I had the same contractor remove it when I moved out, and it was fine.
In my LA house, I used 4 of the Ikea Billy bookcases and rolling racks, plus took advantage of the walk-in closet that already had built ins when I moved in. In my Soho apartment we had enough hanging space in the closets throughout the apartment, so I only used 4 of the Ikea Billy bookcases. Now for this house, I’ve been doing a TON of research and debating. Do I have a contractor do custom built ins? Do I get an Ikea larger built out wardrobe system like the Pax? Or do I mix and match my existing Ikea Billy bookcases with these cool mounted industrial clothing racks?
Wall Mounted Clothing Racks
I love the look of a gold industrial mounted clothing rack. It’s simple and sleek, doesn’t take up space, and is sturdy enough to hang a ton of clothes. You can do 2 or 3 next to each other, and really maximize your space. I have my eye on this simple clothing rack, this one, or this one with a white shelf above it. If you can’t mount anything – this subtle gold rolling rack is ideal.
Once you have your clothes, shoes, bags, and storage taken care of, you can do the fun part which is accessorizing your closet! Add a fun ottoman or bench. Vintage hat boxes, Steamline luggage suitcases, a gorgeous chandelier, an oriental or shag rug, and a side table or chair. And lastly, get a floor length mirror! I have this simple gold West Elm mirror in my closet currently, but I recently bought this Restoration Hardware Salon Gilt mirror for our living room, and kind of want to get another for my closet!!!