How the walk-in closet design came to be (And why you may want to do something similar if you’re on a budget)!
This is the story of a walk-in closet design. But more interesting, really, is the long, marital saga that surrounded the walk-in closet design.
Before I go into the planning of our closet design, if you’re looking these other closet related content posts, simply click the links below:
Our DIY Closet Reveal
65 Amazingly Helpful Closet Organization Ideas
How to Dismantle & Re-assemble Ikea Furniture For Moving
Let me start by saying…
My poor husband. I don’t know what he did to deserve me. But it must have been really bad.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a horrible person. I’m just a teensy-weensy bit challenging to deal with (at times). Once in a while, I can be a little too much like, I don’t know…I guess I’d call it slightly dictator-esque? There have been one or two, maybe 37,347 times that you could call my behavior “witchy”? Possibly unbearable bordering on intolerable.
I know…he’s a lucky man.
He’s such a nice person. It’s a shame to see him have to live this way. But look, before we get all sappy and start talking about what app you’ll be bringing to his pity-party, let’s remember, in all fairness…he signed up for this hell.
And isn’t that just the most amazing yet asinine thing about marriage? WE SIGN UP FOR THIS NONSENSE. Somehow, some way in our younger, doe-eyed, testosterone-plagued and estrogen-laced 20’s or 30’s we couldn’t WAIT to find “the one”. Sure, the stats weren’t the best, but who believes in data anymore, anyhow?
“For me, it’s going to be sunshine and smiles with fluttering eyelashes (that actually had mascara on them), daily love emails with heart-eye-emojis, monthly floral deliveries, anniversaries that are never forgotten, and snuggly-goodnight-kisses at the end of each dreamy day in marital bliss.”
Ahhh…we silly humans are so helplessly optimistic, aren’t we?
So when married, idiotic, optimist-me decided to ask Dave of what he thought we should do with this wasted space of a room we have over our garage, I felt that the decision was completely obvious. A no-brainer, really.
There’s the room, above…in all, it’s 16’ish by 16’ish, 1980’s-ugly glory.
This space is accessible ONLY by walking THROUGH our master bedroom. See that doorway in the shot below? Yes…the doorway sans door? The doorway through which you can see a random, solo chair hanging out all by it’s lonesome like high-school-me at a homecoming dance?
Yep, that’s the space.
Now before you say, “oh wow, that would make such a great nursery!” I’m gonna have to go Dr.-Evil ala-Austin-Powers on you and say “ZIP IT”.
While I concur that the space would, in fact, make a lovely nursery, we’ve been down that sleep-deprived road, not one, not two, but three times. It’s a lovely thought…for some other sucker. This sucker has been there, done that, had a great (and exhausting) time, but diapers are forever in this mama’s rearview.
Here’s a bit of a preview:
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Oh, and quickly, before we get into some lovely before shots, join 100,000+ other DIY lovers who follow us here at the nest. Signing up means instant access to all our private, members-only printable guides, tutorials, cheat sheets and more. And it’s completely free to join us. We’ll immediately send you our easy home decorating with Pinterest guide! Click that image below to get started now⤵
This is how it has looked for the past three years…A hodge-podge of otherwise homeless house goods.
Unpacked boxes and files,
Our retired nursery glider.
An old mattress, my favorite furniture rehab project EVER (that cowhide chair) which I sadly can’t find a great spot for.
Furniture that was sidelined when we completed our master bedroom makeover.
And a cute, but completely useless dormer area where we stored more of the crap we just didn’t know what to do with.
Soooo, beyond the insanity of the nursery idea, the NEXT most obvious utilization of this otherwise good-for-nothing space? Ladies? I know you’ll see it. This space is quite clearly…
The issue? Dave. Dave was the issue. Dave didn’t see “closet”. Dave saw “office”.
But Dave being the issue was merely the by-product of my big mistake, ladies. And I will share this mistake with you in the hopes that you may learn from your sister-in-arms’ failure. You see, I asked him for his opinion.
WTH was I thinking? I didn’t want his opinion! I wanted him to agree with my pre-determined, already mood-board-ed destiny of this magnificent master CLOSET.
ta-da! the walk in closet design
My bad. And this stupid question of mine was the opening battle in a war that would wage for the next TWO YEARS.
Two years of intermittent humphs and cold shoulders. Two years of tit-for-tat attempts to brainwash the other party and sway them to the other side. Salty commentary from a certain male who needed a “quiet place to work” followed by the rebuttal of a certain female reminding said male that he had a real OFFICE, outside of the home. One where he could drink coffee in the absence of refereeing sibling rivalry and stepping on dirty socks and Legos.
I tried the argument that a huge walk-in closet would yield a fantastic ROI when we sold the house. He’s an engineer after all. He likes mathy things and numbers. I know, gross. And still no dice.
He tried to frame his preference to use the space as an office as one that would be in my “best interests”. “I just want you to have a nice, designated spot to go and work at home,” he said. The office could be my “refuge” from the stormy-seas of stay-at-home-mom-hood. I declined. In my mind a “refuge” filled with file cabinets full of tax returns and piles of bills to be paid sounded more like a spot I’d like to take refuge FROM rather than to.
The stalemate continued.
But then…a breakthrough.
the toilet broke.
The toilet became a turning point. Suddenly, Dave realized that our master bathroom really needed to be renovated. And if we were going to renovate, he thought, then we might as well try and amp up the square footage of the bathroom (Dave is a master of “scope-creep”…projects that start out as a leaky toilet valve suddenly turn into full-blown remodeling projects with the reframing of walls and such).
Who was I to disagree? I am, after all, his sweet, compliant, adoring wife. Secretly, I was air-high-fiving the soon-to be-closet walls. Because “amping up the bathroom square footage” meant that Dave would be stealing that square footage from the area next to the bathroom. And that area was…our existing closet.
I was one battle shy of winning the war.
The nail in the office coffin? I told Dave that I would do my closet project on a super tight budget. Luckily, I’d been secretly plotting for months with my friends at Hayneedle, who were immediate fans of the closet plan. They’d sponsor the project by providing some amazing furnishings which I’ll be sharing with you soon.
I sold a bunch of furniture (and in that ⬅ post, I’ve shared tips and tricks to help you do the same if you’re not already) and home goods that we had decommissioned. That raised almost $1000.
But then…I stumbled onto the ultimate, inexpensive closet solution. Ikea closet systems…via Craigslist!
The Biggest Money-Saving Idea in our Walk-In Closet Design? Using Ikea wardrobes…secondhand!
When I told Dave we would save thousands of dollars by buying a wardrobe system piece-meal and secondhand, he was sold.
For $1600, we had scored over $5000 worth of closet system. Now subtract the $1000 I had earned by selling our un-needed furniture (yes, I realize this is fuzzy math, but I couldn’t possibly care less…I’m winning a battle here!), and we had only sunk $600 into a pretty large room remodel.
FINALLY, the lyin’, the bitchin’ and the wardrobe war had been won. I was one happy (and possibly just a bit smug), wife.
And I CANNOT WAIT to show you guys how it all came together! Click here to see the DIY closet reveal!
Oh, P.S. if you haven’t officially indoctrinated yourself into the flock, please do…we need more crazy birds like you 😉 Just click below.
I love this whole idea!!! Fun video; I’ll be watching for the rest…
Oh My Goodness!! I cannot WAIT to see the finished product!!! Looks fabulous so far!