HGTV's Jenny Marrs Has A Genius Storage Solution For Maximizing Closet Space

Sometimes, maximizing space means making the most of what you have; other times, it means making what you have into the most. The latter was what "Fixer to Fabulous" star Jenny Marrs created for Kim and Chris Danos in a Season 5 episode called "Old Home, Big Expectations." Those expectations changed the course of much of the overall remodel and commanded $18,000 of the budget for the cabinetry alone. It's the cabinetry that makes the closet more than just a big room full of shoeboxes. (Two rooms, really — Chris has a separate closet adjacent to Kim's.) Floor-to-ceiling built-ins and a substantial island in the center give the room the feel of "a little boutique," as Marrs described it.

Kim described her original walk-in closet as "about as big as a shoebox." So, where do you get that much space for a master suite closet? They merged the old closet with a home office, which was moved into an unused dining room. This is a house of built-ins, so it's no surprise that the "Fixer to Fabulous" crew had to pull full-wall, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves out of the office to make room for Danos' cabinets. "The closet is enormous now, so dreamy!" Marrs wrote of the renovation on her blog. Moreover, in the episode, Marrs reveals that the Danos' closet is one of her best and that she has closet envy.

What are all those cabinets for, anyway?

The custom built-in cabinets Team Marrs installed in Kim Danos' closet have plenty of room for everything, of course. "We installed floor-to-ceiling cabinets and plenty of drawers to maximize storage," Jenny Marrs wrote in her blog. "We even incorporated a special spot for Kim to put all her purses – which is quite a collection." Knee-high drawers line most of the walls in the two-room closet. In one part of Kim's area, the drawers go from two-high to chest-high — 10 drawers in this area alone — and sport a countertop and shelves above. Most of the other wall space above the drawers is taken up with bays for hanging clothes — most around 4 feet wide, with one running the entire length of a wall.

Between the two rooms, there are hooks on the walls, a simple hack that can double your closet storage space. And in Chris Danos' smaller part of the closet, there are another 14 drawers, plenty of room for hanging clothes, and more shelves than you'd expect to see for Chris alone. (We suspect we know where some of Kim's big shoe collection is going!) Shoes and purses also fill the narrow shelves next to the window. Other shelves hold woven storage baskets. Finally, there's the island, which is full of drawers and topped with a quartz countertop. This easily proves that islands shouldn't just be for kitchens anymore, as they're perfect access points for all of your daily essentials (or just extra storage).

Tips for making your own little boutique closet

What if you want a closet of your own that would make Jenny Marrs envious? If you don't have an adjacent spare room to make use of — and surely not that many people do — you can still accomplish much of the storage. You can install custom built-ins, but if the Danos' $18,000 pricetag scared you, there are other, somewhat less luxe ways to do most of the work Kim Danos' closet cabinets do. 

The modular closet divider systems you see in big box stores often lack drawers. One easy and comparatively affordable way to add drawers is to use a kitchen cabinet. You can pick up a 2-foot-wide, three-drawer base cabinet from Home Depot for $189, and the line is available in widths from 12 inches to 36 inches and with prices from $123 to $360. If you're having your kitchen remodeled (or know someone who is), consider sliding the old cabinets into your closet. And the best closet island designs sometimes are actually kitchen base cabinets.

The upper portion for hanging clothes doesn't necessarily have to be cabinetry, of course. A vertical board every 3 to 4 feet will give you something to anchor closet rods to and create the overall impression of a built-in. Or, add internal dividers to a basic shelf carcass to create highly customized storage spaces. The right dresser can do wonders for the right closet space, too, and with a little paint, lots of dressers can be the right dresser.