Three stories with a spiral staircase, floor-to-ceiling custom cabinets and shelving, an impressive, useful island, and an elegant chandelier — these might sound like a checklist for a home renovation, but more and more often these distinctive features are popping up in closet renovations.
“Closets are no longer just closets anymore,” says Cosimo Latino, president of Southern Closet Systems. “People want a dressing room, space for sitting, and storage areas for their valuables, shoes and purses.”
Designer Dawn Marie Miller of Ambry Designs says her team has designed a 125-square-foot closet, one with Louis Vuitton carpet, and one that had only shelving, but no matter what the project or client’s wishes, functionality should come first. “Design, elegance and function are the core of any project,” she says. “A beautiful system is of no use if it doesn’t function for you.” Miller says she talks to clients about how they use their closet, how they get dressed and whether they prefer to hang or fold their clothes.
Best of all, the systems she designs are flexible and can be rearranged later if needed. “Even if we’ve created a closet that is very specific to your needs, the units are adjustable and can be reorganized for new stages in your life.”
Overall, a custom closet design should make your life easier. “We offer solutions for complex challenges,” says Latino. “Every closet is different; every shape is different. Most people are very busy and having everything easily accessible in a nice full dressing room helps them to get ready for the day.”
“Good design can make a closet beautiful,” says Miller, but she does offer these tips to quickly add charm and a bit of opulence to your closet. “Paint the ceiling and add a cute chandelier. It instantly adds glitz and glamour.”
Are you ready to turn your closet into a tour-worthy part of your home?
The first step is to take stock of what you have and what you want to keep. As a professional organizer, Imagine Home Organization founder Kirsten Fisher tells her clients to pull everything out. “Almost every client I have says they’ve cleaned out their closet and given bags of clothes they no longer wear away, but you need to pull everything out [first].”
Next, group your clothes by color, type, and style, and organize accessories, shoes and purses into groups. Do you really need 10 black T-shirts? When was the last time you wore snow boots?
When planning a closet renovation, a good designer will take into account the amount of space needed for short hanging clothes, like shirts and jackets, and long hanging clothes, like dresses. When planning a system they will also consider how many pairs of shoes you have, how tall you are and any accessories you want to store. If you already have everything pulled out and grouped, it will make the design process smoother.