Closet Makeover, Tour & Tips!


When I shared our home empty home tour I mentioned that this is my first ever walk-in closet and that it’s life changing, right?  So it’s probably no surprise at all that the first room in the whole house to be fully decorated is MY CLOSET!  {monkey covering mouth emoji and twins doing high kick emoji with abandon right beside it}  I couldn’t wait to get my paws on this space and turn it into my absolute dream closet!  And in doing so I realized a few things about a dream closet- you have luxuries that a regular closet doesn’t afford- the space to make it as functional as it is pretty and to have things like CLOSET KITS!  So below, a tour of my finished closet, what I did to make it my own, and tips for dream closet must-haves!  I hope you love!

Sources:  Sheepskin rug (currently out of stock but will be back in shortly here), light, gold hardware (out of stock but will also be back in stock soon here…in the meantime, I also love these), laundry hampers, ottoman, copper waste bin, storage baskets (here and here), velvet jewelry display boxes, velvet ring holders, acrylic bracelet stands, “closet kit” organizer tray, copper sunglass tray (similar), books: here, here, and here, handbags: here, here, here, here, here, and here, our wedding photos  {if there’s something you see that I didn’t credit, ask me in the comments- I tried to think of everything but might have missed a thing or two!}


Well, I’m going to start by confessing that I come in here randomly during my work day and lay on the sheepskin rug which is insanely soft/cozy and look around at all the lovely things and pinch myself.  I never dreamed I would have a closet like this, it wasn’t even on our wishlist for a house- it just sort of happened.  But I only hadn’t dreamed it because I didn’t know how good it could be!!!!  Getting dressed every day is like a playdate with my closet!  I took a lot of time organizing when we moved in, and then again before I photographed it, to make it as functional and pretty as I could.

The first thing I did was modify what I think of as the bones- the lighting, the hardware and the floor.  I wanted a crystal light fixture because- well this is the epitome of girliness and every other space in the house I take Lou into consideration when I’m designing, but this was a GIRLY FREE-FOR-ALL and I was determined to take full advantage.  The light makes rainbows when the sun hits it and at night it’s the softest, most romantic light (you know, for my dates with the closet).  Next up I wanted to replace the chrome hardware with something that would make the cabinetry feel more my style.  Shiny brass pulls were my answer to that!  And then the rug.  I only ever considered one rug- a giant sheepskin to add the warmth and cozy luxe-ness that the space so needed!



I went back and forth about how to sort my shoes- by color, by style (closed toed, open toed, by heel height, etc) but ultimately I decided on a bit of a combo. Heel height, shoe type and color.  It was a lot of pulling shelves out and changing shelving height- which was a bit maddening, but SO worth it.  Just looking at the shoes makes me happy and like I’m shopping at a boutique full of ALL THE SHOES I LOVE MOST! * use these to keep your boots upright and maintain their shape


I applied a similar approach to clothing.  I sorted my tops by sleeve length, and then color.  Long dresses and rompers all hang in the back on one rack and sweaters are on the opposite rack in the very back.  Since I wear denim more than anything, I sorted those by color and kept them front and center.  Another rack holds my short skirts, shorts, and non-denim pants.  Short dresses/rompers get a rack of their own as well.

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Now that everything is sorted and has it’s place I’m going to apply a one-in one-out rule to things the areas that are full.  Like the denim rack.  If a new pair comes in, a pair has to leave.  This will keep me from over-consuming and keep the room organized and manageable.  I’ve walked into giant closets that felt overwhelmingly stuffed full that I couldn’t wait to get out of!  I want my closet to stay clean, organized, and just the right amount of full.

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Just like in our last home I’m using velvet jewelry display trays for the pieces I wear the most often.  Having them out inspires me visually and also keeps me on top of my accessory game! The pieces I wear less often are stored in stackable trays in the drawers below.  And I love the acrylic bracelet stands for the same reason.  I hung favorite necklaces on the wall with the tiniest nails I could find to keep them out and front in center when I’m dressing. And lastly, living in San Diego means sunglasses are an every-day thing.  So I keep them out and ready to grab and go! I store a sunglass case in each handbag and the extras in shoe boxes on the top shelf with other miscellaneous items that need containing.

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I used baskets to store my belts, bikinis and scarves.  Belts and scarves are more occasional use items for me but I want them organized and ready to go when I need them!  This is the perfect solution for my closet, and they sit neatly tucked in the cubbies below my hanging clothes in the back of the closet.


The above is what I was talking about when I mentioned having a closet kit!  The tray contains pretty much everything I need to have on hand for closet emergencies/use- a lint roller, safety pins, all of the misc. buttons and heel replacements that come with clothes/shoes, earring backs, a jewelry polish cloth, scissors for cutting tags/stray threads, a pouch that stores a bunch of little pouches for keeping jewelry organized when traveling, and needles & thread for sewing buttons or small repairs.  BOOM!  I feel like my inner closet nerd just had her shining moment.  BUT, there’s more still!

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The room is too small to really have any sort of chair situation that makes sense, but having a place to sit while putting on shoes is just the kind of luxury I was looking forward to in this space, so this ottoman was my choice!  It’s also perfect for me to step up on to reach the tippity top shelves where I store travel bags and items like a steamer that I don’t need to access every day. And rather than fill all of the possible racks with clothes I removed the bottom rack beside the denim rack and have two large hampers so I can separate my colors/whites and there’s never an excuse to dump clothes on the floor (I have since found that bad habits die hard- and excuses are a dime a dozen.  But the intention is there and those baskets will save me from many a pile of clothes!)


A few last tips:  having a waste bin in your closet for misc handbag emptying, tag removal, and plastic bags/paper from online shopping is a majorly helpful thing.  If you’re limited on space consider removing items that are seasonal and storing them until needed someplace else.  And last but not least- it’s smart to commit to seasonal evaluations to purge what’s no longer needed and make sure you don’t end up with clothes that you wouldn’t wear to the apocalypse.  I go by the rule- if it’s been more than a year without wear it’s gotta go!  And I save sentimentality for photo and greeting card hoarding- and make sure I’m not holding onto clothes, shoes and bags for any reason other than the specific intention to wear them.  I hope all of this was helpful and inspirational for your own closet!  If you need me I’ll be in here, rolling around on the rug and dreaming about finishing the rest of the house!  xx- Sarah

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Reader Comments

  1. Sara @ Cake Over Steak|

    I love this! Your closet seems so dreamy and girly in the best way. Also, I want all of your shoes and handbags – especially some of those ankle booties! Ah! Thanks for satisfying my Type A nerd self today.

  2. Kayleigh|

    This is a super weird/random question, but what are the dimensions or sq footage of the closet? I have a small walk-in space in my new house, and I’m really stumped as to whether I need to live with the (very old) existing organization of sad, intersecting (???) hanging bars, or of I can revamp it to be more organized like this. Closet design for some reason is completely baffling for me.

    • Sarah Yates|

      It’s approximately 7X10 ft. I vote REVAMP! Getting dressed is usually one of the first things you do every day, even if it’s just putting on a robe or pajamas. Doing so in a space that’s beautiful and inspiring is BEYOND amazing. It’s my first time experiencing it and I’ve lived in so many houses with so many closet situations- and it’s seriously ridiculously special to have a space like this. So if you can make it happen, I promise you won’t regret it! And if you need help, there are professional closet organizers and I think Ikea has closet systems that you can design in the store to fit your space. Good luck with whatever you decide! xx

  3. Ivy|

    Oh man, this is lustworthy. Would you mind sharing where those black ankle boots with the black-and-white geometric pattern on top are from? I think I need them very, very badly.

    • Sarah Yates|

      Thanks Ivy! They’re Matt Bernson, from a couple seasons ago. Sadly no longer available and I just scoured ebay for you but no dice. Sorry, I hate when that happens! :(

  4. Patricia|

    Great job Sarah :) I’ve turned one of our tiny bedrooms into a closet as well and I love it! I still need to paint it, but it’s already such a pleasure to have everything organized!

  5. H Johns|

    Well Done! All the necessary elements to create a PERFECT closet. I am currently doing something similar… took EVERYTHING out of my closet and putting back a little each day to create an organized feel. I changed the pulls and want to change my light – was that hard for you to do? Did you change the fixture yourself or hire someone?

    • Sarah Yates|

      Thanks so much! Oh I like your approach to emptying and putting back day by day! I’ll probably do the same with this space someday down the road when it needs a good reorganization or purge!
      Lou changed the light out – and no it was not hard to do. But if you’re not familiar with electrical work I would recommend hiring a professional (or at least doing some thorough research beforehand from a trusted source!) :) Good luck! xx

  6. Anett|

    What a wonderful space! I complete understand the urge to roll around on the sheepskin rug and admire your wardrobe! In my last flat, I transformed the spare bedroom into a huge walk-in closet and in the beginning, I would just wander in there and admire the wonderful setup and beautiful clothes. The shoe shelves were especially appealing. Now I live in a smaller flat and have wardrobes all over the place, each brimming with clothing. Regularly, I clear out items that I don’t see myself wearing again, but I don’t want to get rid of classic items that are in great shape. I long for the day that I once again can have a decent-sized walk-in closet and have the complete overview of my treasured wardrobe!

    Anett | Tall Girl’s Fashion

  7. Maliha Talib|

    Love how this beauty turned out! Would you mind sharing which closet kits you used to pull this together?

  8. candice|

    Hi there – beautiful closet! what are the white studded pumps you have in the second photo? Love them!