Steal This Look: A Well-Organized Closet on a Budget

Last month I moved into an apartment that is just shy of 400 square feet. Its two closets each are a generous seven (or so) square feet, but they fit no more than 20 garments on the existing hanging bars. And so I’ve become storage obsessed, spending late hours combing through Pinterest images and reading up on strategic stacking methods. And what I’ve learned via trial and error is that for the best use of space, nothing beats a chest of drawers in the closet (open storage requires too much tending to keep tidy).

This rather minimal closet, which I spotted on Stadshem, a Swedish real estate site, presents a series of smart, affordable solutions, including the use of staggered dressers to allow space to hang longer garments. Here, we’ve deconstructed the design.

Above: This well-organized black-and-white closet makes good use of air space above and below the hanging rack. Photograph via Stadshem in Sweden.

The Basics

Above: Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White is a shade that is much brighter than it looks on the swatch; $36.99 for a gallon of Ben Interior Paint. For more options, see our post 10 Easy Pieces: Architects’ White Paint Picks.

Above: The simple, inexpensive Ekby Amund Shelf is made of white-painted particleboard and measures 59 inches by 11 inches; $19.99 at Ikea.

Above: The solid wood Ekby Valter Bracket comes in two finishes: birch (shown here, which can be customized with paint) and black; $4 each from Ikea.

Above: My Fix It Up Life fashioned a similar closet rod using a Black Steel Gas Pipe ($17.60 for a 72-inch-long, three-quarter-inch pipe at Home Depot), two Iron-Threaded Floor Flanges ($5.41 each for the three-quarter-inch size at Home Depot), and Black Sharp Point Drywall Screws ($21.97 for a five-pound pack at Home Depot).

Furniture and Lighting

Above: Re-create the cluster light fixture using a black string of lights, such as the Loop of 10 Bulbs for 449 SEK ($52.85) from Granit, and the DIY tutorial from Swedish blog Avenymamma.

Above: Ikea’s new Nordli Six-Drawer Chest is 31 1/2 inches wide and 56 1/4 inches tall; $219.

Above: The Nordli Three-Drawer Chest is 31 1/2 inches wide and 29 1/2 tall; $129 from Ikea.

Above: CB2’s Carpenter Chrome Lamp is $79.95. Alternatively, Ikea’s Forsí¥ Work Lamp–another a chrome task lamp with an adjustable arm and a flat base–is $19.99.

Storage Accessories

Above: Ikea’s Bumerang Curved Clothes Hangers are available in white (shown here), black, gray/brown, and natural; $4.99 for a pack of eight. For display-worthy hangers, see our 11 Favorites roundup.

Above: Display inspirational photos in wood frames, such as these Black Gallery Frames from West Elm; $12 to $99 depending on size.

Reorganizing your closets? See our posts:

This post is an update. It originally ran on September 2, 2014, as part of The Organized Life issue.

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