interiors & styling

A Custom Closet for the Guest Room

Custom Guest Room ClosetI’m probably way too excited to share our very first finished interior space! It might seem like a small feat, but to me- it feels like a glorious renovating victory. Our guest room closet is officially complete. Initially, Emmett and I both assumed I’d take over this closet or it would turn into a dumping ground for all of our gear and outdoor clothing. Shortly after moving to Utah, we realized this closet would need to serve a different purpose. We’ve had more house guests since moving to Salt Lake than we had during five years of living in Ohio. We can’t say that we’re surprised, and we definitely love hosting family and friends, but it certainly influenced how we use the guest room. Click through to see the process of renovating a closet for a functional guest room. 

To preface this post, the closets in our home are odd sizes and were in terrible condition when we moved in. I knew that I’d have to create a custom solution to maximize storage and functionality in this small house. In our last home, we used ClosetMaid systems and it worked out perfectly, so we opted to take the same route again… only this time, I was able to take advantage of their SpaceCreations tool to design exactly what I wanted.

Closet BeforeThe above image depicts what it looked like a few months ago, while we were refinishing the floors (prior to unpacking our moving boxes). Since then, Emmett has been working on the trim and we also ordered new interior doors- but the inside remained dysfunctional and messy.

Guest Closet BeforeThat’s when the house guests started pouring in and I knew we needed to hurry, wrap up the guest room, and find a good solution. Since the room is fairly small, the closet played a big part in making it comfortable. In addition to storing our own odds and ends (that wouldn’t fit elsewhere), we wanted to give guests a space to tuck away their belongings.

As I mentioned in the intro, I went online and designed a custom closet using ClosetMaid’s special design tool. I considered hanging space, closed storage, open storage, and even a spot for luggage. A few weeks later, my vision shipped and Emmett began assembly. Here’s a peek into the process…

Custom Closet ProcessThe assembly was just like any other product- it came with detailed instructions and Emmett tackled it step-by-step.

Assembling ClosetMaid ClosetI didn’t know this upon ordering, but it was the happiest surprise to open the drawer tracks and learn that they were soft close- a very nice detail!

Soft Close Drawers

Closet AssemblySpeaking of details… you have the option to customize everything from color, material, and even the hardware. I opted for a traditional satin nickel drawer pull; they’re nice and heavy.

Closet Building ProcessThe image below shows what the closet looked like once everything was assembled and the drywall was painted. I used Sherwin Williams Extra White and it matched super well!

Custom Closet

French Door Closet HardwareI also have to take a minute to share the exterior hardware because it’s so beautiful… but also because I wanted to make another point about mixing hardware finishes. You’ll notice the exterior hardware is brass but the interior is satin nickel, but they still work very well together. Don’t be afraid to play with different metals within the same room. I actually find it looks more curated.

French Closet doors

Custom Closet DrawersIf you have the space to allow guests a portion of a closet, here are a few things to consider:

  • Tuck your own items out of sight in bins or baskets. You’d probably never guess that I am storing hats, gloves, and extra winter socks in the top two bins, would you? Things look more organized and less personal when they’re stowed away.
  • Allow hanging space with extra clothes hangers.
  • Leave enough empty shelf space for folded items, shoes, and travel bags.
  • Consider a spot or compartment for a suitcase or carry-on.
  • Keep extra blankets or throws folded in the closet in case your guests prefer heavier bedding.
  • The same goes for toiletries… depending on your bathroom situation, it’s helpful to leave guests with everything they need- even towels and toiletries. It’s just more accessible!

Guest-ClosetI’ll be sharing one closet each month (through June) in a collaboration with ClosetMaid, which is super exciting because I’ve been a big fan of their products from day one. I briefly mentioned the design process with the SpaceCreation tool, but you’ll be hearing more about that in the next feature. I’m actually shooting my first video series, sharing how I designed each closet! I have to say, so far it’s been an awesome experience and it’s the little details like custom closets that are starting to make this place finally feel like home.

How do you organize your closets? I’m all about thoughtful and functional design decisions- even in the spaces people don’t see on a regular basis. I feel at ease knowing everything has a place.

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with ClosetMaid.  I am a brand ambassador and receive free product in exchange for media. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that allow us to create unique content while featuring products we truly use and enjoy! 

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  • Reply
    Amy Lynn
    January 31, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    We are actually pending on a major remodel ourselves right now, and the master closet is something I was just thinking about! We were thinking about just doing everything built-in, but I’ll have to do some comparisons with ClosetMaid. It sounds so simple and I really like how this turned out! We’re still several months away from that stage I’m sure, but that will give me a little bit of time to figure out which direction to go :)

    • Reply
      January 31, 2017 at 10:19 pm

      Definitely compare! We had the exact same thought and I’m guessing Closet Maid was less expensive than totally building custom. They have so many great options. I didn’t purchase any shoe holders, drawer dividers or “fancy” closet extras, but those are also options to make it feel customized! xox

  • Reply
    Cristy @ W. Collective Interiors
    January 31, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    It looks great, gotta love an organized closet! Couldn’t be better timing with this post for me…I just started looking at Closetmaid’s site to see if I can make something work for my mudroom. It’s an awkward shape, so I’ll totally be checking out their Space Creations tool!

    • Reply
      January 31, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Agreed! It’s nice because you can customize everything and see a 3-D rendering prior to purchasing. Good luck, Cristy! xo

  • Reply
    February 1, 2017 at 12:29 am

    Oh man! This is beautiful, please come re-do our closet!! ;)

    • Reply
      February 1, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      Thank you, Courtney!! xo

  • Reply
    February 1, 2017 at 6:54 am

    What guest wouldn’t love this closet? It is both gorgeous and functional. It’s likely to make their clothes look better, as an added bonus. Of course, your guests may be sad when said clothes don’t look nearly as cool back at home. Cheers, Ardith

    • Reply
      February 1, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      Haha!! Part of me really wanted to take the entire closet for myself, but the room is so tiny and we’re having SO many house guests lately, I felt like it would be more functional. Now they won’t have to pile their items on the bed or in the floor. Thanks so much, Ardith! xo

  • Reply
    Kelly @ toast and tea
    February 4, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Our closets are in dire need of a little somethin’ something’ and I think this might just be it! They aren’t huge but right now only have 1 bar each and in my opinion, don’t make use of the space. Looking forward to checking this out! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      February 6, 2017 at 5:31 pm

      Yes! I’m alllll about making the most of a space and using every inch functionally. Small house probs. Good luck with your closets, Kelly! xo

  • Reply
    February 6, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Sarah, when you design the closets for you and Emmett, can you discuss how you handle laundry hampers? I love how you thought to create a space for luggage in your guest room. Brilliant! My husband and I disagree if laundry hampers should be kept in the closet or out. We live in a smaller home like you. Thanks in advance!

    • Reply
      February 6, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Great question, Elizabeth! I hate leaving laundry hampers out unless they’re in a large bathroom or laundry room. Typically, we keep them in our closets. It’s tough being in a small house, but I’m sort of OCD about keeping things neat and tidy. Hope this helps! xo

  • Reply
    February 8, 2017 at 1:19 am

    impressive! I will have to check out the ClosetMaid’s special design tool.

    Great job!

  • Reply
    March 31, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Does the closet maid units just slide in, ie, they are removable later?

    • Reply
      March 31, 2017 at 3:55 pm

      Hi Jodi! Yes, they slide in, you anchor them to the wall, and can add custom trim pieces. I prefer ours to be more permanent, so we make sure they’re attached to the wall, but you can definitely take a less permanent route so they’re removable. Hope this helps! xo

  • Reply
    September 21, 2017 at 3:26 am

    How durable are the drawer bottoms? I’ve had bad luck with cheaper dressers and the drawers bowing after putting too much heavy stuff in them. Any issues with your drawers yet?

    • Reply
      September 21, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      The drawers are really nice! They’re soft close and super sturdy. I don’t like to pack my drawers totally full so it’s easier to find what I’m looking for… but the closet drawers in my office hold lots of heavy things like books, tile samples, and files. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    paige o'rielley
    October 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Hi! Love this! I’m having the hardest time tracking down interesting brass door hardware. Where did you find these?

  • Reply
    Grace Moon
    December 23, 2020 at 11:01 am

    Hi Sarah,

    I know this is a super old post but can you tell me where you ordered the doors for this closet? They are beautiful. All my closets are need of new doors.

  • Reply
    February 14, 2021 at 9:43 am

    Hi Sarah. Would you provide the width of the closet? I have a roughly 40″ space that I want to customize and I really like the looks of what you’ve created here. Thanks.

    • Reply
      February 15, 2021 at 9:19 am

      Hi Janice! I’m sorry, we actually no longer live in this home, so I’m not able to take measurements.

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