Ten years ago, when Lisa Adams started , closets weren't the gotta-have spaces in a home. But seeing how kitchens were being reinvented from purely functional rooms into stylized living and dining areas, Lisa knew there was potential for closets to soar to new design heights. Calling on her passion for fashion and decor—and her eye for detail—she set out to transform the very idea of closets from simple, bland storage areas into unique, ultra-organized, and utterly beautiful living spaces. She's created closet spaces for the likes of Khloe Kardashian, Fergie, and Christina Aguilera, but her latest project was for a California college student.
The closet before
When Lisa got the call for help, the closet situation was getting out of hand. Her client just had too much stuff crammed into too little space and wasn't sure how to get organized.
Lisa addressed the problems with a two-pronged approach: first, an organized master closet for her client's everyday clothing. Drawers, shelves, and racks work in conjunction with a mirror-topped bureau. "The most important thing is to make your closet functional for you," Lisa says. "I always take the client's inventory into account and then organize everything in a way that makes sense to her. The key is to establish a system that makes it easy to find what you want and that is easy to maintain." Here, she set up a rack for blouses, a rack for skirts, and a shelf for bags. White paint keeps the mood light; mirrors also brighten the room and ensure the student can see her outfit from every angle.
Well-lighted shelves make it a breeze to see what you have and keep you from wasting time digging in corners or in the backs of drawers. "Always keep things in sight and quickly accessible," Lisa says. "It will save you time and make your life easier." She also recommends taking cabinetry to the ceiling to make the most of the closet space you have. "Finish your storage units with moldings," she adds. "Then your space looks finished and custom."
A great closet should be a joy to use—a place that makes your day brighter. It should also speak to who you are and what's important to you. "My client has a little dog," Lisa says. "Having a little area to hang his clothes is so fun!" Not to mention adorable. Pearl hangers up the sophistication factor, as do Swarovski crystal knobs.
Even everyday shoes deserve a good home. Angled shelves ensure sandles and other casual shoes are in sight and organized. No more hunting around the entire house for that missing sneaker.
Look around your house for underutilized space that you can put to work. Lisa's client had an extra bedroom in her home, so they decided to convert it into a dressing room that also offers storage space for cocktail dresses and seasonal clothing. An island with a mirrored top offers the perfect get-ready area, whether the homeowner is getting ready for a party or packing for a trip. Just a step away, staging area with a brass ceiling-suspended hanging rod and Calacatta marble shelf on casters makes it a snap to organize tonight's outfit or a week's worth of clothing. Lisa also included an area for incoming and outgoing dry-cleaning and tucked a trash can in one of the closet areas for convenience. No clutter here!
Heels and handbags have their own space, as do boots. Boot rods keep them from flopping over. Everything is displayed in an artful way so the client can enjoy every single piece of her wardrobe, even on days she's not wearing a particular item.
Everything in its place means the stress level is at zero. Lisa recommends using partitioned drawers, customized for what's inside—in this case, sunglasses.
Photography: Hareth Tayem Photography