Closet space is at a premium in many homes, especially older homes. Instead of undertaking a major renovation, look for ways to use your existing space to add storage. An unused bedroom could be the ideal location for your wardrobe oasis. There are several ways to turn the bedroom into a temporary or permanent walk-in closet.
If you don’t want to drill holes into your walls to install permanent shelves, measure your room and buy rolling clothes racks to put along your walls. You can also make these by building a tall wooden rectangle with plywood or fiberboard, then drilling holes on each end with a hole saw. Slide a closet bar through the holes for an instant rack. Diagonal crosspieces at the back of the piece add structural integrity. If you use plywood 1 to 2 feet wide, you can use the top as a shelf for extra storage. In the center of the room, turn two dressers back-to-back to create a storage island in the middle.
Often the least expensive option for a permanent closet makeover, wire shelving is easy to install. Measure the room and determine where you need shelves and where you need hanging racks, then buy the appropriate shelving items; many wire shelf manufacturers have options with attached closet rods for hanging clothes. Screw the top and bottom supports into the wall, then place the shelf on the top supports. Pull the bottom supports up to hold the front of the shelf securely. Try to get as many supports in studs as possible; clothes can be heavy, so the shelves must be well secured.
Wood or veneer-fiberboard closet units provide a more finished, elegant look to your walk-in closet. These can include hanging racks, shelves, drawers, shoe racks and jewelry storage. Measure carefully before buying a closet unit because most can’t be reconfigured after assembly. Attach the units to the studs and to each other; most are modular units that you fit together in place. This option is more expensive than wire shelving, but it’s the best option if you prefer to use drawers instead of shelves for much of your closet storage.
Because bedrooms typically have windows, decide how to handle your window treatment. Choose a window treatment that blocks the room entirely from outside view, such as a solid curtain panel, plantation shutters or blinds with wide slats. Not only do you want privacy in your room, but you don’t want the view into your home to be that of your closet.
Also, measure the height of your room as well as the width of the walls to take advantage of the vertical space. The space above your hanging racks is ideal for storing little-used items. You might decide to raise your top hanging racks slightly to allow for a second closet rod underneath; this works for shorter items, such as shirts or pants folded over hangers. Instead of a bottom closet rod, add more shelves under short clothes for more storage. Add a chair to help you when you put on shoes. Consider a full-length mirror to inspect your ensembles before you leave the closet.