Before and After: Third Time’s the Charm For This Den Turned Office Turned Walk-In Closet

Vanessa’s second floor den space was a bit of a puzzle. The layout was a little odd and they didn’t need anymore general space, but she tried it out as a den and then an office. One day her husband had a stroke of genius and decided to flip the place into the kind of walk-in closet storage dreams are made of.

From Vanessa: Our home has a second floor den that I could never render useful. It has a fireplace and is located across from our bedroom, but the fact of the matter is that we mostly use the main living area on the ground floor. The room had a receded nook beside a tiny closet which were both hard to use and made the room significantly smaller.

When we bought the house three years ago, I first tried to make it a small meeting room ( I work from home), which I never used. Then a library with a bold striped wall, which I didn’t use either. Finally, my husband suggested I get my clothes out of his side of the closet and he would build me the perfect walk-in. He did not disappoint. With his handy skills and an all white vision, the closet came together. We even found an original 100 years old brick wall behind the plaster.

It took a month to transform the space as we both work full time and have three kids to care for. We demoed the tiny corner closet and that revealed a brick wall that we uncovered. The demolition was messy and took 25 large construction bags to clear all the debris. We painted the room, ceiling and floor in shades of white.

Between the paint, plumbing pipes and shelving system, the total cost of the transformation came to $765. The rest of the decor elements were taken from other rooms of the house and repurposed here.

I love the light of the room. Spacious and airy, it is a pleasure to just hang out in here. The clothes are organized by color palette, and I noticed that I have way too many nautical stripes (!) and the shoes are laid out to be seen and used instead of being all squished together at the bottom of my old closet where I could not see them.

There is one thing that I have left to do and it is to change all the hangers to wooden hangers. I did not think it would make a difference, but it is the only thing that bugs me now.

Words of advice: Keep the room well sealed in order to avoid dust everywhere. Make a plan (even by hand) in order to visualize the layout of the room. I actually made four or five plans before deciding on this final layout. Dare to paint the floor. It is life changing!


  • Floor paint: Sherwin-Williams SW7757
  • Wall paint: I mixed some whites I had left from another project.
  • Furniture paint: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure
  • Wall shelving system: Canadian Tire for the brackets + custom made shelves as the ones they sold were not long enough.
  • Plumbing pipes: Home Depot
  • Vintage teak dresser: I already had it in the room
  • Sisal rug with geometric patterns: Boutique Krem
  • Woven baskets: HomeSense
  • Tiguidou floor pillow: MayNest
  • Two posters by Mads Berg: L’Affichiste
  • Antique chair: French chateau period (over 300 years old). I had it in another room.

Thank you, Vanessa! You can see more on Vanessa’s blog Damask & Dentelle.


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