Here is the floorplan of our master bedroom:

enter image description here

Being a 1940s house, the closet [lower left] is woefully small at 3' x 2'. I'm thinking about a way to expand it. The obvious answer is to build it out along the length of the left wall, but there are some considerations:

  • The room dimensions are fixed - the notches in the corners match the exterior walls.
  • The existing closet framing/walls cannot be altered - the room has the original wood floors, so the walls [also originaly plaster] have to remain in place as the floors don't extend underneath.
  • There is a retrofitted 10" x 4" duct along the left wall. It's not possible to move it, BUT I could extend to route somewhere else
  • Along the top kickout (the wall labeled 1' 3 1/4"), there is an electical outlet. There are no outlets on the left wall or in the existing closet. This can be tied into for closet lighting
  • All doors and windows have 4x1 trim around them (I drew these on the plan, though they're tough to see) (along top wall and right wall)
  • It would be nice (but not neccessary) to allow for some kind of built-in desk/vanity in the room, potentially along this wall.

So my initial thought was to remove the existing closet door and trim on the right side, and build a straight wall across the room (the dotted line). However, you can see that this comes too close to the front window. With the depth of framing and drywall, it would be too much. The minimum closet depth is 24". Shifting this wall back to 24" would allow it to clear the window just slightly, but would require patching over the existing door opening.

My alternate plan would be to build the wall out approximately to the end of the vent, then build a 45 degree wall to the kickout vertex. Im worried that this will be an obvious hack/retrofit.


  • Where are the windows? I assume you don't want to cover a window with a closet.
    – auujay
    Jul 22, 2013 at 15:23
  • There are two windows - one on the top wall, one on the right wall. I didn't label them, but I did mark the outer trim for each. Definately can't cover a window. I'm worried about even building the wall straight which would bring me within 1-2" of the outer window trim. Jul 22, 2013 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


Why not build your closet wall along the dotted line, but end it at the inset near the window. Build a short return wall to the edge of the inset.

Then on the short wall to the left of the window, build in a bookshelf ceiling to floor that is slightly less deep than the closet wall (inset about 2-3") and just short of the window trim. You could also build a companion bookshelf on the right side of the window to make it look symmetrical.

The small step back from the edge of the closet to the bookcase would likely look planned rather than makeshift. You also could have the edge of the closet rounded as it moves back to the bookshelves. There are pre-made curved edges, called bullnoses, available for plasterboard that would make it fairly simple.


  • That idea makes a lot of sense, as that narrow space wouldn't be useful for a closet anyway. It's not clear from the picture, but on the right side that's another floor vent, but I still think it would look better than my two options even with just one side done. Jul 22, 2013 at 19:59
  • I think the left wall is the only location that makes sense. A slight variation would be to run a desk/vanity from where the bookcase is shown to about where the vent is. The small space between vent and exterior wall behind the desk could again be a bookcase. You lose closet space, but gain a desk. Just a thought.
    – bcworkz
    Jul 23, 2013 at 0:53

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