Tips and Ideas For How to Design a Closet

Calling all fashionistas! This post is for you and everyone who loves a good closet.

modern wooden wardrobe with clothes hanging on rail in walk in closet
Closet design ideas | All About Space / Shutterstock

A closet is one of the most important storage spaces in any home, yet it is often one of the most neglected areas when it comes to design. Most closets end up crammed full of clothes and still don’t feel big enough. That makes finding the right clothes and getting dressed a stressful ordeal.

A well-designed closet can make all the difference in terms of both functionality and aesthetics. The good news is that you can organize your closet without hiring a professional organizer.  If you're looking to give your closet a makeover, read on for some tips and ideas to help you get your closet under control.

6 Tips for how to design a closet system

Before spending money on a closet design system, try these tips for designing your own perfect closet. With a little bit of effort, you can create more storage space and make getting dressed a breeze.

Decide what type of closet you need

When it comes to closet design, there are different layouts and style options to choose from. Before you go ahead and start designing your closet, consider how you want to use your closet space and what things you want to store in it. This will help you determine the best layout for your particular needs.

What type of closet is best for you? | Photo by New Africa/Shutterstock

Measure your space

Before you start shopping for materials or planning your design, it's important to take accurate measurements of available space. This will give you an idea of how much space you have to play with, so you can decide on the layout and buy the right materials. For example, wardrobe closets should be 6 feet wide and 8 feet tall, while dressing rooms should be larger.

Consider style preferences

Assess the type of clothes you wear and how much storage you need. A standard closet with rods and shelves is your best bet when you have limited space. Consider a custom-built solution for a more customized closet design, such as a wardrobe or dressing room. You might also consider using a closet organizer to take advantage of every inch of space.

Creative storage ideas | Photo by New Africa/Shutterstock 

Include clever organizers

One of the best ways to maximize your closet space is with clever organizers. They are great for keeping your items tidy, organized and easy to access. Things like over-the-door racks, drawer organizers, and special hangers for belts, ties and scarves are a great way to add function and order to your closet space and make getting ready easy and fun.

Design a custom closet layout

Consider designing a custom closet to ensure your space suits your clothes and lifestyle. Draw a rough sketch of your desired layout, or use one of the many online closet design tools. Then, begin shopping for the materials you'll need to bring your vision to life. This will allow you to utilize your unique closet space and create a perfect storage solution for your needs.

Custom closet storage for the win | Photo by haveseen/Shutterstock

Incorporate secret compartments

Consider incorporating secret compartments into your design if you want a unique closet design. This is a great way to store valuables or items you want to keep out of sight. You can also use doors and storage boxes to hide things in your closet, like a laundry basket or out-of-season clothes.

Closet design ideas you're gonna love

Now let’s look at different types of closet design ideas you can incorporate into your home.

Closet organizer ideas

There are many different ways to organize your closet. From drawer organizers, wire baskets and bins to different hangers for pants, dresses and coats, there is a lot to choose from. Choose solutions that fit your lifestyle and budget.

Wire baskets are great for organizing your clothes and fabrics
Use closet organizers | Photo by Kostikova Natalia/Unsplash

Wire baskets are great for all your clothes as they are easy to stack, and you can easily see what’s inside them. They are great for things like sweaters, jeans and other folded items. You can also be reused for other items like toys or bags.

Organized your drawers | Photo by Olya Detry/Shutterstock

Drawer organizers are great for storing and organizing clothes. You can use them for vertical storage of folded items for easy reach. They are great for everything from socks to bras and undergarments.

Use a clothes rack for your scarves | Shutterstock

Use metal rods or stand-alone racks for your scarves to keep them from wrinkling and tangling. You can easily access each item without rummaging through bins or boxes. It’s a great way to organize your collection and keep track of what you have.

Closet storage

Closets are not only used for clothes. They often double as storage spaces for unused and seasonal items as well as different household items. You can maximize your storage space with different containers and use of shelves.

Clear storage boxes for the win | Photo by A-photographyy/Shutterstock

Clear storage bins are a great way to store everything from shoes and clothes to hats and bags. Opt for clear plastic bins so you can see what’s inside. These types of bins are great because they are stackable and durable.

Storage boxes | Photo by Yuliasis/Shutterstock

Textile or cardboard boxes with labels are another great storage option, especially if you prefer not to see what’s inside. They offer a more coherent aesthetic, and you can use and reuse the labels when you change what’s in the box.

Closet with a dresser | Photo by New Africa/Shutterstock

If you have enough space in your closet, consider adding a dresser with drawers. This allows you to store items out of sight while adding additional storage on top of the cabinet. You can also add a chair and a mirror to create a dressing area that you can use for getting ready.

Closet shelving

When it comes to closet design ideas, shelving is one of the most important components to consider. Shelves are great for storing folded clothes, blankets and towels. You can also use them to stack storage boxes, hats and shoes. Before you install any kind of shelves, make sure to measure your space correctly.

Shelving is a key feature of any closet | Photo by Colleen Michaels/Shutterstock

Flat, solid shelves are a great way to create uniformity and style for your closet. These shelves are a great choice for clothes, shoes or boxes as they hold everything in place and are easy to clean. Consider staggering your shelving to create more storage options.

Wire shelving| Photo by Ursula Page/Shutterstock

Wire shelves offer versatility and can be used in any closet or storage room. They are durable and easy to install, making them an easy choice for any closet space. They are especially useful in a small closet as they can double as a rod for hangers.

Shelving keeps your shoes organized | Photo by Colleen Michaels/Shutterstock

Tilted or slanted shelves are a great option for displaying shoes, giving your closet that personal boutique vibe every shoe lover dreams about. These shelves usually come with lip or fencing, usually chrome or melamine, to keep the shoes from sliding off.

Walk-in closet ideas

To design a walk-in closet, take advantage of your space. Don’t be afraid to incorporate other features that can improve your dressing experience and add value to your home. These types of closets are, after all, a luxury desired by many.

Create a sitting area | Photo by Artazum/Shutterstock

Add a bench or an ottoman to your walk-in closet and create a sitting area. Not only does it offer you a place to sit, but you can also use it to lay out your outfits and accessories. You can also consider a bench with built-in storage if you need additional space to store your things and keep them out of the way.

Glass top island | Photo by WorldWide/Shutterstock

To add more luxury to your closet space, consider building an island in your closet with drawers and cabinets. You can also opt for a clear glass countertop and display your jewelry and accessories underneath.

Add a standing mirror to your closet | Photo by mariakray/Shutterstock

Every closet needs a good mirror, and you can add a touch of personality with a freestanding mirror. It’s a great alternative to hanging mirrors and mirrored doors. The bonus is that you can always move it around when you need to without issues.

Reach-in closet

Reach-in closets are smaller than walk-ins and usually are about an arm’s length deep, hence the name. These closets feature a long bar for hanging clothes with a shelf. They also have a hinged door or a curtain. These traditional style closets are also known as hall or entrance closets for storing outerwear, shoes and accessories like umbrellas and hats.

Master closet ideas

To create a luxurious master closet, consider making two separate closets for a different partner. This setup allows both people to organize their clothes and shoes without sharing the space with their spouses.

bathroom combined with walk-in closet
Master closet ideas | Photo by Image Supply/Shutterstock

Another great idea for a master closet is to create a joint space with the master bath. This makes getting ready easier as you can easily navigate between the bathroom and your clothes without going to a different part of your bedroom.

Small walk-in closet designs

You don’t need a huge space to have a walk-in closet. You can convert even a small space into a closet that offers a lot of storage space. Consider removing the closet doors to extend your bedroom and create the illusion of space and airiness.

Small walk in closet
Make the best out of your small closet | Photo by PhotoMavenStock/Shutterstock

Ikea closet design

Whether you’re looking for simple bedroom closet design ideas or a large closet accommodating everything from clothes and shoes to accessories and your favorite purses, Ikea has it all.

You can get a design consultation while at the store if you’re looking for closet door design ideas or how to design a small closet. There are many different closet organizers and closet shelf design ideas to choose from that will work in any modern closet.

Bedroom closet ideas

Create visual appeal by adding unique doors to your closet. Sliding barn doors are a great example of converting something simple into a feature in your bedroom.

Use sliding glass door to hide your closet
Use sliding doors for your closet | Photo by Hendrickson Photography/Shutterstock

If you’re short on space, consider getting a bed with storage so you can use it for storing clothes and other items. This solution extends your closet space into your bedroom and offers a chance for additional storage.

Bed with storage cubbies and shelves under the mattress
Maximize storage with under bed shelves | Photo by jan1982/Shutterstock

Wire closet design

These types of closets are made entirely of wire shelves. They are easy to install and offer versatile design options, from wrap-around shelves to hanging rods and shoe racks.

Wire shelving is an affordable and easy solution for any closet

Linen closet

A linen closet typically stores bedding, towels and other household linens. Linen closets can be freestanding or built-in, usually located in a hallway or close to a bedroom. They come in various sizes, shapes and styles but are normally smaller than regular closets.

Closet pantry design ideas

Pantries are used for storing food and culinary accessories, but their designs resemble a closet. You can have a walk-in pantry or a reach-in one, just like a closet. Both wired and wooden shelves are commonly used in pantries and can be staggered or lined across all walls and corners.

Pantries are very silmiar to closets and offer lots of storage solutions
Walk-in kitchen pantry | Photo by Sheila Say/Shutterstock

Wardrobe closet

A wardrobe closet is a storage unit typically used to store clothes. Wardrobe closets are usually freestanding and not tethered to the wall. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles. While they commonly store clothing, you can also use wardrobe closets to store other items such as linens, books and toys.

Seperate closet cabinets are a great storage solution for any room
Stand-alone closet | Photo by Scott-lee/Shutterstock

Creative closet ideas

Consider adding a clothes rack to your closet design if you're working with a small space or need additional hanging storage. Not only can a rack extend your closet, but you can also use it to plan out your outfits. Hang items to create different looks or plan to prepare for a trip. You can also use them for hanging laundry or steaming your clothes.

clothes rack with clothes on hangers
Small on space? Use a rack | Photo by Didecs/Shutterstock

Creative lighting can greatly affect how your closet looks and feels. While you can spruce up the space with a pendant or a chandelier, adding accent lighting to shelving units or inside cabinets can create ambiance and coziness in your closet. It also makes getting dressed and picking out clothes a lot easier.

Lighting in the closet makes finding clothes easier | Photo by B.Forenius/Shutterstock

California closet design ideas

California Closets is a closet design and installation company. These types of closets are luxurious, stylish and spacious. You can easily recreate one in your home with the right materials. Use lots of white shelving, drawers and racks with built-in lighting. Add glass doors and an island for accessories to complete the look.

California closets | Photo by Rachid Jalayanadeja/Shutterstock

Closet decorating ideas

Decorating your closet is a great way to make it feel like an extension of your home rather than just a storage space. Adding a fresh coat of paint or an accent wall can make a big difference in the look of your closet. Adding artwork or a nice rug can make it feel more like a room than a storage space. Choose ones that reflect your taste and style.


How do you lay out a small closet?

When it comes to small closet design, the key is to use every square inch of space, like installing shelves, shoe storage, hooks and racks on all available surfaces, including the door. Stack items on top of each other or hang them from the ceiling to utilize vertical space and get creative with storage. Use baskets, bins and containers to store smaller items and keep them organized.

How can I make my own walk-in closet?

If you're handy with tools and have some extra space in your home, you can easily design a small or a large walk-in closet with a few simple steps. After choosing a location for your walk-in closet, measure the space and decide on the layout. Before you start, check if permits are required for your project.

How do you design a closet layout?

Knowing what you need to store will help you choose the right layout. The type of clothes you have will determine what kind of storage you need. Ideas for closet design include racks, rods, shelves and storage boxes. When designing your closet layout, you need a mix of hanging space and storage for other items.

What is the best way to organize a closet?

There is no one "best" way to organize a closet. However, a few general tips can help you get started. Declutter your closet of clothes you no longer wear, shoes you never wear and any other items that are taking up space. Take inventory of what's left, list what's left and group them by category, then choose storage solutions for your space and budget.

How do you divide a closet space?

There are different ways to divide your closet space and organize your clothes. The most common solutions include the color approach (sorting clothes by color), the outfit approach (clothes grouped by outfits) and the classification approach (sorting clothes by function, like pants, shirts, dresses, etc.).

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