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No Closet, No Problem (Bedroom Makeover | ORC, Fall 2021, Week 4)

Our small-space closet solution came from the kitchen.

Design is about compromise.

When we moved from a big house to a smaller one, we embraced the many changes. One of the most significant shifts was living with less. Shedding stuff became an imperative because with five of us, there just wasn't the room for it. But even more importantly, there just wasn't the will. Our desire to accumulate the unnecessary was lost. Instead, less became luxury.

So it challenged us to make choices. Compromises. What to keep? What to give away? When designing our spaces, we had to think very carefully about priorities and make trade-offs.

This brings us to Week 4 of the #OneRoomChallenge. The week of the bedroom closet, or really, the kitchen cabinet.



The One Room Challenge™ occurs in April and October. Each round, twenty design influencers take the challenge as Featured Designers. Every Wednesday, the designers document their progress over six weekly posts (bumped to eight weeks due to the pandemic). Better Homes and Gardens is the official media sponsor.


Everyone with a blog or Instagram account is welcome to join as a Guest Participant by linking their own room transformations up each Thursday, flooding the internet and social media with interior design inspiration, ideas, and encouragement. You can also visit the One Room Challenge to follow along and cheer on the hundreds of home-loving kings and queens working their magic.


This is our third #OneRoomChallenge and being involved has certainly spurred us on to keep improving and #LovingLeuty. So far, we've chronicled the transformation of our backyard into a cutting garden and flower studio (see here) and overhauled a laundry/bathroom (see here). Now, we're making over our main bedroom. Please come along.


Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 (you are here) | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 |


A Temporary Closet Solution Led To A Permanent One

The main drawback to our primary bedroom is that it has no built-in closet and really no where to put one. We toyed around with multiple scenarios on how we could get a proper closet in here. We even thought about transforming the sunroom into an awesome bathroom and walk-in closet situation. In the end, it seemed unwise to take a lovely, light-filled spot and turn it into a glorified storage locker.

Soon after we moved in, as a temporary measure, we bought some IKEA closets. You can see them on the left. Let's just say they were on the cheap and cheerful side and didn't hold up well at all.

What our make-shift system showed us was that the closet area was (a) in the correct spot, and (b) could hold most of our pared-down clothing collection. Right idea. Poor execution.

Kitchen Cabinets For A Bedroom?

Oh yes. And they are fabulous.

When we decided that we could get by with a bank of unfitted closets, we looked at all kinds of options. Custom. Not-so-custom.

We went back to the go-to IKEA closet options. But the PAX wardrobe system wasn't quite what we needed. At one of our homes, we had an IKEA kitchen installed and it held up really well, was economical and stored a lot. So, we thought, why not take those super tall pantries and make them into our closet?

We've opted for three SEKTION kitchen high cabinets in Veddinge White. Very patiently Graham has put them together and installed them. We considered adding trim detail, painting them, or even using peel and stick wallpaper to jazz them up a bit. We did try to add a piece of crown moulding to the top of the cabinets to have them meet the ceiling (but that was a bit of a disaster, so it's gone.)

Ultimately, we wanted a more streamlined and modern look to the room and we wanted the closets to recede and blend in more to the space than stand out, so have left them as is. To make it a bit more bespoke, we purchased some simple but stylish streamlined white edge pull handles.

Here are our new, almost-ceiling height wardrobes and disappearing edge pull handles. Oh and that gorgeous blue that you see a glimpse of - more on that later.

Where Did We Put All Our Clothes?

Don't you find you go back to the same favourite pieces over and over again? We ruthlessly culled our fashion collection and left only the items that we love and use all the time. This means mostly jeans, t-shirts, sweaters. We fold our shirts so we have only shelves and no rods. (The other bedrooms in the house have closets so we've stolen a tiny space in one of them for the few dresses and suits that need hanging.) We actually have enough room for our bed linens and additional toiletry supplies in these wardrobes.

It truly is amazing how much you can do with out. And, it's so liberating.

It all fits. Graham has one closet tower, I have another, and the third is shared.

For a lovely, lasting scent, I place perfumed soap in the closet. Leftover wallpaper makes a pretty shelf liner.

Next Week

The bedroom office chair.


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