Create a Chic Minimalist Closet Display

Whether you’re creating a capsule wardrobe or simply trying to declutter, use these ideas for inspiration on how to display and store in a pared-down closet. 

By: Laura James

Spring is finally just around the corner, which means spring cleaning and decluttering season is upon us. Don't just stop at attics and garages, though. A new season is also the perfect time to freshen up your closet – and your display strategy.

If you’re like me, you probably find yourself saying, “I have nothing to wear!” more often than you’d like to admit, even though you have a closet packed full of clothes. This predicament often happens when I spend more time looking for a piece of clothing than I do actually putting together an outfit. Did I hang that up? Is it in this drawer? Or this one? Maybe it’s dirty. Needless to say, decluttering is always a good idea.

Copper Hanging Garment Rack

Copper Hanging Garment Rack

See how to create a closet display with garment racks like this hanging copper one with tips from DIYNetwork.com

Photo by: Kaitie Bryant

Kaitie Bryant

Some people take decluttering to the next level with the practice of keeping a capsule wardrobe. If you're not familiar with capsule wardrobes, they're curated tiny closets consisting of only essential and versatile pieces, usually between 30 to 40 items. The concept isn’t necessarily new. Susie Faux, a London boutique owner, coined the phrase “capsule wardrobe” in the 1970s, but style bloggers like Caroline Rector from Unfancy have popularized it over the past couple of years.

Minimalism in general has grown increasingly popular recently, as seen in the tiny house movement. Like tiny living, capsule wardrobes embody the less-is-more philosophy.

Living Large in Small Spaces

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Small House Movement

The small house movement started roughly a decade ago, but the economic crisis rapidly accelerated its growth as people began to re-evaluate their lifestyles, craving the simplicity that comes with scaling down. At a fraction of the average house price (some a mere $20,000), these structures eliminate the hassle and potential pitfalls of a mortgage. Plus, they force their occupants to pare down their belongings to the essentials and devise innovative solutions to make the most of every inch.

©Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

Architectural Details

Just because a home is Lilliputian doesn't mean it has to be devoid of character. There may not be much room for frills on the inside, but the outside can have all of the flourishes that highlight a more traditional home, such as a gable, dormers, turned posts and railings or a decorative roof.

©Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

Carefully Chosen Furnishings

Those who inhabit tiny houses don't have the luxury of expansive sofas, clusters of chairs and nests of tables, so what they do have needs to count. Tucked into a bright, sunlit nook, this chair can act as a solo reading retreat, a spot for guests to sit, a perch for doing office work on the computer and much more.

©Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

Mobility

Tiny houses redefine the term "mobile home." For lifelong nomads, one of the most enticing factors of these structures is their potential for portability — many are outfitted with wheels that allow them to be pulled behind a vehicle then parked at the next destination.

©Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

Indoor-Outdoor Connections

Because interior square footage is so limited, outdoor spaces become an integral part of a tiny home's living area. Patios, gardens and other alfresco spots help to expand the amount of usable space. In this beachfront house, a wall of sliding doors opens directly to the sand, lending the illusion of ample room.

©Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

Modular and Folding Furniture

Furnishings that can be collapsed or tucked away when they're not in use give a small home the flexibility it needs. The drop leaf on this table, which sits snug with the wall so as not to waste floor area, folds up or down depending on the homeowners' needs.

©Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

Efficient Storage

When square footage shrinks, it's time to get creative, as those who live in scaled-down houses know all too well. Every inch is an opportunity — for example, shallow drawers tucked into these cabinet toe kicks might hold dish towels and sponges, table linens, utensils and more.

©Tammy Strobel

Petite Appliances

Full-size ranges, double-bowl sinks and side-by-side refrigerators simply won't fit. In their place: mini versions that don't hog space, such as this two-burner stove stacked on top of an oven (with storage tucked behind, to boot).

©Tammy Strobel

Slimmed-Down Structural Elements

In a tiny house, there's no room for a sweeping staircase, broad beams or heavy railings. Instead, homeowners rely on the bare minimum. For example, this narrow staircase tucked against the wall provides access to the sleeping loft without swallowing excess space.

©Matthew Wolpe

Lofts

Maximizing vertical space in a tiny home is crucial. Enter the loft, which often is used as a sleeping area — some have built-in beds that fold up during the day to make room for an office or play area, and others hold inflatable mattresses or futons.

©Tammy Strobel

Reflective Surfaces

Mirrors, aluminum, stainless steel and other shiny elements help to bounce light around, which makes a tiny home feel bigger. Diamond-plate walls amplify the light streaming in from the window in this compact shower, preventing it from feeling cramped (even if it means giving up a bit of privacy).

©Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

While capsule wardrobes require more upfront planning, the benefits of saving money from buying fewer clothes, the ease of getting dressed in the morning and the smaller necessary storage space make them worth considering.

With a tiny closet, every piece should be something you’re proud of, so why not create a minimalist display to keep everything in your curated closet on hand and beautifully visible?

Hanging Copper Garment Rack

Hanging Copper Garment Rack

Display your favorite clothes with an easy-to-make hanging copper garment rack.

Photo by: Kaitie Bryant

Kaitie Bryant

If you’re worried about cluttering your floor space, a hanging copper pipe garment rack is a great option.

This DIY garment rack, made by Mattie Tiegreen of Green Tie Studio and photographed by Kaitie Bryant, frees up floor space and keeps the room feeling open and airy. The copper material gives the simple shape some sophistication and is on trend with metallic finishes. 

Shoe Display

Shoe Display

Use an old wooden crate to display your favorite pairs of shoes.

Photo by: Kaitie Bryant

Kaitie Bryant

Displaying a few of your commonly worn shoes will make getting dressed in the morning quick and easy. Use an upside down wooden box like this one or even a wooden produce crate. Hide a few more pairs of shoes under the crate for easy access.

Color Block Coat Rack

Color Block Coat Rack

Make a high-end coat rack using oak closet poles and paint.

and Danmade

Hanging outerwear and accessories like umbrellas and hats on a coat rack frees up your primary garment rack and prevents it from getting weighed down by heavier coats and jackets. Get the step-by-step instructions on how to make this easy DIY.

High End Hangers

High End Hangers

Although hangers may seem like a small component of closet design, they can make a huge impact visually. Replace plastic or wire hangers with higher end metal styles.

Photo by: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

Invest in quality hangers. Having mismatched plastic and wire hangers instantly make a closet look more cluttered and disorganized. Using only one style will give a more streamlined look to your display. High-end metal or wood hangers always look great, and with fewer clothes, you won't have to buy as many hangers.

Barn Door Closet

Barn Door Closet

A rustic barn door that slides along a top track offers a nice design detail for this space. Let your imagination be creative with door options that add character to your well-organized space. Photo courtesy of Rubbermaid.

Even if you don't want to mess with a garment rack, you can still display your wardrobe by keeping the closet door open. This sleek sliding metal barn door is the perfect combination of rustic and industrial styles. 

Industrial Closet Shelves From Sarah Sees Potential

Industrial Closet Shelves From Sarah Sees Potential

As seen on season 1 of Sarah Sees Potential , designer Sarah Richardson repurposed a small and unnecessary extra bedroom into a large, functional walk-in closet with industrial built-in shelves perfect for storing shoes and accessories.

and Sarah Sees Potential

Photo by: Stacey Brandford

Stacey Brandford

Display large accessories like hats, bags and shoes on open white shelves for an efficient use of vertical space. 

White Attic Closet

White Attic Closet

This strategic storage system optimizes every inch of wall space to create a stylish open closet in this tight attic bedroom. Photo courtesy of California Closets

If you’re limited on space, evaluate how you can creatively use nooks and crannies to fit a closet display. All-white walls and shelves serve as a great canvas to make your clothes and accessories pop.

Modern Reach-In Closet

Modern Reach-In Closet

Pocket glass doors are a great option for a space with modern style. The green, black and white color palette can be found in every design element, from storage bins to the wire closet system. Photo courtesy of Rubbermaid.

Framing a simple closet with black trim gives it a modern facelift. Leaving the door open will encourage you to keep it clean and organized, but a sliding glass door will give you the option to conceal your clothes if needed.

Copper Hanging Garment Rack and Accessories

Copper Hanging Garment Rack and Accessories

See how to display your most-worn items in a stylish way using a hanging copper garment rack like this one.

Photo by: Kaitie Bryant

Kaitie Bryant

Hang hats vertically on nails where they won’t get bent or damaged from being stuffed in a box in the bottom of your closet. Because if you can see it, you're more likely to wear it, too.

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