Adele has worked in the design field for approximately 15 years after earning her Interior Design Diploma from Algonquin College. Although she has found her niche in kitchen and bath design, she has also worked on various projects involving retail and office design. Adele has been with Deslaurier Custom Cabinets for 8 years and has had the pleasure of working with many great clients on some fantastic projects.
Your Closet – Storage for All Shapes and Sizes
Have you even been flipping through a glossy design magazine and come across a picture of the perfect closet – organized and beautiful to boot? You probably just snickered to yourself and flipped the page thinking that the concept is unattainable, right? There is a lot of “magic” that goes into these perfect pictures, but a functional and esthetically pleasing closet is not as far out of reach as you may think.
Whether your closet is literally a hole in the wall or a small room (lucky you!), if you keep some simple guidelines in mind, you can make the most of the space you have to work with. Of course, some creativity and a good old fashioned purge will go a long way, but if you know the types of storage that work best and some very basic (but critical) dimensions to make it work – you can go far.
Main Types of Closet Storage:
1. Hanging Storage:
There are two main types of hanging storage in a closet space. They are tall hanging and double hanging. Tall hanging is usually a single closet rod mounted at approx 66” above the floor. This is typically used for long items such as dresses or full length coats. Most people would not waste too much valuable real estate on this, as long items are normally a fraction of your wardrobe. Double hanging is the second type. This is the more functional of the two and would accommodate shirts and folded hanging pants. The rods for this application are typically mounted, one above the other, at 40 ½” and 82” above the floor. For both types of hanging storage, a depth of 24” is critical.
2. Open Shelf Storage:
Open shelving is a practical type of storage that can be used for clothes, such as folded sweaters, boxes for hats and shoes, or even decorative items if you are lucky enough to have extra space. Open shelves are also great for your purses or bags and are a great way to maximize your vertical space. If your open shelving is outfitted with adjustable shelves, you can maximize every inch of space; but keep in mind that 12” of depth is key if using this space for shoes and 14”-16” of depth is best for folded items.
3. Drawer Storage:
Drawers are a must in any closet, not just for your “unmentionables” but for all sorts of smaller items in need of a space to call their own. Drawers are great for everything from socks, to ties, to belts, and even jewelry. There are all sorts of inserts available to organize the interiors if need be, but the drawers themselves keep things orderly in their own separate compartments.
4. Flexible Storage:
I know that the closets in the pictures of the magazines are always perfect BUT I would advise against trying to allocate every inch of your closet for a specific purpose. Just like in a kitchen, there will always be that item (or 2) that you purchase that will be an odd shape or is not meant to fit in that perfect spot. The two areas that would be considered the most flexible would be the spaces above and below the hanging storage. The area above, when outfitted with a shelf, is a great space for larger bags or luggage, or even a group of matching baskets used to store small out of season items such as hats, scarves, and mittens. The space below the hanging is great for a small shoe rack that’s either freestanding or wall mounted.
These elements are the most important when designing a closet space, but don’t forget that if you have a little extra wall space, that hooks are a great thing to try and incorporate. You can use these for belts, scarves, or even to hang your outfit for the next day – if you are so organized!
Finally, remember that although you want to make the most of your storage space, circulation and access to these areas is extremely important. Place your most frequently used items in an area where they are the most accessible, and the least used items in those spaces that may be a little harder to get to.
Have fun with the process! Paint your closet a pretty color or use cabinet hardware that sparkles. It’s your closet with your belongings – make getting ready in the morning fun rather than a chore. Chances are it will never be featured in a magazine but you can make it your own little gem!