Closet Designing – The Design Process: How to Design a Closet

Every closet has four possible components to meet different needs.

The components are:

  • Long Hang – to hang dresses, suits, or pants by the cuff
  • Short Hang – to hang blouses, shirts, or folded pants
  • Shelves – to store items like shoes, accessories, boxes, and other stored items
  • Drawers – to store and contain items, and to keep items out of site

Part 1, the planning process, discussed the importance of noting the most important needs that exist and the organizing style. During the design process it will be important to know this, in order create a design that uses the components of a closet to best meet your needs.

Standard Closet Design Rules

As the design process is being undertaken, keep these closet designing rules in mind:

  • The minimum height for a closet system that utilizes double-hang is 85″ high.
  • The same type of hanging should not meet in the corners. For example, double-hang should not run into double-hang, long-hang should not run into long-hang.
  • Drawers need at least 24′ from the wall to pull-out, plus there needs to be room to stand – plan accordingly. For example, in a reach-in closet with double sliding doors, do not place drawers in the middle, or to the far right or far left.
  • Drawers are often a visual highlight for closets. In walk-ins, either place in the middle directly in front of the door, or for shared closets directly across from each other on opposite walls.

Closet Designing: Hanging Clothes

When designing the closet, there are areas that are more accessible than others. In addition, there are clothes storage needs that need to be achieved. Design the closet so that it is most convenient to use. Keep in mind that the most space is gained by having as much double-hang as possible.

The corners are most often the least accessible areas. Place clothing that are used infrequently, or off-season clothing, in these areas. Most often it is longer garments that are used the least. If this is true, place the long hang section in the corner. Only make the long-hang section large enough to store the amount of long garments that you have.

Double-hang will save the most space. Place as much of this in the areas that are easiest to access. Also, if suits or dresses are used often, add enough of this in accessible areas.

Closet Designing: Shelves and Drawers

Drawers are great to get rid of a dresser or to hide items that would be unsightly if they were on shelves. In addition, they are an attractive addition to any closet. Most often they are used for undergarments, and therefore are used daily. Place drawers as close to the middle of the closet as possible, ensuring that there is ample room to open the drawers.

Shelves are mainly a filler. The entire top of the closet is a usable shelf for items used infrequently. In addition, they are commonly added above drawers. Closet shelves are usually separated by ten to twelve inches in height, but this can be customized to meet storage needs. Shoes are best stored on flat shelves, since cubbies are often too small and angled shelves can mar the fronts of shoes – note: shoes being stored up high might be best on angled shelves so that they can be seen, but try to use clear shoe boxes.

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