Now that the laundry decision is made…

we can really get down to designing the master closet.

As you may recall, where to put the washer and dryer was a major topic of discussion (and a good measure of frustration) a few weeks ago. We told the Caruso gang we really wanted them to figure out a way to put the machines in the old hall closet, and, true to form, the response was, “You got it.” And, they have already started to prep the space to accommodate all the plumbing, electrical, and ventilation. This, we like.

Future laundry "room"

The perspective in the photo is a little funky, but what matters here is that the rear wall has been removed (see the little space at the bottom? That’s the basement staircase) and a new header has been installed. I really have no idea what they have in mind, but I trust they know what they’re doing and I’m sure we’ll get the update on Monday.

OK. So now that the laundry is not going into the master closet, we have a 9×13 blank canvas to play with. Dreamy! In our previous renovation we used California Closets, which we decided months ago we would not do again – wayyyyy to expensive for what it is.

For a time, we were excited to put an Elfa system in there, a la this approach:

Very streamlined Elfa closet

This is extremely organized, but I worry it’s sterile. We would also still have a ton of space in the middle – this is, remember, an actual room size. And that realization has me thinking it would be fun to approach this in a more eclectic way, with mix of furniture, racks, hooks, and whatever else we’d need to store all our stuff.

Lately I remembered photo of an amazing room I stored on my hard drive, but was never really sure how I could implement something like it in my own house – well, the opportunity may have just presented itself!

Love, love, love

Clearly we would have a lot more stuff in our closet than you see in this space, and we don’t have any natural light coming in (our new closet has no windows – which is why we moved the master bath out of this space to begin with), but how incredible is this mix of handsome wood dressers, geometric wallpaper, pops of color in the artwork, and surprises like the deer head and frilly chandelier? (This whole house is pretty amazing and was featured in the New York Times. And — bonus — it’s in our neighborhood!)

We actually have a couple of things we could use to get us started. One, a really wonderful Danish secretary (which I thought we’d put in the entry, but we can certainly change that plan):

vintage Danish secretary

Not the most flattering photo, but it’s really lovely. I can see the shelves and little drawers for jewelry storage and display, and the three lower drawers for, ahem, unmentionables. We also have a really big mirror we could use in there:

Large mirror - please excuse the disheveled appearance of the photographer.

I bought this at Z Gallerie when I moved into my first apartment after college, circa 1994. It’s very substantial and I’ve always leaned up against the wall like this. Sometimes I think about spray painting the gold frame glossy white to give the piece a little unexpected interest.

We also still have this Heywood-Wakefield buffet, that I used to use to store jewelry and, ahem, unmentionables.

Heywood-Wakefield Buffet

While I still think it’s a dynamite piece, I think it may be too bulky for the closet. I also am not sure about the color; what is so lovely about the inspiration photo room is that the wood tone is consistent. This does not work with the Danish cherry wood; and if I had to choose between the two, I’d chose the darker in a heartbeat. I think Josh would, too.

Last week I saw this piece in a daily Etsy email, and thought it was pretty terrific:

Fun vintage armoire (I am having the hardest time locating the source for this - could have sworn it was on Etsy but now I can't find it!)

What a fun color and shape. Not the best use of space, however.

So the furniture search and floor planning continue. In the meantime, I’m also thinking about wallpapering the closet to give it a little injection of color. This Orla Kiely print is a nice mix of color and neutral, and (I think) a floral that can also work in a masculine space. Or is that a total contradiction?

Orla Kiely flower blossom wallpaper

Wall full of flower blossom

It’s a fairly large print, and a lot of it would be hidden behind dressers and hanging clothes. I’m also certainly open to something more subtle, masculine, and geometric like the Tom Dixon wallpaper in the inspiration photo.

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