the how-to: conquering a tiny closet

Today’s guest is Melissa Tomeoni, whom you all know as the highly-talented photographer behind my portraits. Besides those traditional gigs, Melissa is a crazy-good fine art photographer (check out her latest series on Etsy!). And she’s also one of the most fun DIY girls I’ve ever known. When she told me about her latest project – turning her miniscule closets into a bedroom-sized boutique, I had to see it for myself. It’s genius!


There is something you should know about me: I have a few pet peeves. Everyone has them, but mine are special in that they all have to do with problems I create for myself.

1.  Being disorganized. Can’t stand it. Can’t sleep because of it. Furthermore, it leads to other fun things like a claustrophobic nature. (I’m sure you are all just dying to be my friend now, right?)

2. Buying crap to store my clothes/dishes/accessories/etc. Honestly, I would rather spend my money on fun items then containers to put my fun items in. Alas, I refer to #1 and find myself in an internal struggle.

3.  People who contradict themselves. So essentially, I’m my own pet peeve.

About four weeks ago my husband, puppy and I moved into a new place. While the square footage is about the same, it seems as though we’ve lost 15 closets in the move – including our separate bedroom closets. So, my husband and I are once again sharing a closet. Agony! Since I know many couples deal with this tragedy, I hope to help a few of you by sharing my solutions. The goal was to make my closet look acceptable, function well and, of course, store the wardrobe that I love so dearly.

The solution, sadly, was to put aside pet peeve #2 and buy some crap to store my crap. And so, I dragged myself to the two best places in the home improvement world: Ikea and Bed Bath and Beyond.

Solution #1. Buy slim line hangers (including these fancy pant hangers) from Real Simple. These little puppies are fuzzy so they grip even the slimmest spaghetti strap or widest scoopneck blouse. The bigger bonus is the stackability factor – each hanger has a little hook that allows you to hang a second hanger from it, so you can hang pieces up to to 4x deep. Perfecto! I was kind and bought enough for both me and my husband.

Solution #2. Install more spaces to store coats and shoes. In a small space, the worst thing you could do would be to buy more bulky furniture to eat up your square footage. I knew I wanted my shoes (and coats) off the floor and something had to be done. While at Ikea I found simple unfinished shelves, and brackets to hang them. Rather then purchasing an official wardrobe, I decided my things looked good enough to be displayed. So, I essentially “merchandised” my clothes right into my bedroom’s decor!

I used leftover wall paint and painted the shelves to match our existing wall color, creating a neutral backdrop that lets the colors and shapes of the clothes take the stage. I chose brackets that resemble the circular pattern on my dresser and spray painted them gold to match. I bought 2 silver hanging racks (found in the kitchen section of Ikea) to mount upside down to hang my coats on. The final step is installation. Ta-da! My very own sleep-in closet.

It’s been about 2 weeks since my closet had it’s makeover, and I can honestly say my life is so much happier now, with all of my pet peeves at bay. It feels a little like living in a boutique I can borrow from any time I want. I can see all of my fall/winter coats, my shoes, and my sweaters, so I actually get to wear everything I’ve worked so hard to own. As it turns out, maybe my pet peeves are more motivation than annoyance. –Melissa Tomeoni

Share 'the how-to: conquering a tiny closet' on Facebook Share 'the how-to: conquering a tiny closet' on Google+ Share 'the how-to: conquering a tiny closet' on Pinterest Share 'the how-to: conquering a tiny closet' on Twitter Share 'the how-to: conquering a tiny closet' on Email

10 comments on “the how-to: conquering a tiny closet

  1. Pingback: DIY Tiny Closet Solution « A Photography and Design Blog by Portrait Photographer Melissa Tomeoni in Portland, Oregon.

  2. Pingback: Weekly Blog Reading Roundup | Lex and Learn

  3. Pingback: SMC on huff post - shopping's my cardio

  4. Dulce Rexach

    It surely looks pretty, but….. in a closet for two people? How about the rest of the clothes? I imagine the two remaining walls are choc-a-block full, not showing any wall space…..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *