Room for Entertaining

A Texas couple found an innovative way to turn a common closet into the center of attention.
Majella Chube Hamilton

If the storage area in your home is like mine, it can be found in a prime household spot. Most residences have standard-size closets that are either tucked just underneath a staircase or positioned in close proximity to an entrance or a place where people gather.

In spite of that central location and accessibility, however, these storage closets generally go undeveloped, underutilized, and undervalued. Let's face it; homes have an unwritten rule that closet doors should remain closed at all times for fear something unidentifiable might fall from on high in the presence of guests.

Once opened though, closet caverns, especially the walk-in variety, are usually long and narrow or short and wide. No matter what the configuration, there is never ample space to hold all the stuff we want to hide.

This was not so in the home of one couple with an entirely different perspective. Before Toni and Gary Hightower closed the deal on a new home in Plano, Texas, they decided to pursue an unconventional thought about a particular storage closet. Known by family and friends as consummate entertainers, the pair believed that this essential space, at the heart of just about everything, was not reaching its full potential.

This storage closet, right next to the family room and kitchen, proved ideal. The space should be put to better use, they theorized, by transforming a walk-in closet into a wet bar. The result enhances the residence in every practical sense.

"I call it my hole in the wall because it wasn't supposed to be," says Toni. "It was a regular closet. You always need storage, but we entertain so much, we needed a wet bar even more. It's large enough to fit the basic elements for entertaining."

Now the area is functional for dinner parties and celebrations. "It's a versatile and popular area," Toni adds. "The steps above add an interesting feature. We hung pictures inside of our family and friends. They gather there and enjoy reminiscing about parties we've had in the past."