Homefinder logo

Custom Closets - To The Rescue

February 11, 2015 SPONSORED


Buried beneath stacks of shoes, languishing in a cluttered corner, or tucked deep within a rack of hanging clothes—your wardrobe is not going to be easy to find on a Monday morning!  Has your closet space magically shrunk over time?  Customized closets along with storage savvy create the perfect solutions.

The three main types of closets are walk-in, reach-in and freestanding.  If you have an existing walk-in closet or the space to build one, your home is sure to be the envy of the neighbourhood.  A reach-in closet is the most common type, especially where real estate is at a premium.  A freestanding closet can be made to fit almost any space and offers sophisticated style with minimal renovations.  Fortunately, whichever type of closet you have, it is possible to customize it to your needs.

Walk-in Closets

When money (or space) is no object, a walk-in closet can truly be a thing of beauty.  Imagine a long wall of gleaming hardwood drawers and shelves, slide-out hampers, twirling tie holders, shoe racks and neat rows of hangers.  In the centre of the spacious closet are two comfortable chairs and a sleek coffee table flanking a floor length mirror.  Achieving this handsome wall-to-wall fit will require the skills of a carpenter or a visit from a company that specializes in custom closet designs.  When money is an object, there are other options.

‘Do-it-yourselfers’ will find an increasingly attractive range of closet units at home renovation and home décor stores.  Coated wire racks and laminated pressboard drawers and shelves are basic, affordable and functional.  From this starting point, you may find higher end finishes and options.  Before you buy, think about how you plan to use your closet.  For example, consider how much space you need for shoes, hanging clothing, etc.  If you have many dresses and long jackets, allow for a lengthy space where those items can hang without folding.  Knowing the measurements of your closet space and your requirements, you can arrange ready-made elements into a suitable unit.

If you wish to get out the saw and screwdriver, you can combine ready-made elements with supports cut exactly to fit your closet.  For example, you can cut a wall-to-wall shelf and below it install ready-made drawers.  Another option is to bring in furniture.  An old dresser painted to match the rest of your unit will instantly add storage space and character. 

Don’t forget the lighting!  Walk-in closets should have their own lighting and more than one fixture.  Small recessed lights at the top of shelves are as stylish as they are useful.  Wall sconces and a soft overhead light gently illuminate the entire space.

Reach-in Closets

Typically, at a depth of just over half a metre and no longer than two outstretched arms, reach-in closets test the organizational abilities of any homeowner.  Short on space, this closet benefits most from customization.  Maximize the vertical dimensions with drawers, shelves and racks from floor to ceiling.  Consider your unique requirements (e.g., lots of shoes or dresses) and make adjustments accordingly.  Just as with walk-in closets, you can opt for a professional customization or do it yourself with the help of some store-bought closet inserts.

Freestanding Closets

Imagine a sophisticated built-in unit running from wall-to-wall and finished with crown molding.  Freestanding closets can be entirely open, concealed by doors or have a combination of open shelving and discreet drawers or cupboards.  Keep in mind that a freestanding closet is in the midst of the room, so a closet in disarray is, well, on display.  In terms of location, an ideal spot is along a wall that is ‘bookended’ by other walls; this simplifies finishing the sides.  A skilled carpenter can bring your ideas to life and create a piece that complements your room.

Of course, bedrooms aren’t the only place with closets.  Any room has the potential for new storage solutions.  Hallways, laundry rooms, wine cellars, kitchens and garages…the opportunities to bring order to your home are endless.

Storage Tips

  • De-clutter: If you haven’t used or worn something in a year, chances are you don’t need it.  Sort through your belongings and decide what you need and what can be sold or donated. 
  • Sort by season: As the seasons change, so should your closets and dressers.  Sort through your belongings and move last season’s items to the basement, storage locker or other convenient location.
  • Coordinate: Group clothing by colour to make it easier to find what you need. 
  • Compartmentalize: Drawer separators for small items such as lingerie and scarves easily bring order to chaos!  Baskets and bins conceal clutter on shelves.  A row of hooks in the closet can hold belts, ties or jewellery making it easy to put together a smashing outfit.

A closet is likely your first stop in the morning and your last stop before going to bed.  Make it a space that is calming, functional and attractive!