Space Solutions designs and builds all sorts of closets. Sometimes we hear, “It’s just a closet.” Well, there are closets and then there are closets. From one to the next, closets vary in size, style and purpose, as unique as their owners and the homes they are within. We wanted to talk a bit about closet styles and variances to help give a better understanding of what we can do for you.
A typical reach in closet is about two feet deep. Width and height will vary from home to home. In Toronto, many older homes (say, from the early 20th century) and newer condos will have reach in closets exclusively. Even in some larger houses and condos, the entrance closet is commonly a reach in closet, and bedrooms may have them as well. Depending on the type and size of the doorway, a typical solution for a bedroom will be to place a tower of shelves and/or drawers in the center, with a combination of single-hung long clothes and double-hung short clothes on either side, like in the picture to the left. You may add a shelf or two for shoe storage below the long clothes section. While not always the case, you are probably less likely to add a lot of decorative detail to a reach in closet. Some things, like moldings or baseboard details will eat up a little space, and in a smaller closet that isn’t always practical. The closet to the left is white, but changing the finish, or in the event of drawers, you may add a decorative profiled face to them, which can beautify the space without reducing capacity. Linen closets and closets in spare bedrooms, dens and such are also often reach ins, even in a larger home.
Now a Walk In closet, as the name implies, is a closet deep enough to walk into. Again, they will come in all sorts of shapes and sizes: some condos in Toronto have walk ins that are long but narrow, sometimes resulting in using the space as an L shape; other walk ins may be more square, allowing for a U shape in what goes inside, assuming the doorway is centered on one wall. We’ve encountered walk ins which have angled walls, spaces that have more than four sides, and even closets with windows in them – all things that we can work around. In a walk in closet, there is naturally more room to work with, so decorative detail is more practical. The closet shown to the left features built-up trims on the gables and shelves that beef up the appearance, and there is also a simple base detail. A walk in closet may be a shared space, in which case each person using the closet may get a side, with the balance of the space being shared. A man’s side typically will have less long clothes hanging than a woman’s side, unless he prefers to hang his pants long by the cuff. Whether one or two people are using a walk in closet, there will often be a bank of drawers or two, with the goal of letting you do away with a potentially bulk dresser out in the room. There’s also the potential for a tower for shoes and handbags, a jewelry drawer, even a wall mounted mirror. But walk in closets aren’t just for bedrooms – we’ve organized them for entrances, mudrooms, pantries off the kitchen, even general storage in the basement.
A Dream Closet is a walk in closet, fully dressed. This usually means that whatever arrangement we build, it likely has a base detail, flutes (columns), crown molding, perhaps decorative moldings on shelves, and back panels throughout. A dream closet generally wraps around all available space, and will have a lot of decorative upgrades. The one shown to the left is in Antique White, has the aforementioned flutes, base, moldings and backs. You’ll also note the upgraded drawer faces, crystal knobs (to match the chandelier), doors with glass inserts and a vanity mirror – not to mention the island. Not every walk in closet can accommodate an island, as you need to leave walking space between your clothes and the cabinets. But if you do have room for one, it is a great touch to have. This island even features a bench area, so you may sit and tie your shoes in your closet! A dream closet can double as a dressing room. We often find ourselves designing dream closets in an unused spare bedroom, which is when working around a window may come into play. This example uses a somewhat traditional style in its detailing, but we can certainly achieve more contemporary looks by using more urban looking profiles, hardware and finishes.
Let’s say that for some reason, your bedroom does not have a closet attached to it. Maybe the house has been renovated, and the bedroom expanded at the expense of the closet. Now what? Well, there’s a couple of things we can do. For one, Space Solutions can design and install a custom wardrobe in the room. Something like this does not need to run wall to wall, and can be positioned and laid out according to your preferences. The wardrobe in the picture on the left, again in Antique White with a traditional style, features deeper sections on the ends that have clothes hanging within; the middle section is recessed and had drawers below with shelves behind doors above. That recess makes the overall appearance less imposing in the room, and provides an attractive, effective solution to the space. Again, you can achieve different looks depending on profiles and color options. (We have found this look to be quite popular, and have replicated it for multiple customers!) As an alternative to building a wardrobe, consider using our sliding doors and choose from a wide range of insert materials, and we can install doors along the end of the room to section off part of the bedroom and then fill that space inside with organization. Don’t want to go wall to wall? No problem. The doors are made to order and if you prefer, we could take a portion the space, install panels at the place you wish to have them stop and make a smaller closet.
At our showroom in The Sunnybrook Plaza we have examples of reach in and walk in closets, and portions of the dream closet above are on display here too. To get started, call us during business hours at 416.322.5575, or after hours, use this handy form to request an in-home consultation!