It's that time of year again, when we commence pulling out those gorgeous cashmere sweaters and printed scarves, from they're dusty and not the most attractive of storage bins, to mentally assembling the chicest of fall's phenomenal outfits. We're once again embracing chunky heavy coats, to those magnificent open toed Alexander McQueen black booties -- and how we're going to strewn them all together, in the coolest fashion... that being said, somehow this task comes to mind in a light and fun manner, if you had to put together a new fall fashion statement in a store's dressing room, but at home is typically a whole other messy happenstance. I have just finally completed a closet renovation in my house that will put all that disorganization of clothing chaos hopefully to bed. So whether, your renovation is big or small, I'm penning these eight tips to help guide and inspire you, for a serene place that will soon be your new fashion mecca.
- Paint the walls: or even wallpaper, at least one, if not four of the walls of the closet. One of my favorite sure bet ideas, is to paint merely the back facing wall of the closet -- the one behind the shelves of shoes and/or sweaters. This adds a nice pop of color and surprise (whether you're going for a vibrant lilac hue, or a peaceful peacock blue. Paint (and carpeting) are the two things in renovation, that make the most difference and cost the least. Nothing adds more of an inviting store-like charm and vibe, then dimension with the usage of color and texture.
- Pay attention to your floor: I really went for it in my new closet, having fun with a closet full of personality and timeless trend. I replaced the boring beige carpet with leopard print, that I stumbled upon, at a nearby flooring/carpet store -- that also happens to sell remnants (aka close outs), and negotiated a deal for 11' x 11' carpeting plus installation for less than $500. This is keeping your closet eco friendly too, as it helps in the recycling of pre existing carpets, so as not buying new shipped on oil tankers new bulk. Also closets look fierce, with a zebra print or hip animal skin faux cowhide rug.
- Look up: I am always on the lookout for amazing inspiration when I travel, especially London. One of the most insanely decorated and posh restaurants I have ever had the pleasure of going to is called "Les Trois Garcons" I'll never forget, dining and taking in the surrounding treasures and noticing the coolest ceiling ever! A beautiful ceiling adorned in a linear fashion with all vintage miniature handbags. I now, have translated this to my sanctuary I call my closet. I have collected them from flea markets, yard sales and my grandmother's hand me downs. Each little purse, hangs from a small round hook, and I simply dangle the purse strap to hang it from above, as you walk in the door. People truly gasp and think it is so clever. My point to this tip is, engage the visual 4 fold (walls, floor, ceiling and the room itself). Scour flea markets or even eBay , for a one of a kind chandelier or heck even paint the ceiling a different color (ie., sky blue and do opti white walls for that celestial look).
- Create an Island: I've simply used a tall dark wooden dresser and placed it between two symmetric windows, to peak out between them from their wall to middle of room. Place pretty bowls to plop jewelry, nail polish or even helpful fashion items in (ie., fashion stick tape, shoe insoles and safety pins). Purchase cute jewelry and/or hat or sunglass holders to place on top of the island. Your closet will be your new favorite boutique!
- Somewhere to sit: If you're creating an extra space into a closet, and have the room, like the island, every fabulous closet needs a chic chair, or ottoman, to not only sit in, to put those shoes on, but also acts as a zone to caress your clothes on, while deciding the finality of your outfit for that day or evening. And on that note -- make sure you have a couple of "butler hooks" where possible, so you can hang extra clothes while considering and planning for your ensemble or while packing for your next voyage.
- Add a Mirror: to see your stellar ensembles, and accentuate more natural light as well. It also makes the closet appear bigger.
- Don't forget the door: backs of doors, underneath the bed and I highly recommend a "jewelry drawer" and a "gift drawer" I'm telling you, this is my secret shopping weapon! Why rush out the day before a birthday, or holiday, just to get a gift for gift's sake -- when throughout the year, and you spot something special with that person's name on it and maybe even perhaps it happens to be on sale, or hard to ever get again, as you're 6,000 miles away on an exotic trip and you just wont find those amazing made by hand in Peru beautiful wooden carved bowls again, etc... Xmas shopping throughout the year is much more time and money saving -- all complete without the maddening holiday stress. Container Store has all the best drawer organizers).
- Color consistency: Last but not least, organize all clothes by color and type (evening, office and daywear/work out wear) and while you're at it, replace all the hangers, with the thin shaped Slim Line brand hangers. Filter those unwanted items, the old rule of thumb, give it away if you have not worn it in over a year. Consign those designer duds with The Real Real and use the money from your sales, to contribute to your new and exciting closet.