HOW TO DESIGN A CUSTOM DIY CLOSET
Is a primary closet complete with wire shelving?! While wire shelving does add flexibility to be able to adjust the shelving height, but it can also be very frustrating! I had enough of the wire shelving in our closet and decided it was time to build a custom closet! Here is how I designed my custom DIY closet.
It’s not often that I fully design my projects before I begin working on them. Some of my favorite projects I designed as I went. I would build a section of the project before determining the next steps. When you are dealing with a space like a closet, it is best to determine the layout before beginning the work. This will ensure that you are optimizing the space.
My design started with a search for several standard closet dimensions. I used these dimensions as a starting point and modified as I saw fit.
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Determine Depth of Closet Units
The depth of my closet units largely depended on the depth of my closet on each side of the door. However, I did want to know the standard depth of closet systems. I found that closet systems tend to be roughly 19″ deep.
I had a little more space than that on each side of my closet door. I wanted the closet units to be deeper than a standard hanger so that the hangers would fully sit inside of the closet unit. I thought that having the hangers outside of the closet units would make the closet look messier.
When determining the depth of the closet units, I did take into consideration the fact that I would be adding 1×2 trim to the front faces. I just needed to be sure that I had room for the additional 3/4″ that I would be adding to the overall depth.
My hangers are approximately 17-1/2″ wide and I wanted an inch or two on either side of the hanger. Therefore, I decided to make the depth of my closet units 20″ before I added the face trim.
Draw Out Your Closet
I find it helpful, with projects like this, to draw everything out. This will allow you to see the scale of your space and design. I personally used Sketchup to draw my closet design.
You do not have to invest in expensive design software to be able to draw your projects. Sketchup has a free version online and there are also free 2D CAD softwares that you can use as well. Don’t want to try to learn a new program to design a closet?! That’s fine…grab some paper and a pen! I just think it’s sometimes best to put your design on paper before you begin.
Drawing my closet allowed me to see the different size of the units in the space. I was able to adjust the widths until I was satisfied with the layout. This saved me from making a lot of changes to the design once I began cutting the wood.
Determine the Width of the Units
I started my design by dividing the overall length of my closet by five (5). I thought I would be able to easily add five units per side. This gave me a rough idea of the width of the units.
I decided that I wanted one unit with shelves, two units for hanging and two units with drawers. I wanted the drawer units to be slightly wider than the rest of the units. In order to keep things easier, I decided to also make the long hanging units the same width as the drawers. I made them 29-1/2″ wide.
With the width of the larger units determined, I dividing the remaining length by two for the remaining two units. This left me with two units that were 24″ wide.
There is no right or wrong way to determine the width of the closet units…it’s all personal preference. I just wanted to make my job of actually making the units easier. By having a few of the units the same width, I was able to cut several shelves at once.
Closet Rod Heights and Shelf Spacing
While I did do some research on the standard height of a closet rod, I ultimately based the height of the rod on our height. My husband and I are tall, so I decided to hang the rods a little higher than standard height. The height of the hanging rods would ultimately determine the height of my fixed shelves.
I decided I wanted fixed shelves to add to the rigidity of the closet units. Having fixed shelves would not only make the units more stable, but would also keep them square. I settled on added fixed shelves 2-1/2″ above the center of the hanging rod.
In order to keep things straight and minimize errors, I generated an overall layout drawing for the closet. Unfortunately, I deleted the drawing once I was done assembling the closet, so I don’t have it to share with you.
The layout drawing had all of the major dimensions shown. I kept a printed copy on hand while building the closet in order to make notes and ensure I didn’t install the closet boxes in the wrong place. In order to keep it simple, I decided to mirror the design of the closet when installing the other side.
With the overall design the closet complete, I was able to begin building my custom closet! I could not wait to say goodbye to that awful wire shelving once and for all!
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Customize Your Closet Like a Pro Organizer
Ashley Knierim is a home decor expert and product reviewer of home products for The Spruce. Her design education began at a young age. She has over 10 years of writing and editing experience, formerly holding editorial positions at Time and AOL.
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Updated on 07/31/22
Few things in this world are as satisfying as designing a closet so it’s organized. Not only does it make finding an outfit a breeze, but seeing stacks of perfectly folded sweaters and craft bins of neatly stacked stationery just brings out the Marie Kondo in all of us. But getting the motivation for designing a closet for organization can be the hardest part of the whole process. If you’re currently lacking that inspiration, taking a glance at a few professionally-organized closet systems can provide just the jumpstart you need.
To motivate you to tackle your next weekend project, we’ve rounded up some amazing custom closets and tips on how to design a closet. Click through for our favorite walk-in closet, small closet design ideas, and DIY closet designs.
Best Closet Design Companies
Create a Place for Shoes
Optimize your closet space by dedicating a home for everything you need to store in a way that makes it easy to sort through and see exactly what you have. Here, Maison Haven created a walk-in closet system with a shelf dedicated specifically to those special occasion shoes. Consider your own storage needs in your closet and prioritize those spaces first.
Add Space in a Standard Closet
Just because you don’t have a walk-in closet doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from a gorgeous custom closet organizing system. This wall closet from Rachel Rosenthal is proof that even a standard reach-in closet can get an instant upgrade from a top-notch organization solution. Here, custom drawers and shelves maximize your closet space to add so much extra room, and a double rail system provides two levels of hanging storage.
Is it cheaper to build your own closet? That depends. The most expensive option is hiring a closet design company to design and build a system. If you have a strict budget, you’ll find inexpensive components to organize your closet or customizable closet kits for different DIY skill levels starting around $100 and up to pricier versions.
Consider Your Utility Room
A custom closet isn’t just for your clothes. This Maison Haven mud room design proves that getting your pantry or utility room professionally organized is definitely worth it. How many times have you opened your broom closet and sifted through piles of cleaning supplies before you found what you need? Make the most of your extra closet space with labeled bins and baskets.
The 12 Best Closet Kits of 2023
Create a Place for Accessories
The Tailored Life
Make your closet more functional with this stunning closet from The Tailored Life. featuring a vanity and drawers that are perfect for stashing all of your accessories, jewelry, and makeup. A mounted mirror provides a place to match earrings to that dress, and extra shelving space offers a perch for all of your delicate jewelry.
Makeover Your Nursery
Your bedroom closet isn’t the only place that could use an overhaul. This adorable nursery closet from Maison Haven proves that with a few baskets and built-in shelving units, you can customize a closet with storage space in a kid’s room. While a nursery closet system likely won’t be as robust or intricate as an adult’s closet, it can be a great way to keep track of everything your child owns (and when it’s time to get rid of those items that no longer fit).
Re-do Your Craft Room Closet
If you have a habit of tossing board games and puzzles into the nearest cubby or closet, this Maison Haven system is for you. Though simple, this custom closet is perfect for a hall closet or a spare bedroom. The additional shelves provide endless storage space for crafts, games, and more, and the labeled bins make it easy to toss toys into when they’re not in use.
Good Order DC
An easy way to add extra storage and keep your closet space tidy is by adding baskets, as seen in this closet from Good Order DC. Baskets are perfect for random articles that don’t have another home (think: winter gloves, sports gear, and more) and are cute enough to keep out in plain sight.
Don’t underestimate the value of a wonderful light fixture. Even in a small walk-in closet, a hanging light fixture like this one from Hayley Gonzales can elevate your space and give it that custom look and feel. This is one of the easiest ways to create a luxury closet without a lot of money.
Don’t Forget the Drawers
If you have a custom closet as awesome as this one from Meghan Gallagher, you won’t even need a dresser. This piece features not only a lot of hanging storage space, but also offers pullout drawers for all of your folded clothes.
Add a Table
Hina Cheema MD
If you have the space, adding a table to the center of your closet (as seen in this one from Hina Cheema MD) can be a great way to add a landing for folding clothes. A side chair is also a great alternative to add a touch of space for organizing.
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Making use of unused space, improving the quality of life and even finding your own style – that’s what you can do with a walk-in closet. How to hide it in a small space? The answer is in our article
We, residents of typical city apartments, always think that a dressing room is an unaffordable luxury. Few people think about the fact that disparate storage systems take up a lot of space and waste time of our lives. A smartly planned dressing room will save both precious centimeters and time for choosing an outfit. In addition, proper storage helps to wear clothes much longer. How to build a dressing room in a small space? Listen to the recommendations of Ekaterina Popova.
Ekaterina Popova is the head of her own studio, a graduate of the Higher School of Design at the Moscow Architectural Institute. For more than 12 years she has been designing private and public interiors, supervising the design, and in recent years she has even supervised the construction site – more than 100 projects have been implemented under her supervision.
Dressing rooms are different – I tried to create some typology so that the tips for arranging these small but important spaces were as specific as possible. We will figure out what their content and equipment can and should be. And let’s start with what dressing rooms are – by location.
In a separate room: house for clothes and shoes
- Dressing room in the closet or on the loggia . Use the former pantry under the dressing room or fence off part of the hallway. You can also build a plasterboard partition with a separate entrance in the “appendix” of the corridor. If you have a large insulated loggia, try to arrange a dressing room in it. Cramped, but there is enough light, and all the boxes will be in sight. Just don’t forget to protect the window from the sun so that your clothes don’t fade.
- Easy access is key. In addition to the usual interior doors (hinged, hidden, sliding), many people use popular compartment doors in separate dressing rooms – those that have guides at the top and bottom. Remember that a sliding door will not be able to provide complete protection against dust. You can put sliding or swing partitions, consisting of several canvases. Such a system will provide the widest possible passage.
- Function cube . In a spacious bedroom, you can build a separate area, which is fenced with non-load-bearing structures. They build a “wardrobe cube” using metal corners and profiles – from wall panels, from MDF or drywall. Often, for the construction of such “rooms in a room”, plastic glass (PLEXIGLAS®) or ordinary glass (tempered or triplex) is used – transparent walls let natural light into the dressing room.
- Large cabinet. You can also fence off a niche, a space along a wall or a corner part of a dressing room using the well-known sliding compartment doors (they can also be glass – if desired). With their help, it is easy to turn blind nooks and dead ends in the corridor into wardrobes, or to build a convenient “clothes warehouse” in the bedroom.
- Antique wardrobe. If there is no storage space at all, you can build a large closet in the living room and get out of the design: put swing doors in a classic style or shutters in a vintage spirit. Such a wardrobe will decorate the apartment.
Behind a headboard or curtain: alternative placement
- Mini partition. If the bedroom area allows, build a wall behind the headboard. She will divide the room into two zones – a bedroom and a dressing room. It can not be brought to the ceiling – and it is also not necessary to block the entrance. The most common materials for such a solution: all the same plexiglass, drywall, 3D panels. The choice of finishes is unlimited.
- Curtains. Both small and large dressing rooms are perfectly hidden behind curtains (it is better that the curtains are of a color close to the walls, even better – from floor to ceiling). Mounting options: string cornice, special rod, ceiling cornice with a strip for rollers in several rows.
How to equip a dressing room?
You can choose from 3 types of filling for the dressing room: it is produced specially, made to order – or completed from what is at hand.
- Typical steel structures. Of these, the “stuffing” of the dressing room is assembled effortlessly. Bearing rails, brackets, shelves, hangers and wire baskets are sold in all furniture hypermarkets for little money. Such a system is easy to change according to your taste and requirements.
- Furniture made to order. Cabinets that are built into actual dimensions. Such designs are accurate, but not mobile, unlike metal ones. Can be made from chipboard, MDF, veneer and solid wood. The first two react less to changes in air humidity, and do not absorb odors. The second two are more capricious to humidity, and more expensive in cost.
- Prefabricated furniture set. Factory items may be vintage or from contemporary collections. You will need a narrow and shallow chest of drawers for linen, a cross bar (or several), a row of shelves for shoes. Add more hooks for storing accessories – bags, belts, scarves. Hang shelves from the ceiling to store seasonal items higher – you can also adapt a tall and deep enough rack for this purpose.
What should be provided in the dressing room?
- Wardrobe depth. In all standards it is written that it is 60 centimeters. It’s better not to argue with this figure: all hangers are wider than 40 centimeters, so you won’t be able to place them in a closet of less depth – if you only place the bars or hangers perpendicular to the back wall (in this case, you will hang three times less clothes).
- Hanging bar should be no more than 2 meters high – you can calculate the convenient location by yourself by simply standing next to the cabinet and stretching your arm up. Well, if it is possible to use special lift mechanisms for hanging – buy the best ones, you will constantly use them.
- Bright light. A mirror, a pouffe and a dressing table in the dressing room are optional items, but good lighting inside this room (or even a closet) is a must. Use spotlights and spotlights.
- Clean air. Regardless of where you place the dressing room – in a separate room, in a fenced-off cube or in a former pantry – ventilation must be provided for in it.
How to make a dressing room with your own hands
Do it yourself
November 23, 2019
Allocate a little space and time, and the choice of outfits will become easy and enjoyable.
1. Find a suitable place
Separate wardrobe rooms are available only in new buildings, and even then their area leaves much to be desired. There is no need to talk about old apartments at all. So the first step is to find free or underused space.
Most often this is a niche in the wall or a closet. In this case, it will be enough to equip the storage system inside and close the opening with a door or at least a curtain.
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If there are no such places in the apartment or their area is too small, you will have to “bite off” part of the living room. There are several options here:
- a place along one of the blank walls – the space is delimited by a screen or curtain;
- corner at the junction of two walls – the dressing room is separated by a plasterboard partition;
- space behind the bed – a false wall is being erected at the head of the same plasterboard.
Ideally, the entrance to the dressing room should be from the bedroom. If the living space is very modest, the storage place can be equipped in the hallway, corridor or even on the loggia, provided that it is combined with the room and heated.
2. Prepare the space
YouTube channel Nataly Gorbatova
The next step is to clean and prepare all surfaces for further work. Completely free up the selected space: take out things, remove shelves, hangers and hooks.
If the walls are in poor condition, clean them of old plaster and wallpaper, and then level them. Also remove the old floor and put the base in order. Do not rush with the finish coat yet, you will need it later.
3. Decide on the shape
Choosing the right configuration is essential to making the best use of the available space. Depending on the number and location of storage areas, there are several types of dressing rooms.
Which one is best will depend on the space available. In this case, the more important parameter is the width of the room, the length can be any.
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The most modest option. Shelves are located along one of the side walls. You need at least 1.35 m of width: 60 cm for the storage area, 70 cm for the doorway and 10 cm for the door trim. If cut, it can fit into 1.2 m.
A special case of a one-sided configuration – an L-shaped dressing room. With sufficient length, it is easy to expand the shelves by adding additional shelves in front of the door.
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To install shelving along both side walls, you need at least 1. 5 m. In this case, 60 cm will take the main storage area, 30 cm – auxiliary with shallow shelves and another 60 cm will remain for passage. With a width of 1.75 m, you can already fit two full-fledged racks 60 cm deep with a minimum passage of 55 cm between them.
Three-sided dressing room
If there is a width of 2 m, then in addition to the two side storage areas of 60 cm, another one is added – the central one, by 80 cm. overlapping from right to left so that you can move nearby things to the side and get to the hidden ones.
Four Sided Walk-in Closet
If you’re lucky enough to have a closet width of 2.4m or more, shelving can be placed around the perimeter of all walls, including the one containing the doorway.
4. Draw a sketch of the filling
Once you have decided on the location and configuration of the dressing room, it’s time to plan how it will be filled. No one but you can better determine how many shelves for clothes, racks for outerwear and drawers for small items. And also in what ratio it is worth distributing the available space.
It is more convenient to arrange the storage area in three tiers. Below there is a compartment for shoes and bed linen, in the middle there is a compartment for clothes on hangers and frequently used items, on top there are shelves for suitcases, pillows and seasonal outfits.
Width can be arranged in any way, based on the number of clothes. The main thing is to observe the dimensions of the compartments so that everything you need fits in them. The optimal depth of the storage area is 60 cm, with the only exception being shelves for shoes, which are best done at 40 cm. But the height, depending on the wardrobe items, may be different.
- Shoes: 15-25 cm low and 40-50 cm high.
- Folded shirts and sweaters: 30-40 cm.
- Laundry drawers: 15-20 cm. see folded in half — 70 cm.
- Coats, long dresses: 120–150 cm.
- Suitcases, blankets, pillows: 45–60 cm. , ironing board or boiler. This will be especially true if you have turned a former pantry into a closet. In small apartments, some owners even manage to hide a freezer or refrigerator in the dressing room.
If you are planning this, be sure to calculate the required dimensions so that everything fits.
5. Choose a storage system
Shelves, holders and other dressing room contents can have a different design. In fact, there are three varieties: cabinet, modular and tubular. Each has its own characteristics.
In this system, shelves, side racks, drawers and everything except hanger rods are made from laminated chipboard. The details are interconnected by confirmers and can either be hung on the wall or simply stand on the floor. Sturdy, reliable, reasonably priced. It’s really possible to assemble it yourself if you calculate the dimensions and order a cutting service in the store.
A more modern and expensive option. It is created from separate modules that are hung on hooks on a wall rail. Mesh shelves and baskets, if desired, can be rearranged at any time, arranging for changing needs. The design is very easy to assemble, scaleable and has an attractive, “airy” look.
The most simple and budget system of all. It is built from thin-walled furniture pipes that can be attached to walls, ceilings and floors and connected to each other using special fittings. Shelves are made of chipboard or plywood. The system is easy to assemble by yourself with a minimum set of tools.
6. Mount lighting and sockets
Even the smallest dressing room needs a light source. Ideally, there should even be two of them: a ceiling version and lighting above the shelves.
For installation upstairs, it is better to choose built-in spotlights so as not to steal the height of the room and not touch the chandelier with your hands when changing clothes. For shelves it is most convenient to use LED strips. If desired, you can install lamps with a sensor that will turn on when you move or when you open the doors.
You will most likely need an outlet. At least for a router or if necessary, if you plan to place other devices and equipment.
7. Consider ventilation
In a windowless room with a lot of clothes, the air will stagnate and things may smell musty. To avoid this, ventilation must be provided in the dressing room.
The easiest way is to install louvered doors through which air will be exchanged. More complex and correct is the installation of an exhaust fan, which is connected to the central ventilation system. It starts on a timer or with the lighting turned on. The air flow is carried out through the same blinds in the door or a grate in its lower part.
If you can’t do either, just leave the door at least a little ajar to let in the air.
8. Erect partitions
If the dressing room is equipped not in a specially designated room, but in a living room, to divide the space, it is necessary to create partitions that will serve as walls.
The easiest way is to make them from plasterboard. To do this, a frame is assembled from metal profiles, which is then sheathed with sheets of drywall. If you plan to attach the storage system to the walls, then at the installation stage, reinforce the frame with mortgages from a wooden beam in the right places.
After assembly, the walls are leveled with a thin layer of putty, and then painted or wallpapered. The design, as a rule, is chosen in plain colors in light colors, so that things are clearly distinguishable against the background of the walls.
9. Make a ceiling
In principle, even the walls of the dressing room, let alone the ceiling, are not visible from the room. Therefore, if everything suits you, you can leave it as it is or just paint it. If you do everything wisely, then you need to equip a suspended plasterboard ceiling.
In addition to a more aesthetic appearance, this allows you to install compact spotlights and hide unsightly ventilation ducts.
10. Lay the flooring
The dressing room floor can be the same as in the room or different. Laminate, linoleum, tile are suitable as a coating, and other options are possible. We considered the laying process for each material in separate articles, there are all the details and nuances.
11. Mount storage system
When the ceiling, walls and floor are ready, you can begin to form shelves, racks and other wardrobe filling. The previously purchased and cut parts must be laid out in the next room, and then gradually assembled on site according to the instructions or a previously created drawing.
12. Install the door
By and large, you can do without a door to the dressing room, but it’s better to close the opening anyway – it will be more aesthetic and protect things from dust.