Give Bland Closet Doors a Designer Upgrade

Stuck with boring closet doors in a tiny space? We've got ideas.

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If you live in a smaller home, chances are you have a few reach-in closets. In addition to the limited space, the doors can often be an unwelcome eyesore to your well-designed space. Replacement closet doors are always an option, but they’re often expensive, so what’s a gal to do? Get creative, of course.

We’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite DIY ideas for upgrading your closet doors, and most of them are low budget and easy to do.

1: Murals

Green Chalkboard and Mural on Bi-Fold Closet Doors in a Kid's Bedroom

A Kid's Bedroom Closet Door Turned Into an Activity Center and Mural

A wallpaper lion walks along a green chalkboard lawn in designer Lauren Liess's home. This activity center is a perfect small-space solution. Instead of taking up precious wall space, use the closet doors to make a chalkboard for the kids.

Photo by: Design by Lauren Liess; Photo by Helen Norman

Design by Lauren Liess; Photo by Helen Norman

This creative set of closet doors is from designer and author Lauren Liess. These doors feature a combination of a lion wallpaper decal paired with chalkboard paint used to create a field of grass. This is a perfect choice for a little boy or girl’s room since the kids can have fun drawing on their closet doors with chalk.

2: Nailheads

This chic door uses nailheads to create visual interest. The nailheads are arranged on the door in an asymmetrical pattern to create a series of shapes. You could create a similar look by using a simpler pattern like stripes or boxes.

3: Wallpaper

Covering your closet doors in wallpaper is a simple way to give them an immediate upgrade. Try choosing a color and pattern that blends in well the with color scheme you already have in your bedroom and don’t be afraid to go a little bold.

4: Mirrors

Transitional Bedroom With White Linens & Mirrored Doors

Mirrored Closet Doors

Mirrored closet doors reflect off the natural light from the windows, making this bedroom feel even bigger and brighter.

Photo by: Braun + Adams

Braun + Adams

Jackson Paige Interiors truly glammed up these closet doors with a variety of mirrors. Typical mirrored sliding closet doors are a dime a dozen, but these babies are on another level of chic. You can create a similar look in your own space by painting your closet doors, then having a series of mirror panels cut to size.

5: Upholstery

Upholstered Closet Doors Add a Touch of High Design

Upholstered Closet Doors Add a Touch of High Design

To add a touch of high design, simple ready-made bifold closet doors were given an update with fabric and batting. For a not-too-overwhelming pattern, a transitional geometric with shades of charcoal, beige and brown was used.

Photo by: © Rustic White Photography

© Rustic White Photography

One of Brian Patrick Flynn’s favorite design go-to moves is “upholstering” his closet doors. For a DIY version of these, use simple batting, fabric and a staple gun to cover your doors. Or if you want to go profesh, remove your closet doors and bring them over to your local upholsterer to handle.

6: Photos

White Global Guest Bedroom

Whimsical Guest Bedroom with Global Inspiration

This spacious bedroom has a decidedly global feel, with closet doors crafted from a blown-up photo the client acquired in Bangkok. A cork accent wall provides both a conversation piece and sound absorption, since the wall is shared with an upstairs bathroom. Casual textiles complement the unique artwork.

Photo by: Tom Queally Photography

Tom Queally Photography

This is a fun technique for upgrading your reach-in closet doors: cover them with an oversized photo. You can either use one of your own photos (if you have a high-res version) or use an inexpensive stock photo. You can create a similar look by making your closet photo with custom, removable wallpaper from a company like

7: Curtains

Modern Purple Bedroom With Multipurpose Closet

Dark Purple Room With Lavender Curtains and Ample Closet Space

Lavender and white curtains have replaced the doors of a closet in this bedroom, providing a sharp contrast to the dark purple wall color in the room. A white shelving unit inside the closet provides ample space for hanging up clothes, storing knickknacks and doing homework.

If you have a pair of closet doors that are too hopeless to think about upgrading, consider taking them off altogether. Instead of doors, install curtains by placing a curtain rod directly above the top of your closet opening. The fun part of this upgrade is that you can always switch out your curtains if you want to change up your room’s color palette.

8: Foil Tape

Neutral Transitional Closet Hallway and Bathroom

Transitional Master Bathroom and Closets

A long hallway with walk-in closets and contemporary sliding doors leads to a glamorous bathroom. Pale wood flooring is paired with taupe walls for a soothing color palette. The bathroom features a glossy floating nightstand, vessel sink and chic modern sconces.

Photo by: Grey Crawford

Grey Crawford

If want to recreate closet doors like these from designer Jennifer Dyer, you could create a similar look by using foil tape. Depending on the material of your doors, you can use simple decorative tape from your local craft store. Use the tape to create patterns, and like this example, feel free to mix it up on various doors.

9: New Hardware

Large Master Closet With Wardrobes

Master Closet Outfitted With Wall-to-Wall Wardrobes and Drawers

Wall-to-wall wardrobes and drawers outfit the master closet at the 2016 San Francisco Decorator Showcase inspired by pop culture royalty. Designer Tineke Triggs drew inspiration from the styles and fashions of David Bowie and Iman when creating the master suite.

Photo by: Jason Kisner

Jason Kisner

Another trick for upgrading your closet doors is to switch out the hardware. Even if your closet doors don’t currently have pulls on them, you can add some new, long pulls, like these pictured from designer Tineke Triggs. You can install your pulls vertically like these, or for a different look, install them horizontally.

10: Fresh Paint

Closet With Gray Barn Doors

Main Bedroom With Barn-Door Closet

Sliding barn doors add an architectural element to this master bedroom and conceal the his and hers closets, as seen on HGTV's Fixer Upper. The doors are painted gray to match the French doors.

From: Fixer Upper

One of the easiest upgrades on our list is paint. These barn doors, from an Erica Islas project, were given a brand-new life with a pretty blue-green color. The doors pick up the secondary color in the room by echoing the color on the French doors.

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