10 Creative Things To Do With A Spare Closet

Stacy Randall
by Stacy Randall
Credit: Shutterstock / mykeyruna

Are you blessed with a closet and no clutter? If so, you end up with a world of possibilities. There are all sorts of creative, fun and practical things you can do with a spare closet.

If you don’t need storage space, turn an extra closet into a book nook, home office, small nursery or sewing station. A spare closet provides a way to extend a room, hide away a media station, install a bar or create a vanity area. Other options are using the alcove to display art or set up a laundry room.

Depending on your hobbies, lifestyle, and available living space, you’ll find that closets can serve many purposes. Consider things that add value to your life, make it easier, or increase your home’s functionality.

Prepping Your Closet For A New Purpose

When you decide to turn your closet into something more than storage space, take some time to prep it first. Make sure the walls are clean, patched, and painted. You may even decide to use wallpaper or some other type of accent.

Does the closet already have flooring that matches the rest of the room? If not, you may consider installing flooring to match or at least something that complements the room’s existing floor. What kind of lighting do you need in the closet?

Is the basic overhead light that’s already there sufficient for the closet’s new purpose? If there isn’t any light, decide whether installing a hardwired fixture or something simpler makes sense. Do you need to add any task lighting, or hire an electrician to install a fixture or electrical outlet?

These are the basics you should consider before you start your closet conversion. It’s simpler to do these things when the space is empty. But what you do will depend on your overall plan for the closet.

10 Creative Closet Conversions

Not quite sure what to do with that extra closet? Or maybe you’re envisioning one of these spaces in your home, and you’re ready to clear out an area to make it happen. Check out these creative makeovers for closets and see which one makes the most sense for your life.

1. Create A Reading Nook

Avid readers love the idea of a quiet, cozy place to relax with a good book. Therefore, turn your closet into a reading nook. A reading nook also works well in a playroom or a kid’s room as a quiet zone.

All you need is a comfy place to lounge or sit and some shelves or baskets to hold a few books. Add a light source and perhaps a small table for a cup of tea to finish off the overall look.

2. Turn A Closet Into An Office

Nowadays, many people work from home. Not everyone has the luxury of a spare room that converts to a home office. A closet can become a dedicated office space, or as some call it, a cloffice.

Remove the doors, add a desk (a wall-mounted desk saves space), some shelves, and appropriate lighting. You’ll need an outlet for computers, desk lamps, etc. If you prefer to hide your office from view when it’s closing time, install curtains using a tension rod.

3. Hide A Media Station

A spare closet is a great way to create a comprehensive media or gaming station that you can hide. Not everyone wants to look at gaming consoles, a big TV, and other electronics, especially in a relaxing living room or a bedroom.

If you can spare a closet, install the TV on the wall and have storage below for other components. When you aren’t playing games or watching television, use curtains or bi-fold doors to hide the space, and no one will be the wiser.

4. Extend A Room Using The Closet

In small spaces, the extra living space a closet provides sometimes outweighs its storage possibilities. For example, perhaps you have a bedroom with two closets or a home office that doesn’t require extra storage space.

Remove the doors, finish the closet as you wish, and use it as an extension of the room. It becomes the perfect spot to position a dresser, create a sitting area, install bookshelves, etc.

5. Build A Bar In Your Closet

Create the ultimate bar in an unused closet. Install the necessary electrical outlets for a wine cooler, lighting, a small refrigerator, a fun neon sign, and other accessories. Stock your new hang-out space with your favorite cocktail mixes, barware and glasses.

If you wish to hide the bar, use curtains or bi-fold doors. Otherwise, leave the space open and place a few barstools to invite guests to take a seat and have a drink.

6. Let A Closet Become A Mini Nursery

Many parents want their newborns to sleep in their bedroom for the first few months or more. In small spaces, like a studio or one-bedroom apartment, finding a place for a nursery can seem impossible. When you face these situations, consider converting a closet into a mini nursery, even if only temporarily.

A closet nursery is also a great option for grandparents who need a place for grandbabies until they get older. Remove doors and curtains, and place a small changing table on one side wall of the closet. Position the crib in the center, and install storage space on the other side wall.

7. Set Up A Craft Station

If you enjoy crafting, like scrapbooking, embroidery, or sewing, set up a permanent station for your projects. Position a sewing machine or crafting table in the center of the wall, and set up supplies on either side and above it.

Depending on your hobby of choice, an outlet might be necessary. Then, decide if you prefer to leave it open, or use curtains or doors to close and hide it from view.

8. Convert A Closet Into A Laundry Room

Many homes already have a laundry closet, but if yours doesn’t, make one. A spare closet is a great alternative to an outdoor laundry area or none at all.

Of course, you’ll need to call a professional for this one to install the necessary hookups. In addition to a washer and dryer, add some shelving or cabinets for storage. If the closet is big enough, include hanging space to dry items.

9. Create A Deluxe Vanity

Treat yourself to a bit of luxury by creating a posh vanity area with a mirrored table, stool, and fun accessories. Make it as casual or as elegant as you wish.

Keep all your favorite make-up, jewelry, and other products in pretty displays or storage boxes. Use the back wall to hang some fun art, or beauty inspiration, or let jewelry double as a display.

10. Make A Display Alcove For Art

Do you love collecting art but are running out of places to display it? Turn a spare closet into an art alcove. Get pedestals to display sculptures and statues, and hang prints and canvases on the back wall.

Use picture lights to highlight pieces and give the nook a museum-quality look that adds sophistication to your space. For the perfect finishing touch, place engraved or embossed labels under each piece with its title, year and the artist’s name.

Closet? What Closet?

A closet doesn’t always have to be a closet. Its main purpose might be storage, but if you have nothing to store, that doesn’t make it useless. Instead, it turns your spare closet into a beacon of possibilities, only limited by your imagination.

Decide what type of space makes the most sense for you, whether it's a reading nook, office, sewing station, or media zone. Do you need a small nursery or want to build the ultimate bar? A closet conversion can make it possible.

No matter what you choose to do, plan carefully, and don’t forget the practical points, like outlets, lighting, and finishing walls. When you complete your closet redo, you’ll have a unique space that adds function to your home and value to your life.

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Stacy Randall
Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

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