Master Closet Renovation

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, but we just finished a project that I am so happy with that I’ve been inspired to post.

Backstory: So when we first moved into our house 3 and a half years ago, we took down walls in what is now our master bedroom and framed in a new closet. In our haste to move in, we just installed two hanging closet rods at eye level height, one on either side of the closet (one for Jeff and one for me). We always said we’d redo it at some point, and as life has a way of happening, that project got put on the back burner until now.

Our closet is a walk in closet, but it’s not huge. FYI, we had 2 significant obstacles/challenges to figure out solutions to, and overcome them we did!

First, we have a very tall window (63″x37″) in our closet that takes away from usable hanging space, and directly opposite the window (was!) a standard 30″ wide door that swung into the closet, which forced us to navigate around it to get into the closet, and also while once inside.

Remember I mentioned 2 challenges?

First, the window. After consideration, we actually just left our old solution from before in place- a tall dresser that I inherited from my grandparents. I actually love this solution because the dresser is sentimental to me, it’s practical, and it provides privacy by blocking the window.

The second challenge was the door. The answer to that was a little messy, but so practical- a pocket door! No more door to navigate around or take space away from our closet foot print. Home Depot sells the pocket door kits ($64) and thanks to my careful hubby, we were able to reuse the old drywall, most of the trim, and the door we had removed from before- therefore saving us extra money.

Now when it came to designing our new closet, I did like most people and went to social media to check out options. After researching opinions and pictures, it really came down to 3 choices for us. Either build in cabinets and everything ourselves, Closets by Design, or Elfa from the Container Store.

The first option, building it ourselves, we considered because my mom just redid her master closet, and because my step dad is a very handy man, this is the option they chose. It looks amazing, and she loves it, but it did take him the better part of 2-3 weeks to complete, and it was a LOT of effort and work. And truth be told, in my opinion only, the finished project just doesn’t vibrate my heart strings. I found out closets can be a very personal thing. Also, I didn’t want to hire the job out and pay a ton of money, or have the redo last a year because Jeff works constantly is a very busy guy.

Closets By Design was our second option. I considered it carefully because it was the most recommenced option on the social media posts and sites I reviewed. People rave about Closets By Design. We ultimately didn’t go with them for 3 reasons. First, it was  expensive- our quote (even with their 40% off coupon) came to just over $5,000. Like I said, our closet is not huge, and that seemed excessive to me for what it is. Secondly, I didn’t get the warm fuzzy feeling that the solution sketched for us was going to be super custom to our needs. Yes, it would have fit our space, but I (I may be foreshadowing here) really enjoy the option to customize my space to a T, with some extra sparkle dust thrown on top! The final reason we didn’t choose Closets By Design was when our in home appointment time came to an end, I thanked the designer for her time and told her I would be in touch. She then gave me the hard sell- the 40% off coupon and price she had quoted me would be honored only if I agreed to sign a contract right at that moment. Otherwise, if I needed time to think about it, or talk with my husband, the $5,200 she quoted me was going to go up 40% higher. No thank you. After I told her I wasn’t comfortable with that, she called her supervisor to check and see if they could honor the same price for me if I committed in 24 hours. Her supervisor said yes. I already wasn’t thrilled with the price and the solution, so the hard sell tactic was honestly just the final nail in the coffin for Closets By Design.

Our third option, and the one we chose, was Elfa by the Container Store. My most organized and favorite aunt had an Elfa closet that I admired when I visited her home a few years ago. I knew that Elfa goes on sale once a year, always right around New Years, so our timing was perfect. I poked around their website and determined that I had no idea what I was doing, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed, and then I saw that you can print out their free space template and fill it in with your space measurements, and take it into the Container Store, and someone will help you there. The time at the store took about an hour after I dropped off my measurements. I left and went shopping, and they texted me when my design was ready. The associate could not have been any more positive, happier, or genuinely excited for me. I think of the Container Store as a cult, and the people who work there love their jobs- and I can see why! Organizing is addictive. Anyway, with the annual 30% off sale, our total came to about $3,000. Again, I feel it is expensive for what it is, but the value it provides us is worth it for us. We could have paid an extra $1,000 for them to install, but being fairly handy, we decided to tackle it ourselves.

The existing door demo, pocket door installation, closet installation, and clean up took us a good 3 days in all. While Jeff was working on installing the pocket door, I went Marie Kondo on my clothing and sorted through everything, trying it on, and only keeping the items that spark joy.

To say our closet renovation has been life changing and joyful would be true. 2 weeks later, I still like to stand in there and gaze at everything. Choosing my outfits and the resulting confidence I have from feeling joyful and well-put together is wonderful.

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