It happens more often than I would like. I’ll get a call from someone building their dream home. And they will describe to me how they have envisioned their new master closet. They might say “I want a big island so I can put my suitcase on it when I pack for a trip.” Or, “I want my sweaters behind glass doors so I can admire the colors and they won’t get dusty.”
All fair enough. Browse through Houzz.com or Pinterest.com and you will see spectacular closets with lots of enviable qualities – elaborate jewelry drawers and shoe shelves to show off your Louboutins. But it can be hard to tell from the pictures exactly how big those spaces are.
Sometimes I will stand in the empty closet with my client and it feels huge. Imagine standing in a small bedroom – say 9 feet wide by 10 feet long. Should be plenty of space for a closet and island. Think again.
Hanging clothes on a rod eats up 2′ (22 – 24″) on each side of the closet. Then you have to take into consideration the space you need to walk around the island, typically 24 – 36″. Finally, if you have doors or drawers, you need to consider the amount of space them need to open and consider where you will be standing.
This is why it is so important to have an experienced closet designer; someone who specializes in closets. Even well known interior designers have bee known to waste space in the corners and I once had to tear out a gorgeous closet with elaborate woodwork details because the carpenter set the rods so low that the clothes hung on the floor (and they were not adjustable!)
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