How To Create Your Dream Closet

I posted about my walk-in closet several months ago, but I still receive emails with DIY questions or a reader simply asking where I bought a certain pair of heels. Since then, I’ve added a few more elements along the way and have composed a list containing my top tips for creating your dream closet.

DIY Closet 003

Use the same type of hangers. Not only is it much more visually appealing, but it also helps to save space. Opt for hangers that will work with all materials; I personally prefer wooden ones as they don’t snag crochet tops, and silk tanks don’t slip. I like these hangers which I found at Target for about a dollar a piece.

Hang a full-length mirror. Rather than having to stand on a step-stool in order to see my entire outfit in the bathroom mirror, I hung a full-length mirror behind my door so that it is hidden, yet still practical. I adjusted it to my height, then raised it in case I were to be wearing heels.

DIY Closet 007

{A full length mirror makes trying on outfits easy; a collection of necklaces is hung on a decorative hook}

Utilize shelving. Shelves are the best option for shoes and handbags. One or two shelves can be easily installed above the racks in your closet; store out-of-season items there since they may be hard to reach. To preserve the shape of your boots and large purses, stuff them with tissue paper while they are not in use (leather riding boots can become slouchy if they’re not standing up straight!).

DIY Closet 010

{Shelves house sky-high heels, oversized handbags, and hats}

Make storage functional and decorative. There’s nothing pretty about white plastic hooks or clear Rubbermaid containers. My scarves are kept on a brass three-prong hook and extra hair products are kept in old Tory Burch shoeboxes. Feeling artistic? You can purchase wooden or paper boxes from a local craft store and paint unique designs yourself.

DIY Closet 013

{An array of scarves are are kept on hooks; old shoeboxes serve as storage}

Keep it comfy. My sisters and I almost always ask for each other’s opinions on outfit options, so I wanted to have a chaise lounge where they could sit while offering suggestions. If space is limited, a small bench is a great option.


Your day-to-day beauty products should be easily accessible. To cut back on primping time in the morning, my most frequently used cosmetics are set out on my vanity table. I’m never scrambling to find my favorite mascara or accidentally putting lotion in my hair instead of Moroccan oil.

DIY Closet 002

{A vanity table is where luscious lashes and just-got-back-from-St. Barts faux tans are created}

DIY Closet 011

{A lacquer tray keeps cosmetics organized}

Jewelry should be separated. When I’m in a rush, I like to be able to choose my accessories quickly. Watches, rings, and bracelets are kept in bowls (I found mine at Anthropologie) while necklaces are hung to avoid tangling.


{A painted bowl keeps track of the time}


Closet System: Martha Stewart Living, $160+

Chaise Lounge: IKEA, $300

Vanity Table: Goodwill

Wooden Chair: Goodwill

Metal Mirror: Marshalls, $80

Chevron Rug: Hand-painted

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44 Responses to How To Create Your Dream Closet

  1. Awesome closet! However, what do I do if I don’t have a walk-in closet? I have a double door wall closet. I have purchased a standard hanging closet organizer but I’m not sure how to organize it. It also has two shelves over the closet hanger bar. I will send you a picture what it looks like when I get home. I was just curious because I totally need to revamp my wardrobe and I definitely want to show it off when I am finished. :-) ttyl

    • Thanks, Katie! If you want to email me a picture (, I will help you as best as I can! In the meantime, I highly suggest going through your clothes and getting rid of anything that is old or unwanted. Keep the basics and “fun purchases,” but donate anything that is unlikely to be worn. Put pieces that you frequently wear towards the center of your closet, and out of season items towards the far sides.

  2. I’m in love.

    Unfortunately, I’ll never have a closet (or even room!) that size. Oh the joys of city living…

  3. I am having to revamp my closet due to Baby H needing my current closet. Bummer. I’m not having much success scaling back on things! …..Maybe I should add on a room to the house?! ;)

  4. Pamela says:

    I LOVE this post! Your closet looks amazing. You did such a great job!! :)

  5. Caitlin says:

    I love your closet!! You did an amazing job. :))

  6. I love all of your ideas! I recently discovered the amazingness that is “jewelry dishes.” It is such a fun and pretty way to store jewelry on a dresser! You are such a talented decorator! I have such a hard time figuring out how to create a unified “look” that is still comfy and practical-LOVE!!!

    • Thanks, Sally Anne! Honestly, to me, decorating a room is like putting an outfit together. I find a source of inspiration (usually a large piece, but sometimes something as simple as a picture frame) and I go from there. I even figure out the small details before key pieces at times–I STILL haven’t found a dresser for my bedroom!!

  7. Susie says:

    Girl, this is outrageous–Fantastic job!

  8. Oh my gosh, Colleen, your closet is my dream closet! I’m so jealous – it’s so pretty and organized! Plus, I love all the colors! Thanks for the organizational advice – now I want to go clean my room!

  9. magda says:

    Where did you purchase the Closet system?

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  11. I want your closet and all of your jewelry!!

  12. I agree- your closet is amazing, as is everything you have in it. :)

  13. Really amazing design, and fantastic, functional tips!

  14. Nieszka says:

    love your closet! you did such a good job. love the organization and all the colors. I recently did a similar closet in the extra room in our house. Have some photos on my blog. Doesn’t it make life a lot easier!!? I still have to dress up the room a bit and add some shelves for the shoes, but overall I love it! Great job girl! :) :)

  15. Nicky says:

    I’m thinking about buying this closet system but I’ve read a few reviews saying it doesn’t hold up well and it is hard to assemble and also that the dimensions are not all the same. Would you agree?

    • I disagree, actually! When I was in the process of choosing a closet system, I did a lot of research and compared different brands. I knew that I did not want wire racks, so that eliminated several systems. I ultimately chose between the Martha Stewart piece and a system from Ikea. I really like Ikea’s products, but I’ve had a history with their pressed wood pieces falling apart. The Martha Stewart system is pressed wood as well–as is all systems at this price point. The system was installed less than a year ago so I can’t comment on its long term durability, but I do think it’s a quality piece at an affordable price. As for the dimensions, I will say that I did a LOT of measuring to avoid mistakes. The length is customizable up to 8 feet, but I had a 10-foot wall so I centered the system. If you have a smaller space, it would be a lot easier to adjust. I followed the directions exactly, though I did drill some extra holes to help keep the end panels in place. I hope this helps! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. You can also email me at

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  21. Kelley says:

    What color paint did you use?

  22. blushpearls says:

    wow.. great closet ideas! i love how you put them all so chic together… good job! :)


  23. lauren says:

    this is amazing i have an office in my house that i was thinking about doing this to because my closet just doesnt have enough room and my bathroom has no counter space to do my makeup.

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  27. teele says:

    So adorbs! If your closet was a man would you marry it?

  28. Ann says:

    This is my next project! Your pictures are beautiful – and will help my husband, because he is going to build it for us. First I need to purge some clothing – then we’ll start this spring. Your room is just awesome – enjoy !

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