We’ve created a detailed guide on how to design a custom walk-in closet from scratch, teaching you everything you need to know from planning your layout to refining your personal aesthetic.
What does your dream closet look like? Maybe it features a chic marble island, plush white carpets, and neat rows of shoes that stretch from floor to ceiling. Or, perhaps you’re unsure what to do with all of your blank walls and extra closet space, so you’d like some guidance from the experts.
Whether you already have a detailed picture of what your perfect closet looks like, or you’re still a little lost, our closet designers can help. We’ve created a detailed guide on how to design a custom walk-in closet from scratch, teaching you everything you need to know from planning your layout to refining your personal aesthetic.
In part two of our guide, our closet designers identify three more steps for designing a custom closet from scratch, helping you create a space that blends seamlessly into your lifestyle. By following these steps, you’ll take control over your space and turn your picture-perfect closet dream into a reality.
Step One: Take Your Lifestyle Into Account
In part one of our guide to learning how to design a custom walk-in closet, we walked you through the process of choosing a basic closet layout, finding room for your items, and selecting colors, patterns, and textures that match your design aesthetic. This is a great start, but if you want your closet to work perfectly for your lifestyle, then you need to create an even more detailed layout plan.
Think about how well your closet design will fit in with your current (and future) lifestyle. You can approach this process in two ways:
Identify special equipment or items that you’d like to keep nearby.
One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make when they design a custom closet is that they forget to include storage space for items that aren’t clothes or shoes. For example, you might have a perfect plan for storing your seasonal items like rainboots and heavy winter coats, however, if you don’t leave enough space in your closet for your yoga mat, then you may have to store your mat in another room. This makes it much less likely that you’ll practice yoga consistently every night before bed. You have to make space for the items that support your lifestyle otherwise, they fall by the wayside.
To avoid this problem, make a list of every special piece of equipment that you plan on storing in your new space, including exercise equipment, mobility aids, handbags, knitting supplies, candles, essential oils, and any other accessory that you prefer to store in your walk-in closet. Having a specific place for these lifestyle items not only makes them easier to access, it also encourages you to use them regularly.
Make sure your closet is accessible.
If you have trouble bending over, crouching or reaching high shelves without assistance, then this can pose a challenge when you’re designing a custom closet space. Sure, high ceilings allow you to store a dozen more shoes on your shelves, but this won’t be very helpful to you if you can’t reach them.
As you finalize your custom closet blueprint, picture yourself using the space every day. Consider the following questions:
If you have high shelves, can you reach them, or would you need to have a small stepladder in the space?
Are your emergency items and mobility equipment located close by?
Does your closet include enough lighting and open floor space to prevent you from tripping or falling over items and furniture?
By closely considering these two important lifestyle factors, you can create a custom closet design that works for your lifestyle and mobility needs.
Step Two: Install the Right Hardware and Accessories
Now that your closet is completely accessible and easy to use, you should come up with a few novel ideas for storing your special items and accessories. Here’s how to design a custom walk-in closet around your essential lifestyle items:
Choose Multi-Purpose Storage: Rather than labeling your storage spaces or investing in belt racks that can only hold belts, think about having a few spaces where you can store multiple types of items. It’s alright to have a few specific storage options that are meant for specific items, but most of your closet should be flexible. For example, valet rods and slide-out racks can be designed to store clothes, scarves, ties, and belts—they’re not always limited to just one use. Similarly, large shelves, dresser drawers, and open counter spaces can be used to store a wide variety of items.
Look for Durability and Stability: Shelves and other heavy pieces of closet furniture should have hidden wall supports, concealed leveling legs, and thick edge banding that is resistant to peeling over time. This will not only protect your items from damage and make your closet space safer to navigate, it also helps your closet look elegant for years to come.
Hire the Experts: Don’t install these storage features yourself. DIY closet installation is often a major headache, and it can lower the lifespan of your storage solutions. A shelf made from high-quality material and installed by an experienced professional will last you a lifetime, whereas a shelf made from low-quality pine and installed straight from a box may only last a few years before it begins to bend under the weight of your shoes.
When you install the right hardware in your walk-in closet and you use quality materials that have been installed by professionals, you’ll create a custom closet design that will last.
Step Three: Test Out Your New Closet Space
Learning how to design a custom walk-in closet is only the beginning—you also need to thoroughly test your new space after it’s installed to make sure it actually suits your needs. After all, you could spend hours closet planning and installing your dream closet, only to realize that you overlooked a serious design flaw months later. Designing the perfect closet can sometimes be a process of trial and error, so you should always give yourself some time to settle into your new space and be honest about its strengths and weaknesses.
After you install your custom closet, spend a month living with the new space and make note of any little changes you’d like to see. If you followed this guideline carefully, then these changes should be small (like swapping the paint color on your cabinets or moving your sweaters to a different drawer). However, if you notice any serious flaws in your design, then you should call the professionals. They can help you renovate the space so that it meets all of your needs.
How to Design a Custom Walk-In Closet That Fits Your Lifestyle
The key to learning how to design a custom walk-in closet that suits you is to adapt your storage solutions to fit your exact needs. Purchasing a pre-made wardrobe or following someone else’s closet blueprint probably won’t give you the positive results you’re expecting because these solutions aren’t made with you in mind. When you design a walk-in closet from scratch with the help of experienced closet designers, you can create a space that you’ll happily use for the rest of your life.
To design a custom walk-in closet that fits seamlessly with your lifestyle, sign up for a free consultation with Closet America today. Our team of closet designers will help you find the perfect hardware and accessories for all of your storage needs, from custom shelving to efficient closet organization systems that will allow you to maximize your closet space.