dream closet

by - July 18, 2015

They’re the dream of women all over the world. An expansive walk-in wardrobe with built-in storage spaces created especially for skirts, shirts, dresses, jackets, jeans, T-shirts, shoes, bags, jewellery and just about anything else you can think of.

Full-length mirrors, built-in vanities, perfect lighting, custom-built seating and co-ordinating hangers are just some of the luxurious touches seen in contemporary walk-in wardrobes. These enviable spaces have traditionally been found in only the most exclusive homes — think Hollywood starlets, pop divas, A-list socialites and fashion icons.

Giuliana Rancic's enviable walk in closet was designed by Lisa Adams from LA Closet Design
Increasingly, though, we’re seeing walk-in wardrobes — albeit on a smaller scale than those of the rich and famous — in modern home designs from everyone from project builders to reality renovation shows such as The Block.

“Walk in wardrobes have essentially become an extension of the master bedroom,” explains interior designer Jennifer French from Inside Out Colour and Design. “This bedroom is more of a retreat with ensuites, walk-in wardrobes and seating areas, depending on the space available of course.”

Scott Kelly from Stegbar says there is no doubt that walk-in robes have become increasingly popular in recent years. “There are two trends fuelling this increase,” he says. “Firstly, the rise in popularity of renovation shows where walk-in robes are always a feature, and secondly, more and more new homes have, as standard inclusions, luxurious walk-in robes.”

Getting the design right

Whether your walk-in robe is created simply by installing a bulkhead wall to enclose a devoted closet space, or is larger and takes up an entire room, ensuring you have enough space is paramount when designing your wardrobe.

“It really comes down to your individual circumstances. If you are a single person you can get away with a smaller space but generally we would recommend a minimum of four metres of lineal wall space,” says Scott. “This will generally allow for all the important elements to be included in a walk-in robe.”

Enough room to actually use your space for its intended purpose is another necessity according to Jennifer. “The most effective walk-in wardrobes are those where you cannot only store your clothes but can actually change in them,” she says. “So I think space for a cupboard and a space to stand and change is the minimum requirement.”

Space for everything

The experts agree that while there are some common attributes that make a successful wardrobe, the main one is customising your space to suit your personal needs.

“Planning a walk-in wardrobe is quite a personal thing and everyone is different,” says Scott. “Some people need more hanging space, others more room for shoes, and yet other people may require more shelving. The options really are endless. To make the process somewhat easier, a clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve is a great start and your lifestyle will play a big part in the layout you require.”

Jennifer says thinking about your most- worn items and creating space devoted to different types of clothing and accessories is important. “I always start with what needs to go inside the wardrobes and then wherever possible create spaces for those items,” she says.

“Whether it be shoes, handbags, full length clothing, heavy winter gear, hats or scarves, if each item has a particular spot then it makes it much easier to find and store your belongings.”

It seems Australian women are unleashing their inner Carrie Bradshaw with shoe storage among the most requested inclusions in modern walk-in wardrobes. “Drawer towers are always popular inclusions, but we are now finding more and more customers looking for solutions for their shoes,” says Scott. “Our adjustable shoe shelves are proving to be very popular at the moment.”

No space? No worries

If you’re reading this with a healthy dose of “I wish”, the experts say there are still plenty of ways you can organise a regular closet so it feels more spacious and luxurious.

“Keep things ordered by hanging like articles together,” says Jennifer. “I like to colour code them as then you can easily find things. Looking for a red top to wear with the black skirt? Easy. Don't overstuff the racks or shelves, put off-season clothes into a suitcase and store them until required.”

Lisa Adams from LA Closet Design advises using all the available space — even the dead space up above your closet.

“If you have high ceilings, opt for pull-down hanging rods so everything is reachable,” she says.

“I would also recommend pullout shelves to access the full depth of the shelves and avoid the ‘black hole’ which becomes the back row on stationary deep shelves. You can also use the end panels of the wardrobe for hanging belts and scarves.”

Originally published in Home, The Daily Telegraph on 13 September 2014

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  1. WOW this closet is amazing, although i think it could do with some sliding wardrobe doors wink wink