jennifer_niez

How to add a closet?

Jennifer N
July 15, 2019


Hi guys! I just moved into a house and want to convert one of the rooms into the master bedroom - but the biggest challenge is there’s no closet in it now! There’s also a funny two level thing happening. The door on the left goes out to the rest of the house and the door on the right goes into the bathroom. Any ideas on how to add a closet and where it should go?

Comments (52)

  • felizlady

    A few more photos and a measured drawing would help.

  • Jennifer N

    Thanks everyone! @JAN MOYER you are totally correct this was converted from a garage.

    Yep, @girl_wonder the rest of the house is at one level and this room has steps down. Unfortunately, the sellers didn't really have much in the room and there weren't any big take-aways. Potted plant is a good idea for the landing.


    I'm leaning toward extending that wall (with built-ins) so it covers the landing, and then having an "open" closet with hanging racks and shelves. Will upload some more pics and measurements.

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    shirlpp- i really like this idea. I feel like it will give us the function we need without the look of chaos. I do wonder how it will actually look once it's completed..if it might look odd to walk through a vestibule of 2-3 feet in such a small house? I also wonder about the vestibule itself- so on either side of the door, essentially we will have closet space. do we put doors on that space? then we'd have 3 doors right together. If we keep it open, then we walk through likely a pile of coats, shoes book bags. I like keeping that space below the stairs kind of open. That furniture piece is important to us, but also, if we put our shoes there, we'll see it right as we enter. I wish we had a real mud room, or a different door we could use to access the house. but we don't. So, no option on finding a different entryway for the family. I wish I could find more pictures of before/after to see what the space might look like with either built-ins or a vestibule. Thank you for all your advice. Keep it coming! my head is spinning, but I love the ideas!
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  • Karenmo

    If I had that space as my bedroom, I'd be very tempted to raise the floor to make it all one level. Those steps would drive me nuts, and I don't even make middle-of-the-night bathroom forays.

    Jennifer N thanked Karenmo
  • suezbell

    Would not raise the floor and shrink the feel of the room.

    What is the overall size -- width and length of that part of the room with the same floor height?

    Would not want to extend the wall and close off the landing -- at least not entirely or, having seen it open, the room will feel noticeably smaller.

    Check with a local cabinet maker and see about adding a modified closet -- think long tail shirt hanging space, maybe four or five feet tall -- about two and a half feet deep -- pony wall height on the entry side -- with doors rather than drawers. Then invest in or have made a separate wardrobe for dresses and coats that need a rod with more height.

    Jennifer N thanked suezbell
  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    You need to sit yourself down and ask how long your stay. How many other bedrooms, and how many other baths. You have to want THIS room for a master pretty darn badly to create a master closet of any decent size.

    If you DO want that? What is on the other side of this "garage"? Are there two feet of property for a cantilever and reach in closet the length of the space?

    You haven't shown even the entire space. On the other hand, it's a nearly perfect guest space, isn't it?

    Nobody here can give you financial advice for a house.......or fully understand your needs, or anything else. But a cantilevered bump out is probably the answer. : ( as nothing else looks as if will afford a decent closet or entry to the space.

    Yeah...........I KNEW it was a garage conversion .

  • Jennifer N


    For reference - the bench is about 2’ deep

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    Hon...................it's a guest space, an office space, unless you BUMP out the room. Find another room, or find another closet space within the house.

  • Jennifer N

    @JAN MOYER thanks for your feedback. We definitely considered other rooms in the house (there are three “traditional“ bedrooms) but this room is by far the biggest and only one with attached bathroom. The other three bedrooms share one bathroom and are on the other end of the house.

  • Jennifer N

    Was thinking something exposed along these lines:




  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    Then you bump it, or forget it. You can barely get around the bed. BUMP. in order. Or you combine spaces elsewhere and add a bath. It is what it IS. and there is nowhere in that room worth even 200 bucks, for a darn closet. Whiich could hardly be even considered...........a CLOSET.

    Dreamland of that variety, never served anyone well.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    I agree this is a perfect guest suite since there is no need for tons of storage and closet space. The other bedrooms we would need to see but IMO one of those is just a better choice for a master maybe even give one up for a master suite .

    Jennifer N thanked Patricia Colwell Consulting
  • tqtqtbw

    If you insist, you could put the bed on the other wall and build storage around and under the bed.


    For a lower cost solution, place the bed under the windows with nice drapes and place a big armoire in front of the shelves.


    Regal Heights · More Info



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    Jennifer N thanked tqtqtbw
  • Jennifer N

    @tqtqtbw Really interesting ideas!!!

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    Your headboard sleigh is sucking eight inches of your floor space. Of which you need every inch simply to walk

  • Jennifer N

    @JAN MOYER Always an obvious option, but thought it would be a worthwhile exercise to explore for creative ideas before going another route. I’m new to the Houzz community and would appreciate constructive and respectful feedback :) Thanks!

  • everdebz

    Has anyone talked about a Murphy bed with some kind of storage? many versions I suppose.

    Picturing it covering/ shielding the part next to the stairs / wouldn't that part stay in place? when bed is lowered.... hm..

    Jennifer N thanked everdebz
  • everdebz

    with adjacent bathroom in mind? this type arrangement custom --

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    https://www.houzz.com/products/bestar-versatile-by-bestar-92-queen-wall-bed-kit-white-prvw-vr~55012089

    Jennifer N thanked everdebz
  • Lilies And Linen

    Your options seem pretty limited mostly because of the baseboard electric heat units that seem to be running the length of two of the walls. That eliminates both of those as possible locations. The space beside the steps might be the best option. It isn’t optimal but might work. I wouldn’t suggest building a closet but perhaps something like the pax wardrobes from ikea might work. I know you are considering open storage but unless you are obsessively tidy I wouldn’t recommend it. Something clean lined and sleek, possibly white will not seem to take up as much visual space and will keep the room feeling zen. If you decide to use the room differently in the future you can simply move it out. Good luck with your project.

    Jennifer N thanked Lilies And Linen
  • everdebz

    If custom arrangement - probably simple platform bed with no fabric and such hanging over it.?

    Jennifer N thanked everdebz
  • Jennifer N

    A lot of interesting ideas - thank you all! We’re likely going to remove the baseboards and change our heating system within the next year or so, I totally agree this adds another layer of complexity and limitation.

  • artistsharonva

    Bed lift with short hang under



    Since your floor is lower, you have room to raise bed higher.

    A loft bed with closet or desk under.



    Jennifer N thanked artistsharonva
  • Annie Reese

    His and hers tallboy dressers and an armoire, if it could be fit in there. I would scale down the number of clothes, and change out clothes seasonally (store what's not in season) I would not do exposed closet. you want the master bedroom to feel relaxing, the last thing you'd want to see is all the stuff you'd usually keep in a closet, imo. I can understand wanting a closet for resale but I don't see that working without spending big bucks.

    Jennifer N thanked Annie Reese
  • Annie Reese

    actually scratch one of the tallboys and use small dressers as nightstands. put large armoire cattycorner (sp?) to that bench (remove bench). I'd put the biggest armoire you can fit in the room. and call it a day!

    Jennifer N thanked Annie Reese
  • tatts

    A Murphy bed is pointless. The only reason for a Murphy bed is so that the room can serve two different purposes, and this doesn't need that. This is a master bedroom. Period.

    Why go to the expense of a Murphy bed in a room where it will never be folded up?

  • tatts

    Jennifer: What is behind the wall to the right of the bookcase? Can you steal the same depth behind it as the bookcase?

    The bookcase is about 12" deep, so another foot added in front would give you the depth you need while only stealing 12" from the floor space.

  • everdebz

    Your question was about a closet - a Murphy bed/combo storage could work, and allow for moving around during the day / more walking space around a desk, chest, etc.... in a small room. Not needed in a large room.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    Respectfully, your options are to ENLARGE this room, or use another bedroom as a master, or combine two of those and add a small bath .

    There is simply no way to get a decent closet space in this room, any other way, short of a platform loft bed, storage below it..

    If it is this important? Investigate a cantilever roofed "eave" on the long wall. Anything else will be a waste of money to a result with little storage and function for even seasonal storage. This is why the previous owners did not put a closet in the room. They didn't intend it for a full time bedroom, is my guess. It was simply a small single, car garage.

    In the meantime, buy two or three rolling racks.................: ) and lose the ottoman, and use the passage at the entry as well. For less than 200 bucks all in, you can have clothes in there.



    https://www.walmart.com/ip/HSS-18-D-x-35-8-W-x-74-8-H-Wire-Shelving-2-Shelf-Garment-Rack-with-Casters-Chrome/838106391?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&adid=22222222227254987361&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=301347248352&wl4=pla-538887628291&wl5=9005590&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=online&wl12=838106391&veh=sem&gclid=CjwKCAjwpuXpBRAAEiwAyRRPgXhUlmYVUcWFLzZL2mcvZYPs6sShVxQ2DNu6L9koiH5KJvvY3_VgwBoCBSQQAvD_BwE

  • deb s

    how long do you plan on being in the house- if less than 5-8 yrs I would do temporary cabinets like an Ikea wardrobe etc then when selling remove and stage as a guest room or office - if this is your forever house then an investment in a bump out (if feasible) would be a solid move. Since there are no exterior shots its hard to tell if a bump out is feasible

    Jennifer N thanked deb s
  • Anna (6B/7A in MD)

    If you are planning to change out the heating system to eliminate the baseboards, then I would not do any closet construction beyond using temporary, standing, modular Ikea closets. Add a curtain to hide the mess if you're not a compulsive "tidier".

    Once the room is "finished" regarding utility set-up, then you can work on adding a reach-in closet. And maybe, at that time, you may decide that doing a bump-out is an option...

    My neighbors created a simple bump-out to get more closet space.

    Good luck.

    Jennifer N thanked Anna (6B/7A in MD)
  • Karenmo

    In the vein of 'do you really want to make this your master bedroom?' mentioned above....depending on how cold the winters are where you live and your tolerance, I'd see how frosty the floor is in that room in the winter before I invested much in making it my bedroom. I am guessing the lower floor is right on the original garage slab so if there is no air space between the floor you walk on and the ground, the room may not be as comfortable as you'd like, despite the heaters running around the perimeter of the space.

    Jennifer N thanked Karenmo
  • felizlady

    You still need to give us a measured drawing of the whole room.
    Look into replacing the long long runs of baseboard heating with something smaller and more efficient that doesn’t kill all your wall space. I would bet that the walls and ceiling of the former garage were not properly insulated when it was converted to interior space.
    Install small stair lights at the side of each step. The consistent color of the landing, steps and floor make them almost indiscernible.
    The landing needs a railing or it needs to be blocked. You could have a 24” deep reach-in closet built on the lower level to run from the steps to the wall, closing up the bookcase niche.

  • skunst2017

    I would like YOU to think about where you want the bed ..then cut of the heating on THAT wall .... The heating units do not have to go around the entire room . Then look again where you could put a closet ...can you use the landing next to the steps for a closet ...? Is that area large enough for what you need or do you need the entire wall where the steps are ...(? ) certainly you can build out of the length of the wall and incorporate the landing next to the steps ...for shelves and use the rest for hanging space ...it's all a matter of size and needs ...the place is large enough to figure it out ..but first things first ..take little steps ...and don't fill in the space to make it all one level ...you will loose a lot of space ...and the ceiling would be too low ..for comfort .

  • everdebz

    [To keep brainstorming for space at left of a pull-down bed] hanging rod[s] facing the entry area - facing the room, not very deep: small baskets all the up. A pro could design something.

    Jennifer N thanked everdebz
  • everdebz

    Maybe you want to idk, share measurement from edge of floor above to edge of bathroom door [how much room for baskets or a rod]. It's possible - watch tiny house experts use every foot of a space.

    Jennifer N thanked everdebz
  • Tara

    You could use that bookcase as part of the closet, perhaps for shoes and other small folding items or jewelr

    Eclectic Bedroom · More Info

    y. Then on the wall perpendicular to it add exposed clothing racks and wall hung shelving.

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    Jennifer N thanked Tara
  • suezbell



    Where there are recessed bookshelves beside the entry ... what is inside that wall? Plumbing? Or can you recess that entire tall part of that wall from raised floor to side/exterior wall so your closet there would not need to extend out into the room as much? Then you could put a half wall closet (shelves or drawers or even a half closet for one hanging rod for shirts -- whatever your space permits and you need most.


    Instead of just using the half closet as a pony wall, what height cabinet (w/shelf atop it to match the entry wood) (maybe five feet? tall) would you need to have built on the lower floor in order to have the top of that cabinet either large enough either to cover a cabinet facing the entry, too or ... alternately,


    to have the top of the half closet overhang into the entry space (think bar overhang) with the higher floor so you could have the top of that cabinet be used as a desk and/or to hold a lamp or on which to set a tv -- an electrical outlet is visible on the upper level.


    (Guessing a plant would not get enough light to survive on your higher landing for very long.)


    You could invest in a bed riser blocks to raise the bed enough to roll under the bed plastic storage containers there.


    You could choose a wooden base for your bed with deep drawers on each side and, perhaps, an indented shelf beneath below the foot of the bed for shoes or more drawers there, too.


    In a small room, you might consider a Murphy bed -- and definitely make any piece of furniture you buy for this room do double duty for storage if you can, such as cabinets rather than tables for bedside lamps.

    Jennifer N thanked suezbell
  • artistsharonva

    A white furniture piece.

    Until you can move the heaters on floor molding, could build a sturdy leg platform paint it white & put furniture on top of. Make sure to screw it securely to platform & wall to avoid falling over.




    An economical approach.


    A really cheap solution


    Jennifer N thanked artistsharonva
  • artistsharonva

    A white bed with drawers under


    If there's room, something like this would be nice.

    I highly suggest all white furniture to help the furniture blend into walls & keep the room looking more open in a small room.

    Jennifer N thanked artistsharonva
  • Jennifer Hogan

    Congratulations! First and sometimes second homes are often a bit of a compromise between our ideal and our budget.


    While saving for our first home my husband and I lived in a 600 sf home that housed my husband, me, my 16 year old niece, 3 dogs and 2 cats.


    My brother had 2 kids and bought a 3 bedroom home. His 6 year old daughter got the master bedroom, 4 year old son got the next room and he and his wife took the smallest bedroom ( 10x12) because it had a door that went out to the back yard and they didn't want the kids somehow going out the door at night or being afraid.


    Your solution may not be ideal, but there are some great suggestions here for storage solutions. You don't need to keep a ton of clothing hung in your bedroom. Just enough to get you through a week. The other clothing can be stored in another bedroom and switched out when you do laundry over the weekend.


    The first photo by artistsharonva is a beautiful piece of furniture that would hold everything you need. There is plenty of room to walk around the bed - you only need 3' and lucky you, your bed can actually be placed where there is room to walk around the bed and not stuck in a corner.


    You don't mention children or other occupants of the house or how you intend to use the other bedrooms. If you do have young children I may not want to be on the opposite side of the house. If you have teenagers you want as much distance as possible - maybe a duplex so you don't have to share space with them.


    Good luck and enjoy your space.





    Jennifer N thanked Jennifer Hogan
  • Kathleen Kirchoff

    I was thinking along Tatts' idea of using the bookcase as closet space and extending it a bit toward the steps. Is there a reason the steps don't extend to the wall with Bookcase? That wall space by the leg breaking drop off could have shelves and hooks. You could even add hooks to the back of an Ikea wardrobe place by the steps facing into the room. Another Ikea wardrobe could be beside that one but nestled into the bookcase space.
    A double set of under bed drawers could be space saving storage. A small chest of drawers and a desk could be double duty nightstands. Or maybe a storage head board.

    Jennifer N thanked Kathleen Kirchoff
  • artistsharonva

    You can used the recessed shelving space to your advantage.

    Use that depth to recess into to gain more depth to hang without encroaching too much into room.

    The min depth within the closet for hanging 24".

    Build 2 boxes 1 tht is at least 24"deep & to the right corner a less deep box to put shelving.

    A custom trim or finishing carpenter could do this. Possibly a closet company. Possibly a DIY project. One of the hardest more expensive part would be finding the hinge door.


    I would do a mirror door if possible to brigthen the room up & to get beautiful in front of or hang a long mirror inside or somewhere in room ;)


    I would do at least all white with a white door. Could do 2 doors on top of one another, if finding a tall door to fit becomes difficult. Ikea Pax has doors that may work for this.


    Put on legs if keeping heater on floor, but if removing heating, then do after & build to floor


    Here's a quick sketch of inside & outside.


    Crown to ceiling would be an extra cost, but would dress it up as well.





    Jennifer N thanked artistsharonva
  • Karenmo

    Everybody says don't raise the floor (to eliminate the trippy level change), because the ceiling would be too low....BUT if this is an enclosed garage, and there is not another story over it, perhaps some kind of ceiling raising modification could be made to the drywall ceiling, working around the rafters, etc, to add an airy effect. Aside from the obvious safety issue, an advantage to raising the floor is that the heat for the room could be worked into the floor, eliminating the baseboard units.

  • njmomma

    following

  • Jennifer Hogan

    Karenmo - Did you consider the cost? Raising the floor and roof would be pretty expensive. A lot of other things could be done with that kind of money.

  • Jennifer Hogan

    While part of me is thinking that the steps would look great if you widened them to the full width between the two walls another part of me is being space conscious and thinking that you could extend the closet out another 2 feet or so to the edge of the stairs and have a narrow closet with shelves facing toward the bathroom door, leaving just the stairs as the entrance to the sleeping area of the bedroom.


    Sometimes in small homes you have to squeeze in storage where you can.

  • Karenmo

    Of course I considered the cost! Everything is a cost-benefit tradeoff, but perhaps I put more benefit to eliminating the crazy trip/fall hazard I see with those steps since I spent many years as a safety inspector, LOL!

    For the ceiling -- I wasn't suggesting raising the roof but perhaps raising part of the ceiling, assuming the roof is pitched so there is space. A friend did this years ago with his first house, DIY so the cost was pretty reasonable (and he perfected his drywall skills!).


  • artistsharonva

    If you did raise floor since the floor is already finished under; then this would add a lot of storage







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