The Making of a Dream Closet: Part 1- Planning

The Custom Closet - a.k.a., The Dream Closet - is quickly replacing the 'sliver of space to stuff your clothes in,' writes the Wall Street Journal, and into a 'meticulously organized room showcasing...clothes and fashion museum.'

I recently had the pleasure of helping one of my client's see her Dream Closet come to fruition, and I can attest, it all begins with careful and meticulous planning. In fact, the old adage: 'Measure twice and cut once,' is an important one to consider when it comes to designing, building, organizing and decorating a closet that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Following are the initial steps I took to ensure my client's closet was designed to meet her specific requirements and personal taste.

I began by measuring the amount of space needed to accommodate her clothes, shoes and other items that would be kept in her closet. To be precise, I measured the width of the space needed for each type of garment as well as the length.

Shorter garments, such as blouses, jackets and skirts can typically be hung in sections with two rods (one above the other) whereas dresses, jumpsuits and coats need to be hung in sections with a single rod. One mistake many people and closet designers make is under-estimating the number of single-rod sections to include in their design.

Next, I measured the length of her shoes to determine the depth of her shoe shelves. Another common mistake I've seen closet designers make is assuming all shoes shelves are created equal. But, alas, this is not the case! A woman's size 8 pump is much shorter than a men's size 14 dress shoe and that must be taken into consideration when determining the length of the shelves on which their shoes are placed.

Then, I also took an inventory of everything that would be put in her drawers to determine the number of drawers needed to accommodate those items as well as their width and depth. I also measured the amount of space necessary to store her handbags, belts, scarves, jewelry, and other items that weren't earmarked for a dresser drawer.

Together, we determined the size and placement of the center island of drawers and integrated bench as well as other features such as a sunglass case, charging station and jewelry safe and selected all of the hard materials - the color of the wood, the fabric for the bench, the color of the glass doors, the hardware for the doors and so forth.

This planning process, albeit tedious, was integral to the success of the final project. Look for my next post - Part 2: Organizing.

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