Home shows and Big Box stores make it all look so easy. All you need are a few shelves, some accessories, an extra component here and there – and voila! You’ve created the “perfect custom closet” all by yourself.
The only bad part about it is that you didn’t take into account some of the most of the important questions and answers that would have actually made it “perfect” for you.
But now all the money’s spent, the work is done – and you may have a great-looking closet – that actually created more problems than it solved. We’ve seen it before. And we’ve fixed it before. But we know homeowners are a lot happier when it gets done right the first time – so we’ll let you in on a little secret: That’s what professional closet designers are for.
After close to 20 years of designing and installing custom closets, Joe Ferraro of Closets Las Vegas knows his business, and it’s an art that he’s shared with his staff of designers, too. While photos of gorgeous closets whet the appetite for the same beauty in your own home – there’s a talent to getting it to work right for your needs and lifestyle.
Since we offer a “Design it Yourself” tool on our website, we think it’s only fair that we share some of the tips and tricks we’ve learned over time – so you can incorporate them into your own design. While this certainly isn’t the full extent of our design expertise, it may help you avoid some of the big “Oops! Why did I do that?” moments. Let’s take a look at some of the top things to consider.
1. How tall are you and your spouse? Designing a closet to hold your specific clothing is all about planning. For example, if one of you is 5’3” and the other is 6’2”, you need to plan for the length of both of your wardrobes. Without a place to put longer dresses – will they end up too close to, or dragging on the floor? And without proper planning long shirts, pants and coats may find themselves crammed on top of the shelf below.
In addition, your wardrobe will change over time – as fashions do. Which means perhaps the best solution is an adjustable closet solution. (Something that is available in our Classica and freedomRail product lines, to different extents.)
With the ability to move clothes rods, change the height of shelves, and do it all easily without the need of tools or drilling holes in your wall – it’s the most convenient way of giving your closet a quick ‘makeover’ to meet your new needs. Store those new handbags, make room for boots – having even a small amount of adjustability can make a real difference. We all know that styles change, and having a closet that can easily accommodate those changes is a real advantage (and frustration-avoider!).
2. Wasted space. In most closets, wasted space can be found in a number of places. Above the top shelf, in corners, at the floor – all of which are candidates for extra shelving, cabinets, drawers, rounded corner rods, double-hung rods, and more. When designing your closet, look for ideas that allow you to effectively get more clothes and shoes in the same space. Double hang your clothes. Use flat shelves for your shoes.
Including drawers in closet design also makes your closet a place where you can keep everything handy that allows you to get fully ready for your day. You’ll have a place for socks, underwear, scarves and other accessories (including jewelry inserts!) that are normally outside of your closet. In fact, drawers hold 2-3 times more volume of clothes than hanging, and ours fully extend so your things come to you vs. bending and digging to find them. They look good in your closet, and they allow you to get more things into the same space.
3. Make sure your shelves are deep enough. All shelves are the same, right? Wrong. But in the interests of keeping costs low, many closet manufacturers and closet designers utilize only one depth of shelf: 12”. So, how much of a difference can a few inches make?
Visually, it’s the difference between ‘neat and tidy’ and ‘loose and sloppy’ – and you know which look you prefer in the new closet you’re looking forward to. Unfortunately, it’s one of those things you just don’t think about – until it’s too late. While 12” shelving will work if you have small shoes, when you stack bigger t-shirts, sweaters, jeans, etc. – they’ll hang off the edge and take away that neat look you’re shooting for.
The better choice is to select 14” or 16” deep shelving – readily available from custom closet companies who know all too well that 12” shelves work poorly. The companies that skimp and build your closet design with 12” shelves are saving money on materials, which may make their bid seem lower – so make sure when you compare quotes, you’re considering apples-to-apples on this feature.
4. What obstructions are in your closet? Specifically, note the way the door swings into your walk-in closet. Make note of any electrical outlets or electric panels, alarm boxes, and attic access. You would be surprised how many contractors or designers fail to do so – acting as if the closet area is a blank slate to do what they wish.
But if these things aren’t taken into account up-front, it can make things a real mess when it’s time to install. A vertical panel that lands in the center of an outlet will need to be moved – and that can screw up all the meticulous measurement plans you made. We’ve even seen people with cabinets to the ceiling that obstructed the attic access panel. All things considered, things go a lot smoother when you plan for what “is” – rather than just assuming it will all work out.
5. Your closet design should be easy to enjoy. What could be worse than going to all the trouble to install your new closet – only to have to fight your way into it every day because of poor design? Talk about taking the luster away from what should be a joyful daily event!
This is yet another reason to pay attention to the actual space you’re working with – because if you don’t, you could find yourself fighting through a field of clothes that restrict the door function, leaving you feeling cramped and uncomfortable going in and out of your closet every day.
Pay attention to where the hanging clothes will go, and where the shelving will be. One of the most helpful things to assist you with this is being able to see your design in 3D so you can really get a sense of how it will flow for you. Shelves will be between 12” to 16” deep, while hanging clothes will be up to 21” deep. Both the visual and physical will make a difference in being able to enjoy your comfortable and functional closet from Day One.
There are many other use and lifestyle questions that a professional closet designer will ask you when you sit down to plan your Dream Closet. These 5 points are to help you get started in the right direction.
But if you’re in Southern Nevada and looking forward to having your Dream Closet installed in your new home – or remodeling your existing home to make it even more perfect – give Closets Las Vegas a call for a free in-showroom design consultation.
We’ll be happy to show you all four of our product lines and demonstrate how they can make your life easier, more organized, and definitely gorgeous! Just call (702) 259-3000.