Arlington has quickly become a hotspot for career professionals in the Northern Virginia area, and I completely understand why! Right over the bridge from DC, with spacious accommodations at attractive prices, it’s no surprise that savvy businesspeople are making their homes along the Metro Orange Line.
If you’ve seen a typical Arlington home’s closet, you understand the one downside to living in this prime location. While there is a ton of new development happening in the Rosslyn and Clarendon areas, you’ll find that older homes generally come with reach-in closets that sorely lack storage space—an especially serious concern for business professionals with expansive career wardrobes.
Luckily, these homes usually come with some extra square footage that you can play around with. We’ve recently worked with a growing number of homeowners in this area who have found a creative solution to their closet needs: converting a spare closet into a second custom master closet. Here’s what we recommend for making your closet conversion a positive experience.
Design Your Spare Closet with a Purpose
Give your second closet a specific purpose. Whether you designate this space to house only accessories or you decide to split your casual and business wardrobes into two separate storage areas, having a good general idea of the purpose behind the second closet will help keep things organized. Perhaps you need a second space to store all of your athletic wear for those runs on Mount Vernon Trail—or perhaps you’d like to keep your seasonal wear separate from more adaptable clothing items. Closets are always more effective when they have a compartmentalized, specific purpose—you’re less likely to toss any old item inside when you have a clear plan in place.
Once you have a purpose in mind for your new space, you can work with a designer to fully maximize its storage capability. For instance, if a business traveler knows that they want their spare closet to house professional clothing for business trips, we can craft the space around storing luggage for easy access (and easy packing). If you’re storing suits for your work downtown in garment bags, we can include more long hanging rods than we might normally consider.
Treat This Space Just Like Your Master Closet
Homeowners tend to deck out their master closet with all the bells and whistles, while leaving the spare closet design very basic. This may seem like the right thing to do at the time, but we’ve noticed that homeowners who treat that second closet as more than an overflow space get more use out of the room. Arlington—quite the opposite of a sleepy suburb—is the perfect location for you to understand that second best doesn’t have to be less exciting.
Adding built-in drawers, belt racks, and LED lights may seem reserved for only the master closet. But remember, your second space is functioning as an extension of your master and will be utilized on a regular basis. The goal is for you to love your second master closet just as much as the other. (Don’t be afraid to include those luxury closet accessories here, too!)
And Always Remember to Include…
A valet rod. This simple accessory is great for hanging everything, from suits that you’ve just picked up from the cleaners to the gown that you’re planning to wear to an evening dinner. Valet rods are designed to be the perfect temporary holding spots for items in transit.
A laundry hamper. For the career-oriented wardrobe, we’d recommend two hampers—one for regular washing, and another for dry cleaning. This way, you can grab everything going to the cleaners and get it out the door without a second thought.
No matter how big a master closet is, it never quite seems like enough. Using a spare closet in another area of your Arlington home as a secondary master can really make a difference when it comes to storing all of your clothing beautifully. Just remember to give this closet a specific purpose and devote as much love to its design as you would your first master closet. You’ll be all set to expand your wardrobe while keeping everything organized and in tip-top shape.
If you’d like to learn more about how a second master closet might function in your home, schedule your free design consultation with a member of Closet America’s design team. In real time, we will work together with 3D modeling software to show you exactly what your new closet can look like—and we’ll provide you with a price quote that we promise to honor for 12 months. That way, you have plenty of time to decide whether or not you’re ready to take the next step with your wardrobe. We look forward to helping you find space for what’s important in your life.
Lead image source: Flickr user NCinDC