Ever since his father made him choose between a large bathroom and a walk-in closet when he moved house when he was 15, interior designer Kassy Randazzo had clear priorities. “I’ll choose a wardrobe every time,” she laughs. So, years later, when she and her husband made an offer on a 1980s Mississippi home, she was ready to get creative with her dream walk-in closet.
Originally, the master bedroom was technically rooms, plural – there were two random spaces between the area with the bed and the adjoining bathroom. “There’s a sliding glass door at the end, so I think it was a carport,” Randazzo speculates. But whatever the original architect’s intention, the maze of rooms was left with no intended uses. Randazzo’s plan: combine the two rear spaces. Here’s what she did — and didn’t do — to get there.
Don’t: Tear down all the walls
Rather than lining the four walls of the now combined spaces with IKEA Pax boxes and leaving the middle as an open, lost floor, Randazzo gave the space a much-needed focal point. “My mother was confused that I wanted to set up After walls,” she says. By installing half walls to house the main storage area, Randazzo artfully conceals its vanity. “This area is still a mess,” she said. “I didn’t want to see him constantly from the bedroom.” The shortened height also allows natural light (and lake views) from the windows to reach every corner.
Do: Do a total inventory first
What may appear to be a haphazard mix of drawers and open hanging spaces is actually a carefully inventoried storage system. “I simulated each shelf with a label, down to the exact shoe or bag, so I could have the right amount of space,” Randazzo explains. This way her beloved summer dresses have room to hang in a full-length section, while her hubby gets an extra drawer for workout clothes.
Don’t: leave builder grade blank.
Randazzo knew immediately that the shadow of Chris Loves Julia’s North Carolina living room (Farrow & Ball’s Pigeon) would add similar depth to his newly built sanctuary. “It’s such a chameleon color,” she said. In the morning it reads as a deep green, but when the sun goes down it changes to a cloudy gray. “There’s always a temptation to paint everything white, but comfort is created by color as well as texture,” she explains.
Do: Streamline your flooring
Although an unusual material for a walk-in closet, ceramic tile was a necessary choice due to the odd layout (the main door from the master suite leads into the dining room). Three types of flooring between the spaces seemed too busy for Randazzo’s eye – “I couldn’t change materials anymore,” she says. To give the same warm feeling as the surrounding hardwood despite the cold nature of the stone, she opted for a beige herringbone pattern. Now even her two young children love being there. “They sit on the bench while I get dressed,” she said. “It’s a perfect quality moment.”