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Ask a Closet Expert: Allison in Columbia, Maryland asks, “Are Custom Closets Worth It?”

4 minute read, by Closet America, on Aug 3, 2016

Our closet expert addresses a question from Columbia, Maryland and explains how a custom closet system can be used to personalize your space and match your existing decor.

The closet experts at Closet America want everyone to find the perfect closet solution for their home. In our Ask a Closet Expert series, we answer questions from local DC-area residents about their storage issues, providing insight from our years in the industry.


Today, we answer a question from Allison in Columbia, MD. She says:

“I’m not happy with my current closet. I was thinking of buying a pre-made organizing unit for it, but my friend suggested I go with a closet design company instead. I want to know whether a custom closet is really worth it.”

Thank you for your question, Allison (and thank you for trusting us to be impartial)!

In return, we’ll be honest with you: the “worth” of a custom closet is a mostly a personal preference. You have to decide whether a closet created specifically for your needs is worth the extra cost. We certainly think it is, here are the potential benefits:

Storage for YOUR Specific Wardrobe

Custom Closet with Shoe ShelvesThe problem with the classic “hanging bar and shelf” closet is that it gives you very little flexibility. You probably have a range of clothing types, but only two storage methods—hang, or fold and stack. With an off-the-shelf closet organizer, you’ll get a little more adaptability but may still find your options limited.

With a custom closet—whether reach-in or walk-in— you get to have a design tailored around your exact wardrobe.  Is your shoe collection out of control? It can fit in your closet with the help of custom-installed, adjustable shoe racks. Going custom lets you work with a designer who will focus on your specific needs.

Match Your Existing Decor

Custom Closet System

Pre-built organizational systems aren’t always the prettiest to look at, either. A custom design lets you match your closet with existing decor or create a more personalized look.

For instance, say you’re drawn to lighter colors, Allison, but find the plain white of many pre-fab options a bit boring. We can set you up with everything from an antique white to a warm maple and help you choose which option best complements your bedroom. The same goes for hardware. If you have furniture in your room with chrome handles or brass knobs, we’ll guide you toward closet hardware that will match.

Oddly Shaped Spaces Are No Problem

Older homes in the D.C. area have a lot of architectural quirks. If you have an oddly shaped room, you may end up with an awkward closet setup that’s not amenable to off-the-shelf storage systems.

You can probably guess where I’m going with this, but if you opt for a custom closet, you’ll be working with a design expert who will come to your home to discuss your needs, take detailed measurements of the space, and then create a personalized solution specifically for you. These design experts are used to working with oddly shaped spaces (and even enjoy the challenge!). You’re not going to get the same kind of fit and function from anything pre-made.

Features You Won’t Find in a Store

Custom Storage for Jewelry

One last benefit: A custom design gives you an unparalleled number of options to choose from.

For example, your closet designer can add wardrobe lifts if you want more accessible hanging space toward the top of your closet, or pull-out racks to hold belts, ties, or scarves. If laundry is a struggle, you can add tilt-out hampers with removable liners to your closet, or even a fold-out ironing board for quick wrinkle-control. Velvet-lined jewelry drawers are another popular “extra” feature that many of our clients opt for in their custom closet designs.

Many custom closet companies in the DC area also offer a warranty—even a double lifetime warranty. A store-bought system usually covers basic defects in manufacturing, but closet companies (especially ones that are locally owned) often have a strong incentive to offer full coverage of their products.

In Our Book, Custom Is Definitely Worth It

We aren’t going to pretend that a custom closet is for everyone. If you’re renting, it’s probably not a worthwhile investment. But if you own your own home and are looking to settle in, we do honestly believe you’ll benefit from a closet designed specifically for you. It might not be essential, but it can help your house feel like home—a space that’s truly yours.

If you decide you feel similarly, you’re welcome to get in touch for a free design consultation. We’d be happy to put our many years of experience into designing and building a personalized closet system to work just for you. Best of luck!

Lead Image Credit: Bret VA (CC BY 3.0)

Closet America was able to work with my unique circumstances in order to give me the best use of my space.

Amy B.,
Fairfax Station, VA

Let’s Start Your Project

Whether you’re interested in a custom-designed closet, office, pantry, or garage, starting your project couldn’t be easier. Just fill out the attached form or give us a call to schedule your free in-home design consultation. You can download our brochure and you’re welcome to visit our Landover Maryland showroom, to see how beautiful our custom-designed organization systems look in person. We want you to experience the Closet America difference and see how we build organizing solutions for life.