Moving into a custom home that you didn’t design can leave you facing architectural quirks, especially when it comes to storage space. A custom closet designed specifically for your needs can help you settle in.
Closets truly come in all shapes and sizes, and over the years I’ve realized there’s no “one layout fits all” approach. This is especially true in Herndon, VA. Since Herndon is a part of the technology corridor and a pretty affluent area, it’s seen a lot of custom home development—and many of these houses have unique closet configurations. While it’s easy to offer advice about must-have storage features, I know this isn’t always helpful to Herndon homeowners whose floorplans defy traditional options.
But much of the magic in closet design actually comes from proper planning—that is, figuring out the most appropriate layout based on the habits of the client and the limitations of physical space. And this process can be followed in a closet of any size (or shape).
To give you a closer look, here are the steps I followed with one recent Herndon client.
Take an Inventory
In order to use your space appropriately, you first have to know exactly what you own. This is probably the most important step in the planning process since it tells you exactly how much room must be created to make your entire wardrobe fit. How many pairs of jeans do you own? How many tank tops and business casual outfits? The answers surprised my Herndon client, who discovered she had a much larger shoe collection than she’d given herself credit for. This let us know we needed to focus on creative shoe storage options when designing her closet.
Choose Your Top Categories
I know all of your clothing feels equally important, but chances are that you rely on a couple of categories on a regular basis. Whether that’s gym gear because you exercise every day, slacks and blouses to get you through your 9-5, or the casual clothing that you change into the second you get in the door, your next step is to determine your top priorities.
Regardless of what they are, these high-priority items deserve “prime real estate” in your closet and should go into whichever areas are the easiest for you to access. Because my Herndon client realized that dresses were her go-to outfits, she left room for a waist-high hanging rod near the door—the rod was easy for her to reach and in a spot that she could quickly get to.
Tune into Your Morning Routine
Once you’ve decided where your priorities lie, it’s time to start planning the rest of your space. Continue thinking about your daily routine as you map out spots for your other items.
For instance, since my Herndon client went to the gym most mornings, we decided it was important that her workout clothes were easy to grab even when she was still half-asleep. We ended up creating a designated drawer toward the top of her unit so that she could keep everything gym-related in one spot.
Your closet should make your morning routine easier, so really take some time to think about this step. I’d even suggest taking a look at where you typically stand when you enter your closet—this positioning is a key indicator of your favorite place to be. Areas that you gravitate toward should be filled with high-use items, and viceversa.
Maximize Your Space
No matter which client and which closet I’m working on, my ultimate goal is to use as much square footage as possible without making the closet appear cluttered. Enhancing your walk-in or reach-in with appropriate accessories really helps here—but again, it’s important to consider your personal habits.
Products such as pull-out belt and tie racks are some of my favorite space maximizers. But if, like my Herndon client, you’ve never had a problem storing your belts but have a lot of clothing that wrinkles easily, a fold-out ironing board would be a better use of your space: it doesn’t take up a ton of extra room and makes getting ready convenient.
If you think about closet design as a flexible process that can be adapted to homes of any size and people of any habit, you’re well on your way to handling your space like a design pro. And if you’d like a little help with the process, get in touch for a free consultation, and we’ll help find a closet layout that fits the way you live.
Lead image credit: Flickr user ACM Design Architects (CC BY 2.0)