When we first toured our house, I was seduced by the two huge and glorious master closets (huge and glorious compared to the apartment we shared previously). And then I noticed: the closets were empty — no bars, no shelves, nothing. The realtor contacted the owner, who had his handyman install two bars — neither of them dress length, and not a shoe shelf in sight. Also, the rods didn’t match the woodwork in the house. This is what you get when you allow your closet to be under the control of three men.

We’re renting, so I didn’t want to invest too much, but needed a functional space. Here’s what I came up with:

In the world that exists in my head, the carpet would be leopard print, the walls would be wallpapered, and there would be a swanky chandelier. But it’s so much better than before. I now have places to put things.

A lot of measuring, a trip to Ikea and prolonged begging meant a new dresser assembled by Ty. (The Hemnes, and it’s fantastic — a cheap trick beloved by designers all over — also on sale through Aug. 5) I picked up five of the small Lack $7 shelves and installed them high above to store and display my handbag and shoe collection.

Those large white boxes on the very top shelf are also Ikea (the Kassett boxes), and they were as hard to assemble as the dresser. ( A screwdriver to put together hat boxes? Seriously, Ikea?) But I appreciate that they look neat and hold hats, ski outfits, off-season clothing, and my tutu (you know, for when I go to New Orleans).

I’ve had the white leather bins forever, and they hold my considerable evening bag collection. (Yes, I have issues.)


The ottoman is Missoni, from Target.



I like to decorate the space with my prettiest things — sequined shoes and bags and bright boxes I drag home from shops.



These hooks are from FOUND, and they hold all of my pearl problems.


Moment of truth: my shoe racks. UGH. They are horrible, and everything falls off all the time. (And yes, those are orange Last Chance tags.)


The ottoman has been the best addition. It gives me a place to sit and ponder my many black T-shirts, and also slip on shoes. (When it’s not piled with clothes, of course, which it is almost every single day.)


Now tell me your best trick for keeping your closet neat — I still can’t figure out how to make myself hang things up the minute I take them off.