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Remove a Closet to Create More Living Space

Not every room needs a closet. We took out the closet in our basement family room and added twenty extra square feet. Learn how to remove a closet and gain extra living space.

before and after of family room with text overlay "remove a closet and gain more space"

When we bought our house, our basement family room looked more like a dance studio. The floor was covered in beige tile, which made it too cold to spend any time in during the winter. One wall was completely covered with huge sliding mirrored closet doors.

It echoed, even when it became a dumping ground full of moving boxes and unwanted furniture. It was certainly not the cozy family room we were looking for!

mirrored closet door

You may be thinking we are nuts to remove a closet. We didn't need the closet, and we really wanted the extra twenty square feet of space for the rest of the room.

How to Remove a Closet

Take off the doors and remove hardware

First things first, the doors had to go! The next thing I did was to take out the long shelf and rod that extended the length of the closet, as well as the two shoe organizers that were attached to the walls.

no more shelf

We had a handyman come out to take out the doors, track, and the small section of the wall that framed in the closet. I put the doors on Craigslist for free and they were gone within hours. I'm sure some dance studio is happy to have them.

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Repair drywall

After the partial wall and track were gone, we were left with a gap in the drywall. While at first, this seemed like an easy patch job with a small strip of drywall, it turned out to be a bit more complicated.

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The walls and ceiling inside the closet were a ½" thinner than the rest of the room! The handyman added an additional ½" thick sheet of drywall to even it out, and put that ugly copper grounding wire back into the wall where it belongs.

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Leveling the Floor After Your Remove a Closet

The other problem was the floor in the former closet. It was bare concrete with a carpet remnant on top rather than tile like the rest of the room. We weren't going to remove the tile to install the wall-to-wall carpet, so we had a ¼" difference in floor height as well!

The handyman cut a sheet of plywood to fit the space, glued then screwed it down to the concrete. Then he matched the trim from the rest of the room and installed it to finish off the new space.

Finish the space

We had already ordered the carpet and the new couch, so it was time to paint! I had plans to make the dark blue TARDIS door, so we went with a lighter bluish-gray color called Russian Blue from Behr for the walls.

It looks darker and grayer on our walls than it does on the color swatch, which we liked. Always get a few sample colors to try on the walls before you commit!

I color-matched the ceiling by taking a section of the old wall with me to Home Depot. The previous owner painted the ENTIRE house the same off-white color, including the trim and ceilings, so I made sure to get plenty of that color for future touch-ups. After the painting was done, it was starting to look like the closet was never even there.

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Don't be afraid to remove a closet! In a space like this, it really wasn't needed and now we have a lot more space in our basement family room!

Next time I'll show you the carpet and furniture, some of which you can see covered in plastic in the photo above. I'm currently working on something to camouflage that water main shutoff valve in the middle of the wall, but it's slow going. The battery on my drill only lasts about half an hour now, but maybe I'll get a new one for my upcoming birthday (hint, hint!)