Small Space, Big Design – The Bold Closet Trend (Plus, Sara Reveals Her Master Closet Wallpaper)

Like a lot of you, I’m pretty over plain white walls for a bit. I’m craving color and pattern. Of course, all of that could change in a few weeks (I wrote all about what I’m calling “design discontent” here). BUT I’m going with it for the moment, and letting these bold design hungers take the wheel. Two weeks ago I shared all the options I was thinking about using in our primary closet – a space I really felt empowered to just go for it. If you’ve been following me on Instastory, then you probably already know what wallpaper I choose to slap on the walls (just kidding, they were lovingly placed my our wallpaper installer Mark). But if you don’t, then you’re about to find out which paper won!

And the winner is STRAWBERRY THIEF by Morris & Co!

I LOVE THIS WALLPAPER, and now I also love this room. Sometimes I just go in there to sit and smile. Originally I had planned on wallpapering all four walls and the ceiling, but when Mark arrived he told me I was very wrong, had ordered barely enough wallpaper to cover the walls, and to email him before I ever order wallpaper for my house again. NOTED. We all have our strengths and weaknesses – figuring out square footage for wallpaper, as it turns out, is not one of my strengths.

So we ended up leaving the ceiling white, and I actually think it was for the better! And because I’m still learning how you do things, I installed our baseboard without painting it first. So . . . I then spent HOURS painstakingly hand painting this trim with a tiny brush (with leftover “Goodnight Moon” from the office) in order to avoid having to put any sort of painters tape on the wallpaper. I trusted my steady hand more than I trusted even the most expensive “delicate” tape.

Our closet reveal is coming up soon, so hang tight to see how it all came together. But I’m not the only one out there who’s got bold closets on the brain. In fact, it’s kind of thing. Small spaces, it turns out, are actually perfect spots to go big and bold. I think of them as high impact, low-risk areas. Their small size also means it’s cheaper to buy wallpaper for, and tear out/paint over whenever you decide to try something new (as opposed to a large room). So I found a few other bold closet enthusiasts and asked them to share why they also gave their closets an extra serving of personality . . .


First up, we’ve got Kelly Collier from Plot Twist Design, who made over her closet as a “One Room Challenge”. She went BOLD, with a semi-tropical botanic print, black painted ceiling, and animal skin rugs.

From Kelly – “I chose a bold printed wallpaper, because it’s a true reflection of my personality being freely expressed in a space created just for me. It’s on trend, yet floral prints are also timeless; very much aligned with my personal aesthetic and wardrobe. It seems bold closets have become the new norm. I believe it’s a safe, smaller place to for people to explore an unapologetically bold design. It’s also likely to be the one space in the home dedicated to exclusively us, hence more design freedom!”

You can read all about her closet, and see more photos from the reveal here!

P.S. She’s also the host of a great design podcast🙂


Now this closet, by Erin Kestenbaum, isn’t wallpapered, it’s painted! So if you’re wallpaper averse, don’t think that means you’re no longer qualified for a bold closet.

Here’s Erin – “When we were laying out a new, more functional floorplan for our bedroom, the closet became a pass-through between our bedroom and bathroom, and I wanted to use the transition through those two spaces as an opportunity to create a memorable moment. I knew that the bathroom was going to be light and airy, and that I was using a monochrome palette for the bedroom, so a bold color on the walls became the perfect bridge in the closet. Before even deciding on the direction for the space, I had for years been dreaming of having a striped ceiling in my future walk-in closet, and this narrow room with little unused wall space became the perfect place to turn that dream into a reality. Because the closet doesn’t get a lot of natural light, I embraced the darkness with a moody deep green-blue to envelope the space. I love how you can see peeks of the bold wall color and wallpaper from inside our bedroom and that it creates a more visually layered bedroom suite. It’s such a treat to start and end our days in this little jewel box of a closet, and since we don’t spend a lot of time in here, we have yet to become tired of the bold design choices (nor do I anticipate that we ever will!). 

I think the closet is the perfect space to go a little bit crazy, because the space is typically small (read: less expensive to add wallpaper or other textiles), it doesn’t need to flow as much with the rest of your house because it only needs to coordinate with your bedroom, and since you don’t spend long periods of time in your closet, you won’t tire of the bold choices you’ve made the same way you might in a living room or other frequently used space.”

You can check out more from this closet here.


Last but not least, we’ve got Ursula Carmona, from Home Made By Carmona. She also made over her primary closet as part of her “One Room Challenge” and it’s the closet that helped me decide that yes, wallpapering my closet was the right thing to do.

Here’s what Ursula has to say about her closet – “I wanted to add a ton of character and personality to what was originally a boring and downright dingy four walls. What better way to infuse a space with charm than to start with a bold patterned wallpaper? It immediately grabs your attention, and draws you in. 

This stunning ‘Woodland Birds‘ wallpaper from Milton & King caught my eye, and although it’s a little outside of the norm for me, I went with my gut and let it set the tone for the entire space. I love the uniqueness and the wild charm of the pattern. Even a closet deserves to be a show-stopper!”

Check out her full closet reveal post here.

That’s it from Bold Closet Headquarters (and yes, our HQ is in a closet – we love it here, there’s wallpaper). I’m getting the big itch to put up more wallpaper. Does anyone have any experience with a wallpapered ceiling in their kitchen? I know, I know, there’s is STEAM in a kitchen. But who can support me in this endeavor? OK THANX, BYE!

Fin Mark

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