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Moving up in size a bit we have some walk-in closet designs that have storage along two walls.

Here you have a dressing room with an island which means the room isn’t split in two.

What else do you need to store in your closet?  Note down any space required for accessories, hats, suitcases etc. Have a think about whether or not your bedroom or walk-in closet will include a dressing table.

Find out how much space you’ll have for your new closet

Count up how many pairs of shoes you own and determine an average width per pair.  If you think space is going to be tight in your new closet, try measuring the width toe to heel.  Count also the number of pairs of boots you have, split by ankle boots, knee boots and I guess thigh boots.

Here’s a closet design with a slim peninsula.  It splits the closet up into his and hers.  In fact you could even build a wall in the middle of this layout if you wanted totally separate his and hers closets.

Build out the corners.  This seems to be the way that most luxurious closet installers go but it does waste a bit of space, and doesn’t necessarily get you more space – see more below. Keep the corners and install L-shaped shelves.

  That way you can use boxes and it’s not too much effort to move them around to get at what you need.  You can put rarely used items in the boxes deep in the corner.

This first set of closet layouts are ideal for one storage wall.  I’d keep the back wall for a full length mirror.  It also means that the whole length of the wall can be used without the challenge of dealing with the corners as you might have seen in closet design mistakes.

If you design a closet with an additional storage wall, here’s what you get.  11ft of storage – that’s right, it’s actually less, and you’ve lost that back wall which would have been a fabulous spot for a full length mirror.

For small walk-in closets with storage corners, consider a pocket door

How much shelf area is taken up with folded items?  What dimensions do your folded items take up?  You may want to split this category up depending on the folded item.  For example, a t-shirt takes up less room on a shelf than a large sweater so it would make sense to have those in separate categories.

What volume of drawer space do you currently use?  Again, it can be helpful to break this down into items, for example, nightwear, underwear, socks and hosiery, gym gear, belts, scarves etc.

How to design a closet Figure out what closet storage you need

Here we have a 7 x 6ft (2.13 x 1.83m) closet.  It has two storage walls providing 12 ft of storage space.  It’s drawn as a hanging rod here but it could be any combination of hanging, shelving or drawers.

Here’s a closet where most of the hanging space is hidden behind the wall to the closet.  This closet would be fine if it was fitted with doors that opened the full span of the rod.

If you have space for a wide closet, here’s an arrangement that separates the closet spaces into his and hers.  I think the best arrangement is to have this corridor in between the bedroom leading to the bathroom, maybe even into his and hers bathrooms.

This design a closet page forms part of the closet design series.

Notice that your maximum hanging height will be higher than your maximum shelf height. Figure out the design

Measure the amount of full height hanging space you have in your current closet

If the rod is installed too close to the shelf it’s impossible to hang anything up

Measure yourself Measure how high you can reach to use a high hanging bar. To do this, hold a coat hanger in the corner and see how high the hook of the hanger reaches. That’s your maximum hanging height.

So let’s get straight into these walk-in closet designs.  We start off small and get bigger.  Jump straight to the 5 star luxury dressing room layouts if you like.

A floor plan view on the left and an eye level view on the right

Here we have a slightly more roomy closet layout, again with hanging space along each wall.

If you have a 4ft peninsula, then it does make sense to have a symmetrical split as there’s room for hanging space and drawers on both sides.

Here’s a design where the rods come into the corner.  This is another instance where the location of the hanging bars looks fine until the hangars are introduced.  In the corner the hangers are occupying the same space.

Here’s a standard closet with lots of wasted space.  If you don’t plan your closet, this is the arrangement that the builder is likely to give you.  A one height, non-adjustable closet rod and if you’re lucky you might get a shelf.

  There’s lots of wasted space at the bottom of the closet.

Measure the amount of half height hanging space you have in your current closet

High boxes for high shelves or corner shelves. Include accessories that are as adjustable as possible. Make use of the insides of doors – belts, ties, scarves, accessories. Pull out units or fold back units to make full use of space which is otherwise hard to reach.

Drawer dividers to keep things organized. Dealing with corners

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If there is less space available try a hanging rod on one wall and shelving on the other wall.  12 inch shelves would hold a shoe rack and folded tops displayed sideways.  a 12 inch shelf wouldn’t really be deep enough for drawers but you could use some boxes to act like drawers.

First of all, so that you can understand the closet floor plan diagrams in this section, on the left here you can see how I’ve depicted a closet rod with hangers in the diagrams.

Home > Room Layout > Walk-in Closet Design > Design a Closet Design a closet

I’ve mentioned in closet design mistakes that corners are hard to deal with in closets.  It’s so tempting to add a hanging rod or shelves to another wall to get more closet storage space. 

If you’re going to design a closet you can follow these steps to get you there.  Everyone has their own individual style and therefore their own individual clothes.  Why leave your closet design to guess work?  Take a bit of time to take stock and measure up to find a closet design that will turely work for the clothes that you own.

Here’s a little experiment to show that including another storage wall in your closet won’t necessarily get you much extra space.  In fact it can even result in you getting less space.

A closet should be well lit so that you can see what you’re going to be wearing.  You’ll need lighting for when it’s dark outside and for during the day natural daylight is best.  A skylight works equally well as a window.

  Of course for a walk in or reach in, you only need the artificial light. Store outer clothing and accessories so that they are as visible and as accessible as possible.  If you see it you’re more likely to wear it and it will be easier to put together outfits.

A closet should have a seat nearby to make pulling on those socks, tights, trousers or whatever that bit easier. A good closet uses all available space. A good closet has well organized space designed with a combination of hanging, shelf and drawer storage.

Ideally closet space is adjustable and can be changed as storage needs change. A full length mirror is indispensable. Walk in closet design mistakes

This closet design page forms part of the closet design series.

I’ve just realized that I’ve named this page walk in closet design but most of the stuff that’s on these closet design pages applies to all closets: walk-ins, reach-ins, wardrobes as well as dressing rooms.

To finish this page off, I just wanted to mention a neat idea I saw once for a closet in a small space.  You know how you can get those kids beds that are raised with a wardrobe and maybe a desk underneath?  Well this apartment had a double bed raised to shoulder height off the ground and under the bed there’s a motorised closet.  Genius or what?

As walk-in closet designs get larger I think they start to look like kitchens!!  We’re now in the realm of dressing room design.  These layouts sure would be luxurious!

Here’s a few design principles to check for in your walk-in closet design.

If corner shelves are part of your closet design give them lots of room and wrap them round the corner

How deep are your closet shelves and drawers in your walk in closet design?  Shelves and drawers that are too deep are annoying in a closet because the items that are at the back of the shelf or the drawer are not accessible enough unless addressed by smart storage solutions.

  The design a closet page shows you how to avoid these problems. Walk-in closet design observations

Here’s a rod that’s too close to the doorway. You can see how the hanging rod itself doesn’t interfere with the doorway but once there are clothes hanging on the rail they encroach into the doorway. If the door opens inwards into the closet this prevents the door being opened and closed.

Now that you know what you need to fit in, the space in which you need to fit it in, and how far you can reach to find everything it’s time to figure out exactly where everything will go.

If you already have house plans, you can find the closet dimensions from your plans.  Note down the floor dimensions and the height.  Check to see if your architect has marked in rods or shelves to give you an idea of the closet might be arranged.  If your architect has started the closet design that’s great, but it’s a good idea to make sure it will work for you.

How many shoes and boots do you want to store in your closet?

The storage walls in this section are drawn as a hanging rod.  In reality you’ll probably divide up the space between full and half height hanging, shelves and drawers.  More about this in how to design a closet (coming soon) and walk-closet dimensions.

Total width of half hanging space.  Half hanging space is required for clothing like shirts, or knee length skirts or trousers that are hung folded in the middle.

If you have a closet company in mind, get a copy of the brochure so that you can see all the closet storage solutions that they have available.  Sometimes a particular storage solution can provide inspiration to help design a closet.

Consider which items could fit in different places, for example a t-shirt that you currently store folded up, could easily be stored in a half hanging space. Bear in mind the principles of good walk in closet design.

The finer points of closet storage

Some examples of the ideas discussed on this page and the other walk-in closet design pages are illustrated below.  It can help bring the ideas to life to have some colorful pics to look at.

An alternative to a peninsula is to have a large stool in the middle of your closet.

Standard walk in closet installation with a rod and a shelf and a whole lot of wasted space

If you elect to have a 3ft peninsula spend some time thinking about the best way to split it.  It needn’t be split symmetrically.  For example you could have 12 inch shelves for half of the length and the other half of the length 24 inch mid height hanging space like so…

These walk-in closet design pages form part of the room design series.

Use your current closet to determine the following information separately for each person whose clothes will be stored in the new closet.

If you have 2ft of space this becomes a bit too deep for shelves to be usable so the space is better used as a combination of drawers and hanging space.

I understand that you will use my information to send me a newsletter.

To find out what you need to store in your new closet, the first place to start is your current closet.  It’s worth having a bit of a clear out before you start the design a closet process.

If the rod is installed too close to the shelf, it’s impossible to hang anything up.

The kitchen and the bathrooms of our homes are frequently used functional spaces.  The closet is probably third on the list so it’s worth spending time thinking about your walk in closet design.  And I’ve got great news for you.  No matter what you’re budget, the success of your walk in closet design depends much more on the position of the rods, shelves and drawers than it does on the material from which it is built.

If you do decide, despite the corner challenges, to add a storage wall along the back wall consider using a pocket door.  Also check out the design a closet page (coming soon) which talks (among other things) about how best to deal with corners in closets.

Now imagine that door is a set of shelves.  See how the hangars are interfering with the shelf space.

Again, you could consider using the back wall for hanging space.  Personally, I think this makes the closet less usable.

This walk in closet design features a double depth rod system where the front rods move to reveal the back rod

Now that you’ve got the overall design in place, look for opportunities to make use of every space possible.

As far as walk in closet designs are concerned, this is one of the most ingenious that I have seen.  It’s a double depth closet where the front rods were on hinges and could swing out to reveal the back rod.  The back rod could just as easily have been included shelves and drawers.  This would be a great solution to put into a deeper space.  The space could easily be wider than indicated here as well.

Measure how high you can reach to grab a handle.  Then take 5 inches (13cm) off this.  This is your maximum shelf height for frequent use.  You could have shelves higher than this, but you wouldn’t be able to reach them comfortable so it wouldn’t be suitable for everyday use.

If you’re going to have a corner in your closet, the way I see it, you have two options.

The first of these walk-in closet designs caters for the minimum space necessary to have hanging space along each wall.

Total width of full hanging space.  Full hanging space is required for clothing like dresses and long coats.

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