making the most of your ikea pax wardrobe

The previous tenant left this wardrobe for my new clients which is perfect for the husband to have his own closet.

He’s tall so I reinstalled the hanging bar as far up as it could go with casual clothes to the left and work clothes to the right. A hook on the door holds his tie rack. It’s on the right so it doesn’t push against the suit jackets when the door is closed. Two additional drawers hold the rest of his casual clothes. His shoes are in the hall closet.

The key here is separating out the casual vs work clothes and within those categories, grouping like things together; all shorts together, all work-out together (middle drawer), t-shirts, etc.

UPDATE: Yes nessabirdie, it wasn’t so bad to begin with but now everything is much more accessible. This unit is 24″D which makes the shelves (as you can see in the before pic) double deep. The pieces in the back of the top shelf are hard to get without having to move everything in the front. And he didn’t want to sit on the floor to get his things on the bottom. The inexpensive drawers make it easy to reach everything and keep it neat and categorized. A picture doesn’t show how it is to actually use something and all the details that bother someone like how his ties annoyed him hanging on the bar; it took up too much room and it was hard to see them. Thanks for your comment!

separate closets = a happy marriage

Before, this closet was a staging/storage with some of the husband’s clothes but mostly misc things. This husband and wife were sharing a larger walk-in closet, but I think it’s important each person have their own space for non-shared items like clothes. He’s quite tall so reaching the top rod and high shelves are no problem. The top rod holds work clothes and the lower for casual clothes.
The wife’s closet is almost finished, she getting some new canvas storage boxes and a rug. I’ll show you pics when it’s all done… For more details on this project, check out my Flickr.

linen closet: before + after

This client recently moved into a 2 bedroom apartment with her husband and 2 small children. The apartment is beautiful and all the closets have great shelving but having great closets doesn’t make you organized.
She wants to make the space more functional and I want to make sure the insides look as great as the rest of the apartment.
For the linen closet, she did a pretty good job categorizing and has plenty of nice storage bins, but I wanted to take it a little further and make it more functional.
The large striped tote is now in the master bathroom holding extra toilet paper and we plan on getting something similar for the kids’ bathroom. We edited down the rest, sorted by category, moved a few shelves, and reused existing containers to put it all back. Things least often used are on the top shelves (which she can reach either way). And there’s still room to add more. 
For more info, check out my flickr.
UPDATE: Just realized I spelled toddler wrong on the label, it has been corrected!

q + a: hallway shoe storage


 Tara asks: “The hallway just off my entry has become a pile of shoes, they’re not making it to the bedroom, they’re living in the hall. Any suggestions for narrow, attractive shoe shelves? Thanks!”

Most shoe shelves are just not that attractive, especially if you really have to stare at them from the living room. How about a storage bench? The shoes can go inside, use an open bin within the bench to keep things separated. And it gives you a spot to sit while putting the shoes on and off:
48″W x 20″D x 18″H

comes in chocolate brown, red, and white
OR How about a closed cabinet? At nearly 8″ deep it’s great for women’s and kid’s shoes:
47 1/4″W x 7 7/8″D x 25 1/4″H
23 5/8″W x 25 1/4″H
2 @ $50.00

walk-in closet: before and after (just about)

The little L-shaped walk-in closet was my latest challenge. She basically wanted me to recreate my closet for her. Here’s what I added:
drawer unit below (from ikea, no longer available)
– hanging shoe rack behind the door
This is actually a progress shot; we need to edit along with a season switch, add a small rug, and put on the handles on the top drawers. But otherwise it’s just about finished….

(ruth) organized jewelry cabinet







I’m very close to finishing this apartment. The latest thing to tackle was jewelry, including her mother’s pieces that she hadn’t looked at for many years. Using muji acrylic drawers and cork boards this chinese cabinet formerly holding a mish-mash of stuff is now the jewelry cabinet. 

We sorted everything into:
– sentimental, but wouldn’t wear (stored separately)
– donate
– sell
– give away to friends, family
– pieces to keep
For her mother’s pieces, which are pretty fabulous, I helped her make them her own; I’m quite familiar with her wardrobe, so suggested how and what to wear them with. Since these shots were taken, we’ve added small hooks to the inside door for more hanging room. 

move to alcove studio continued…



This apt has two great clothes closets and I wanted to show the progress we’ve made with them. Closet #1 has boxed and hanging off-season clothes, special occasion clothes (hanging on the right) with jewelry organizer in the middle. We added the mesh drawer unit after we completely filled the new dresser.
Closet #2 also has boxed off-season clothes on the top shelf, with current season folded and hanging clothes and shoes lining the floor. I’m hoping to make room to use a hanging shoe organizer or store the shoes somewhere a bit more accessible as this client has arthritis and it’s not so easy to bend down to see the shoes.
My installer is coming tomorrow to hang art, mirrors, etc. Stay tuned!!

walk-in closet: before + after

I don’t have a true before pic as the first shot is actually a progress shot taken after I cleaned the shelves (with the magic eraser) and put in the beautiful rug that was rolled up in the coat closet with no foreseen use in this apt. We were so happy it fits nearly perfectly in here.
We used every inch of the closet. Her everyday shoes are on the back of the door, and her boots lined up on the floor (the rest of her shoes and a full length mirror are in the accessories closet). Her jewelry, formerly spread out on her dresser, is now in a hanging organizer and a pegboard. Clear plastic drawers hold very delicate pieces that shouldn’t be hung, but want close at hand (she’s fabulously tall so reaching this isn’t a problem). The closed canvas boxes hold off-season clothing.
There are more pics and more details on my flickr.