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How to Redo a Closet on a Budget

It's a known fact that good closet organizer systems can increase the value of a home through the addition of greater functionality. They also add style. But when it comes to color and appearance, not everyone has the same ideas on what is best. What if you've bought a home where the closet system is functional but not to your taste? Maybe it seems a bit dated. Do you have to rip the whole thing out and start over? Maybe not. Try these quick fixes and learn how to redo a closet on a budget while updating its appearance to your liking.

Custom reach-in closet in french provencial style
This older reach-in closet features discontinued Portabella doors and drawers in a traditional French Provincial style. The overall system is a light ivory color, but the closet looks dark and gloomy anyway. Although it is still fully functional and in good condition, it simply looks dated.
Updated custom reach-in closet in transitional style
The same closet has been updated in a transitional style. New flat door and drawer fronts in a coordinating White Chocolate wood grain laminate look fresh and add texture. The doors have glass panel inserts. The dark oil rubbed bronze hardware was swapped out for new contemporary pieces in a matte gold finish.

An elaborate closet system can get quite expensive. It's a definite investment. It's nice to find one already installed in your home. But what if you just don't like how it looks? Maybe the previous owners were very old-world/traditional in their tastes, but you prefer a more contemporary vibe. Are you stuck with their design choices? How can you change it to better mesh with your own décor? Laminate closets don't accept paint very well. For this reason, giving your laminate closet a quick paint job is never recommended. But there are other ways to update the appearance and even increase the usability of the closet without starting over from scratch.

Quick and Easy Makeover Tips for an Existing Closet System

  1. Change/Add cabinet Door and Drawer Fronts: The cabinet doors are one of the first things your eyes are drawn to when viewing a closet. Their style will set the tone of the space. If your closet has drawers or cabinet doors, consider changing the style for a quick update. New cabinet doors can also be added over the shelving sections of a closet that lacks this feature. It's one of the most impactful ways to redo a closet on a budget. Some doors are very traditional in style with all sorts of bevels and raised panels. Others have a simpler, more contemporary profile. Make a simple change in door style and you'll see an immediate impact on the look of your closet. Many doors and drawers are also available with glass panel inserts. Consider switching to doors with glass panel inserts if you want to lighten a dark, oppressive, or cluttered environment. They are also the perfect choice if you also plan to add a new LED closet lighting system.
    Door style choices for closet cabinet doors
    Placing cabinet doors over your closet shelves is easy to do. Doors can reduce the look of clutter and provide an immediate update to the storage system. There are many cabinet door and drawer styles to choose from for your closet. Changing from a raised panel to a flat panel or a beadboard can alter the entire look of a closet. Likewise, going with a glass or mirror insert can change the mood and lighten your closet's overall appearance.
  2. Change the Look with an Accent or Coordinating Laminate Color: The color of your closet system can be difficult to change without taking it down and rebuilding from scratch. You can paint your closet organizers if you are sure they are either made of real wood or MDF. However, this is unlikely because most custom closets are laminate and should not be painted. But you can still update the color without painting. Choose a coordinating laminate in a color/pattern you like and add new cabinet doors/drawer fronts in the new color. The structure of the system remains in the old color, but the new color offers a fresh appearance.
    Closet remodel with new doors in complementary lamiante finish
    This simple closet remodel entailed replacing the cabinet doors and drawer fronts with new ones in a contemporary coordinating laminate that blends well with the original ivory color.
    If you can't find a good coordinating color, use a contrasting color as an accent. There's a color bound to work with every closet. When in doubt, remember, white generally goes with everything. The contrasting color can go on the doors and drawers or in a shelving section. Think about the little details when working with color. For example, try matching your hangers to the new, complementary color to bring the whole thing together.
    Closet remodel with shelving section in contrasting lamiante finish
    Rather than sticking with all gray, this custom laminate closet is brightened by the use of a rotating shelving section styled in contrasting white laminate. Notice how the use of coordinating white hangers further brings out the accent color.
  3. Update the Hardware: Changing the knobs, handles, and the finish on your closet accessories provides and instant refresh. It's one of the easiest ways to redo a closet on a budget. Many knobs and handle styles are available. Replace your existing closet hardware with something that reflects your unique personality and home décor. But be sure to match the spacing between the screws on your new handle choice with the spacing between screw holes in the old hardware. If you don't, you'll end up with a lot of extra, undesirable holes in your closet. Luckily, handles and knobs are standardized to offer only a few options in this regard so it's easy to make a change. The color hardware you choose is also important. Keep all your hardware in the same color/finish for a professional look. If your closet also includes accessories like valet poles, retractable baskets, and pull-out racks designed specifically to work with standard closet organizers, your best bet is to stick to a single color choice in polished chrome, brushed chrome/matte nickel, oil rubbed bronze/black, gold tones, or slate gray because those are the finishes currently available from the major closet accessory manufacturers.
    Assorted new closet hardware in various finishes for updating a closet
    If you are wondering how to redo a closet on a budget, try replacing the hardware. From traditional to modern, there are many styles and finishes available to complement any decorating style. Swapping out one style with another is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to update your closet.
  4. Add Accessories: Closet companies are constantly innovating and coming up with new ideas. While you're renovating, it's the perfect time to add new accessories to your closet. Add features to your closet like jewelry organizers for the drawers. The simple things are also important. If you don't have a built-in hamper, now's the time to add one. Do you keep valuables in the closet? Consider installing a hidden lock system like the StealthLock® for your drawers and cabinets or a closet safe to increase security. The new locks and safes are programable and offer features unavailable with older equipment. There are many closet accessories to help you get organized and they keep getting better with time.
    Custom closet featuring the Engage line of closet accessories
    The Engage line of closet accessories can be retrofitted into an existing, older closet organizer system that uses standard widths and depths. It provides more than just an updated look. Options include soft cloth drawers, pull-out pant racks, jewelry organizers, eyeglass organizers, pull-out hampers, and many more features to add convenience and functionality to the closet.

Still wondering how to redo a closet on a budget?

Older closets can be updated rather than torn out and replaced provided they are in good condition. Don't try to paint your laminate closet. Instead, alter the look of your closet without spending a lot of money by changing or adding cabinet doors, drawer fronts, hardware, colors, and new accessories.