Our “Real Simple” Closet Makeover

I was reading my latest issue of Real Simple Magazine, about two months ago. I saw an article about re-organizing a front closet. It had before and after pictures from the makeover. I’ve been telling Angry Husband for awhile now, that I want to re-do our hallway coat closet. I knew that the space could be re-done and made more useful. At this point, it was a gathering place for wrapping paper, coats, our vacuum, and random junk. Isn’t everyone’s closet like this?

I knew that WE (Angry Husband, BFF Stacey, and me) could accomplish this project. I knew that it would not be very costly. It really wasn’t complicated, but add in very busy schedules, and that’s why, I’m posting the final results over a month later.

At the beginning of November, I posted my “before” photograph. This is when the project began. I started by cleaning out the closet. I took several items to the Goodwill and Salvation Army.

<span class=Before Picture of Closet

In mid-November, I posted some sneak previews of the paint in the closet. Stacey came over for the day and painted the closet. I’m totally allergic to paint, and doing anything creative like painting. The paint color is Valspar Jalapeño Jelly 6005-6A in semi-gloss, which is found at Lowes. We went through a gallon of paint, because the closet probably had never been painted since house was built, seriously. We took out the shelf and the bar in the closet before it was painted. We also took off the door to the closet to make it a little easier to paint.

<span class=Closet After Shelf and Bar Were Removed, Plus Paint Added

I got an idea in my head, as usual. I decided that the closet needed some lighting. Do I know anything about electrical work? Umm, no..that’s what Angry Husband is for. We went back and forth with all these complex ideas for electrical work in the closet. We ended up going with the simple route. He installed a recessed light in the closet ($15), and he tied (wired) it into the recessed lights in our hallway. You have to turn the hallway lighting on, to get the closet light to work. By doing this, we did not have to install light switches, etc…You like how I say, “We”!

<span class=Recessed Light in Ceiling of Closet

I then made a few trips to Ikea, Home Depot, and Lowes for supplies for this project. I added my own touches to the original project from the magazine. I did use the Expedit shelf from Ikea. I looked around for other “similar” shelves, but this shelf was perfect for our closet size. Angry Husband cut out some of the molding in the closet to place the shelf unit firmly against the wall. He also secured it to the wall with mounting brackets provided with the unit when purchased.

<span class=The Closet with Expedit Shelf in Place

I found a piece of melamine at Home Depot to use for the shelf. The shelf was held up and supported by pre-primed molding also found at Home Depot. The white metal clothing rod was purchased at Lowes. It was very long and Angry Husband had to cut it to size. The clothing rod was held into place with a flange setfound at Lowes. After everything was in place, Angry Husband painted the molding used to hold up the melamine shelf white (not pictured).

<span class=Closet After Melamine Shelf and Closet Rod Were Installed (Various Views)

<span class=Closet Showing the Expedit Shelf, The Melamine Shelf, and The Clothing Rod

I wanted to place baskets on the Expedit shelves like in the original picture. I did not like the baskets that they used. I improvised and took (3) baskets from Angry Toddler’s bedroom. We are in the process of re-organizing his room and toys. He had (3) perfect wicker Medium Sabrina Baskets from Pottery Barn Kids. I will do a post later showing what I placed in the baskets. I placed our coats back in the closet. I also placed my gym bag, Angry Toddler’s backpack, my camera bag, and various other items on the shelves. I still haven’t decided what to put on the top shelf. I think the vacuum needs to be accessible, so it also went back into the closet.

<span class=Finished Closet with All Our Stuff (Door Removed)

After the closet was pretty much finished, I had another idea…must modify, right? I wanted to add some hooks to the inside of the closet door. I’m always looking for my purse. I don’t know why I’m always looking for it. I now put my purse inside the closet, when I get home. Therefore, it also prevents Angry Toddler from digging into my purse. I got the rack (hooks) from Target.

<span class=Closet with Door Back On, and Coat Rack on Interior of Door

I hope this step-by-step process of our closet makeover helps or inspires someone. It took awhile to get it completed. I think I made a pretty good Project Manager. I’m not very handy, but I always have great ideas. Or maybe it’s just the Project ADD….
79 comments
closets Bergen
closets Bergen

This is really an amazing project. We have the same hallway closet and it is also screaming for a revamp. Although not much stuff is stored there, I guess we can also make it more useful! I think I will go for a turquoise for the backdrop. Thank you for sharing this post.

Michelle @first date etiquette
Michelle @first date etiquette

I particularly like the green shade you chose. It must be so much more of a pleasure to look into your closet now. I am in the process of optimizing my home space too- thanks, you guys make it look easy and quite simple. Great job!

Shaba
Shaba

I came across your blog as I was looking into lighting for my coat closet. I like your idea, however, there's one problem...you broke electrical code with the style of lighting you chose!! It's a fire hazard, and illegal to have an exposed light of any kind in a closet. You must use a recessed light with a cover. There's also a lot of info in regards to how far it has to be from the wall and the trim, etc etc. Please re-evaluate the light you chose to prevent a fire by you or the next homeowner! :)

Jennifer
Jennifer

What a great re-do. My closet looks to be about the same size and I have the same problems.

Ceilidh
Ceilidh

What did you use to attach the rod to the Expedit?? I found our blog months ago when I was looking for a picture of what I had in mind for my kid's closets and found you...and now I am paranoid to attach the rod to the side! ;) (I have the 2 x 4 with a rod above and now want to put a short rod on one side too) Thanks...your closets look FAB!!

Becky@OrganizingMadeFun
Becky@OrganizingMadeFun

Oh, it must make you smile everytime you open up that closet to see it neat and tidy, PLUS a cheery green color! I love it...I love Ikea stuff too! Great job! Becky B. www.organizingmadefun.blogspot.com Organizing Made Fun

Marie Cole
Marie Cole

You did a awesome makeover on your hall closet. You have some great management skills and ideas. ;)))

NightingaleDdancer
NightingaleDdancer

I Love the colour! And yes, the vacume cleaner must ALWAYS be acessable...if one wants to ever have the motivation to vacume. Fun post, it would be such fun (in theory) to do up your own place..sigh..one day.! Happy SITS day.. if but belated...Cant get my Australian timing right!

Simply Me
Simply Me

what a difference its made ...its a great idea too . happy sits day !!

SharleneT
SharleneT

What a great job. It's so very colorful. Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea...AND, happy SITS day!

joann mannix
joann mannix

Wow, what a difference! The color is so beautiful and talk about organization! Great job. Over from SITS. Congratulations on your big day. And by the way, your blog is adorable. Love the look.

Young Wife
Young Wife

Stopping by from SITS. I love this closet! Real Simple is one of my favorite magazines. We just moved from Dallas to South Jersey, so I'll probably be doing some major organizing soon. Thanks for the inspiration.

Heather
Heather

You have the BEST closet remodels! I had to show my husband the closet you did for Angry Kid - I love it! And this one is just as great! I am inspired to re-do my entry closet now too!

Imogen
Imogen

Ah, closets... I had to paint my bedroom one when I moved in (which was far from a pleasant experience, may I add) and also did a bit of re-organising about a year ago. It was quite a rewarding experience, my end result was not half as impressive as yours, though...That colour looks AMAZING! Great work! Looking forward to getting inspired by more, similar posts ;)

Rene W.
Rene W.

Woo Hoo! I LOVE that :) It's right up my ally... the color of green is fantastic - great job!

zeemaid
zeemaid

ooh I love it. especially the bold color. Why should closets be blah? Definitely has given me some ideas. I so love your purse hanger idea. Only we have folding doors on our closets but still. Why not put a hook inside the closet. Great photos! Happy SITS day!

Scraps
Scraps

What a great paint color--I really like that it contrasts with the surroundings and looks great with the white against it. Bravo!

LisaDay
LisaDay

Very impressive. It's a great magazine. Happy SITS day. LisaDay

Terry
Terry

Real Simple is my favorite magazine and i love how you actually did one of their projects! it inspires me to stare at my closet and think......

Rita/Fighting Off Frumpy
Rita/Fighting Off Frumpy

Ohhh, I LOVE it! Photos of organized space are like porn to me ... unfortunately, also like porn, it hardly happens in my real life. ;) Great job on the closet!

Date Girl
Date Girl

I love the new closet! I think every closet should come with lighting. Why don't contractors put them in? Great job. I just recently organized my closets, but because it's a rental I couldn't paint or put in lighting, sigh. Happy Sits day!

Debby Carroll
Debby Carroll

Wow, even your before closet makes my coat closet looks like crap. You can imagine how I feel after seeing the "after" photos! Nice to "virtually" meet you and happy SITS day!

Bethany
Bethany

Oh my, now you're giving me the bug just in time for spring cleaning. The color itself made such a huge difference. If I spend too much time in Lowe's, I will want to redo everything!

Laura
Laura

Looks good. When would you like to come makeover my closet? My hall closet (catch all for jackets, blankets & stuff) really needs a makeover. Happy SITS Day!

Sherri @ Luv a Bargain
Sherri @ Luv a Bargain

WOW...that looks amazing!!! I love the green:) I so need to re-organize ALL of my closets. They are ridiculously overflowing. You may have just encouraged me to get moving.

Tiffany
Tiffany

that's a huge difference! I love the use of color too.

Glenna
Glenna

your before closet didn't look as bad as mine. After seeing your "after" I am beginning think about doing some spring cleaning.

Yummy Mummy
Yummy Mummy

It looks awesome! I remember that story from Real Simple. At the time I wished I had a front closet to re-organize, but we just have a coat rack inside the front door.

Mommie Daze
Mommie Daze

That looks great! I have several closets that look like the before picture at my house.

Melissa @CelluliteInvestigation
Melissa @CelluliteInvestigation

oooh, you've inspired me to paint our closet a fun color. We're moving into a new house today and I feel a lot of Project Manager opportunities coming my way!

Katie L.
Katie L.

AWESOME! You did an excellent job on everything!

Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity
Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity

Why oh why did you do this post? Now, I have the itch to redo my front closet. Hubs is not going to be happy . . . but I sure will. Great job!

JDaniel4's Mom
JDaniel4's Mom

The paint in the back of the closer looks great! Love the shelves.

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry"
Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry"

That is a great looking closet! Good job! It is convenient to have a handy husband. My dad could do things like that but being handy is not one of my husband's strengths. I'd have to call Handyman Connection to so something like this. Congrats on your SITS day!

Fiona
Fiona

TOTALLy inspired... in fact, I'm on a roll with house projects and I think this one will be next!

Laura in Cancun
Laura in Cancun

oh my gosh... love love love the color!! Must use it in my own apartment. And the shelves! so chic! Way to go :)

Sandi
Sandi

Stopping by from SITS.. All I have to say is that your "before" looks better than my does now.. ouch... :) Great job on the functionality.. I love the colors

BlissfulBabe
BlissfulBabe

I love the idea of adding color in the closet! Makes it so much more exciting to go in there, and I don't mean exciting as in an adventure-that-may-fall-on-your-head exciting, either!! I wouldn't have thought of that, myself!

Christie Love
Christie Love

This professional organizer gives your closet makeover a two thumbs up! Great use of space! Happy SITS day.

ClosetMaster
ClosetMaster

Dear Angry Julie, Your closet makeover turned out well, I always like to paint the closet walls the same color as the room it's in. That way it doesn't seem to be an orphan child but an actual 'cared about' space.

Julie {Angry Julie}
Julie {Angry Julie}

Seriously, I love how organized this closet keeps me. I have a place for everything.

Julie {Angry Julie}
Julie {Angry Julie}

We used a round metal circular thing. It was in the closet organizing section at Lowe's. It was the same piece that you use to mount regular closet poles onto the walls and drywall. He also pre-drilled the holes before finally drilling them in.

Angry Julie
Angry Julie

I hoped to encourage people with my closet design. It was so simple and I love being organized.

Angry Julie
Angry Julie

Ahhh thanks! The closet is really small before, so I couldn't put that many things in there. After re-doing it, I can put a ton of things in there in the baskets and shelves.

Angry Julie
Angry Julie

I saw that story on the closet and instantly I knew I had to do it. I just had to convince my husband that we, I mean he could do it.

Angry Julie
Angry Julie

I read a ton of home improvement and project blogs. I always have tons of ideas, but the time and money are hard to find for these projects.

Angry Julie
Angry Julie

Thanks so much!! I love that green. In the Real Simple photos it looked super bright but in my house it was much calmer.

Angry Julie
Angry Julie

Thank you...we have a tiny house so we need all the storage that we can get. The closet was a fun project.

Angry Julie
Angry Julie

Ohhh I love professional organizers!! Thanks your compliment means a lot to me.