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Photo courtesy of Ricardo Bofill

The 10 Chicest Ways to Organize Your Closet

These insider designer tips will make the closet your favorite room in the house.
Roxanne Robinson Jul 20, 2020
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One doesn’t have to be part of the fashion cognoscenti to enjoy the benefits of a well-organized closet. Getting dressed is a crucial element to getting any day off to a great start. It’s also a place where, if the ingredients are placed just so, a world of imagination can spring from one’s wardrobe. The key to creating a magical space for choosing daily armor is organization. 

What if that spacious walk-in closet is shared with a better half? His and Hers or any combo of the above, there are ways to make the space chic and clutter-free for two all while expressing the home’s personality.

While a typical closet organization conjures up images of stacking clear plastic storage bins, a more organic and creative approach allows for a space that claims equal curatorial bragging rights with the other rooms in the home. While the old rule of thumb insisted on matching storage bins, these days a finely-coordinated mix of bins, baskets, boxes, bowls, and trays elevate pieces in a system that looks as good as it functions. Leather bins with dividers, feather-weight jute roomy baskets, or glass-top boxes adds intrigue to an otherwise boring task.

But first, consider the space itself. There are many tricks to creating an envy-inducing closet. Color and lighting are two key concepts to embrace and in which to invest. White and light wood grains have been classic go-to’s; but, how about a bright, striking hue of blue, red, or even pink? In a lacquer finish, paint treatments can be particularly powerful in lighting up space. Color is also an excellent way to delineate between separate areas in a couple’s closet. Be sure to choose complementary shades.

Lighting is also a vital consideration as most closet spaces, by definition, don’t contain a window and therefore tend to be dimly lit. Whether it’s a dramatic lighting fixture that refers to the design mood reflected throughout the rest of your home, or, recessed spotlights for optimal visibility, the functionality of an organized closet is heightened through crisp and carefully-chosen lighting. Install light bulbs with natural light emission for optimal results.

Furniture also plays a role in the organized closet. A folding island replete with drawers provides a space to style outfits, but it’s also a great place to display smaller objects like jewelry boxes that double as objet d’art, as does a favorite watch artfully displayed within a leather watch winder box. Bowls and tray styles also come with glass lids to artfully showcase a world of curiosities while keeping dust at bay.

Open shelf space in closets is equally important as is hanging space. It’s here that bins, baskets, and boxes can really help to curate the space. Shelving is generally a more-the-merrier concept, best implemented from floor-to-ceiling and any nook or cranny in between, such as novel or unexpected corner shelving. When using a mix of containers, a long wall of open shelving allows for rearranging to suit a mood or specific season. Case in point, recent months may have brought loungewear and exercise clothes to the forefront of closets, while cooler months may call for a reorganization of containers to accommodate heavier wardrobe-essentials.

One place uniformity is undebatable is hangers, which are a powerful tool in pulling together an array of different items of clothing and lending an overall sense of cohesion to a closet organization. The most luxurious options on the market are leather-covered hangers. Arranging by color and article of clothing type is also a good idea though some more adventurous spirits arrange according to mood and style of dress. A Western hub or Twenties-inspired section? Why not?

In the spirit of treating this room like any other, accents serve both practical and stylistic needs. Mirrors, decorative hooks, rugs, a plush settee to lounge on or chic valet to drape a favorite jacket or even photographs, are unexpected ways to organize and appoint a well-curated closet while still giving this oft-overlooked space an impressive makeover.

Roxanne Robinson
Roxanne Robinson is an award-winning Paris-based American journalist covering luxury and fashion industries with over 25 years of experience. I spent over 18 years at WWD, covering sportswear, accessories and fine jewelry. My career witnessed the shift from print media to the digital age. I gained expert knowledge of the design world, wholesale and retail markets as well as the marketing that supports them. I met endless creatives and business people who create luxury from inception to POS with the consumer. My work has appeared in Forbes.com, BoF, The Hollywood Reporter, CRFashionbook.com, The Jewelry Journal as well in-house publications and websites at Bally, Pomellato, Au Depart and Editorialist.com among others.
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