What to Consider When Planning A Walk-In Closet

We are in the midst of planning/ designing our walk-in closet. The first step to designing a walk-in closet is deciding on dimensions by drawing up a floorplan. (To back up, here’s where we are on our upstairs renovation project!)

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When we bought the house, there was no walk-in closet in the master bedroom. The first phase of the project is demo-ing an old random fireplace that apparently exists behind the wall in the hallway to make room for a new, big walk-in closet for our bedroom.  This fireplace was covered over in drywall and its chimney stopped at the height of the attic floor… definitely not use-able. It probably hasn’t been used in over a century.

The bricks are old– likely original to the 1892 construction of this part of the house. Our contractor and his guys started the project by taking out the bricks one by one and carrying them downstairs to the yard.

Creating Space for a Closet

Here are some of the piles of bricks they created:




Super cool, right?  And before you ask, “What are you going to do with the old bricks?”, allow me to share that I’m up for any ideas.  Right now I’m focusing on just getting this renovation project complete and using all my creative juices on that… but I know those bricks are going to have some amazing feature in our home at some point. (Spoiler alert from 2021: eventually, we used the bricks for a walkway connecting the front porch to the gravel driveway.)

So they took out the old concealed fireplace/ chimney (by the way, they stopped at just the upstairs rather than take out the one that apparently exists on the first floor too… because I was overwhelmed with all the dust this created and they said they could always come back and demo the rest downstairs another time.  Plus maybe I’ll peal back the drywall downstairs and expose the old brickwork to make a fake fireplace one day or something.).

Here’s a picture of the old closet in our master bedroom, with our super cute model.  🙂


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Next step was tearing out the old closets (one was the one pictured, and to the right, you can see a part of the sliding door closet) to create one massive space.  The contractors then put down a floor and walls to create one big walk-in closet to the left and one small little closet to the right.

Closet Construction: New Walls, Ceiling and Floor


We chose a new pine floor that they hopefully will stain to match (as much as possible) our old pine floors in the bedroom.


The walk-in-closet’s doorway was awkwardly close to the doorway leading into the master bedroom so we opted to make it a pocket door (my mom’s suggestion!).  Works beautifully!

The contractors did all the drywalling and priming, and then David and I got to work and did the heavy lifting of painting the inside of both closets. (I’m joking– of course painting is work, but nothing compared to what they did!) Rather than use the same beigy-pink as the bedroom walls or a boring white, we decided to go with a pretty blue paint.  I wanted something that evoked “calm,” which is usually the antithesis of a closet, but I have a hope that we will keep these closets calm and tidy, so blue seemed to set the scene.



(The paint color we chose was “Blue Bayou” 0615 by Richards Paint and I LOVE it.  We got it at Childress Paints in Charlottesville.  I’ll do a blog post later on this brand of paint but suffice it to say it was awesome.)2016-02-21 17.05.11

Painting the Ceiling and Walls the Same Color

After we painted the walls and ceiling a lovely Blue Bayou, our contractor installed a light centered in the closet that illuminates the whole thing well. We chose to paint the same color so that the eye would not stop at the ceiling line but make the space feel larger. The light helped a lot. (Edited to add: as of December 2021, we have not had to replace this soft florescent light and have really been pleased with how it’s worked!)

I’ll share the rest of it with you soon!  Love the progress that is happening!!  Hope everyone has a good rest of the week.

5 thoughts on “What to Consider When Planning A Walk-In Closet”

  1. This is a beautiful site! Those old bricks torn out from the chimney would make an excellent raised garden bed, laid in a loose fashion, planted full of Virginia Bluebells!

    Your kitchen is outta-sight gorgeous! Would you perhaps be into bread baking, maybe some of the old Virginia favorites like Sally Lunn?

    1. Hi James,
      That is a GREAT idea for those bricks!! I love it!
      And thank you for the sweet compliment of our kitchen. I have never baked bread before but I hear it’s not as hard as I would think. Do you have a good recipe you could share??? Would love to try Sally Lunn!

      1. It’s definitely not as hard as you think! Here is a recipe for Sally Lunn straight out of the James River Plantation Cookbook. The only problem is that, after making a few loaves, suddenly the store bought bread does not taste good anymore. Then again, anything that can stay in a bag for weeks probably is really not bread…

        1 envelope dry yeast
        1/4 c warm water
        1 c scalded milk
        1/2 c butter(no substitute)
        3 eggs, beaten
        4 c flour(unbleached mixed with a little whole wheat is good)
        1/4 c sugar(also still good without sugar)

        Soften and dissolve yeast in water. Dissolve and mix butter, milk, and sugar by stirring over medium heat. Cool. Combine yeast, milk mixture and eggs. Beat until smooth with a wooden spoon. Add enough flour to make soft batter. Beat until very elastic. Put in large bowl, cover with damp cloth. Let rise until double in size(about 60 minutes.) Knock down and beat until smooth. Place in a greased 2 quart mold/pan. Cover with cloth, let rise again until double. (About 3/4 hour.) Bake 350 for about 40-50 minutes or until golden brown. Run a knife around the edges and turn it onto a rack to cool. VOILA!

        There are also a few more bread recipes along with sugar and gingerbread cookies from the Raleigh Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg if you would like to have those as well. If there is a better place/ or way to post this could you please let me know. Happy Baking!

        1. This looks actually do-able!!!! Oh my gosh, I cannot wait to try! Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂 I’ll let you know how they turn out!

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