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How to build a closet with slanted ceiling

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Today I am showing how to build a closet with a slanted ceiling and attic closet ideas. Designing a closet with a sloped ceiling can be tricky as it’s challenging to add functional shelving and rods for storage. I was determined to make the low ceiling space in our attic work to our advantage and utilize the eaves space under the ceiling. 

My dad and I spent the majority of the day building a closet in our loft to create closed storage for toys, seasonal clothes and my office supplies.

The issue was the low slanted ceiling and useless space in the eaves!

Update 2022: Keep reading, the finished closet and new french closet doors (full reveal makeover) are linked at the bottom of the post. This post has been pinned over 100,000 times on pinterest which is pretty crazy!

This project was sparked from when I got divorced (read my divorce post ) leading to the master bedroom makeover and the attic turned new lady loft.

How to build a closet

Our attic (loft) space below was open and a catchall for just about everything we didn’t have a home for. An attic closet can be very helpful if it’s organized properly.

This space is open to the 2nd floor so serves more of a loft.

We had two options. We could turn this entire space into a large attic walk in closet or make a small closet with slanted ceiling at the far end of the room.

Open 3rd floor loft space with farmhouse desk, filing cabinets, yellow geometric rug and sectional couch

When we originally moved into the house , this loft space was my son’s bedroom. I thought he would love having a large bedroom with a tv space but he had other ideas.

Long story short, we ended up moving his bedroom a couple months later to my office (which was a bedroom) and this loft became my office.

empty loft with slanted ceiling, sky light window, beige carpet and sectional

When searching for slanted ceiling closet ideas for this loft space, I decided it was better to frame in one corner of the loft instead of an entire attic closet. 

My office space will be adjacent to the new closet so the closet will essentially create a “nook” for my desk. The other part of the loft (the open space near the balcony and stairway, will be a TV space.

You may remember my office space at our old house which was in the “in-law” apartment above the garage that we converted to my studio.

empty loft with slanted ceiling, sky light window, beige carpet and sectional

How to frame a closet with low slanted ceiling

A closet design in attic spaces can be challenging because while closed storage is great, you need to be able to access it. While I can crawl around in a tight storage space, many other adults cannot and we are always thinking resale with any home project we do.

The walk in closet, even though the low slanted ceilings pose a small inconvenience, the majority of adults can access the inside of this closet.

Jessica Bruno at Four Generations One Roof carrying nail gun, extension cord in living room

We spent a couple hours Saturday morning lugging all the wood, tools and supplies to the loft. 38 stairs total x 25 trips. This DIY closet gave me a workout!

How To Frame A Closet With A Slanted Ceiling

Tip: Use two skills saws to save time. Changing the saw angle back and forth is a pain in the butt! 

We used two skill saws when framing the closet. One that was already set to the angle we needed and the other to cut the 2×4’s to the correct length.

Closet Build Items needed:

  1. 2×4’s for the frame
  2. drywall for the walls
  3. drywall screws
  4. Joint compound for the plaster and trowel (I am doing a slight rough texture that I will paint white to coordinate with the slanted ceiling.)
  5. drywall screw gun and/or regular screw gun, nail gun, hammer, bevel angle, 4′ and 2′ level, chalk line, stanley knife and finish gun.
  6. (1) 3-0 / 6-8 bifold – 6 panel solid pine (the 6 panel solid pine coordinates with the rest of the doors in our house but you can get whatever bifold you want) with a 49 1/16th jam
  7. Bifold hardware
  8. 3.5” colonial casing for trim
Jessica Bruno nailing 2x4 to floor

Step 1: Measure closet and frame along floor

First we measured the distance from the wall to the point where we wanted the closet to end. We then nailed the 2×4’s to the floor and slanted ceiling. Be sure to use a level to ensure your wall will be level.

Jessica Bruno nailing 2x4 to floor
Jessica Bruno nailing 2x4 to slanted ceiling

Step 2: Measure and cut 2×4’s

Next we measured and cut the 2×4’s to create the wall frame. Be sure to use a level to ensure your frame is straight. We added a 2×4 every 16 inches on center.

Jessica Bruno nailing 2x4's every 16" on center to create a closet wall

How to frame a closet door

Step 3: Frame doorway

We framed a 36″ door opening for the pine bifold door at the highest point of the ceiling to ensure that a standard door would fit.

We decided to go with two double outward swing doors which is a great door solution for sloped ceiling closet doors.

A bifold door would also work nicely. I originally wanted a barn sliding door similar to the one we installed at my friends house.

Do you remember the basement sliding barn door without removing the door trim project?

Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough wall space to install a barn sliding door track so the bifold door made the most sense. The existing trim in the room is pine stained colonial casing so I will stain the pine bifold door to match.

Jessica Bruno nailing 2x4's every 16" on center to create a closet wall

Step 4: Hang Drywall and Plaster

Once the closet frame was complete, we measured, cut the drywall and fastened to the 2×4’s with 2″ drywall screws.

Jessica Bruno screwing drywall to the 2x4 frame closet wall
Jessica Bruno screwing drywall to the 2x4 frame closet wall

Storage Solutions for Sloped Ceilings

Jessica Bruno screwing drywall to the 2x4 frame closet wall with Dewalt screw gun + wood ladder

The open space under the eaves part of the ceiling was great for storage but not so great to look at. Do you know what I mean? I found a lot of tutorials and ideas on building built in drawer units in a knee wall or eaves but I didn’t need drawers. I needed a large storage space that had a door and walls.

Jessica Bruno's dad holding up the drywall on the closet wall

Now that the closet is framed and the drywall is hung, I will finish the walls with a slight texture with joint compound to coordinate with the slanted ceiling and paint the closet white.

Attic Closet With Sloped Ceiling

Often times with sloped ceilings, you need to think outside the box when it comes to a storage closet. It’s just a matter of framing the knee wall (the short part of the wall) and the slanted ceiling. A slanted wall closet, while not ideal, is better than no closet at all.

We ended up using this wire rack and these closet rods along the inside walls to hang extra clothes and store office supplies. Simply fasten the closet brackets to the new wall studs and attach the shelf.

We worked from 8am until 4:15 and got the bulk of the closet built.

Jessica Bruno and her dad thumbs up closet built in 1 day

Related Series Posts:

Lady Loft part 1 Horner Millwork |

Lady Loft Frame Closet Slanted Walls part 2 |

Lady Loft (install closet french doors) part 3

Lady Loft Before & After (REVEAL DAY!) 

Stay tuned, we have partnered with a popular furniture company here on the East Coast to create an amazing modern rustic (with a hint of farmhouse) tv space in the loft as well as Horner Millwork for the closet door (see new french closet doors post here ).  I can’t wait to get it finished!

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.

3 Comments

  1. Alexandra says:

    Thanks for documenting this! I have a similar space and needs, so this was very helpful! And…manicures are always appropriate lol

    1. haha yes Alexandra! I was baffled by what to do for a while with the loft space but a built in closet worked perfectly! 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing this. How do you determine the angle of the ceiling in order to make the 2×4 cuts correctly for framing? That angled cut is a challenge. And when anchoring the first board to the ceiling, how do you determine where the supports are to nail into?
    I’m not lucky enough to have a handy dad, so I have to figure it all out by myself. Any additional tips are appreciated!
    Thanks!

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