6 Sensible Reasons To Upgrade A Builder Closet

professionally designed closet

A closet designed by Organized Interiors.

There are several reasons why a closet space won’t function properly.

Most often, the issue is that the closet owner doesn’t declutter enough. Without this important maintenance routine, the closet will inevitably have too many clothes and accessories crammed into a relatively small space.

Another major reason we find it a challenge to manage our closets is that we’re still using the original builder closets that came with our house or condo.

These closets are too basic for most people’s needs, so let’s explain why you should upgrade a builder closet.

We all know what “builder closet” means

In most new homes (even expensive homes), only the bare minimum is done when the closets are installed. A builder closet typically includes one hanging rod and an upper shelf. If you’re lucky, there may be some additional wire or wood closet shelves (which probably aren’t adjustable). Having a closet light would be downright extravagant.

We all know what “builder closet” (also known as a builder-grade closet) means – cheap, low-quality, sub-par…take your pick of any word that is synonymous with “inferior”.

upgrade a builder closet

It’s not only closets, either. “Builder-grade materials” may sound very professional, but it’s also just a polite way of saying “cheap”. Virtually anything in a new home can be made with inexpensive builder-grade materials like kitchen cabinets, garage doors, faucets, and doorknobs, just to name a few things.

Homebuilders know that their clients have rock-bottom expectations for the closets they’re getting when they buy a newly constructed home. You can rest assured that if the builder is providing a bare minimum closet setup, the quality of the shelf/shelves and hanging rod will be sub-par, too.

We don’t mean to hammer (pun intended) too much on homebuilders here, but there’s a lengthy track record on the quality of their closets that’s impossible to dispute.

Why you should upgrade a builder closet

Relying on a basic builder closet to keep your clothes stored and organized makes your life more difficult and frustrating than it has to be.

Many of us do it, however. That’s partly because people tend to adapt to a situation that may not be ideal because it’s less work to try and fix it.

Others may not know any better that there are much better closet setups available than what their builder-grade closets offer. This could be because we’re so conditioned to expect that closets made by builders have traditionally had a very simplistic design.

Or you may be someone who isn’t that concerned with how efficiently your closet functions because you don’t have a lot of clothes, like Ryan Reynolds. The Canadian actor and entrepreneur told The New York Times he keeps his wardrobe so simple that his wife jokes he doesn’t even need a closet.

Even if you don’t own a lot of clothing, there are still plenty of reasons to rethink how you’re using your closets.

If you’re still getting by with closets that have barely evolved for the better since your home was built, find out why there’s no time like the present to upgrade a builder closet.

empty builder closet

A typical builder closet like this only offers a bare minimum level of functionality.

1. A builder closet lacks functionality

The biggest reason to upgrade a builder-grade closet is that they’re woefully lacking when it comes to functionality.

Sure, they technically function, but there’s only so much a no-frills closet space with a single hanging rod and a shallow depth upper shelf can do for you.

“One-size-fits-all” products rarely provide full satisfaction to anyone who uses them. Everyone has unique tastes and preferences, so anything built for the masses is guaranteed to leave a lot to be desired for a significant number of consumers.

You can try to supplement the limited functionality of a builder closet by adding things like hooks, additional shelving, baskets, plastic storage bins, and a shoe rack on the floor.

Although these extras will improve the functionality of a closet, the space will still fall well short of what a custom closet design can do for you.

2. Your closets are used every day

How many things do virtually all of us use every day, at least twice a day? We can think of the fridge, the kitchen sink, certain room light switches, the toilet (sorry, it had to be said), our phones, some furniture pieces, and our bedroom closets. We can’t even include the bathroom sink because apparently around half of us brush our teeth only once a day.

There are probably a few things we’re leaving out. It’s not a very long list, though. With every one of these things, we count on them to work reliably since they’re an everyday part of our lives.

If the kitchen sink or a light switch wasn’t leaving us satisfied every time we used them (as mundane as those interactions may be), we’d either fix them or replace them with a product that provided a better user experience.

Considering we have to get dressed and undressed every day, why do so many of us simply settle for using inadequate builder closets then?

full closet

Something all of us use twice a day like a bedroom closet should be easier to manage than what you see here. (Photo by Chris Scott from FreeImages)

3. A builder closet isn’t stylish

First and foremost, a closet should provide you with the storage space you need and be functional enough so that it’s easy to keep it organized.

Adding some extras to help with functionality can help you get a little more use out of the closet. A mishmash of products added over time tends to create a rather patchwork type of look and there’s no decorative cohesion, however.

While they may be a utilitarian space, there’s no reason a closet shouldn’t look stylish.

Attractive and stylish closet spaces are undervalued. Making your closet look as nice as possible should be a priority. After all, it’s something you’ll be looking at a lot, so why not make it as inviting and visually appealing as possible?

Interior design psychology and environmental psychology tell us that our mood can be affected by how a room looks. This includes things like:

  • lighting
  • wall and ceiling colours
  • textures
  • how much open space there is
  • clutter
  • the shapes and locations of things

A walk-in closet is considered a room and a reach-in closet is considered an enclosed space. If you style up these areas of the home to give them some personality and more visual appeal, it can make a world of difference when you use the closets.

Having a complete custom closet makeover is the best way to upgrade a builder closet and transform it from drab to fab. Other ways to add some style to a closet are to upgrade the lighting for improved ambiance, give the closet walls and ceiling a fresh coat of paint with a new colour, or replace the closet doors with new doors outfitted with stylish hardware.

4. Builder closets waste space

Here’s another compelling reason to upgrade a builder closet – they waste a lot of potential storage space.

Consider the upper shelf in one of these closets. It’s commonly at a height of around 5-6 feet, which allows for easy access to the shelf for most people. Now consider that the average ceiling height in a room is around 8-9 feet (and as high as 10-12 feet in some rooms). Most items that get stored on a closet shelf aren’t tall enough to reach the ceiling, so much of that useful vertical space isn’t used.

Unless you’ve added some helpful closet accessories like an extra hanging rod, a valet rod, or a tie rack and belt rack, a builder closet isn’t working as hard as it should be for you.

Leaving valuable storage space underutilized or completely unused ends up creating storage and organizational challenges (which is another way to say “headaches”).

5. Metal wire closet shelves aren’t ideal

It’s a wonder that metal wire shelving came to be used so widely in closets. Sure, it’s cost-effective, but it’s difficult to find any other things that wire shelving has going for it. Here are some of the drawbacks of using wire closet shelves:

  1. Aesthetics: metal wire shelving, which usually comes in white, isn’t very attractive. The look you get is rather bland and antiseptic compared to wood shelving, which has more character and design versatility.
  2. Stability: they can’t hold as much weight as wood shelves, so they’re more prone to stability issues.
  3. Crease lines: the wire grid design of the shelves tends to leave crease lines on clothing. That creates extra work to iron or steam away the creases when it’s time to wear the clothes.
  4. Storage versatility: those wire grids don’t allow you to use the shelving for much more than stacking folded clothes. Small accessories can fall through the gaps and it’s more difficult to stand things up because the top of the shelving isn’t flat.
  5. Durability: over time, the plastic coating on wire shelves can become sticky (higher humidity levels in the closet are one cause of this). The white coating may also discolour and start to have a yellowish look.
  6. Ease of cleaning: the grid design makes the shelves harder to clean than wood shelves.
wire closet shelving with hanging clothes

Metal wire shelves aren’t the best choice for a closet. They’re also not a good substitute for a proper hanging rod. (Photo by jswashburn from Pixabay)

6. (Your) time’s a wastin’…

The space in a builder closet isn’t the only thing being wasted. So is your time. As in the time wasted looking for misplaced items that don’t have a proper home and trying to work clothes storage magic with one proverbial hand tied behind your back.

Consider the following clutter and closet-related statistics:

  • 10% of women say they feel depressed every time they open their closet doors. (OnePoll survey of 1,000 American women)
  • It’s estimated we’ll each spend 3,680 hours in our lifetime searching for misplaced items. (The Daily Mail)
  • A study of 2,137 U.S. women revealed that their closets had an average of $550 worth of unworn clothing. (10 Yetis survey)
  • 47% of women struggle when it comes to deciding on which work outfit they should wear. (OnePoll survey)
  • 3 in 10 women say an organized closet would make their mornings less stressful. (OnePoll survey)

When you open a closet door, your immediate reaction shouldn’t be a feeling of anxiousness about having to deal with a disaster zone. You should feel a sense of calm because the space is so clean and organized. Or it should be no reaction at all because you’re so used to having a tidy closet that you take it for granted!

Upgrade a builder closet with a custom design

If you’re looking to upgrade a builder closet, the obvious solution is to have it replaced with a professionally designed custom closet.

The stark contrast between the average builder closet and even a relatively simple custom closet designed by a skilled professional is immediately obvious. Instead of getting the bare minimum out of your closet, a closet design pro cares about helping you get the maximum amount of storage room, functionality, and aesthetic value from the space.

The key difference is that the closet is designed specifically for the needs of the user. Shelves and hanging rods are located at convenient heights that make the most sense according to the height of whoever is using the closet.

If you need an extra hanging rod and a pullout pant rack, no problem. Have a storage tower with drawers and shelving added to expand your closet storage options.

High-quality storage systems and accessories that are strategically located to maximize the closet’s storage space can resolve any organization issues. The efficiency of your daily dressing routine will improve as well. Even in small closets, a good custom closet organizing system creates order within a confined space.

And because we know visual appeal matters even in the closet, give the space a modern look by accentuating it with:

  • attractive wood finishes
  • stylish decorative hardware and closet accessories
  • sliding closet doors
  • bright overhead lighting and cabinetry-mounted LED lighting for ambiance and additional illumination
organized custom closet

This reach-in closet is customized to maximize storage space, provide lots of functionality, and give the closet an attractive, stylish look.

Make the builder-grade to custom-made closet upgrade

In Organized Interiors’ 40+ years of operation, one of the common inquiries we receive is about upgrading builder-grade closets.

We’ve seen just about every type of closet there is, from basic builder closets to DIY closet installs that fall short of meeting the needs of our clients.

Let our talented designers apply their skills to transform one or more of your existing closets into stylish, highly functional spaces that will make your life a little easier. If you’d like something a little bigger for clothes storage than a reach-in closet and have the space, we can design a beautiful walk-in closet with a dressing area as well.

Schedule a free design consultation with us so you can bid adieu to your old builder closets and say hello to some amazing new custom closets!

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4 Smart Toronto Condo Remodel Ideas

We all know that condo living has its advantages and disadvantages and one of the latter can be having enough space.

Organized Interiors has been dealing with getting the most out of small and unusual spaces for more than 40 years now. Our custom design expertise really got a workout on this condo remodel in Toronto.

The project involved redesigning a few areas in this small condo space.

condo remodel reach-in closet

This closet makeover in a Toronto condo adds built-in drawer and shelving storage and attractive sliding glass doors.

4 condo remodel ideas we used for this project

The following condo remodel ideas were used for this project:

  • a custom built-in wardrobe was added
  • a small home office space was created
  • sliding doors were installed in multiple closets
  • three bedroom closets were given makeovers

Let’s walk through each step that was taken for the condo remodel and explain how we dealt with some of the design challenges that were encountered.

Custom condo wardrobe

condo remodel wardrobe and home office

A built-in custom wardrobe and home office space were part of this condo remodel project.

Because closet space is often at a premium in condos, adding a wardrobe is a smart way to increase your clothes storage space.

A new wardrobe closet was needed for the condo’s entrance area. The tall cabinet section in the photo above shows the wardrobe that we built, complete with lower drawers.

You can see that the wardrobe drawers and doors have no pulls visible, so you may be wondering how they are opened. Touch-latch hardware was used. By avoiding installing handles or knobs on the wardrobe’s front, the clean lines of the design are preserved. The doors and drawers simply need to be pressed lightly and they pop open. 

We used LED strip lighting across the wardrobe top (facing the ceiling) to provide some ambient lighting for that corner, as the condo’s overhead light fixture in that area is a little further away.

On the immediate left of the wardrobe is the original entrance closet, which had sliding glass doors added. That closet is half-occupied by a stacked washer and dryer, with the remaining half being used for storing cleaning products and linens.

Home office space

Having a home office was useful even before the pandemic. Now a home office has become even more of an asset as working from home becomes the norm for many of us.

Along the adjacent wall to the wardrobe, we built a home office space. It includes a desk with upper drawers and larger file drawers down below, which both use the easy-open touch-latch hardware. An overhead cabinet with lift-up doors provides additional storage space.

As you can see, creating a useful office workspace at home doesn’t require much room. Having a dedicated part of the home you can use for work and studying helps you be more productive and avoid having to use areas like the dining room table to get work done.

The home office is situated between the condo’s entrance and an open kitchen. We used high-gloss white laminate for the custom cabinetry exteriors (including the wardrobe) to match the finish of the kitchen cabinets. 

Sliding closet doors

condo closet sliding doors

The existing builder-grade sliding mirrored closet doors were replaced with our glass sliding doors. The left closet has a drawer tower and a short hanging rod and the right closet is designed for hanging wardrobe storage.

There were two narrow master bedroom closets on either side of the entrance to the en suite bathroom. All the condo closet doors were builder-grade sliding mirrored doors, which were replaced with our aluminum-framed white laminated glass sliding closet doors.

The challenge with adding doors to these two closets was that we wanted to increase the access to the closet interiors, without affecting access to the bathroom in between.

The solution: our top-hung bypass doors. Using the same door profiles and glass as our regular sliding doors, we used top-hung hardware to create a single large panel for each closet. Each door slides completely to the side in front of the bathroom door, to reveal the entire left or right closet.

The top-hang feature means that there is no floor track in front of the entrance to the bathroom, so you don’t have to step over it each time you enter and exit. If anyone is in the bathroom and someone else uses a closet and forgets to close its door, the doors have the same grip on the front and back so they can be opened and closed from either side.

Sliding doors aren’t just meant for closets in a condo. Using sliding doors as a room partition is ideal for enjoying an open space, while also giving you more privacy when needed.

The Toronto Star included sliding doors (especially in open-concept living spaces) on their list of the home trends that will be popular in 2021.

Condo closet makeover

drawer tower in open closet

Deep drawers, easy-to-access shelving, and two hanging rods maximize this small closet’s storage space.

There was another small reach-in closet in the second bedroom. Once again, we added our sliding closet doors, this time with a standard bottom track.

For the interior, we used the same type of design that the left-hand closet in the double master closet has. To maximize the small closet’s storage space and functionality, the drawers are built extra-deep. The shelves above them are shallower to make them more useful higher up. Short upper and lower hanging rods were added as well.

In both closets, the drawers are designed with scooped fronts to once again avoid handles. In this case, it was to ensure any handles did not interfere with the sliding doors.

Talk to us about your house or condo remodel needs

If you’re planning a house or condo remodel, talk to Organized Interiors about what we can do to transform your living space.

Whether it’s giving one of your closets a makeover or you’re considering a bigger scale project like this that involves multiple upgrades for your home, we can help.

Schedule a free design consultation with us to make it happen.

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Linen Closet Ideas and Tips to Improve an Overlooked Storage Space

Where is the messiest closet in your home? Chances are, it’s located in one of your bedrooms.

But linen closets are another of your home’s closet spaces that never seem to stay organized for very long. It’s no wonder, considering they’re used on such a regular basis.

Get organized with these linen closet ideas

Most family members prioritize the quick acquisition of whatever item they need from the linen closet over concerning themselves with how tidy they’re leaving things before closing the door.

Linen closets are also an organizational challenge because their contents are rarely curated, causing them to become overstuffed.

If any of this sounds all too relatable to the messy linen closet situation in your own home, we’ve got some useful linen closet ideas and tips to help you get things more organized.

Why every home needs a linen closet

If your home doesn’t have a linen closet, you might be wondering if it’s something that you really need.

You might be surprised to learn that according to the 2018 Canadian Home Builders’ Association Homebuyer Preference Study, linen closets were a must-have feature for 89% of surveyed buyers.

Most of today’s homebuyers and anyone with a linen closet knows the benefits of having a dedicated closet space to store all of their towels, sheets, and other linens.

Think about how many types of linens and related items are used in the average home. In addition to the linens that were previously mentioned (and consider that they each come in a wide variety of types and sizes), the following things require storage space, too:

  • duvet covers and inserts, comforters, and blankets
  • pillows, pillowcases, and mattress covers
  • sheets, pillows, and towels for guests
  • regular and holiday-themed tablecloths, placemats, and cloth napkins
  • toiletries and other bathroom supplies

For those without a linen closet, having to share some of these things with your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and front entryway closet spaces causes a couple of issues.

First, it scatters your stored linens around the home, which makes things harder to find. Second, your closet spaces, dresser drawers, or wherever else linens are being stored become even more overburdened and difficult to manage.

Having a single closet storage space with dedicated homes for all of your linens will save you from wasting time looking for things.

And a makeover to this closet space creates a tidy and uniform look to your linen closet’s storage that’s as clean as your fresh linens.

Storing linens in the bathroom? Here’s why you shouldn’t.

Many homeowners keep their spare bathroom linens stored in their bathrooms, whether it’s on open shelves, in drawers, or tucked away behind cabinetry doors.

While it might seem practical and convenient having these items right where they’ll be needed, there are several reasons to avoid doing this.

The biggest problem is the damp, humid environment. Even with good room ventilation and regular bathroom cleaning, storing fabrics on a long-term basis in the bathroom makes them susceptible to mould and mildew issues.

Adding shelving to your bathroom walls, over the door, or buying a freestanding bathroom organizer to store linens has drawbacks as well. All those extra storage systems, in addition to the visual clutter all of those stacked linens, add to the room, can make a bathroom look messy and overcrowded.

If you’re not regularly rotating the towels and cloths stored on open shelves in the bathroom, the very thing you’re using to dry off after getting clean could be covered in months of dust.

And here’s one rather unpleasant fact that’s sure to make you hasten your effort to eliminate the storage of linens in your bathroom – the toilet plume.

Several studies have found that when some toilets are flushed, the force causes a spray that contains microscopic particles of bacteria from the bowl to get released into the air. That spray (or plume) comes down on anything within approximately six feet of the toilet. Yuck.

Just a little food for thought if your spare towels (or, even worse, your toothbrushes) are stored anywhere close to your toilet bowl.

Step 1: talk to a closet design professional

Whether you’re adding a closet space or redoing an existing linen closet, the simplest way to ensure success with the project is to entrust it to a professional.

Organized Interiors are experts in designing closets for any room in your home. From your initial free in-home consultation with one of our design consultants right through to the closet’s installation by our professional installers, we’ll ensure every aspect of the project meets your expectations.

Compared to a large walk-in closet makeover which is obviously much bigger in scope, a linen closet remodel represents the type of simpler closet design we also specialize in.

This type of closet remodel can fit most budgets and typically involves less turnaround time for your order. That means you can get your linen closet storage needs addressed that much faster.

“Edit” your linen closet’s contents

Before your reconfigured closet is designed and installed, a thorough “editing” of your closet’s contents will make life significantly easier when it comes to keeping your closet tidy in the future. Like most linen closets, it’s probably overdue for a good purging.

As with any thorough curating of your closet’s clothing, the best method is to completely empty the closet entirely so nothing gets missed. Closets with deep shelves that can hide things at the back of the closet will especially benefit from this process.

Take stock of what’s in there and determine when it was last used. Check each linen to see what’s worn, faded, damaged, or just outlived its usefulness.

If they’re being used and washed regularly, bath towels generally have a lifespan of a couple of years. When they start getting stiff and rough, they’ll become less absorbent and should be replaced.

Pillows should also be replaced after about a year or two of regular use. Consult this link to find out the lifespans of various pillow types.

Remove linen sets with missing or mismatched items, or old sheets for a bed size you no longer own. Now is also a good opportunity to get rid of linens that no longer align with your current design tastes.

Lots of linen closets have a bulky complete bedding set that was bought on sale years ago and has never been opened. Decide if you’ll realistically get any use out of it and if not, add it to your “donate” pile.

Here’s one more reason to create as much space in your linen closet as you can – in a larger family, the space needed for storing bath towels alone can take up a fair bit of space.

Experts recommend washing your bath towels a minimum of once a week and ideally every three or four days. That adds up to a whole lot of towels entering and exiting your closet every week!

Create closet storage zones

When discussing your linen closet’s design, your design consultant will want to know how you’d like it to be set up.

You’ll want to establish storage zones within the closet that make it easier to distinguish different linens and keep them organized.

Try to create zones that are categorically organized, with extra toiletries and all linens for bedrooms, the dining room, kitchen, and so on being kept together. If your closet space allows for it, separate the linens for each bedroom in their own zone.

Keep your most often-used linens such as bath towels and washcloths at a comfortable, easy to access height. Less frequently needed items like pillows and linens used during holidays and special occasions can be stored on the top shelves. Off-season clothing, which is ideal for linen closet storage, could also be stashed in the closet’s upper or lower areas.

Labelling each zone is a smart way to help ensure your closet’s zones stay more organized.

Hallway linen closet.

Use an organization system that works for you

Once you have an idea of what zones will comprise your closet space, establish an organization system that will make your linen closet as convenient and easy to use as possible.

To evenly distribute the usage of your linens and to keep then fresh, regularly rotating them is essential. Some people like to put their folded linens on top of the pile and pull from the bottom, while others prefer the opposite method.

Maybe you prefer to keep your bath towels rolled up. If so, shelf dividers can help to keep them tidy and organized. Whatever works for you.

Depending on how much closet space is at your disposal, give your linens as much space to breathe as you can.

Another tip that makes linen storage simpler is to fold your bedsheets into their matching pillowcase, which saves time searching for linen sets that match.

Maximize your linen closet’s storage space

No list of linen closet ideas would be complete without a few tips on how to maximize your storage space.

The beauty of a custom closet design is that your closet space can be precisely configured to provide you with the optimal amount of storage space the closet allows for.

The linen closet is typically a narrow vertical space that’s the smallest closet in the home, which makes getting the most out of it so important. You also want to maximize the storage space without the closet’s contents feeling overstuffed.

Adjustable shelves are important to not just aid you in making sure space isn’t wasted, they’re also valuable when your storage needs change and you need to reconfigure how your closet is set up.

Using more shelves is better than having things spaced out too much with linen stacks that are too high. Higher stacks of linens creates two issues that contributes to a messy closet space:

  • the linens will start leaning and be more likely to topple over
  • when someone wants an item from the bottom of a stack, there’s more linens to contend with

You may wish to have some pullout shelves added your linen closet, which lets you take advantage of a deep closet space by making items at the back of shelves easier to access. Drawers are another option that provides additional storage versatility if your closet is big enough.

Don’t forget the small extras

To conclude our list of linen closet ideas, don’t forget about those small extras that will make your closet space more functional.

Some new closet lighting and a fresh coat of lighter coloured paint to reflect the light better will make things easier to find and update the closet’s décor.

Using shelf risers, small bins, and baskets will help your small linens, toiletries, and miscellaneous items in the linen closet stay tidy.

We’re the leader in smart linen closet ideas and solutions

For anyone who can’t seem to keep their linen closets effectively maintained and tidy, we have creative linen closet ideas and solutions to keep your home organized.

To create the ideal linen closet space in your home, book a free in-home design consultation with Organized Interiors today.

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Simple Closet Ideas to Upgrade Your Storage Space Quickly

Organized Interiors is renowned for our showpiece closets but that’s not the only type of closet design we specialize in.

Not every home has the space for a large walk-in closet with features like an island and decorative add-ons such as crown moulding, baseboard, sculpted edges, and glass cabinet doors.

And naturally, a more elaborate closet project doesn’t fit into every homeowner’s budget.

A custom reach-in closet or smaller walk-in closet with a simpler design can still work wonders for your bedroom’s storage functionality, while still providing high quality and stylish looks.

Advantages of choosing simple closet ideas

Transforming a closet space of any size with a smarter layout and features to maximize storage space is a great investment and comes with undeniable benefits.

Most importantly, you’ll streamline your daily routine by having a home for everything, which makes the closet easier to keep tidy.

Your closet’s old interior may have consisted of little more than a well-worn hanging rod, sagging top shelf, and poor lighting. A closet makeover will refresh the appearance of your wardrobe storage space.

There are also some specific benefits to using more simple closet ideas when you’re having a closet’s design put together by a professional:

  • they’re obviously more affordable, allowing homeowners with more modest budgets to still have a closet designed that fits their needs
  • your order will usually be able to be turned around in less time, so you can get your closet storage needs addressed quickly

Get inspired with these simple closet ideas

We wanted to show you some simple closet ideas that we’ve incorporated into some of our completed projects. 

The photos show that a less elaborate and modestly priced reach-in or walk-in closet makeover still projects a stylish, elegant, and very tidy look.

Take a look and maybe you’ll see a concept that based on some simple closet ideas that are right for your home.

Double reach-in closet with Chocolate Pear finish

Here is a double reach-in closet in a master bedroom. For this space, we used a melamine finish called Chocolate Pear that’s one of our most popular dark finishes.

Chocolate Pear’s rich, appealing look is one reason for the finish’s popularity. Another reason is it tends to be available in all the various materials (like thermo and formica/arborite in addition to melamine) we use when making our cabinetry on-site at Organized Interiors’ manufacturing facility.

We created a space within the closet that has useful access from both doorways. As you’ll see in the next image, this closet is completely open inside and there’s no dividing wall between the door openings.

The name “reach-in”, of course, is derived from the fact that the closet’s shallow depth typically doesn’t allow you to step inside of it. With this particular closet, you could technically walk between the interior space between the closets but for all intents and purposes, it’s a reach-in.

Double reach-in closet with a Chocolate Pear finish.

Utilizing a smart closet layout design is crucial

Two separate closet spaces with identical dimensions can deliver drastically different levels of functionality and storage space, purely because of how the layout was conceived.

Our design consultants always strive to devise creative and practical designs that enable each of our clients to get the most out of their remodelled closet.

With this closet, the absence of a dividing barrier between the closets allows for flexibility with the closet’s layout.

We set up the left side of the closet with double hanging rods for short clothes. The biggest part of any closet renovation is freeing up the “real estate” by doubling up closet rods and opening up the length of the space.

The right-hand side of the closet is split. On the left is a tower of shelves for folded clothes, handbags, shoes, etc. To its right is space for hanging long clothes.

Remember that long hanging does not mean just dresses. Oversized shirts and suit jackets typically need more vertical space than other short items. And if you prefer to hang your pants long by the pant cuff, they too will need more vertical clearance than shirts and blouses.

More simple reach-in closet ideas

This closet features a very common setup for a small reach-in closet design.

Trying to shoehorn drawers into a narrow closet such as this one isn’t always practical. Instead, a narrow bank of shelves can still accommodate plenty, whether it’s folded shirts, pants, sweaters, or even smaller items like socks in baskets on shelves.

Although it’s difficult to tell from the photo, the upper shelf in this closet is recessed. The shelf tower itself is a good depth (around 16″) for storing folded adults’ clothes. The top shelf is shallower at 12″. This choice was made to provide better access to the shelf, considering it’s at the same height as the doorway.

Once again, we’re showing a combination of double and long hanging for clothes – how that is split or not is entirely up to you.

If you don’t need to hang many items in the closet (such as with a guest closet), we can simply install a single rod. Don’t have anything long to hang? We can set your entire closet space up with double hanging rods.

A standard white closet never goes out of style.

Simple closet ideas for walk-ins

Here’s an example of a straightforward walk-in closet. Clothes on the left side of the photo below combine double short hanging with long hanging on the right for a bathrobe.

A shelf tower uses the wall as the back for the shelves. The closet rods are suspended between walls and gables.

You may prefer to use some of the space on the closet’s side for a full-length mirror. Perhaps you’d favour moving the placement of the shelf and drawer tower to another location in the closet’s design. Whatever your space allows for, Organized Interiors is all about meeting your specific storage needs.

Luxury walk-in closets feature lots of decorative detail that certainly enhances the appearance of the closet space. These additions don’t always serve a functional purpose.

Every inch counts when you’re striving to boost the functionality of your closet storage. Unless you have a particular look in mind for your closet, you don’t need to add extra decorative touches and features.

 

Don’t forget the linen closet!

The linen closet tends to get overlooked as a home storage space worthy of an upgrade.

Yes, it’s a utilitarian storage area but that doesn’t mean it can’t function better and look nicer. Simple closet ideas apply perfectly to a linen closet, which doesn’t require quite the same level of design detail as a bedroom closet.

This catch-all space for towels, bed sheets, blankets, and other linens can easily become overwhelmed and untidy.

Adding custom cabinetry with adjustable shelving will make the space function more efficiently. You can space your shelves close together to store soaps and other bath essentials or open up the spacing for thick blankets and pillows.

A linen closet in a Toronto condo.

Simple closet ideas for a unique closet space

“Simple” definitely doesn’t need to mean inferior or low quality when it comes to your closets. The simple closet ideas and designs featured here are unique projects that, we think you’ll agree, look great.

Organized Interiors specializes in closet makeover projects of all sizes that can accommodate any budget.

Whether you’re searching for an affordable simple closet design that you can have installed quicker or are looking to splurge on a dream closet, we have a solution for you.

Request your free in-home design consultation to get your closet project started.

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7 Shared Closet Tips and Ideas to Create a More Harmonious Space

For some couples, sharing a closet space can be quite the challenge.

A shared closet space unquestionably has a different dynamic than a one-person closet space.

Adapting to using a shared closet as the result of a new living arrangement can be one of a couple’s biggest challenges once they start living under the same roof.

Even if you’ve been with your spouse for a long time, maybe you’ve never quite seen eye-to-eye on your shared closet arrangement.

And if one partner’s organizational skills aren’t exactly their finest attribute (to put it diplomatically), that only makes things more of an uphill battle.

shared closey

Couples commonly clash over closet clutter

A survey by self-storage company SpareFoot found that clutter was the cause of arguments for 48% of the cohabitating couples they polled.

Not surprisingly, messy closets were the main reason for couples arguing about clutter.

Another study of 3,000 adults in the UK for Esure Home Insurance found that 40% of respondents argued regularly with their partner over lost items.

Stop having the same arguments over and over with your partner about your shared closet.

Use these seven tips to make the closet you share a harmonious space, instead of a space that causes tension and conflicts.

1. Declutter first and organization becomes easier

51% of the couples arguing about closet clutter from that SpareFoot survey ended up getting rid of some clothing to appease their partner.

When you’re working your way towards creating a harmonious shared closet space, it’s essential to ensure the closet isn’t being occupied by non-essential items.

One group of organization experts (the National Association of Professional Organizers) estimates that 80% of your clothes are only worn 20% of the time.

That sobering statistic explains why it’s such a challenge keeping any closet space tidy.

Simplify things by decluttering your closet and getting rid of things you and your partner never (or rarely) wear. Start by moving your out-of-season clothing somewhere else, which will make the closet space easier to manage.

2. Divide and conquer

Another reason to declutter before making over your closet is you’ll get a much better idea of how much space you both actually need.

Once that’s been established, start divvying up the space. A 50/50 split probably won’t be practical, as one of you will likely have more to store.

For this process to truly work, some give and take needs to happen, which hopefully results in a space-sharing arrangement that works for everybody.

Be open-minded about the fact that some flexibility may be needed with your setup once it’s in place.

3. Leverage a closet designer’s expertise

Leaving your shared closet redesign to a professional will be beneficial because of the expertise they can bring to the project.

Most importantly, a professional closet designer will know how to plan smartly in order to maximize the storage space your closet can provide.

They’ll also have ideas and suggestions you may not have considered that can improve and enhance your closet design.

One major factor that impacts the effectiveness of a shared closet space is how carefully each individual’s needs were taken into consideration when the closet was designed.

Does your closet design give each of you enough hanging space? Were the right closet accessories incorporated into the closet design?

Is the closet laid out perfectly to accommodate the users’ heights in order to make things easy to access? This one is an important detail that can get overlooked if you buy a one-size-fits-all closet organizer from a store, instead of investing in a custom closet system.

4. Utilize effective closet storage systems

Squeezing the wardrobe of two people into a confined space and making that space function efficiently requires both creativity and well-chosen closet storage systems.

A reach-in closet makeover will be the “foundation” of the space. This organization system makes it easier to group like items together and will enable you to keep your closet tidy with less effort.

You’ll enhance the reach-in closet’s functionality by adding useful accessories like tie and belt racks, shoe racks, and pullout valet rods.

If one partner has a large watch collection, keep the timepieces properly wound and displayed with some watch winders. To keep a jewellery collection organized, jewellery drawers can be incorporated into a closet’s custom cabinetry design.

For drawers that are being shared, use drawer dividers to ensure easy organization. And no one likes to look at or smell their partner’s dirty laundry. Solve that problem with some hidden laundry hampers.

drawer with dividers in shared closet

Add drawer dividers to shared drawers to keep things organized.

5. When small won’t cut it, go big

While a closet makeover will make wardrobe management easier for a couple, it may be a simple fact that your main bedroom closet is just too small. That’s a common problem in old houses.

If you have a spare room that’s rarely used, converting it into a large walk-in closet (also known as a dressing room) is one effective way to keep a shared closet organized.

You’ll both have much an ample amount of storage space to work with. That minimizes the likelihood of arguments that result when one partner’s belongings start migrating too far into the other partner’s space.

Here’s another bold idea to consider if your home’s space allows for it – just avoid sharing a closet altogether.

If you have a much bigger wardrobe than your significant other, take the entire dressing room while leaving your partner with all of the space in your bedroom’s existing closet.

6. Use supplemental bedroom storage solutions

If you lack the space in your home to create a large walk-in closet/dressing room, there are other practical storage options available.

Use other bedroom storage products to add storage space that supplements what your closet can provide. Here are some suggestions:

  • wardrobe
  • bed surround
  • add another closet with a quick and easy solution like create-a-closet
shared closet, create-a-closet

Expand your storage options with added bedroom storage solutions. create-a-closet adds closet space anywhere.

7. Maintain your shared closet

Making your shared closet space function without any issues requires work, even when the best storage and organization systems are being used.

To be sure, they’ll make it much easier to keep your closet organized, but a consistent, ongoing effort from both parties will result in fewer arguments over the tidiness of your closet.

It doesn’t hurt to have some checks and balances in place. Perhaps once or twice a year, you can each take a little time to take care of decluttering your part of the closet.

Respect each others’s closet space boundaries. And keep the lines of communication open (in a civil manner) about closet-related matters.

Doing so will result in keeping this part of your relationship healthy and headache-free.

Transform your shared closet space

If a makeover of your shared closet space sounds like a smart way to restore harmony in your relationship when it comes to how your bedroom closet is used, we can help.

Schedule a free in-home consultation with Organized Interiors. One of our talented design consultants will show you and your partner how we can turn your closet into a stylish, highly efficient space.

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