Closets have come a long way in the last hundred years. In the early 20th century, many homes had very small reach-in closets, if any at all. People didn’t own many articles of clothing. A generation or two later, closets were bigger but still not very impressive.
Today, most people have a lot of clothing, shoes, and other wardrobe items. Homeowners want elegant storage solutions to accommodate their needs. A walk-in closet is usually the minimum requirement for adults’ and children’s bedrooms today.
Instead of merely a utilitarian space, luxury closets provide ambiance, beauty, and style, as well as plentiful storage space.
What Is a Walk-in Closet VS Other Types of Closets?
There are generally four types of closets for owner suites:
- Reach-in closet
- Walk-in closet
- Dressing room
- Open closet
A reach-in closet is the traditional type that has two sliding doors or bi-folding doors. You stand in front of the closet and reach your hand in to pull out the article of clothing you need from the rack.
A walk-in closet is, essentially, a small room. You generally open a door and enter the closet entirely, surrounded by shelves and clothes hanging systems. Some homeowners choose to have separate his and hers walk-in closets so each person has their own space.
A dressing room is a room with a door that is used as both a closet and dressing area. It may have a vanity with lighting for make-up application and hairstyling. It likely has furniture, a built-in island, and a full-length mirror. Some even include a home office space.
An open closet is an area for hanging and storing clothing and shoes that may be separated from the main sleeping area of a master bedroom by a glass wall or a partition but doesn’t have any doors.
If you are looking for a luxury closet, you’ll likely want to choose from the last three options.
How Big Should a Walk-in Closet Be?
Walk-in closet design ideas start with dimensions and a floor plan. How big should a walk-in closet be? The minimum is about 5ft x 8ft. But your closet can be as big as you like. Once it becomes the size of a spare room or larger, it would be a dressing room.
Is a Walk-in Closet Worth It?
Generally, walk-in closets improve the resale value of your real estate because almost everyone wants at least a small walk-in closet in the master bedroom.
Custom walk-in closets can add even more value to your home. It makes staging a snap. And is an impressive addition for potential buyers. Thoughtful storage space, especially well-designed closets and dressing rooms, is in great demand.
But the best value from your luxury closet will be the enjoyment you get from having a beautiful place to store your clothing and accessories. Living in a cluttered, messy space is stressful. Having adequate space for organization and smart design brings peace of mind. Especially when you tailor the space to meet your specific needs and desires for luxury.
How to Design a Walk-in Closet
There are several keys to walk-in closet design: location, size, layout, closet doors, closet lighting, and decor.
The three primary options are:
- To be connected to the master bedroom space.
- To be accessible from the master bathroom.
- To be accessible from both the bedroom and bathroom in the master suite.
A walk-in closet connected to the bathroom is ideal for many homeowners. One person can be awake and getting ready in the bathroom without having to go in and out of the bedroom or worry about stumbling in the dark to the closet.
Closet size and shape
Choose your square footage and whether you prefer a long rectangular shape, an L, a T, a square, or something unique like a curved wall.
The size should be large enough to accommodate all of your clothing (ideally for all seasons), shoes, bags, belts, accessories, and any other amenities you’d like to feature in the space.
If you will want furniture in the center of the room, be sure to expand the width and length to accommodate the furniture and walking space. Give yourself at least 3 feet of clearance in open floor space around furniture in the middle of the closet.
When thinking about closet layout, determine what types of storage you want to use and where it best fits the space. If it is a two-person closet, for example, you may want to create parallel features on each side. Hanging racks, cubbies, and drawers that match on the left and right.
Or maybe you’ll make each side completely customized for each person. An interior designer or architect can help you plan if you are unsure how to design the space.
Walk-in closet doors come in a variety of options depending on your sense of style.
- Regular swing door
- Frosted glass swing door
- Bi-fold doors
- Sliding barn door
- Pocket door
- Dramatic double doors
If you opt for an open concept closet, you may not have any doors, at all.
Closet flooring can be the same material as your bathroom floor if you are concerned about tracking water through the space. Or you can match the flooring to your bedroom for a sophisticated effect.
If the thought of getting dressed on a cold marble or tile floor sounds unappealing, add radiant heating to your floors or an area rug to your dressing space.
For closet lighting, using good lighting principles in your luxury closet elevates the entire experience to one of opulence. Rather than having a utilitarian ceiling light, consider one of these options:
- A delicate chandelier
- Recessed lights
- LED strip lights above the hanging racks of clothes
- Under-shelf lighting
- Mood lighting
- Spotlights/track lights featuring display shelves
- Motion-sensing lights
While a small walk-in closet may not require in-depth design details, a dressing room could benefit greatly from a put-together look that accents the bathroom, bedroom, and home design. A talented interior designer can make a huge difference in the feel of your space and help it relate well to the rest of your home.
Rich hardwoods, glass shelving, white cabinets/shelves, metallics, ivories, blacks, monotone, and subdued hues of blue, pink, and beige are popular options for luxury custom closets.
Luxury Walk-in Closet/Dressing Room Must-Haves
To take your closet from ho-hum to luxury, all you need is enough space, a cohesive sense of style, the perfect design, and the right amenities.
Our favorite must-haves for a dressing room closet include...
A built-in vanity
Having a custom vanity area with a dressing table with makeup lighting in a large closet is a given. Who wouldn’t enjoy some privacy and serenity while preparing for a busy day?
The mirror will never fog up. You won’t disturb anyone sleeping in the bedroom. Just plenty of space and time for yourself. And it makes a fantastic focal point for your dream closet.
A classy full-length mirror
Rather than take up space in your bedroom, place a large mirror on a stand in your luxury closet or, if you have enough open wall space, invest in a distinguished wall-mounted mirror. It’s always a good idea to make sure your appearance is on-point before taking on your day.
A large window
Even for a smaller walk-in closet, a window can add a wealth of natural light and airiness to the space. But if you plan to use the space as a dressing room, a beautiful window is a must. The soul needs light to thrive, after all.
If you want to kick your closet space up a notch, having comfortable seating makes your space a refined retreat. It may even become your favorite place to enjoy your morning cup of coffee.
What types of furniture work well for luxury closets?
- Plush square/rectangular ottoman in the center of the room
- A cultivated, velvet chair
- A custom built-in window seat with ample padding and beautiful pillows
- A chaise lounge with an accent throw blanket
If you have enough closet space with plenty of natural light, you just may have an ideal space for a quiet home office away from the distractions and noise of the rest of the house.
How to Organize a Walk-in Closet or Dressing Room
When organizing a master closet, it’s best to make the most of all the space you have. This usually means, you’ll want plenty of storage. We suggest aiming for a bit more storage than you think you’ll need so that you don’t run out of drawers, hanging space, or shelves.
Here are some of our favorite closet ideas.
You can certainly purchase pre-made storage solutions. Or, include your storage as custom built-ins. That is what most of our clients like to do. Then you have superior quality shelving, cubbies, and storage systems that match your home and last forever.
Shoes and bags need their own special storage if you want to be able to find them easily and don’t want them to get crushed or damaged.
We recommend shoe storage shelves with slanted racks to display all of your footwear.
For bags, opt for sturdy hooks, built-in drawers, or cubbies to beautifully display your options.
Many luxury closets have open shelves. This certainly allows for the most flexibility. If you plan to keep your accessories and clothing stored and want to easily see everything at a glance, this is a great choice.
If you prefer to hide your clothing and accessories, or for smaller items, drawers and cabinet doors can help keep your wardrobe organized and avoid a cluttered appearance.
Walk-in closet dresser
Of course, you can also use a free-standing dresser, if you prefer, for your bedroom closet storage.
Walk-in closet island
What is a walk-in closet island? It is similar to a built-in kitchen island with wooden cabinets and drawers below and a countertop space. But it is used for storing articles of clothing, belts, jewelry, scarves, etc…
And the counter space is a great place to lay your clothing out as you get dressed, becoming a dressing table. Or use the counter as a surface for folding clothes.
Thinking about building your own luxury home complete with the most amazing closet space in the Lexington, SC area?
At Blythe Building Company, we can provide you with home design plans and expert advice as you build your dream home. We specialize in luxury homes starting at around $650,000 in the Greater Columbia area.
Lee Blythe is a Certified Master Builder with experience in building over 100 custom homes. We would love to help you bring your dream home to life.
Please contact us today.
We build in areas like Lake Carolina, Lake Murray, Chapin, Ballentine, Lexington, downtown Columbia, West Columbia, and more.
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