It can be dangerous when interior designers go house-hunting. When most people tour homes on the market, they notice everything they don't like about the property and discount their offer accordingly. Designers tend to see all of the possibilities of what the property could be, with a few minor changes... Those are the Famous Last Words. Fortunately, when we bought our current home three years ago, it had been sitting on the market for awhile because other buyers weren't able to overlook a handful of goofy flaws, so we didn't overpay for the property even though I was seeing it through my rose-colored glasses of design optimism. We immediately began ripping things out and replacing them, and those "few minor changes" were inevitably followed by a few more minor changes...
This is what our master bathroom looked like when we moved in:
It's way too small for a master closet in a house this size -- but the only way to enlarge it would be to take away from the master bath or from my sewing studio, and I'm not willing to sacrifice the space in either of those rooms. However, the existing wire shelving was hardly maximizing the available space. Since the master bath is spacious and the closet is disproportionately small, I decided to do built-in cabinetry storage in the closet, centered on the door to the bathroom, that would match the bathroom cabinetry. The idea was to give the impression that the master bath and closet are one spacious whole. I also know that, someday when we put this house on the market, prospective buyers will be comparing our home to others in the neighborhood with larger closets, and I know that many of our neighbors have done California Closet type systems. Stepping it up a notch with true custom cabinetry in the closet turns one of the home's flaws into a selling feature, because other homes at our price point will not have anything like it.
Here's the completed closet. I wasn't using a wide angle lens so I couldn't get much in each shot; the first photo shows the built in cabinet and my slanted shoe shelving; there are hanging clothes units on the far right and far left as well, and the second photo shows the view of the closet from the bathroom. Much tidier! I couldn't resist the semi flush mount fixture with dangling chandelier prisms. The empty space beneath the drawers is for a fabric-lined basket that will be used for drycleaning.
I would be a very cranky lady if I got smacked upside the head by my bathroom door every morning, so Bernie came to my rescue by building a new vanity area in the no-man's-land between the original cabinets. The vanity lights in this photo were a temporary solution to save me from fluorescent hell; they were castoffs from a client's project that we later donated to Habitat for Humanity.