A custom walk-in closet isn’t just about having a pretty space. It’s about you and the things that important to you.  A good custom closet looks at your space, your things and how you use them, and your design style.  A pretty or handsome space is a bonus!

It’s about having that space that is perfectly designed for you. Whether it’s a master closet, kids closet, pantry, or garage storage, the fundamentals are all very similar.

Here are a few important things to consider before you design, or redesign, your closet.

hire a professional closet designer

Look for a closet company or designer who does custom design. At Create we design closets like cabinetry with floor-plans and elevation drawings so you can visualize what your closet will look like. A closet designer will design based on your wardrobe and accessories and other storage needs and discuss how to best organize things to look beautiful and function great.

consider your floor-plan and how much closet space is needed

If you’re renovating or new construction, consider the floor-plan and size of the closets and what you need to organize. The time to modify the space is during planning and design. It’s often worth borrowing space from other areas. For wall closets (reach in closets) you need a minimum depth of 24 inches and the length of most closets is around 60 inches. Walk in closets require a different shape and usually a little more room. It’s also important early on to look at heights. We typically go 84-96 inches or sometimes taller of with a valance. I like to discuss this first, specific paneled areas for hanging and shelves can be discussed and illustrated later. Most paneled systems are designed to be flexible and can be modified. The most poplar is a 32mm panel system. It’s popular because it allows customer closets to be adjustable by adding rods of shelving or the ability to move rods and shelves up and down. If you need help contact a contractor or designer like Create Design Build, we can help you with all the space planning and drawings.

get organized

First, take an inventory of your stuff for each closet, and while you’re at it, pull items you no longer use and toss or box for donation pick up. For clothing, measure how many linear feet of long hang and short hang you have. Count shoes. How many do you use daily, during a given season? Of those how many do you use weekly? How many do you use monthly? Let’s look at folded items, sweaters, sweatshirts, jeans so you want to hang or fold. If folded how many feet would you have of jeans stacked? How many feet of folded sweaters and sweatshirts, sweatpants, leggings? That helps us determine how many shelves are needed for folded items. How many handbags do you have? clutches? What other types of items do you have? In order to design a closet that’s perfectly suited to you, you need to know exactly what you have and what type and size of storage space those items require. If you’re working with a designer, they will ask questions like these and more to help your closet planning and organization of your space.

learn to share

Sharing a closet.  Each space should be designed for him or her. You’ve already taken inventory of what you have, now you’ll have a better idea of how much space each partner needs. Keep in mind men’s shirts are normally longer than women’s blouses and rods should be hung appropriately. Do you hang your slacks straight or over a hanger with a fold?  You have a list of folded items, now also make a list of the things you need to accommodate like ties, watches, belts, handbags, jewelry, scarfs and hats. These items all require different size and types of storage spaces. That will help you or your designer with considerations for shoe racks, pant racks, tie, belt or scarf racks or hooks, laundry hampers, ironing boards, jewelry drawers, wire baskets or other baskets, or pull out valets.

consider ergonomics and ease

A well designed closet performs the way you use it. Allowing you to get to the items you use most often easily. Shelves are usually start about waist high with shoe shelves or drawers underneath. Things you use most, like socks, underwear, lingerie are placed in the top drawers and less work items and you move down.  Design your closet so that every item has its specific place, your clothing, jewelry, and accessories.  If you need to design taller consider a pull down rod or motorization to help it function best.

shelves or drawers

While we love drawers for jewelry, or lingerie and socks. We recommended things like sweaters and athletic wear and jeans (if you don’t hang), are stored on shelves. You can see what you have easily on shelves and they take up less space

shoe storage

There are a lot ways to accommodate your shoe storage. We like to get them off the floor and the ones you use most at mid-height. You may opt for simple shelves, or you could choose pullout shelves—shoes only require about 12 inches so if you store them on shelves above deeper drawers, you can use a pullout shelf system to maximize the space.

materials and finishes

Decide on material and finish. What will the closets be made of? Most materials these days are a solid color melamine, but you have unlimited option. There are melamines with wood grains and other textures as well. Some opt real solid wood or a wood veneer that is stained or painted finished on plywood or MDF and other materials.
Are you interested in any molding styles, or doors and drawers styles, special shelving or closet lighting?

give yourself a little luxe

There are so many fun and functional features that can be implemented into your closet. Leather stitching on the shelves, all kinds of pulls outs and spinning racks. Drawers to accommodate jewelry, sunglasses and men’s accessories. Lighting considerations like LED lighting for daylight or evening or to light rods for paneled areas. We often do valet rods that pull out to hold clothing items for the next day or for packing or built in ironing boards. We’ve done safes, coffee makers, even refrigerators.

A custom closet is a built-in closet system that is built specifically to your space and your needs. If you need help with your new home design or remodel or planning your new custom clients check out Create Design Build and Create Interior Design.

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