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Design

Our Closets, designed and styled

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When we bought the house one of our major concerns was storage – the closets were “vintage” and “adorable”. But not everything original needs to remain in your house if it’s not going to work best for your lives or say, ruin your marriage. Most of our friends were like ‘YOU CAN’T LIVE LIKE THIS, IT WILL RUIN YOU MARRIAGE’ but we said ‘Hold up. We just need to purge and invest in good organizational systems’.

So as we renovated we did what we could to make them inches larger but there really was no room to make a walk-in closet or add additional closets. So we enlisted California Closets and Chloe O’Keefe, one of their designers to help consult, draw, build and install our custom shelving for our closets, to really make the most out of our space and come up with some clever storage solutions that work best for each of our closets.

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There’s us, laughing at the fact that we have a 1 1/2 year old and a 3 1/2 year old. IT’S HILARIOUS.

As a reminder, here is what the upstairs looked like before we renovated.

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The rooms are not huge so adding a walk-in really wasn’t an option. We made the bathroom smaller and added a few feet of closet space in our master which really was worth it since we were renovating anyway.

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Then we added a normal wall closet for Charlie and a psuedo walk-in for Birdie.

Let’s start with the master. My best friend (who has been closet deprived for a few years) said this was a deal breaker to her – that the closet situation in this house would have made her pass on it (and perhaps did make a lot of people turned off) but there is no perfect house and we have a lovely yard in a lovely neighborhood in a house full of light and charm. We could compromise on closet space due to everything else that we were checking off of our lists when it came to a new home and downsize what we hoarded and maximize the closets.

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We purged 70% of our clothes, and we keep all our special occasion clothes (suits/cocktail dresses/snow clothes) in a covered rolling rack in the garage. But regardless, that little lady above was not going to work for two grownups. Brian has no idea how lucky he is to have a wife that isn’t a clothes horse – he thinks I’m a ‘shoe’ person when I literally have maybe 12 pairs of shoes at a time and I wear them til they fall apart and typically replace. Living in LA certainly helps where you can wear mostly the same shoes year round – also as one reader pointed out last week I do have a bunion so I’m not exactly squeezing these feet into pair after pair of sexy summer strappy sandals. Regardless, though, it was just a bar with no system or shelving so it was going to be a challenge.

As you saw above we stole from the rather large bathroom (once shared by four people, now only 2) to add about 2 feet to the closet. It made a MASSIVE difference:

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At first we were going to have double doors but we realized that we would probably want more wall space both inside the closet and in the room. We THOUGHT that the bed was going to go on the right wall and then we’d need a dresser on that wall, but of course we ended up putting the bed on the window wall (which is actually GREAT).

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So we had them make the opening smaller. Now I KNOW what you are thinking – why not a pocket door??? And for the life of me I don’t remember why we didn’t. We wanted to and discussed it. And I know that we couldn’t do it on the right because of plumbing, and on the left we would have had to re-route the electricity. I also think there was a thing about the height because the ceiling was low and the doorway was going to be lower so we were going to have to get something custom, but HONESTLY I don’t know if there was a good enough reason to not get a pocket door. It could have been because they already framed for regular doors so they were going to have to reframe again and I was over it. I remember that day where we went through deciding which vintage doors we could use, which could be moved somewhere else and which we would need to custom make and install (and which we didn’t care about because they weren’t noticeable). I remember just being done making decisions and didn’t want them to have to reframe and add on the expense.

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That was me, pre-closet design. Looking super perplexed at what I was going to do with that pile of clothes that had just fell from the tension rod.

In retrospect I wish that I had put in a pocket and custom made something that replicated the original – with vertical wood slats. But honestly, I don’t really care nor mind the pretty curtain. It’s not a big deal and I may still dress it up to be prettier. You know there are some things worth your time/money and some that aren’t. I’m sure for resale a pocket would be better but we don’t plan on selling this house ever so who cares???

When we were debating buying the house we said if we do this, we are investing in a professional to maximize the closets. Our life is too chaotic and we are too messy to not have tools, created by people who are actually professionals at organizing closets.

Here’s the process – one of their designers comes to you and basically consults with you on want you want/need and of course takes measurements. You don’t need to necessarily choose the finishes that day, but you get one on one attention, and all your questions are answered.

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The care they took in making sure that the function was maximized was so impressive. If you think you can do this on your own, then call me because I HAVE WORK FOR YOU. This stuff isn’t easy.

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Chloe was honestly amazing. She took everything into consideration – long hanging versus short, and even height of them making sure that mine weren’t too high but giving Brian even higher ones so that he had room to put some sweaters on the shelf. She gave us belt and tie hanging options, and of course drawers. If your closets are bigger you have way more options for tricking them out, but due to our smaller space we were limited.

After 8 weeks California Closets installed them and it all changed.

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It doesn’t look sexy, but it means a lot to us. So we filled it with clothes and styled it out.

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Oh how it’s made a difference. It’s still not a big closet, but it’s maximized to its fullest extent.

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Those rectangular baskets are from Target, and the striped lidded ones below are from Container Store (which by the way I LOVE and have hidden all over my houses inside other cabinets and cupboards for storage).

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I only wear brown or nude/brown/taupe or millennial blush shoes, apparently. And the lamp is great when I need to find something late at night or early in the morning and don’t want to turn all the lights on. Emily-Henderson_House_Modern_English_Traditional_Makeover_Organization_California-Closets_17

It has a jewelry drawer which is the fanciest thing that I ever thought I would own. Seriously.

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It’s hard to shoot because it’s such a tight space, but trust me that life is easier now (as you can imagine). Master bedroom closet? CHECK.

On to little Bird’s room.

As you might remember she had a closet but it all had to be changed to put in a jack and jill bathroom.

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We stole space from her room to create her bathroom and closet.

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The closet is on the left and bathroom on the right.

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Chloe came, measured and sent through her recommendations. Her closet wasn’t as small as ours or Charlie’s so there is more room for more storage.

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I loved what they pulled together and signed off immediately. 6-8 weeks later they installed this:

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We plan on staying in this house for 10 years and this closet was very tricky. We are very lucky that we were able to organize it to be the most functional early on.

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That lucky little toddler.

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Back to the closet which is amazing and while I’m sure it’s spoiling them in a way, they aren’t brushed in 14 carrot gold and they are both very helpful when it comes to cleaning up.

Those pull-out drawers are TWO THUMBS UP.

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The mint striped bins are from Target, the spotted circular bins are from Ikea, the wicker basket on the floor is Target (though no longer available), and those pretty pink little hangers are from Container Store.

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Her tutu drawer, obviously. Let’s be honest she has 2 that she NEVER wears that I obviously bought to fulfill some sort of adorable fantasy. Moms do this and it’s weird. She has worn it twice and mostly because I heavily suggested it.

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The green bins are from Target, the frayed rope basket is from Target and the mint boxes are from Container Store.

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Next is Charlie’s closet. Let’s recap:

When we bought the house they had these really beautiful original closets. Did I feel bad about getting rid of them? YES. OBVIOUSLY. But they were pull out closets that housed like 10 shirts. Function trumps “vintage house adorableness’ at a certain point.

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That area was turned into a bathroom, but the area on the right became a small closet. Chloe gave us some options, and we chose the second one:

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We loved it, signed off and it was installed:

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Nothing too fancy, as the tight space does’t permit it,  but maximized for a child-to-tween years.

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He can reach his pull ups, socks and underwear. As of right now the rest of the bins are actually empty but I’m sure that we’ll fill those with whatever he is interested as he gets older. The blue and gray striped bins, woven blue baskets, and gray rope baskets are all from Target.

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A huge thanks to California Closets for working with us on our closets. Our designer, Chloe O’Keefe was so wonderful to work with and if you live in LA I highly recommend her. She was so thorough, fast and the installers were so careful, respectful and thorough as well. It is an investment which adds up to be a lot, but it’s not over priced. The amount of design time, materials and installation time certainly added up. The master closet cost $4750, Elliot’s $2245, and Charlie’s was $1290. They gave us a very good discount for the blog. If I weren’t getting a discount I would still have done our closet and the laundry room because the investment would have been worth the amount of life change that it brought to us. But probably put off Elliot’s and Charlie’s for a while. As a designer I know the value of custom design work, so while it’s a lot of money, it’s also a great value.

Thanks to California Closets for truly making me feel less insane by reducing the chaos in our house. I’m such a happier person when things are organized and not doing our master, specifically wasn’t an option. We have now labeled every single shelf and drawer (my favorite weekend task) and despite our storage remaining tight, it’s plenty for us because it’s well designed to be maximized. Sure, I’ll need to purge every few months, but it definitely keeps our consumption down and our smiles up.

*Another note is that their product is made from composite wood, which consists of recycled and/or reclaimed wood fiber. Using recycled material assists with diverting waste from our landfills and helps to preserve our natural resources. All of their board is CARB Phase 2 compliant. CARB (California Air Resource Board) is also the commonly used name to reference the California law, which consists of some of the most rigorous regulations for formaldehyde emission standards. I know that sounded boring but it’s a VERY good thing and something I love about the company. 

***Photos by Tessa Neustadt

Fin Mark

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CAT

Although I love the closets and how amazingly organized they are, I LOVE that you mentioned your bunion in response to the bunion-call-out-person from the other day. SNAP. BTW, you’ve got NOTHING on me sister. We call my bunions “talons”. Keep trying……:)

Molly

Is it a huge deal in California to have one 1 1/2 year old and one 3 1/2 year old? I have four kids under the age of 5, work full time, and am totally the norm here in the Midwest. You always act like its such a shocker in your area to have two toddlers… maybe just a cultural difference? Everyone on my street has two toddlers….

Molly

I felt bad this came across snarkier than I intended after I re-read it? So I tried to go back and delete it but was unable to. Sorry if this came across rude… it was not my intention… Love your work and love to hear your honesty about the challenges (and joys of course) of motherhood (solidarity!).

thelady

that *was* snarky and rude. as a fellow midwesterner, you should know better, and your mother should have taught you better.

KM

THELADY: Molly came back 3mins after her orig post to clarify, and that was probably 3 mins spent reading her first post/realizing it didn’t sound the way she intended/trying to delete it/typing new post. Your response is not only completely unnecessary, but very rude: we all learned along the way to not talk about other people’s mothers.

Kimberley

Hi Molly- As a mom here in California, I’ll say that it’s not huge deal to have two toddlers in California. In all sincerity, much props to you for pulling off four kids and a full-time job. I have two little ones and a full-time and most times feel very stressed out. If anything, I think Emily is just trying to have a laugh when she talks about the challenges or just general craziness that life offers with young children. Btw, I thought your follow-up note was a nice gesture. 🙂

Anna

I agree it is a little LA bubble -ish to bring up all the time. It really isn’t that OMG crazy to have kids spaced two years apart. Lots of humanity has survived it.

Lauren

It’s just as bubble-ish to assume that everyone in the Midwest has four kids. Where I live 4 kids under five would be $6200 a month in daycare costs. It’s definitely a show of wealth and not the norm. Most people I know with two go the nanny route, especially if they have erratic schedules. I assume Emily would given what she does. It might not be as expensive as daycare for four but it’s still pretty freaking expensive. I find these comments more tactless and disgruntled than offensive though. If people are taken aback by what she writes then… Read more »

kate

Lauren, your last sentence actually made me lol 🙂

Megan

I think it’s a lot more common to have 3+ kids in the midwest where there is so much more space, there are less people in general (less traffic and doesn’t take you an hour to get everywhere), and the cost of living is cheaper. My fiancé and I recently relocated to Northern CA because we had to for our jobs, but the reality was that it was going to be another 5-10 years before we could afford a home big enough to even accommodate multiple kids in LA. With an 800 sf house in our neighborhood selling for $1M-$1.5M… Read more »

Mariann

I actually agree with Molly. Sorry. It was the first thing I thought of when I started reading the post. And I didn’t think her first comment was rude at all. I will tell you this: I have 5 children under 9 and they have yet to need more closet space. Even the girls! Just keep on top of pulling out the old stuff, and put up more shelving in the room when they want to start keeping school stuff. And they will! No biggie. But make one of those famous “splurges” and put a pocket door on yours! That… Read more »

Teri

I agree, Mariann.

Katya

I think it’s definitely a cultural difference. My best friend lives in West Hollywood and she is the only mother among all her friends. We’re in our mid-30s. Go figure.

Kel

I live in a decently sized city in the Midwest and four kids under 5 is definitely not the norm.

Molly

I live in Chicago, late 30s, and only one friend here has a baby.

Kali

I have two kids two years apart, work full time and it’s insane. Some kids are busier than others and some families have different commitments taking up their time. Even now with my boys getting older I find it nearly impossible to finish most projects in any timely sense. Just washing the dishes I have to step away to handle whatever is going on with the kids or take time away to give them the attention they deserve from me.

Eve

I’m in CA, in the bay area, and it’s pretty remarkable to have two kids. It’s just so damn expensive here and in LA. I’m in my 30’s and some of my friends have one kid. Those with two talk a lot about moving out of the area so that they can afford, let’s say, a yard. Count your blessings to be employed somewhere affordable!

Sarah D.

Hi Molly, so sweet of you to reread your comment and try to edit. I have 3 babes within 5 years and live in so cal. I took her comment as being a self deprecating one….as in, here I am looking all glamorous and laughing while showcasing my gorgeous closet system, BUT I still deal with the sshhh it show that is raising tiny people????. It made me laugh out loud when I read it, as I can relate.

I didn’t think it seemed snarky, Molly, and I, too, have noticed the same thing (about the repeated references to have two children <two years apart). It's interesting the different ways we each find to self-identify. Like, that's not mine because, like you, it's normal 'round here. That being said, one of the smartest things I did for **myself** was redo my children's closets (literally years before I had mine redone). Oh my god I LOVE (loved and continue to love) how easy it has been first for me and now for my eldest to have delineated places to put… Read more »

Megan C.

Whether you have one or two of five thousand children, life can still be crazy. Can’t we, as women, just commiserate on that fact? ALL kids can be handfuls. Emily is expressing that fact, no need to try to “one up” her. Women need to stick together and support each other, not knock each other down a notch every chance we get.

sc

YOU WIN THE THREAD –

Emily mentioning her specific modern crazy doesn’t negate someone else’s. Just be nice.

Jb

Exactly. we ALL put every ounce of our energy into whatever number of kids we have. It’s not like I have a maximum supply of energy for three kids, so when I had one kid, I only used 1/3 of my max. I used ALL of my energy, etc. for one and I use ALL of my energy for three!!

Original poster-i appreciate your clarification. It was classy.

Dena

Thank you for this comment. I have one child. And yes, you do use your maximum energy for that one. Even as they grow up- they do not have siblings to play with!! It’s all challenging, beautiful, fun, difficult no matter how many you have. Especially because I have one I am always getting told how EASY I have it. Why can’t people just leave me alone about it! Support each other! Stop the comparisons. It’s silly.

Dena

My comment is in response to JB! Just to clarify!

caitlin

Amen sister!! We are one and done by choice and I’m getting a little tired feeling guilty that our life in some respects is easier than others, but at the same time our 3.5 year old constantly demands we play with him. Parenting is hard no matter what, my hard just looks different that other people’s hard.
Oh and Emily, I just adore you and think you’re a pretty amazing mom, woman, and designer!

MamaCalise

Amen to that!

MamaCalise

That was in response to Megan C… we women have to stick together. I have 3 ages 8-13 in Pasadena CA and it feels like a miracle that we just bought a house and have made it this long in So Cal… we are from the Midwest originally and it is very different there…

ChristinaInAustralia

That’s so spot on, Megan. Women can be very hard on each other– I don’t know why…

Dee

ummm YES!! I actually can’t believe i just spent the last 10 min of my life reading a bunch of moms trying to compete about who has more kids based on location therefore more stress yet apparently managing much better without complaining (they complain, don’t be fooled, people). When did this become a competition? And who the heck cares how many children you have or don’t have anyway? It almost feels like the more kids we have the more we think we deserve some kind of medal above every other mom. I see it alllll over instagram and it’s really… Read more »

This!

Cherish

I don’t think this was a rude observation/comparison at all, but then again maybe I’m just thicker skinned than most online these days. 🙂 I do think the point someone made about moms supporting each other is crucial–every phase of parenting is hard! I was overwhelmed when I had my first child, then overwhelmed with my second, then my third, and now again with my fourth! But rather than fall into elite status (“wow, having just two kids now seems so easy!”), it’s important to remember where we’ve been and relate to one another’s challenges.

Sarah

Life with toddlers is crazy, whether you have 1 or 5, no matter where you live! I have a son who turned 3 this week and a daughter who turned 1 in April. They are the cutest, funniest little people and bring me so much joy, and in the same minute can make me want to pull my hair out. I don’t think she comments about her children because she wants people to feel sorry for her or anything like that, or to congratulate her for raising 2 kids in California, I think it is her reality right now. Your… Read more »

Tiffanie

Maybe it’s just me, but Emily’s one-liner about her and the closet lady having 1.5 and 3.5 yr old kids reminded me of my friend and I that always marvel that a) someone married us and b) we procreated. To me (us) it’s a miracle! We laugh about where our life has taken us. It’s all GOOD. Lighten up people!

Emma

Ugh, My partner (a climate scientist) and I purposely had only two kids (he wanted one or none) bc the EARTH IS LITERALLY DYING FROM TOO MANY PPL. Every time someone brings up wanting to have a large family who hasn’t thought about the moral implications of it on the planet needs their heads examined.

Tiffanie

Emma, that’s amazing you were able to convince him to have two kids. I always wonder about people who really know what kind of world we are shaping into. I often have bad day dreams that my little man will become a scavenger on a scorched earth.

Esme

This bickering and one-ups-manship is gross. I’ve come to expect it on a political blog, not on a design blog. The women I know have zero to four kids…and none of them would ever take the time to brag or put down other women on social media. Yuck.

Jess

I’d be careful on what I would call moral implications and having people’s heads examined. I could counter with the fact that from your statement that though I am assuming your children are biological, I would argue that with a climate scientist in the family that you should have been more aware than anyone and adopted your children and not added to the total population at all.

Tabatha

If you are so worried about too many people, why didn’t you adopt, instead of adding to the population.

Sarah D.

We recently had our master bath and closet professionally designed and the creativity shown in the master closet was pure genius. I always thought it’d be “great” to have a closet person, but that it was an unattainable luxury. It is worth every penny! Every little nook and cranny gets maximized.

I saw that comment last week, your feet are as gorgeous as you are. Much love to EHD.

Zoe

Very impressed by all of the cute baskets and bins from all of the different retailers. You really must have looked everywhere! I hope you do a roundup of that.

Also, I totally read that bunion comment in the glad post and was like OMG RUDE and now I’m cracking up about how you just unabashedly called that out.

Cindy

Everyone in the Midwest has bunions. but not four kids. Ha.

Jody

Haha being fun the Midwest, with three kids, and huge bunions… thank you for the laugh!!

Lydia

YES! bin roundup would be 100% the best!

S

Would love a bin round up

Susanna

The closets look so very functional — and function can be certainly beautiful in itself, as evidenced here. I LOVE the feeling of “everything in its place” 🙂 And the styling is gorgeous as usual!

P.S. Thanks for disclosing the costs! One question: are those costs pre- or post-discount? Thanks!

Laura

I’m guessing before. I just did my master in CaCl and it was about the same.

Tiffanie

Based on the CC Estimate I received the costs appear to be PRE discount.

Karin

The bench at the end of the bed in the master, Target? Funny what we focus on!

Katya

I used to have a co-worker who was famous for back-handed compliments like, “OMG, your scarf is so cute. I hate you.” One day she said my outfit was cute but she didn’t hate me because my toenails weren’t painted. Thanks? I swears, some people go through life looking for other people’s flaws because it makes them feel better about themselves. Ain’t nobody got time for those people.

Don’t sweat the bunions, girl. Also, your closets/home/family/clothes are fabulous.

Lane

Some people joke like that. It’s not my kind of joking. Being an introvert I prefer deep conversations to small talk. But it’s not worth it to think too much into those kinds of comments 🙂

Kendall

I am drooling! These closets are amazing! Organizing is my stress relief and having closets like these are what my dreams are made of.

Ali

So cute! I recently installed a DIY closet organization system in my closet. Although it is nowhere near as cute and styled as these, it changed my life! So, I fully support this and would definitely invest in a professional if my budget allowed.

One question: Are these closet systems adjustable, or will you need to have CC come back to rework the kids’ closets once they are older/taller and have different needs?

Suzy

I had the same question…!

Emily

Yes, they are totally adjustable, so as they grow we can move up and down the rods and the shelves to better fit their needs (and clothes).
xx

K

Love peeking into beautiful closets!

Where is the large canvas and leather bin at the bottom of Charlie’s closet from?

Emily

It is from Schoolhouse Electric although unfortunately not available anymore.
xx

Polly

darn it.

Lindsay

I’m all heart eyes at the various baskets and bins. In particular; where is the toy bin on the floor in Charlie’s closet from? I could definitely use a toy bin that big which I think my husband would also like (he hates baskets of all types, the poor misguided fellow).

Thanks!

Obviously, those closets are what dreams are made of, but…is that a Cleveland hat I spy in Charlie’s closet?? Go Tribe!

Rmily

Is the price you quoted what you paid with a discount or what a normal person would pay without a discount?

Magnolia

I was coming on to ask the same question — are the numbers that you quote the “normal person” prices (and you paid less, which is awesome), or the discounted prices (and we should expect to pay more — and if so, do you have an idea how much more?). Do you mind sharing? I live in an old house with tiny closets, and never thought about this as an option to maximize them, but now that you have pictures… just trying to get an idea of what the pricing is like. Thanks.

California Closets

Hi Rmily, we can design a storage solution, custom tailored to your lifestyle and budget. The cost of your home storage solution is driven by the complexity of the design and materials you choose and is different for each project we do.

We encourage you to sign up for a complimentary in-home design consultation where one of our designers can assess your needs and come up with a solution that works within your budget. You can request an appointment on our website: https://www.californiaclosets.com/

Jules

I want those pull out baskets in Birdie’s closet! So cute.

Kim

If you’d done a pocket door in your closet that leaves wall space that can’t have things nailed into right, correct? So maybe it’s good you didn’t do one. I so wish we could afford to have CC come do ours. Maximizing space is no easy task I’m finding out! Maybe some day…Your closets look amazing!

Erica

You can still use Command picture-hanging strips. I’ll always sing their praises. In fact, I hung 3 wood-backed hooks on our bathroom wall in front of a pocket door using my belong Command strips. I use them for everything but the heaviest art and mirrors.

Jessie

I know that seems like a lot of money, but as you said, those old inefficient closets are such a turn off for so many people! You probably added a solid amount of that cost to your home’s value by making them more useable! I know you’re planning to stay here quite a while, but someday you’ll get that payoff from the investment, kind of like you will with the added bathroom. And in the meantime, you get the sanity payoff 🙂

Anne

I just removed a large soaking tub in our bathroom to make a closet for myself. I decided against a pocket door for the new doorway because I wanted the storage space on the back of the door for hooks, etc. Since we kept a lovely window in the new closet, I keep the door open most of the time, as the view from the bathroom looks straight through to the window. I also had our carpenter install shelf brackets for hanging rods along two walls, one wall with three levels of hanging rods to the ceiling. A shallow wall… Read more »

Lea

I think the answer for your closet is a pair of double acting “saloon” doors! You can have them made to match your other doors and extend them pretty close to the floor and door head height. It will feel less “dorm room” than the curtain.

kellie

I second this suggestion! The curtain would definitely bug me and makes the room not feel “finished” or “designed.”

christina

great idea! I am not into the curtains.

Sarah

Gorgeous closets! We also have mini ones in our 1922 colonial and I like seeing examples of maximizing space.

Tonya

I think Molly’s comment was on target because the constant implication that having 2 kids is crazy is… well, odd. Most people don’t have a full-time nanny to boot and they still manage.
Little kids and jobs are plenty of work though.
Cute closets and kids.

Lane

I don’t understand these comments about 2 toddlers either. Most of my friends and my parents’ friends had children 1-2-3 years apart at most. The reason was simple, to have kids that can play with one another and be closer in age as time goes by. It’s super absorbing to have multiple kids, but better in general to spend 20 years total raising kids than perhaps spending 30 years if kids are years apart. Also when it comes to costs, yards, home size, it didn’t matter in the past as much as it matters now. And yes, I’m myself partially… Read more »

emily

True! We’re contemplating a third, and we live in 1800sf (which is pretty big for a city) and probably won’t ever be able to own a home. But I’ve never really understood why having a home and a huge amount of savings is necessary before children. I mean, sure, it might make some things easier, but raising human beings is a challenge no matter how you cut it, and like you say, those things really have nothing to do with raising a great kid. Actually…I don’t really get why people don’t say things like – I want to have kids,… Read more »

christina

Totally agree that having two kids close in age is pretty hard. I wouldn’t recommend it but it seems its the norm. If it was planned this way, then I feel like it should be expected. I mean, why would one think that it wouldn’t be chaotic. A two year old is still a baby-adding another baby to the mix means signing up for a few years of utter craziness.

emily

Yep. I had two, two years apart, and they love each other and it’s great, but if we have a third, the second and third will be 5 years apart and that sounds so dreamy. I feel like I’ll get to enjoy that babyhood like I did my first, but with all the infant experience in the bag.

Jen

Christina, although you’ve couched it in passive voice, what it sounds like you’re saying is, Emily chose this so why is she complaining? Which, quite frankly, sucks. For way too long mothers were expected to shoulder without ever complaining all of the chaos, sacrifices, and mind-numbing inanity that comes with raising children (burdens men still don’t carry equally). Lots of women suffered and felt really alone because of that. My read is that Emily is not complaining so much as she’s trying to connect with others who are also experiencing the same feelings. If that makes her feel less alone,… Read more »

Amalécyte

I loved the article and how beautiful everything look (amazing styling ! As always…), but am astonished by the enormous cost of those closets. I’m wondering: considering that you had to demolish and rebuild all of that space, why not use antiques and skip the closets ? (disclaimer: I’m French, walk-in closets are exotic for me). In a purely budget perspective, I’m sure you can get a beautiful solid wood dresser or armoire for way less than you paid for the composite wood in your closets ? I’m living in the US right now and have FIVE walk-in closets in… Read more »

Lane

Being European, I get your comment. Even an ikea wardrobe could be a built in wardrobe in the bedroom and it would cost less money and could look really good. That wall to ceiling wardrobe just doesn’t take as much floor space. My closets are not walk-in closets, but I have a rod and added shelving at different heights to add functionality. It costed 50-100 per closet (more for all-wood shelves). I bet you don’t have too much clothes, you mostly have fewer quality pieces that you love and use. Well some American’s aren’t like that. They buy, and they… Read more »

B

It looks like Emily’s closets are, for the most part, quite irregularly shaped. We have the same issue in our house (built in 1908!), and honestly it’s not worth it to go through the cost and effort to try to retrofit an IKEA closet into our very particular space, even though IKEA is a great, affordable option. We’re redoing our bedroom right now and plan to throw up a couple tension rods and stick a Kallax shelf in there until we can afford something custom like this.

Also, your comment about Americans ????

juli

it is called Capitalism! really! it is amazing the huuuuge amount of things americans produce and buy. like for one item there are hundreds of possibilities..it is overwhelming…so i guess that is part of their culture, there is so much things , an so much created needs, and eveything is thought to be consumed and then replaced, plus affordable everything that heu just buy and hoard, just because

Where I am from (which is Florence, Italy, currently hosting Pitti Uomo) we do share the need for casual and formal wear, for winter and summer clothes and we are blessed with washing machines too 🙂 Joking about us being no savages aside, perhaps Americans just tend to own more clothes than Europeans do, possibly because they are used to bigger storage spaces. Personally I think the quantity of fresh food I normally buy would be different if I grew up being used to double door refrigerators or to not having a refrigerator at all. Instead I am used to… Read more »

Susan

Looks beautiful! I love everything about this! I do wish the trolls would go away, it’s such useless commentary.

Lilli

Ok, please don’t take this the wrong way, but the thing I focused on, was Charlie’s pull-ups. Is it normal to have kids that old still use diapers? All of the kids I’ve known, friends and family, are potty-trained around 1.5 years, by the time they’re 2.

(edit: looks like it’s a cultural difference. I’m European. http://www.parentingscience.com/potty-training-age.html)

Andrea

I think there’s no general rule, I have two daughters, one was potty trained before turning two (all by herself), the other one was almost five, when she could sleep through the night before accidents. By that time I was kinda worried but according to our doctor, some kids just get there later with physical development. (I’m European too:)

Andrea

*without* accidents of course

Emily

3.5 is definitely not unusual, especially at night.

PinguinoRodgriguez

Good God, there’s a lot of judgy parenting bullshit on everything Emily posts. “Don’t take this the wrong way but… “…stop calling your 3yo a toddler!” “…I feel sorry for your kids because you ask them to smile in photos!” “…you think 2 kids is hard? Well I have FOUR!” “…shouldn’t your 3yo have been fully nighttime potty-trained at age 1?”

Just out of curiosity, what was the “right way” to take any of these comments?

Laura

I agree! I used to like reading the comment section on this blog because it was a real continuation of the post with thoughtful, humorous comments.

Lissa

I agree. It’s getting so effing annoying I’m probably not going to read the comments section anymore.

Mandolin

I just want to say that my sister wore pull ups and “goodnights” (the nighttime version of pull ups) well into elementary school because she had several health problems related to her thyroid (she was born without one) that caused her to have bladder issues. When other people’s children potty train is none of your business. They could be dealing with issues that you will never know about (not saying Emily is dealing with anything like this because I DON’T KNOW HER.). Think before you comment, even if you think that comment is made with concern. These are not you… Read more »

Erin

It is TOTALLY NORMAL for a 3.5 year old to be wearing pull-ups at night.

Jesus people.

Celia

Wow – the majority of kids potty trained before 2? Maybe I’m a crazy lady but I have a daughter one day younger than Birdie, so nearly 20 months – and she is nowhere even close to potty training. I’d say we have 10-12 close mum friends with children the same age, and not one of their kids is at the stage of more than irregular potty use. All of which is beside the point, which is that it’s a decision for individual parents. I feel like so many of the comments here are just women undermining other women and… Read more »

Eileen

Closets look amazing! How did you install and where did you purchase the white curtains in your master closet?

Hannah

I love this! About to have our first child and as I get nesting crazy I’ve been side-eyeing all of the closest and finding myself itching to make them more efficient.

Are the prices listed pre-discount or including the discount??

Lauren

I cannot believe someone commented on your feet. Rock on with your lovely self!

B

Some of the comments on here… I can’t believe people take time out of their day to prod at others like this. Who cares?!

elle

I’m really in need of closet inspiration for our new home so this is very helpful! For your master closet, if you’re inclined with time, but mostly a bit of money, have you considered a barn door? There must be a style of door and hardware that’d work for an english tudor, no?

Lane

Great job maximizing the closet space. It looks super functional. Bins also look great. I wish I could afford that because it looks really good. My solution to small closets and the lack of functionality was adding wooden or wire shelves in closets. We actually bought wood and cut and painted shelves to size. Some shelves are parallel to the rod others are perpendicular based on which maximizes space better. And if I need to improve on this, I’ll add some bins. That cost probably 75-200 per closet depends on how many shelves we needed to add. There are other… Read more »

Tiffanie

Elliot’s closet is so big with all the shelving and bin storage. I only have experience with 13 mos old son’s stuff and he doesn’t need that much closet storage. What all is stored in her closet?

PS: a mirrored barn door for your closet is an out-there door solution, but could be kind of cool

christina

oh my gosh, a barn door would be a great solution!!!

kate

I was thinking about a barn door type solution, too, but I bet it would probably be too inconsistent with the over all style of the house to work.

Cindy

Hi Emily, I came here to comment about your mention of Charlie’s Pull-Ups, because I have a feeling someone might give you a hard time. My son was in Pull-Ups at night FOR.EV.ER. We tried everything to get him out of them (less liquids in the evenings, getting him up to go to the bathroom, etc.) and nothing worked until he was just ready. I’m here to assure you it’s no big deal! He will not go to college in Pull-Ups, I promise.

Rock on, mama! You’re killing it.

emily

seriously. There are bigger things to worry about!

Monica

These are beautiful closets, but all the talk of needing big closets, house deal-breakers, and ruined marriages makes me seriously roll my eyes. Closets like these are total luxuries, and many of us survive just fine with small (shared!) closets and fewer things. Your blog is becoming sadly unrelatable for me.

B

Although I think the bit about ruined marriages was in jest, do you really have no dealbreakers when it comes to your home? You’ll live anywhere?!

For some people, that’s storage space (closets). For others, it’s a yard or a second bathroom or a formal dining room or a short commute or a school district. We all have different priorities, and isn’t that wonderful?

Monica

Thank you for your explanation of deal breakers, but I think you missed my point.

The general direction this blog is moving feels very unrelatable to me. It’s all still pretty though, so cheers to that!

I love this blog for inspiration. But it is so akward to hear you complain about how “small” your “walk-in-closet” is. I live in Europe and have never lived in a home that had a bulit in or closet to store things in. I can not imagine having such a space. We buy Ikea wardrobes to put our clothes in. You have multiple “rooms” or what you call “closets” to put escessive clothes and belongings in. It is such a privilage and luxury. Your home is beauitful and large. Your closet rooms are huge. I don’t understand how you could… Read more »

Tracey

It’s quite normal in North America to have a large closet. Not so much in older homes such as Emily’s but definitely in newer homes. Builders just include them. I’ve always wondered where Europeans put all their stuff. Personally, I don’t have a walk-in myself and I don’t have a lot of clothes either. I’m curious to know what a typical European wardrobe size would be. What’s the norm in regards to pairs of shoes, knit wear, suits, dresses, etc?

Tanja

I live in Finland, and we do have walk-in closets in some houses. In the last three or four apartments I have lived in has had a walk-in closet. They are not huge and I use to have bunch of other stuff in there too (not just clothes, shoes etc.) But this post has inspired me to go through our walk-in and make it pretty and organized. I just wonder where I’m going to put all my old rugs, bed sheets, suitcases and extra pillows now!? 😀 Thanks again, Emily, for such inspiring post! Have a great weekend!

Tanja

Oh, and she writes this blog from her point of view, she is american and in her country huge walk-in closets are the norm in 2017. That is what she knows. Of course things are different in some other countries. It is just silly to think she can’t complain about her small closets when people in Africa don’t even have clothes / houses / water or something else that she has.

ChristinaInAustralia

Couldn’t agree more, Tanja! This post seems to have brought a lot of judgemental commentators out of the… closet.

Charell

These closets look great, especially that fancy jewelry drawer! Love it!

Can you tell us more about CC’s pricing structure? Is there a base price for a closet of a certain size and then you pay for extras? Or something else?

Also, I guess I haven’t been paying enough attention to your feet? Lol. The internet is such a weird place.

California Closets

Hi Charell, we can design a storage solution, custom tailored to your lifestyle and budget. The cost of your home storage solution is driven by the complexity of the design and materials you choose. We encourage you to sign up for a complimentary in-home design consultation where one of our designers can assess your needs and come up with a solution that works within your budget. You can request an appointment on our website: https://www.californiaclosets.com/

Lissa

I have a little girl and am going to buy all the same baskets, hangers, etc and pray I can somehow mimic the cuteness! Love the little dresses hanging on the cute brass hooks too.

Leigh

I don’t have space for a pocket door in my master closet — I think the curtain looks great. How did you hang the curtain? Is that a hospital track at the top? Have been debating how to do (we have a super ugly folding door currently).

PS — I just got a bunion too. Everyone who walked to work in 3in heels in their 20s does 🙂
PPS — you seem to anticipate my every decorating question! Thank you for your post on brass faucets too!

Louise

Echoing another poster, yes, please please tell us about the curtain across the door of the closet – what kind of fabric is it? how is it installed? what is the hardware used? I tried putting a curtain across the opening to my closet and it is the saddest, shabbiest thing you ever did see. Love the look, and would really love to know how it is actually achieved! Maybe a future post?

Ashley R

Who points out a bunion? People are idiots. My parents have California closets and LOVE them. And you made them look so cute too! I have closer envy 🙂

Michell

Emily, your house is stunning! My husband and I bought an 83 year-old house, wenremkved a Murphy bed and turned that space into the closet in our master. We are trying to figure out doors for the closet, and hanging a curtain, like you did seems like a great option. It the curtain on a track, or did you use drapery hardware?

Thank you!

Kalai

Get bunion surgery! Such a glamorous comment, I know but It was life changing for me! I had a horrible (and painful) one one my right foot and was hesitant to go under the knife. But I seriously would do it again in a heart beat. Bring all the heels and strappy sandals!! And the closet looks amazing!!!

jill

The minute I started reading this post and looking at the pictures, I thought: “Oh god, she’s letting readers look in her closets. These people are going to get so personal in the comment section and say such rude things.” Bingo! People managed to criticize that you mentioned having two toddlers (how dare you suggest motherhood is difficult when you only have two kids), that you needed more closet space (you should be able to fit everything you own in a lunchbox!), and that your son wears pull-ups (their kids were potty trained a week after being born). I don’t… Read more »

Tiff

Controversial comment, I know, but here it goes: How would you feel about turning off the comments unless it’s an ‘ask the audience’ post. I am so sick of reading the utter rubbish that the trolls out there post each day. A vast majority of the comments on this post alone are on the number of children you/they have etc, rather than the beautiful house and excellent information you have once again provided.

I’m so over it, I bet you are too.

Loribeth

Yeah people are super negative lately. I’ve been reading this blog for years and have always enjoyed reading through the comments, but not so much anymore.

ChristinaInAustralia

I’m sorry but if you’re over the comments, why do you read them? Just scroll right past and wait for the ask-the-audience posts?

Kate

I read the comments because I usually have a question about where something was purchased or some detail about the process that another commenter may have already touched on. It’s frustrating to have to read through pages of judgmental BS when the point of commenting on a design blog is to talk and ask about the design.

Tiff

I read them because as a long time reader of this blog, they were once filled with great suggestions, ideas and questions. They are now filled with comments like yours.

Bea

Wow, the comments today are really something else! Sheesh! I actually don’t understand how people can read such a fun post and get all hot under the collar… closet sizes! Number of children! Feet! Curtains! Marriage! Was I reading a different post?

love what you’ve done Emily – and I actually really appreciate your honesty when it comes to the insanity of children … I have three aged four and under and I’m basically a mess, haha, and you make me feel normal!

Hilary

I’m really missing the how-to’s and styling guides for those of us without a ton of expendable income. I know that Emily knows that most people don’t have $5,000 to spend on closest organization and that the goal is to create good content – but I just miss the good old days where we saw more affordable options because sponsored posts didn’t happen often and because Emily’s budget probably looked more like mine :). Please don’t get me wrong – this blog almost always treats these things delicately when it comes to recognizing that most people can’t afford this –… Read more »

Tanja

That is just silly. For me this blog is for entertainment and inspiration. Not a list of things what to buy.

I’m currently studying at the uni and before that I was unemployed. But I have always enjoyed Emily’s blog.

Milky

Silver lining: at least no one’s complaining about typos!

Jb

It’s been real downer to read the icky comments lately. Is this really an accurate picture of people’s mindsets these days? If it is…I’m totally bummed out. EHD-keep your chin up and please know that not ever reader is micro-analyzing every sentence or zooming in on every picture to study the minor details. We’re too distracted by pretty things (windows in the closet! Striped baskets! Wire drawers! Organization! A place for everything. Gaaah. LOVE!!) to major on the minors. I bought ONE California closet for my house about 10 years ago. It was a HUGE investment at the time and… Read more »

Sara

I completely agree with JB! It is truly sad that so many people use the anonymity of the internet to spew such negativity, and in such a harsh way. I adore Emily, her down-to-earth writing, and her honesty about her family. Having a 1 and 3.5 year old myself, it’s VITAL to laugh at the insanity/stress/hilarity of those ages. And I don’t think that’s “too Hollywood” — it simply reflects Emily’s (and many readers’) phase of life right now. I am baffled by those who waste their time pointing out the discrepancies in their lives and Emily’s life in such… Read more »

Lauren C

What is the curtain system in your master bedroom closet that is over the closet door?

emily

It is so, so nice to have an organized closet, regardless of size. And i love the way you’ve been balancing “aspirational and affordable” lately, and I can see how much effort you are putting in to explain your context since everyone comes from such different places as to home size, income, cultural expectations, family life choices – so thank you for that. Curious about whether an armoire was ever an option? As we looked through apartments last year, I often thought, well, my husband could take that tiny closet and I could have a beautiful armoire. But I also… Read more »

jamie

Pocket doors are a pain. We have several in our house and none of them work properly….granted, our house is old and perhaps they make them more functional now. I love the curtain and the option of changing it out with the room decor. Your closets look lovely. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Susan

Wow the prices aren’t as high as I thought they would be. We use a lot of elfa and some IKEA algot in other storage /utility closets and the garage
I have been wanting to price out cc and a local company here for our master closets. Going to have to set that up

California Closets

Hi Susan, Yes, we encourage you to sign up for a complimentary in-home design consultation where one of our designers can assess your needs and come up with a solution that works within your lifestyle and budget. You can request an appointment on our website: https://www.californiaclosets.com/

Ange

Emily! Your closets are lovely, as are your daily posts filled with beauty, information, and humor. It is a daily joy to read your blog. Thank you for all you share.

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