Boost Your Bedroom Storage with These 7 Open Wardrobe Ideas
August 27, 2023
A girl sitting with coffee, looking outside the window

Written by Eliza

open wardrobe

The idea of open wardrobes might raise an eyebrow or two – "Isn't that a recipe for clutter and chaos?" you might wonder. Well, hold onto your skepticism, because this contemporary approach to organizing clothing is not only incredibly trendy but also surprisingly practical!

Concerns about potential messiness have led some to question the appeal of open wardrobes, particularly in smaller bedrooms. However, this blog is here to challenge these doubts. My handpicked collection of 7 open wardrobe ideas is about to breathe new life into your bedroom. Trust me, this is where functionality and fashion collide in the most unexpected and ingenious ways!

open wardrobe before and after

Why are open wardrobes worth considering?

Provide exceptional accessibility

Gone are the days of rummaging through dark and cramped closets, desperately searching for that perfect outfit. Open wardrobes have emerged as the ultimate solution to this everyday struggle, offering a refreshing take on bedroom storage. Its accessibility factor is truly a game-changer, as it turns your bedroom into a personalized boutique where your clothing choices are always at your fingertips. With an open wardrobe, the phrase "I have nothing to wear" becomes a thing of the past, as each piece is effortlessly visible, inspiring you to create new combinations and experiment with your style.

Create a sense of greater spaciousness

Embracing the concept of an open wardrobe in your bedroom is a strategic move that can transform the very perception of your space. By opting for an open wardrobe, you unlock the remarkable ability to create an illusion of more space. The absence of traditional closet doors and the introduction of an open layout break down visual barriers, making your room feel larger and more breathable. By arranging your clothes thoughtfully, you can curate an environment that is both organized and visually engaging.

spacious open wardrobe in a bedroom

Offer visual charm

Open wardrobes have the power to be more than just storage; they're an opportunity to showcase your fashion sense and curate a visually stunning display. Imagine a bedroom where your wardrobe isn't confined behind closed doors but becomes part of the room's design. With careful arrangement and a touch of creativity, your clothes, shoes, and accessories transform into pieces of art, adding a personalized touch to your room. Overall, an open wardrobe is not just furniture; it's an opportunity to make a statement to transform your bedroom into a stylish sanctuary that inspires and captivates.

Easily adapt to your specific storage needs

Open wardrobes go beyond the cookie-cutter approach to storage; they're your canvas for customization. Whether you're a minimalist or a maximalist, an open wardrobe adapts, evolves, and adjusts to fit your clothing collection, your shoe obsession, or whatever treasures you need to store. Need more shelf space? No problem. Want extra hanging room for your dresses? Easily done. Open wardrobes allow you to create a unique storage setup that aligns with your lifestyle and fashion choices.

7 open wardrobe ideas for a bedroom storage

1. Construct shelves inside an alcove

Utilizing an alcove as a wardrobe solution presents a clever way to address those challenging and often neglected spaces that lack the room for a standalone wardrobe. If the idea of custom-built wardrobes feels daunting, consider the simplicity of installing shelves within the alcove. The result? By thoughtfully planning the shelf layout, you can make the most of the alcove's dimensions and create a functional, visually pleasing open wardrobe that seamlessly integrates into your small bedroom's design.

Alpaca tip:

While arranging garments, shoes, or accessories, the key lies in tailoring the shelf design to your storage needs. Consider the height required for hanging dresses or suits while accounting for the spacing ideal for neatly folded clothes or shoe displays.

2. Opt for fashionable clothes rails

Whether in a spacious loft or a cozy apartment, clothes rails can be tailored to fit your space perfectly. With their streamlined design, this open wardrobe idea allows you to easily organize and display your wardrobe while keeping everything readily accessible. The open layout encourages efficient outfit selection, making your daily routine smoother than ever. 

Additionally, the lack of doors and drawers promotes better airflow, which can be beneficial for preserving the quality of your clothing. To sum up, with clothes rails, your entire wardrobe is at your fingertips, organized and ready to rock.

Clothes rails for a bedroom

Alpaca tip:

Invest in sturdy and stylish clothes rails that can handle the weight of your clothing. Look for materials like metal or wood for durability.

3. Create a walk-in wardrobe

The walk-in wardrobe presents a unique take on the open wardrobe concept, merging functionality with a sense of luxury. Unlike traditional wardrobes, it offers an expansive and inviting space where clothes, shoes, and accessories can be effortlessly organized. With tailored shelves, hanging rails, and thoughtfully placed drawers, a walk-in wardrobe grants each piece a designated home. 

Moreover, the walk-in wardrobe isn't reserved solely for spacious bedrooms; it adapts beautifully to various settings. Even smaller bedrooms can accommodate a scaled-down version. By embracing this open wardrobe idea, you're not just upgrading your storage; you're opening the door to a new era of personalized elegance and efficient living.

Alpaca tip:

Choose appropriate hangers to prevent stretching or damaging your clothes. Velvet or padded hangers work well for delicate fabrics, while sturdy wooden hangers are great for heavier items.

4. Elevate your creativity with a ladder wardrobe

The ladder-style open wardrobe is a trend that can redefine how you store and display your clothes and add a touch of rustic charm to your personal sanctuaries. By leaning a ladder against the wall, this open wardrobe idea transforms into a captivating display of fashion and functionality. The concept takes inspiration from minimalist design principles, where a sturdy and sleek ladder serves as the central framework for hanging and displaying clothes. The ladder's rungs offer convenient storage space for clothes, allowing them to be hung and draped with an artistic touch. In addition, the vertical orientation of the ladder utilizes the often-underutilized wall space, making it a perfect fit for small bedrooms with limited square footage. 

Intrigued by ladder-style storage? Check out my previous blog post to explore additional ways to maximize this storage approach and learn about various other bedroom shelving ideas.

ladder wardrobe

Alpaca tip:

To make the most of the ladder design, consider pairing the ladder with baskets or shelves for additional storage.

5. Curtain off the open wardrobe

For those aiming to achieve a harmonious balance between privacy and the desire to showcase their fashion preferences, it's worthwhile to incorporate curtains into your open wardrobe arrangement. By replacing traditional closet doors with curtains, this design approach offers a sense of openness and accessibility while maintaining the essential storage aspect. The curtains, which can be chosen to match the decor, provide a touch of elegance and softness to your small bedroom space.

It's like having the best of both worlds – a stunning showcase for your wardrobe treasures and the option for a quick hideaway. So, whether you're in the mood to flaunt your fashion sense or simply tuck everything away, this open wardrobe idea has you covered.

Alpaca tip:

Incorporate decorative tiebacks into your curtain arrangement. When you wish to access your wardrobe, effortlessly draw the curtains aside and use the tiebacks to fasten them, adding a touch of elegance to the setting.

6. Mix and match open wardrobe storage systems

Another innovative idea for open wardrobe storage in small bedrooms involves integrating multiple storage systems. This blend of different storage systems can address diverse organizational needs, accommodating clothing, accessories, and footwear in an organized manner. 

For instance, a combination of adjustable shelves and hanging rods can cater to varying clothing lengths and types. This allows the efficient storage of folded garments, hanging clothes, and even accessories like scarves and belts. Complementary elements such as pull-out baskets or fabric bins can be seamlessly integrated to house smaller items like socks, undergarments, and accessories, maintaining a clutter-free look. Additionally, including open cubbies provides a perfect opportunity to display shoes, handbags, and decorative pieces.

Alpaca tip:

To enhance the aesthetic appeal of the open wardrobe, you can mix materials and textures. Combining wooden shelves, metal hanging rods, and woven baskets creates a visually interesting contrast that adds a touch of sophistication to the design. 

open wardrobe mix and match

7. Make the most of every 'dead' space

Exploring open wardrobe ideas gives you the chance to seize every available opportunity for clever storage solutions. For instance, take into consideration the frequently overlooked spaces, such as the areas above and around doorways. These spaces can be ingeniously transformed into functional shelving units, providing a stylish home for shoes and handbags while utilizing otherwise unused space. And if you're fortunate to have an above-average ceiling height, you could even dive into the concept of a library-style storage setup. 

As you can see, the beauty of open wardrobe concepts lies in their limitless potential to be tailored to the layout of your small bedroom, with creative possibilities knowing no bounds.

How can the aesthetics of an open wardrobe be improved?

Implement the 'massing' design technique

Have you ever thought about giving your open wardrobe a style upgrade? Well, the 'massing' design technique could be your secret weapon! This technique involves arranging objects in a way that creates a sense of visual harmony and balance. For instance, skillfully grouping similar clothing items, accessories, and essentials together creates a symphony of textures, colors, and forms within the wardrobe's open space. Moreover, employing 'massing' allows for the interplay of contrasting materials, such as arranging leather jackets alongside delicate lace dresses.

massing design technique

Incorporate a mirror

Embracing mirrors into an open wardrobe can represent a transformative step in enhancing its overall aesthetics. Mirrors possess a unique ability to create the illusion of expanded space and depth, instantly making the wardrobe area appear larger and more inviting. By strategically positioning mirrors within the wardrobe's design, you create a reflection of light that brightens up the space and adds a touch of elegance. So, whether you're channeling your inner fashion guru or simply getting ready for the day, mirrors in your open wardrobe are the perfect open wardrobe addition you've been waiting for!

open wardrobe with a mirror

Adhere to a white color scheme

Opting for a white color scheme can work wonders in boosting the aesthetics of your open wardrobe. The minimalist nature of white creates an uncluttered visual landscape, allowing clothing and accessories to take center stage. Against this serene backdrop, every fabric's texture, color accent, and accessory detail gain prominence, transforming the simple act of getting dressed into an unexpectedly artistic experience. But white doesn't stop there - it's a chameleon that effortlessly complements various styles. Beyond its visual allure, this color scheme also offers versatility, seamlessly adapting to a range of bedroom styles, from minimalist to bohemian.

open wardrobe white color

Add a dressing table

With a dressing table, your wardrobe becomes more than just a storage spot – it evolves into a curated dressing room offering storage for clothing and a dedicated area for grooming. This smart addition provides a designated space to arrange cosmetics, jewelry, and daily essentials, enhancing the organization of the open wardrobe. The mirror integrated into the table serves its practical purpose while also reflecting light, creating the illusion of more space and contributing to a brighter ambiance. Furthermore, the dressing table acts as a visual anchor, enhancing elegance and luxury to the overall bedroom aesthetic.

Integrate backlighting

Introducing backlighting into your open wardrobe is like adding a touch of enchantment to your everyday routine, especially during the evening or nighttime hours. A captivating interplay of light and shadows can be achieved by placing LED lights or other soft illumination sources behind the wardrobe's shelves, rods, and compartments. This helps create a cozy and inviting atmosphere in the bedroom and, at the same time, makes it easier to locate and organize clothing and accessories. Moreover, the gentle glow from the backlighting adds depth to the wardrobe, giving it a sense of dimension and highlighting the contents. 

Open wardrobe with backlighting


As you navigate the choices for your bedroom's storage, I encourage you to view open wardrobe ideas not as a passing trend but as a strategic decision. By embracing this concept, you're opting for a lifestyle that values order, accessibility, and design synergy.

Think about those mornings when you've searched endlessly for that favorite pair of shoes or that specific shirt buried within the depths of a traditional closet. Open wardrobes effortlessly eliminate this daily frustration by offering a visual and organized haven for your prized possessions. It's only natural for questions to arise when considering something new and unconventional. However, by exploring the myriad benefits of open wardrobes alongside their clever storage and design solutions for even small bedrooms, I'm confident you're now equipped with a fresh perspective!