Client Stories:

Personality-Driven Walk In Closets For Fashion Designer Meritt Elliott and Restaurateur John Rankin

client: Meritt Elliott & John Rankin

location: Los Angeles, CA

design consultant: Cari Howe

John Rankin’s closet with shoe and hat storage, open shelving and custom black finish cabinets and Meritt Elliot’s white wood grain walk in with a center island workspace by California Closets

John Rankin’s custom shelving in a walk in closet in dark wood grain finish, holds folded sweaters by California Closets

What Meritt Elliott & John Rankin Wanted

Fashion designer and Hollywood stylist Meritt Elliott and her husband, chef and restaurateur John Rankin, needed to renovate their Los Angeles home in Laurel Canyon. They decided to start with their walk in closets and wanted each one to reflect their individual styles and personalities.

I wanted them to feel like rooms rather than a place for clothes.

Meritt Elliott
Meritt Elliott’s walk in closet with open shelving to display her Current Elliott Jeans with a center island in white wood grain finish by California Closets
John Rankin and Meritt Elliott’s his and hers custom walk in closet with open shelving custom cabinets and shoe storage in black wood grain finish by California Closets

How California Closets did it

Collaborating with Meritt and John’s interior designer, Cari Howe and the California Closets Los Angeles team worked closely throughout the design process.

While the aesthetics of each space were a top priority, the couple also wanted to ensure the closets were designed to accommodate their T-shirts, sweatsuits, sweatshirts, and cowboy boots. Both closets were designed with extra drawers and versatile shelves to accommodate these coveted items.

Beyond these functional elements, in Meritt’s closet, the goal was to create a simple, beautiful backdrop to her clothing that had a galley style merchandising feel. With crisp white cabinets, gold accents, and a long, center island that could function as a work table to lay out looks, the space exudes a glamorous yet relaxed style.

John wanted his closet to feel like a total contrast to Meritt’s. To achieve this, they selected a moodier textured black palette with sophisticated, yet rugged, accents like leather pulls.

John’s closet feels like a sophisticated cigar lounge inside a country and western bar.

Meritt Elliott

final result

Thanks to the thoughtful closet design choices and well-curated interior design accents, you’re able to tell a lot about Meritt and John from a simple glance at these rooms. “It’s like snapshots of our personalities,” Meritt says.

And of course every flat brim hat, stack of jeans, sweatsuit, and pair of cowboy boots has its place within each closet, allowing the couple to cherish their vintage and flea market finds in an ultra-organized fashion.

Photo Credits:Roger Snider

Design Details


Hers: Luxe Matte Dove

His: Specialty Shadow Black


Gold hardware and leather pulls supplied by customer

Additional Accessories:

Hers: Gold accessories, round poles

His: Black round poles, tilt-out hamper

Both: Trimmed to ceiling with fascia, slab fronts

His: Ribbon lighting and bottom cap above drawers, AF006 doors with mirror inserts

*Note: product availability may vary by location

Meet the team

California Closets Profile Image Placeholder Cari Howe Design Consultant

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