HGTV star Kortney Wilson takes us inside her closet

Masters of Flip star Kortney Wilson on how she turned her master bedroom into her dream closet


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Wilson in the closet she designed with a focus on open storage

I never thought my closet would become a place for a champagne toast with my girlfriends. In fact, I designed it to be a fully functioning and practical space and just got caught up in the pretty details of it all. Here’s how I turned my bedroom into my dream closet.

My husband, Dave, and I are used to reworking closets. Storing one’s stilettos and seasonal hats wasn’t really a priority in homes of the early 1900s, so when we renovate houses, we are accustomed to turning smaller bedrooms into much needed 21st-century kind of storage. When I told Dave that I had the idea of turning our master bedroom into my walk-in closet and the office next to our bedroom into our new sleep space, it was a bit of a head scratcher. So much so, that I moved the bedroom one day when he wasn’t home to help him visualize it. Then, we began the process.

I had friends who had spent tens of thousands of dollars on custom closets with beautifully detailed doors and built-in dressers, but I had a different vision. I wanted to be able to walk in and see all of the items at a glance, instead of having to open up drawers and sliding doors. I had our carpenter build open shelving, just as he would for pantries, accommodating items I would hang high, low and fold in between.

Then came the island. I really wanted a glass countertop so I could place all of my jewellery in the top drawers and see everything at a glance. My initial plan was to find two large and identical dressers and put them back to back. The idea was to replace the dresser tops with glass. It proved to be more expensive than to just build what I wanted from scratch, so I had our kitchen cabinet guy, Chris, take a stab at it. 

I chose a minty green hue for the body of the island, added a combination of hardware from Anthropologie and some gold feet that are merely decoration, making it look less like kitchen cabinets. I hung a brass-finished chandelier for a little glam and painted the original mantel white.

The pink brick that I uncovered years ago plays nicely against the green and grey accents and gives the room the texture that it needed. The addition of a fuzzy stool and a grey and white–striped chair from West Elm has made it perfect for those champagne toasts with my girlfriends.

I’ve always been hesitant about putting my closet on display. It’s a personal space, and it seems a little over the top to most (heck, to me). It’s not one of those necessities, like say, your kitchen, but I’m proud of the space. After sharing a two-by-four-foot closet for most of my life with my sister and graduating to sharing a slightly larger walk-in closet with Dave, it has been a joy to start my morning off in a space that reflects me.

As a realtor, it’s one of the surprising areas that I find can make or break a deal. If the house is great, but there is no storage, the buyer can be turned off. I dedicate a good amount of time to the closet design in each house. I’ve been known to paint the backs of the built-in shelves, accent with wallpaper, give one of the walls a punch of colour or fancy it up with a really great light fixture or an interesting piece of art. 

As a rule of thumb, a little colour, a bit of texture, some simple fabric and dash of pattern mixing all contribute to pulling a room together. The master closet shouldn’t be the exception. A large closet is a luxury. So is cheesecake. If you’ve got the room, go for it.

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