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5 Closet Design Considerations for a Renovation or New Build

Getting ready to redesign your closet space or prepping for a new build? Make sure you keep these five elements of the process in mind before you choose a style, materials, and layout. 

1. Evaluate Space vs. Storage Needs

Carefully evaluate the space you have available. A designer or build specialist can help you find the best way to take advantage of every square inch to effectively store your clothing, shoes, accessories, and other belongings. Having a dedicated space for everything you own can shave minutes off a hectic morning routine and can help you maintain an overview of your wardrobe and prized possessions.

Creating a refined custom closet that meets all of your needs takes skill. Look for designers and builders who take the time to meet with you to discuss the space available, and what your needs are. A properly designed closet, or any storage solution, will help alleviate clutter, help you stay organized, and will reflect your unique personal style. A seasoned designer and builder know how to solve the challenges some spaces or wardrobe collections present.

There are two main types of closets: a walk-in and a reach-in. Each has its own set of benefits and design challenges, but both can effectively serve your needs.

2. Choose a Reach-In or Walk-In Closet


A walk-in closet is a popular wish list item for prospective homeowners. Designing a functional and impressive walk-in closet layout will not only add convenience and a little luxury to your life—it can dramatically improve your home's resale value and general appeal.

A thoughtfully designed walk-in closet beautifully displays and tidies clothes, shoes, hats, accessories, jewelry, and other daily items. Favorite pieces should be visible and easily accessible. Optional accessories like valet rods, tie racks, belt racks, jewelry trays, hampers, and mirrors improve closet functionality.

Depending on the space available, walk-in closets can add extra flexible space for homeowners to incorporate a lounge area, an island with extra drawer storage and counter space, a makeup vanity, tailor platforms, and full length mirrors for dressing.


A reach-in is a great option for rooms with limited space. Designers overcome any limitations by utilizing space efficiently and considering homeowner's needs when collaborating on a reach-in design. Shelving, drawers, racks, rods, and hidden compartments make the most of the design challenges that come with compact spaces.

Based on individual preferences, the designer may implement more shelving or cubby space with baskets or doors for storage rather than a drawer and hanging section. Reach-ins can be open display or closed closet with a variety of single-swing or sliding doors.

Thanks to new design capabilities and build concepts, formerly inaccessible spaces are now usable. Creative use of color, drawer style, glass, mirrors, and LED lighting can also be added to change the perception of reach-ins from cluttered to chic.  

3. Consider Lighting

good-closet-lightingDon't let bad lighting leave a good closet in the dark. Walk-in closets often benefit from more than one light source. Although windows offer great lighting during the day, homeowners often need to access the closet when natural light is scarce.

Think beyond ceiling lights. Built-in closet lighting comes in a variety of styles and can give homeowners insight into every piece in their collection and every corner of their closet, day or night. Highlight shoe racks, illuminate mirrors, and shed light in dark drawers, whether you choose a reach-in or walk-in solution.

Work with a reputable team to make sure your designer and builder take care to follow building regulations that take lighting safety into account.

4. Pick Building Materials

A wide range of laminate finishes, decorative door and drawer styles, hardware styles and finishes, and moulding allow homeowners to accent your living space with the most modern or classic design touches.

Laminate and wire are two of the most versatile and durable materials used to build closets. While most closets utilize one material or the other, designers can integrate both in one space.

Custom Laminate Storage Solutions

Laminate is a high-quality, durable building material that allows builders to fabricate custom-designed storage solutions using state of the art machinery and design software.

Laminate-swatchesICD carries new colors from Tafisia's VIVA line.

Laminate is available in a variety of finishes, creating the perfect storage solution to match your space, style, and budget. Combine laminate shelving with practical accessories to create a modern, sleek space or a sophisticated, traditional look.

Incorporate matching doors, drawer fronts, moulding, and countertops in many of these colors. Most designers and builders can use cutting-edge design software and technology to show homeowners how their closet will look before preparing any material.

Wire Storage Solutions

Previously thought of as a budget compromise, wire shelving has progressed to offer an affordable solution to increase storage and organization in out-of-sight areas. Convenient ClosetMaid® solutions include linen stacks and slanted shoe shelves to compliment shelves and rod style wire.

Don’t like the jointed hanging sections of the shelf and rod wire? The SuperSlide hanging system lets clothes slide back and forth on one continual rod.

As an alternative to standard fixed shelving, ClosetMaid carries a practical adjustable system: ShelfTrack®. ShelfTrack is great for spaces that need flexible storage or storage that can easily support a lot of weight. The system is compatible with most ClosetMaid shelving or it can be combined with laminate shelving.

Closetmaid and ShelfTrack are registered trademarks of Emerson Electric Co. All Rights Reserved.

5. Show Your Style

The benefit of working with a team that can put together a custom creation is the opportunity to add a personal touch.

Homeowners shouldn't be afraid to show designers or builders their favorite personal belongings—they can help create a solution that fits them perfectly and displays them to suit the home's atmosphere and design sensibility.


Want more closet inspiration? Take a look at what the ICD team of design consultants can do for you:


Home Inspiration
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We're inspired by our incredible clients this past year, inspired from seeing our clients needs come to life with custom solutions, and inspired by how proud we are of our team's incredible work this past year. If you're feeling inspired to customize your home in 2022, we hope our look back at 2021 will inspire you. We're ready to help you create an innovative solution for your home or office in 2022. 



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