Designing the perfect walk-in closet is an art. You do not always manage to keep everything in order, and, above all, you don’t always have an infinite space to exploit.
The project then becomes crucial. 90% of my clients ask to have one at least at home: let’s say it is an almost obligatory request when I approach to study new spaces or if I must define a new storage solution for the room at the millimeters.
Clutters and disorganization in the closet are a sad reality for many people. The wardrobe is one of the most messed-up spaces in the house! Piles of clothes, suitcases, linens… everything you don’t need is crammed (alas) into small spaces.
Designing the walk-in closet
A walk-in closet is generally located in a bedroom or a passage area, such as a hallway. It is a space that you can walk into, surrounded by closed or exposed wardrobes.
The minimum dimensions (indeed, very minimum) to be able to have one at home are 1200x2000mm. 1200mm are occupied by 55-60cm by the cabinet-cabin structure and the rest by the passage. The 2000mm are in length to have at least a minimum practice hanger.
The best closet organizers say that how you organize your wardrobe depends on your habits, your priorities, and your goals. We all have a different relationship with our clothes and have different needs. That said, regardless of who you are, how you dress, or how “minimalist” you want to be, your goal should be to get dressed, on a typical weekly morning, as fast as possible.
This translates into:
A minimum of decluttering (= waste). Take on a challenge: you can donate at least 20% of items of clothing that no longer fit you, are not in harmony with your face, are not comfortable, or have not been worn for more than 2 years. Only after you get rid of the superfluous clutter should you move on to the next step: organize what you want to keep.
Group “the like” (all casual shirts together, all jeans together, all shirts together, all workwear together, all clothes, etc.).
Make sure that clothing and accessories can be visible, easily accessible, and organized so that it is easy to store them in the future. Many forget dresses and sweaters at the bottom of drawers (which then fill up more and more, stratifying the chaos …).
Designing the perfect walk-in closet: the basic requirements
A walk-in closet can be divided vertically into three ideal areas: the upper one, more inaccessible, the middle one, for every day, and the lower one for drawers and smaller items and/or shoes.
It is not comfortable every time to climb to get clothes or sweaters at the top, but it is always comfortable to take advantage of all the space in the height. If you have high ceilings and do not want to give up a full-size walk-in closet, consider that you can use a system capable of guaranteeing an automatic sliding rail for all hangers, even the tallest ones. This system avoids the classic change of season that wastes a lot of useless time.
In the upper part, if you don’t have an automatic system you can always store suitcases or household linen.
Remember that the walk-in closet is not free from dust, so make sure that what you keep is sealed in vacuum bags or create doors if you intend to store things that you will take back after a few months.
Containers not to be forgotten
Remember to always consider the size of the suits and jackets you own. If you have a lot of long dresses and coats you will need more tall hangers to hold them. If you have a lot of sweaters and t-shirts, opt for a good number of shelves or drawers.
Never forget to add drawers!
While they may seem expensive and bulky, they are very useful for storing underwear and smaller items that are impossible to find.
Inside the drawers, you can use dividers to divide the various contents in order.
In a walk-in closet, there should be at least two 80cm per capita drawers for underwear and pajamas.
My design ideas
When I design a walk-in closet, I often outline functional areas by dividing them by seasons or by man/woman and I prefer systems that remain flexible over time. A fixed shoulder with adjustable shelves allows you to change the height and number of shelves, to adapt to use for an extended family.
The project must always be accompanied by a measured drawing. Evaluating “in spans” is not enough if you want to keep everything super defined. I like to make the shoulder a darker color than the shelves and drawers to make the room seem deeper.
As you can see in this project, I like to keep at least one door closed, to store shoes or household linen. This door is covered with a mirror to also have a point to look at in full length.
The right lighting
The lighting of a walk-in closet has two levels: one for the environment, then on the ceiling, achievable through spotlights and/or adjustable spots and a shelf, which allows you to better frame the clothes and not lose any detail.
Especially if small, a walk-in closet can be dark, or some points can remain too dim. For this reason, a certain direction of the lighting bodies allows a good final result.
Another consideration concerns the quality of the light: it is important to choose lighting bodies with a CRI> 90 because, if the quality of the light were poor, it could alter the colors of the clothes and in the mirror, you could look too pale/yellow/orange, which would affect your mood or perception of yourself.
If you have a little more budget, don’t neglect the idea of creating a glass door as an entrance door to your cabin. The wow effect is certainly guaranteed because the room will seem larger. But it is possible to obtain it only with transparent, bronzed, or smoked glasses.
However, it does not happen with frosted or mirrored glass, so choose well in the project what will be the look of your bedroom!
Another design gem is the addition of a pouf or a beauty corner inside the cabin, obviously if you have enough space to do so.
Your wardrobe not only contains clothes, but it also has a whole world of other things you need. How many times have you wished that ironing board or the organizer of ties or scarves would make your life easier? Having the right accessories for your wardrobe will make you super organized and save you time dressing up too!