Gone are the days when you stuffed everything into your closet and avoided the mess behind the closed door

Today, closets can be multifaceted areas of your home serving many functions while giving you a beautiful place to start and end your day. Here, three closet design and organizing pros share their tips for creating a useful, modern space that’s just as stunning as the rest of your home.


“Everyone starts and ends each day in their closet, so having an organized, calming experience ensures the best outcome for the day,” says Lora Van Balen, the marketing manager of California Closets Tampa Bay. “Walking into a beautiful space where everything has a home leaves our clients with the ability to focus on what matters most.”
 Even the function of a closet is changing, adds Barbara Searcy, the owner and vice president of Tampa’s Southern Closet Systems. “Closets are becoming more of a dressing room for both men and women, with lighted areas for shoes and purses, vanities, custom bench seating attached to the island, mirrored doors or angled three-way mirrors, TVs, and hide-a-cabinets for safes.”

“Many of my clients want their closets to be an inspirational place,” says Olga Ulrich, the founder and CEO of The Functional Space. “They want their clothing and accessories displayed like a showroom so that it is aesthetically pleasing — like a shopping experience.”


Homeowners are moving away from dressers and drawers in favor of hangers. “People want to be able to access everything in one spot,” says Ulrich. “I’m seeing more and more people who want to be able to hang the majority of their clothes — everything from yoga pants and T-shirts to suits and evening gowns. They want to be able to see it all.” 
Searcy adds,  “A motorized closet system can add a third row to give you more hanging space.” In a well-functioning closet, every area is maximized. 
For storage, “An island can be a centerpiece and a place to store accessories, jewelry and underwear,” Ulrich says. Searcy adds that open shelves and pull-out drawers under bench seating are also popular options.
The key to an organized closet, like this one Olga Ulrich just created for Tampa Bay Lightning star Mikhail Sergachev and Liza Shelby’s master bedroom, is being able to see everything in one place.

Accessories can take your outfit from blah to beautiful, and the same is true when it comes to closet design.

“Metal and reflective surfaces can add a unique and different appeal to a space while bringing richness to the home,” says California Closets’ Van Balen. “Mixing and matching metals like matte aluminum with gold or brass and adding reflective surfaces to doors, shelves and countertops with glass, mirrors, high gloss and acrylics can really alter the appearance of a closet in a beautiful way.”

The closet door can be the ultimate accessory, setting the tone for what you’ll find behind it. “We have a lot of full-length mirrors or glass in doors in the closet systems,” says Searcy. “Many people are also removing their closet doors or moving to barn doors to have better use of their closet space.”


When renovating or reorganizing your closet space, don’t forget your dirty laundry. Ulrich has seen many instances where people have made that mistake. “If a hamper is not installed initially, it becomes hard to find one that fits the style later,” she explains. Searcy says if your home setup is right, you can even add a closet chute to deposit dirty clothes into the laundry room below.


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