Years ago, all closets were white — white walls with white shelves. Today there are many more choices available to the consumer. The sheer number of possibilities can be a bit overwhelming. So how do you choose the best solution for you? Read on for closet color ideas that make your decision simple and easy.

How to choose the perfect color and finish for your custom closet

When it comes to choosing a color, some of the decision is merely a matter of taste. But other factors, such as resale value and the old-fashioned color wheel come into play. We all want to choose colors that are harmonious and please ourselves, yet future buyers will also crave. To complicate it further, there is the color of the closet system itself, paint or wallpaper, plus flooring colors to consider. Each plays an important role in the overall color scheme of your closet. Each needs to be considered when choosing your closet colors. Luckily, there are a few rules of thumb that can help you make a wise decision.

  1. Select Neutral Colors for the Panels and Structure of the Closet

    Selection of 39 laminate colors available at
    All of these colors would be considered neutrals because they are either shades of white, black, beige, gray, or a simulated natural wood.

    Chances are, your new closet system will be made of a thermally fused laminate material rather than solid wood. It’s simply a matter of cost. Most buyers don’t want to splurge on the cost of an all-wood system for the inside of a closet. After all, most closets are seen only by the homeowner and are not open for viewing when guests arrive.

    For this reason, laminates rule in the custom closet world. They are economical, durable, attractive, and in many cases, indistinguishable from real wood. The downside is that color is rather permanent and not easy to change. This is why choosing the right laminate color is so important. Wood can be easily painted. Laminate not so much. Many people try, but it’s never a good, lasting result. Your best choice is to pick a neutral color that you can live with for a long time. But please remember, white is not the only neutral color. Most any wood tone, along with ivory, beiges, and shades of gray, will work. The important thing is that the structural components of your closet should be able to blend with many different walls or flooring colors.

  2. Optional Accent Color

    Walk-in closet with drawers in an accent color
    Walk-in closet with two-tone color scheme. The panels and structure are a dark gray color with drawer fronts in white as a color accent. The closet has backer to cover all the walls in the same gray material as the bulk of the closet.

    If your new closet system includes drawers and cabinet drawers, you have another color decision to make. After you’ve chosen a basic neutral for the body of your closet system, consider whether you’d like to include an accent color for the doors and drawers. For example, if your closet body is in a deep wood tone, you may want all the doors and drawers a bright white as an accent. This two-tone arrangement can be very visually effective on a larger closet, especially a walk-in.

  3. Closet Color Ideas Using Paint & Wallpaper

    Closet color ideas for walls walls.
    Two walk-in closets with brightly colored walls.

    Tradition demands that the inside walls of every closet be painted white to reflect the most amount of light possible. If you have an exceptionally dark closet this can still be useful as white does reflect the most amount of light. But today’s closets are equipped with bright LED lighting systems that allow for many more choices in wall color. Any color paint can be used. Try a bright color that matches your bedspread. Unlike laminates, paint is easy and inexpensive to change.

    Wallpaper is also gaining in popularity for use inside the closet. However, we don’t recommend it due to the difficulty in changing the paper once the closet is installed. The closet must be completely disassembled before steaming off the old wall covering. And new home buyers never like the previous owner’s choice in paper, no matter what you pick. If you feel compelled to use wallpaper in your closet, put it someplace where you can see it. Don’t let it be covered by clothing. Also, make sure it will be relatively easy to change later on without removing the closet components. The ceiling can be an excellent choice for closet wallpaper.

    Wallpaper on ceiling of custom closet
    Try this closet color idea! The closet features metallic wallpaper with salamanders on the ceiling. The basic closet system is all white, while the ceiling reflects the owner’s highly personal taste. It will be easier to remove if she decides to sell than if the wallpaper were on the walls.
  4. Hardware Finishes

    crystal knobs on closet cabinet doors
    These cabinet doors are accessorized with crystal knobs to match the chandelier on the ceiling.

    Think of handles and knobs as jewelry for your closet. They accessorize the total look of the space and are an important part of your closet color ideas or scheme. The hardware finish and style can completely change the look of the closet. Choose hardware finishes that blend in with the adjoining spaces. For example, if your closet is next to a bathroom, pick the same finish and as your faucet. If you have a chandelier, think about using a crystal knob in the closet. This will lend a cohesive look to the overall space. Retaining the same color finish will also bring the two spaces together even if the hardware is different between rooms.

  5. Closet Color Ideas for Flooring

    Walk-in closet with an area rug and closet island
    This walk-in closet is very colorful despite the neutral walls and beige wood-tone closet components. The burgundy rug dominates the closet with a bright spot of color and enhances all the red clothing in the owner’s wardrobe.

    Your closet floor should be the same material as the rest of the room. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t add a throw rug in a fun color to spice things up. In fact, throw rugs are one of the best ways to add strong colors to a closet since they are easy to change. Easier even than paint! Purchase a throw rug in your favorite color to personalize a walk-in closet. Better yet, find a color theme in your clothing and use the rug to tie the room and the clothes together. You’ll end up with a very polished and professional look.

The best closet color ideas are a reflection of your own personality and will blend with other hues and finishes used throughout the home.

If your home is all dark expresso tones woods with light walls and gold-tone hardware on your cabinets and doorknobs, then your closet should be the same. A simple white closet can work if white is being used as an accent color in the rest of the room, because a small closet is just an accent in a larger room. However, For a larger walk-in closet, choose a similar wood tone as your other furniture. Ditto for walls and flooring. But, most importantly, pick a color combination that you like. Your closet is probably the first place you head to in the morning and the last place you leave before bed. In short, your closet is an important part of your day. Make it a place you can enjoy!

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