If you’re preparing for a rush of holiday house guests, a custom closet is a great way to make your spare room feel more inviting.
I can’t believe the holidays are right around the corner! While I love this time of year, there’s always so much to do to get the house ready for out-of-town guests. And I know I’m not the only one prepping: 53% of all Thanksgiving travel is related to visiting family and friends, and 43% of Christmas trips happen for the same reason.
So how should you prepare? I know guest room closets aren’t always a high priority for my clients, but with the holidays quickly approaching, now’s a really good time to make sure your spare room is equipped to handle the attention it’s about to get. (And if you’ve been on the fence about renovating your own closet, now might be a good time to do both projects at once.) Unsure what should go into a guest room closet upgrade? Here’s where to start.
Hanging Rods vs. Shelves
When designing closet spaces for ourselves, we tend to lean toward hanging rods (the exception being closets in small, historic homes).
A guest closet, however, is likely to be a reach-in rather than a walk-in, so I’d suggest reducing your hanging space to a single short rail and adding a series of shelves to the remaining half of your closet. When people travel, their clothes typically come out of the suitcase already folded, so it’s much easier for your guests to unpack (and repack!) if the majority of their clothing can stay that way.
There are a few other reasons I’d strongly suggest shelf space:
Your guests will probably bring knits. The DC area can get pretty chilly, and if guests are staying for the holidays, they’ll come with sweaters. Knit fabrics don’t hold their shape very well on hangers, so you’re protecting the integrity of your guests’ clothes by including enough shelving.
Your guests are on vacation. Unless it’s something that really needs to be hung (like suits, heavy coats, or special dresses), visitors will want to avoid the unnecessary hassle of clothes hangers.
Your guests aren’t moving in. Once you’ve filled a hanging rod full of clothes, there’s something semi-permanent about it. Unless guests are coming for an extended stay, they really only need a finite amount of storage space (and this can help dissuade them from wearing out their welcome).
When designing your closet, I’d also suggest leaving some open space near the bottom of your shelving unit so that guests’ suitcases can slide in and stay out of the way. Average suitcases tend to range from 26-30 inches high, so your lowest shelf should have about 32 inches of clearance to the bottom of the floor.
If your guest closet is a reach-in closet, chances are good that its far corners are a little dark. To brighten things up, try installing recessed LED lighting. Your guests will appreciate it and might even leave for home with a case of closet envy.
Built-in Laundry Hampers
When guests travel, one of the things they always struggle with is where to put dirty laundry. Even if they plan to wait until they return home to wash everything, they’ll still want to keep worn clothing separate from what’s clean. Add a built-in laundry hamper, and guests will have a discreet place to put these items.
Chrome Baskets in Place of a Dresser
If you haven’t yet picked out a dresser for your guest room, or if you’re considering getting rid of one to make a small space feel a bit bigger, try including slide-out chrome baskets in your closet instead. These provide guests with space to store their undergarments, and the see-through weave helps ensure they don’t forget anything when packing back up. If you think your guest might prefer something more concealing, you can also opt to install one or two drawers below your shelf space.
I hope these tips help get you in the mood for the holidays! With a few small additions, your guests can look forward to a comfortable stay. Whether you just want a reach-in redesign or also want to upgrade your own master closet, now’s the time to take on home improvement projects before the holidays are in full swing. Get in touch for a free design consultation today!