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Walk in Closets - So much more exciting than a beer fridge

Posted by: Heidi Nyline

Have you seen the Heineken commercial where the woman shows off her newly renovated walk in closet while her husband shows his buddies his giant Heineken cooler, both inciting squeals of delight from their friends? I dream of one day owning a dressing room that resembles the one the women squeal over, but could you really get that excited about a giant fridge? I don't think so. Even if they filled it with cheese instead of beer.

However, there is something very luxurious about a beautiful, organized, spacious closet. Never mind the fact it can be a big selling feature when it comes to putting your house on the market. Updating your closet can give you immediate gratification as well as a good return on your investment for a much cheaper cost than say, renovating a kitchen.

Euro-Rite closet in chocolate pear. I love the corner unit that totally maximizes space. By painting the back wall in a darker colour would create more of a fully walled wardrobe look instead of shelves. Benjamin Moore Bittersweet Chocolate (2114-10) would be a good match.

There are a ton of different options for closet shelving systems. Home Depot has a wide variety of customized closets to look at. I have even seen pretty decent ones at Sears that are fairly easy do it yourself style kits. At the high end of the market is California Closets, which can range from veneer to solid wood faces.

Another option to explore is a company called Euro-Rite. Euro-Rite is a Canadian manufacturer of ready to assemble cabinets and they have a great line of custom closet solutions that come in two colours, chocolate pear or antique white. You give them dimensions and they will design your closet with you and provide mockup pictures of what it will look like. My closet is Euro-Rite in chocolate pear and I love it but I will say this, you need the right tools and some basic carpentry skill to assemble this yourself because there will be a bit of cutting involved. Lucky me, I have a dad that is awesome for this stuff.

Before you start with the installation of the shelves, consider the wall colour in your closet.
Before you start with the installation of the shelves, consider the wall colour in your closet (you knew there was going to be a painting connection somewhere in this). The colour of your closet walls will definitely impact the final look of your closet. Are there backs to the closet components you are installing or will you see the wall colour? By painting the walls in a colour similar to colour of the shelving you are installing, you will help create the illusion that the closets have a backing and it look more like a wardrobe than a shelf.

Another option is to carry the paint colour from your bedroom into the closet. Paint the walls around the closet system to frame it and create a dramatic effect. I love using colour in small spaces. All the bathrooms in my house are painted in bold, inspiring colours. You can show your personality in these rooms without overwhelming the entire house and they are small enough to repaint when inspiration takes over again. Your closet is a great place to express your style. What about a wall in Benjamin Moore Raspberry Pudding (2004-30) or my new favourite colour, Kasbah (AF-640) from Benjamin Moore? White shelving and components against a pink wall would make for a fun and lively closet girls room.

One of the most famous closets of all time. There was really no way that Carrie Bradshaw got that entire wardrobe and shoe collection in this space. And then there is the fact that closets this big don't exist in NY.

The next step is to address the lighting. A beautiful chandelier might seem a bit extravagant for a closet but the result is undeniable and I personally like a closet with a warm soft light. You want your lighting to be complimentary, not harsh. In other words you don't want to feel like you are getting dressed in a Winner's change room. Bins, baskets and wooden hangers all add luxury and function. If you have the space you can add an ottoman or bench for seating and extra storage.

Finally, when it is time to put your clothes back. Donít over stuff shelves and cram clothes on hangers. It might be necessary to do a ruthless sorting of your wardrobe but there are some great charities that take good used clothes to help women and men get back on their feet. Check out Dress for Success and Working in Gear.

An amazing closet (love the view) but is a perfect example of how the dark backing makes all the difference. This closet wouldn't be nearly as nice if the back was exposed white walls. Dark paint creates the same affect without the same cost.

Remember you are not limited to creating great spaces in walk in closets only. Reach in closets can be updated to make better use of space and functionality in a room. By combining colour, a good closet system and some great accessories, all of your closets can become spaces of envy and that is a much better idea than a giant beer fridge.

Special thanks to Apartment Envy, Instyle and Euro-Rite for the photos.

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