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What Colour should you Paint the Closet?

By 05/26/2011January 23rd, 201733 Comments
Okay this white closet I can handle (source)

A few years ago, I was working with an interior designer, Jan Romanuk (my business partner at the time) on a renovation for a client and I was asked to choose the colours for the closets in the bedrooms.  I specified a white thinking it would be easier change the colour of the bedrooms down the road as the closet would not need to be re-painted.  After the house was done, I looked at those closets, painted a boring old shade of white and thought “Note-to-self, don’t do that again!”.

Way more fun to paint them a colour, period.

So the first guideline is to paint the closet the same colour as the room.

Second would be to make it a room all on it’s own. If you want it to flow and you have 2-3 colours in your bedroom already, choose one of them. And you could make it glamorous and exciting like this one:

Stacy Naquin my blogger friend and True Colour Expert in New York last week told me about this great idea! Frame your favourite shopping bags with inexpensive frames from IKEA and hang them in your closet! A great way to add a hit of colour if your closet is neutral. Now what will I buy from Hermes so I can have one of theirs? I bought 2 glass decorative coasters from Bergdorf’s in New York last week to start my collection 🙂
Or what the heck, just turn your living room into a closet!
I’m throwing in a token gray closet cause y’all are so in-love with gray these days 🙂

I’m hooking up with my stylist Angie at You Look Fab today, so go check out her post on How to store Handbags!

What colour is your closet?

Related posts:

Shopping with Angie at You Look Fab
How to wear Colour or Neutrals; Which Group are you in?
Shopping on Approval

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  • Pink Overalls @DIY Home Staging says:

    I totally relate to the whole closet color dilemma, Maria. As a housepainter for 20 years, I always pushed clients in the direction of white closets for the reason you note — it's easier to change the room color and still have everything work together.

    As a home stager, I still suggest that people keep closets neutral, so they aren't distracting or look too small.

    But as a gal and a homeowner, I agree — paint them, wallpaper them, decorate them!

    When you come right down to it, a closet repaint isn't a big deal. Yes, everything has to come out of there, but what a great excuse to clean, organize and whittle your wardrobe to the things you love.

  • Erin Elizabeth says:

    I love the idea of framing your favorite shopping bags with affordable frames! Genius!


    My daughters framed really beautiful show ads and hung them in their closet.

    My closet is about the size of a handbag . . .


  • Tamara Nicole says:

    My closets are sooo boring white but I am excited to paint them. One yellow (accent color) and hmm our clsoets in bedroom maybe a burnt orange? Not sure but I am pro closet paint!

  • Kelly DuByne says:

    With beautiful closets like that you would definitely want to paint it a wonderful color! I was recently working on an old home with tiny tiny closets-we opted for the Devine Vanilla color (the color of some of the ceilings) That way-it's neutral and light-and all cohesive. (I mean these are tiny closets!) So, for this space it was the best solution-but we played up color in other parts of the home for sure!

  • A Perfect Gray says:

    gray, of course

  • Donna says:

    Maria..this is just too funny! I love these closets! Who would have thought of framing shopping bags? What a great idea!

    Wow–I have to say I've never given my closet a second thought.

    My mom loves clothes and she has indeed turned a 'room' into a closet in the past. That would just drive me crazy.

    I ADORE the stick with the gray clothes hanging off of it. Not practical..but certainly unusual!

    I'll have to put a little thought to my close some day. It certainly is unappealing at the moment. :o)


  • Gloria says:

    I wouldn't consider my closet big but I painted it peacock blue!

    I also painted my linen closet. I want to paint every closet. They don't have to be crazy bold, just a sweet little surprise of color that says, "Hey closet, I didn't forget about you."

  • Anonymous says:

    Against the grain but I always paint my closets SW Extra White because I don't want a closet color fighting the color of my clothes. And I think painting a closet is a much bigger ordeal than painting a room. Somehow the contents of my closet (and I'm not a clothes horse!) easily fill up the living room.

  • Christina Rodriguez | Diva by Design says:

    I painted my closet a light blue. i love it!

  • mrsben says:

    I prefer my closet interiors to be white, however have always co-ordinated the rod color, storage bins and if possible the hangers with the rest of the room.

  • Lazy Gardens says:

    Of you plan to use the closet for a dressing room and color matching clothing or applying makeup, it should be a neutral. If it's a strong color, the reflected light will throw the colors off.

  • Jocelyn says:

    My closet is just that – a closet and by no means room-sized. I painted it cream which I'm really happy with. The color was also cost effective as I had paint left over from another job. This was my main consideration before painting, but now I want to paint all the closets in the house this colour.

  • Welcome to AK Magnolia House says:

    I have been working on a design for our his and hers master closet. They are separated by a wall and are set along the hallway leading to our master bath. So to be honest, they feel like separate rooms all of their own! I have big plans for ours. My closet, wall papered ceiling, white lacquered cabinets and a fancy pendant light. Mr.K's closet, a stately man cave(he's a bit reserved…typical business man(by day)…so grey lacquered cabinets, but ceiling and walls will be the same color and then I am thinking the trim may be the surprise feature…we'll see.

  • Pixie Dust Painting says:

    as a Painter currently, I often tell the clients to paint the inside of the closets a neutral colour throughout the whole home, clients will usually agree on this, since they are not painted that often as opposed to the rooms being painted several times.

  • Jeannine 520 says:

    My closet is somewhere between lavender and purple, with a warm undertone instead of cool. I hate it so much I can hardly go in there. My room is paneled in 1930's knotty pine so I was thinking the three walk ins had to be a bright cheerful color. This was years ago before I realized colors needed to be tested. I scanned the paint chips at Home Depot looking for something cheerful and bought a gallon of it. Only after I filled the closet did I realize not only how putrid it is but it doesn't match anything in my house. The only reason I haven't repainted is because I dread the thought of unloading 3 stuffed closets.

  • lynne whiteside says:

    I want everything in my Big Closet, my STUff, a big 3 way mirror, a beautiful slipper chair, everything that makes me feel wonderful and wall color that screams – you are beautiful. From what I gather this would be colors in skin tone, your skin tone.

    I love the fact that in this very special place, it can be all about you…

  • Karena says:

    Maria I need to tear my closet apart anyway, so …time to paint!!

    Art by Karena

  • Naturally Carol says:

    I do like the framed bag idea..I don't like the gray..especially with the apricot picture on the wall..very seventies!

  • NewLightRedesign says:

    Maria, A good friend of mine is a Feng Shui master. My walk in closet in the master bedroom was our "wealth center". He told me to paint it a beautiful shade of warm red and within one week after painting it red, I won a $1,000 gas gift card and a $200.00 door price at a fund raiser…and I had NEVER won a single thing in my life up until then!

  • Laurie says:

    My closet is the color of my room. In my daughters room I painted a harlequin pattern in soft blue and white in her closets, just for some fun.

    I love a little color in the closet- I just makes it fun and bright.

  • Honey says:

    My foyer is painted a gray, and the guest's coat closet?….Hot Pink, it is like the silk lining inside of a gray coat. Quite the surprise for guests!–closet-other-metros

  • Kristie at The says:

    i've always wanted to paint the interior of my closets, but i have yet to do it. or even wallpaper . . . BUT, i actually have specified it in a couple of children's rooms. one little girl had 2 side-by-side closets. we took the door off of one and painted the inside dark pink (the room was light pink), outfitted it with shelves, and made it a really pretty toy closet.

  • Mae @ Here in This House says:

    love this post. i have recently decided to wallpaper my closet after having seen something similar recently. of course, i'm paralyzed with indecision about which wallpaper to use but i'll figure it out eventually, i guess. we're also redoing the doors and hardware so i have many (difficult) decisions to be made…

    ps thx for the link to the handbag storage. just the post i needed for my closet project!

  • Jennifer @ Timeless Interiors says:

    Maria, I have recently found your blog and it has become my favorite! As a designer I appreciate the wealth of knowledge you share. Love this post on closets. I tend to paint closets the color of the room, or the color of the trim (if it's a white or off-white). My 17 year old daughter uses shopping bags as an art grouping on her bedroom wall like your example (great colorful and interesting inexpensive art!). Who knew she was on to something!

  • Margaret says:

    On an episode of Home to Flip, Peter Fallico painted the inside of a bedroom closet red to pick up with the accent colour in the room – it was stunning. I had never thought to do this before, but will definitely do this in the future. How fun! Here's a link to the room (unfortunately they don't show the closet, but just imagine…)

  • Anonymous says:

    Nice to see someone discuss space like the inside of closets. It's a rare blog, article, or tv episode that deals with them. On a similar vein, how about a post on the colour of kitchen cabinet interiors?

  • Suemi says:

    Hi Maria,
    While I was window shopping at the Hermes store in Denver, the sales gal gave me the recent spring scarf catalog, wrapped it in Hermes ribbon and put it in a small Hermes bag. When I do purchase a Hermes scarf or throw you can bet I'll get it from the gal in Denver.
    PS. You can buy Hermes bags on Etsy.

  • Beverly Mau says:

    I can tell you've been to Atlanta because you used the word: y'all.

  • Maria Killam says:

    Haha, that's right Beverly, although I first spelled it wrong and one of you southerners sent me a note to correct it 🙂
    Thanks for your comment!

  • hollyG says:

    I wish I had a big closet 🙁 Maybe in our next home b/c I would love to do that framed favorite bag idea – that is great!

  • JoAnne says:

    Mine is my favorite color of blue……Instead of having shopping bags, I have mirrors. I love having my dresser as part of my closet so I don’t have extra furniture.

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