There are two problems with closets: one, there are never enough; two, although there are never enough, they seem to be everywhere when it comes time to find a clear wall on which to hang a painting or place a piece of furniture.
Tracy Torrey's Capitol Hill town house has only two upstairs bedrooms. He knew he wanted more storage space in each, but he didn't want to cut up rooms with closet doors. With the help of interior designer David Campbell (who died last year), Torrey's home is now filled with handy but invisible closets. In the master bedroom, baseboards continue across the closet doorway, and the wall covering on the closet echoes that of the rest of the room. Only the tiny niches cut out of the baseboard to allow the door to open give a hint of the hidden closet. A tap on the chair railing releases the magnet catches, and the closet door opens.
In the back bedroom, which opens onto a deck, Torrey wanted a study that would also serve as a guest bedroom. An old-fashioned Murphy bed was the ideal solution. Campbell took about two feet off one end of the 12-by-12-foot room and built in a wall of invisible closets, divided into three sections: one for the stereo equipment, one as a coat closet, and, in the middle, the Murphy bed. Pictures hung on the wall are anchored so that they don't come crashing to the floor. When not in use, the bed is artfully disguised and out of sight.
Andy Leon Harney contributes regularly to The Magazine on design.