Planning to build? Plan your closets.

Planning to build? Plan your closets.

1_empty_closet1It 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.

2_poor_circulationSometimes 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.

3_alt_layoutHanging 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.

walk_in_w_islandThis 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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