My first studio apartment in L.A. was roughly the size of our current closet, which I noticed when we came to the open house. The "before" was already great in the sense that it was an enormous amount of space, but there was still plenty of room for improvement (which you'll see from the photos at the bottom of this post!). When The Container Store reached out to see if I would be interested in receiving one of their custom closets, I obviously jumped at the chance (I mean, who wouldn't?).
On par with a bulk candy shop, The Container Store is one of my favorite places, and the epitome of how I've always wanted my home to look and function. G and I are both admittedly not the most organized people, but it was important to us that our closet 1.) be a really appealing place to walk into each morning, 2.) that everything has a spot, and 3.) that the space be well-utilized.
In working with The Container Store, I had the opportunity to design a space that exactly fit our needs. The first step was to decide on which of the three options they offer, the Elfa, Avera, or Laren. We went with the Laren, which is their luxe option (though they offer a variety based on your budget), with customizable details and sleek design that mimics the rest of the light wood furnishing in our house.
After counting every single item in our closet—clothes, accessories, jewelry—and sending the space's measurements, they created a blueprint that we then customized over the course of two virtual meetings. During these, the designer clicked and dragged different sections into place as they listened to my concerns and requests. Over the course of creating mockups, I realized I had several requests specific to G and my needs and clothes. We were looking for:
- A lot of long hanging space for dresses and coats
- Lots of drawers for loungewear (particularly since my collection has grown during quarantine...)
- Jewelry drawers (I ended up going with two of them)
- Additional space for boxes that can hold cold weather accessories
- A built-in space where we can tuck our laundry basket away so it isn't the first thing you see
There were also a few features I wouldn't have considered until they brought them up, but I'm so glad we went with them:
- We have two valet hooks that pull out from the top of the closet that make it possible to hang a dress or item facing forward, so it's on display to make selecting clothes and packing that much easier.
- Every drawer and door has a soft shut so we aren't banging around each time we reach for something.
- One of the things I found most inspiring—but never would have considered until it was suggested—is that the first thing you see when you walk into the closet matters. Our designer suggested placing a display of my shoes right at the entrance and now every time I walk in, it feels like I'm entering a boutique.
Once it was designed, our installer Ali came to remove our old closet (I'm using those shelves in my office, to hold samples for the Shop) and put the new shelves in. He was absolutely incredible—he had set aside the entire week for the demo and build-out, but by Wednesday afternoon, our closet was entirely done. He was also beyond efficient and safe, which I really appreciated.
The reality is that I won't even be able to experience my closet in its full capacity for quite some time (i.e., when I start wearing "real" clothes regularly again). That being said, even coming in every morning to pick out a new sweatsuit or throw on a dress has been such a lovely experience. We rounded it out with a vintage runner and new lights gifted from Lulu and Georgia. The experience of being in this room—even if it is a closet—is just really, really lovely.
Most of all, it makes me so much more appreciative of everything I own because it's displayed so beautifully and the process of picking out what I'm going to wear is now one of the things I look forward to most.
And here are a few before photos, for those interested!
P.S. While this post is not sponsored, The Container Store did graciously gift this closet to me in exchange for my writing about it. I owe their team an enormous 'thank you!' And if you're interested in your own, they currently have a 25% off sale that runs through October 4th!