Closet organization doesn’t always mean sacrificing personal touches

Chris Van Pelt and his wife, Penny, knew what they wanted for their bedroom closet: the ability to actually see what they have.

He and his wife had been living in their house for 25 years, with two 8-by-10-foot walk-in closets. As their family grew and the years passed, they started running out of places to put things. They decided to remodel the home and create a functional closet with more features. “We wanted it to be a room that … you actually enjoyed being in, even though it was your closet,” Van Pelt says.

The Van Pelts worked with designer Felicity Dupont at Inspired Closets BR to craft their dream space: one with dark walls and hardwood floors. For a personal touch, they added a glasstop vanity, which Van Pelt, who is a glasswork expert with M&M Glass Company, commissioned himself.

Van Pelt did research before deciding on the black color scheme. “It looks very elegant, but it’s not over the top,” he says. “And with the gold accents, the first thing you think is New Orleans Saints.”

The closet is now exceptionally organized with nearly every shoe and every stitch of clothing right there in plain sight. When Chris and Penny enter their closet now, they can see everything, just as they had always wanted. “I think it looks like us,” he says. “It looks like me and Penny.”



Declutter: Unused items in the closet have got to go.

Don’t put long items in the middle of the rack: Maxi dresses or evening gowns in the middle of a clothing rack surrounded by shorter items can give the illusion of less space and look disorganized.

Move least worn items to the corners: Clothes that aren’t worn often, like formalwear, should move to the corners of to make space for the clothes and items you wear most often. Don’t give them prime real estate.

Keep it within reach: If you can’t reach the racks, Inspired Closets recommends trying to lower them. If that’s not doable, though, definitely don’t put items you use frequently up on a high shelf.

Use felt hangers: They’re sleek, stylish, and don’t take up as much space as their clunkier plastic counterparts. Pro tip: They’re also super affordable on Amazon.

Choose your color scheme according to size: If you have a larger closet, you can experiment with darker cabinet and wall colors, as Chris did with his black walls. If you have a medium or small closet, it’s best to stick with lighter colors, which tend to open up the space.

This article was originally published in the 225 Extra: 2018 Spaces & Places issue. Click here to read more articles from this issue.