Do you find yourself with an empty nest for the first time in years? Do you no longer need that nursery room right next to your master bedroom? If so, you might be wondering if it’s possible to turn that spare bedroom into the walk-in closet of your dreams.
The good news is, yes you can and it might be easier than you think! A spare bedroom can be a wonderful blank canvas for creating an amazing walk-in closet that keeps everything essential organized, while also making room in the sleeping area of your new master suite.
If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves to transform your spare bedroom into a masterful walk-in closet, you’ll want to consider some of the following things.
Step One: Evaluate Access
Most walk-in closets have some sort of direct access to the master bedroom. This lets you wake up in the morning and get ready without having to immediately walk out into the hallway past family members and visiting guests.
If the room shares a wall with your master bedroom already, you might want to consider having a contractor add a direct door or archway. In most modern homes this is a cheap and easy job that adds a lot of conveniences.
Step Two: Consider the Lighting & Electrical Needs
A great walk-in closet deserves good lighting. This is not the sort of thing you want to contemplate after you’ve installed all your shelves and cubbies. Especially if the room is currently only set up for a single overhead light, or relied on lamps plugged into outlets.
Electrical wiring for light fixtures is best to run when the walls are bare, and you don’t have to worry about a contractor or electrician getting drywall dust on your clothes. Some of the most common options for light fixtures in a walk-in closet include.
Recessed lighting takes up very little vertical space, and can have different cast dynamics based on placement.
Track lighting can be repositioned to cast light at different angles as needed.
LED lights are very energy efficient. They can be used to light shelves, corners, and cubbies. They are available in just about any hue to set the ambiance in the walk-in closet.
Compact fluorescent light fixtures are energy efficient and can cast light in different tones while filling into most incandescent light fixtures in place of conventional light bulbs.
Step Three: Find a Place For Your Hanger Rods
The most dominating feature in most walk-in closets is the hanger rods. This is where your everyday garments and favorite outfits will spend most of their time suspended by hangers. So, you want to assess the number of garments you need to hang from those rods, and then allow for a long enough span to find heavy-duty closet poles.
A good rule of thumb here is to take the total length of closet hanger rods you’re currently using, and then expand that by 25%. This will give you sufficient space between your current garments, as well as a little extra room to add new ones in the future.
Step Four: Decide on Drawer & Dresser Placement
Dressers and/or drawer systems are another key component of any walk-in closet conversion. They tend to take up a lot of space in smaller rooms. So take your time finding the right location and size of dresser or drawers you want.
Here again, a good rule of thumb is to take whatever you have for the current dresser or drawer space and upgrade it by at least 25%. You might want to also consider having a custom dresser or drawer system installed with drawer dividers. This will help you maximize your drawer space while keeping everything organized.
Step Five: Vanities & Full-Length Mirrors
Most people who design their own walk-in closet or transform a spare room consider a vanity or at least a full-length dressing mirror to be a must-have feature. A full-length mirror or tri-fold mirror lets you see yourself from every angle to make sure everything is just right.
A vanity is a perfect place to put on your makeup, decide on your accessories and do your hair. It’s also a functional place to just sit and contemplate the day ahead or behind. Here too, most vanities have drawers, and any drawer worth its salt needs dividers to maximize its utility.
Step Six: Make Way for the Shoes
If you’re a person who needs to have the right shoes on hand for any occasion, then you probably want to have them on hand in your new walk-in closet. There are a lot of options here, but most people choose cubbies and/or adjustable shelves. This lets you make minor changes to the vertical space to accommodate the unique characteristics of each pair of shoes.
You might want to also consider a display space for some of your favorite pairs or high-value shoes that you want to show off. A glass case and some LED accent lighting wouldn’t be a bad idea here.
Step Seven: A Dedicated Jewelry Cabinet
Just like footwear, you need to have the right jewelry for every occasion, and you’ll want to keep it close at hand. Here again, take what you currently have and expand your expectations by 25%.
Consider hangers for everyday necklaces, bracelets, and watches. Drawers with adjustable dividers let you separate earrings into their own compartment and keep rings where you can find them in a flash.
You might want to also consider security for some of your high-value jewelry. A secure cabinet with a lock and key, or a built-in wall safe are all things you find in a lot of people’s dream walk-in closets.
Step Eight: Save Space for Shelves
Most walk-in closets have an obligatory long shelf above the hanger rods. This is all fine and good, but chances are you’ll need more vertical space than that for boxes and other handy items. If your spare room walk-in closet space is blessed with tall shelves, you might want to consider adding adjustable shelves.
These are often track systems that can be anywhere from two to eight feet high or more. The tracks are easy to change, which lets you adjust the height of each shelf to your specific needs. You can add a single track of shelves above the hanger rod shelves, or take over a whole wall if need be.