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Design Tips

Hints and Tips on Closet Design…

Being involved in custom cabinetry for over 20 years, both as designers and software developers, we have gained quite a depth of knowledge regarding various aspects of closet design. We decided that it may be helpful to you to offer some hints and tips on closet design here on our website.  You may also like to visit our sister site www.c-cds.com where you can find many sample designs made with our offline image design systems.  These work in exactly the same way but you can download the software to your computer and work offline.   As well as design software for closets, our sister site has software customized for garage design, pantry design and home office design.



What do you need from your closet?

Whether you are designing a closet for a small studio apartment or a mansion you can create attractive, functional closets that will maximize the use of the space available. We would suggest that you follow these basic guidelines:-

  • Be creative…
    use as many of today’s hooks, racks, baskets and boxes to make use of extra space on closet walls and doors.
  • Be orderly…
    whatever the kind of closet, whether it be a linen closet, utility closet or clothing closet, group similar items together by categorizing them. For example stack sheets in sets, towels by color etc. It makes it so much easier to find what you are looking for.
  • Be flexible…
    devise systems that will be flexible and ones that will accommodate new items and new purposes for the closet.
  • Be efficient…
    make every part of the space work for you. Make sure that all your stuff is accessible. For example if a shelf is too high up either lower it or attach a hanging basket and fill it with frequently used items. If one rod isn’t enough position a second below it for shorter length items like shirts and blouses. The single most beneficial change you can make when remodeling your closet is to use upper and lower hanging rods anywhere that doesn’t require a long drop such as for dresses, overcoats, gowns and any longer item.

Where should you start?

Before you start doing anything consider exactly what purpose you want the closet to serve. It may be as simple as a place to hang clothes or you may have a combination of uses in mind for example a child’s closet for clothes and storage of toys. Once you have decided on the end purpose of the space you can then take the following steps.

  • First take an inventory and then purge…It’s simple really – the more things you possess the less space you have at your disposal. Take a good hard look at your possessions and determine if they are worth the space they consume.
  • Plan a realistic block of time to sort stuff into piles…
    Remove everything, including the hangers so that you have a blank space to work with.
  • Categorize the contents…
    Sorting items into categories will make organizing your belongings so much easier. For example some categories could be linens, sports gear, craft materials, shoes, summer clothes, winter clothes etc.
  • Remove unwanted stowaways…
    Just because something is in a particular closet doesn’t mean it should remain there. A winter blanket that you stuffed in your bedroom closet when the weather turned warm belongs in the linen closet. Also survey the rest of your house for items that logically belong in this closet.
  • Cut down on clothing…
    If you’re hesitating about a piece of clothing ask yourself: have I worn it in the last year? Does it still fit and look good? Is it in good condition? If your answer to most of these questions is “yes” then keep it. If not…. banish it without a second thought. This applies to other items too not just to clothing. For other items ask yourself: Do I use it regularly? Does it have meaning for me and is it nice to look at? You get the idea!
  • Next comes your strategy…
    Where will you store each category of items. Many closets can easily do double or even triple duty. The high shelves in a closet, for example, may be ideal for storing holiday decorations. Have a strategy that you can work from. We want to maximize space and assign areas for coats, shoes and also other things like sports gear, umbrellas, backpacks and purses.

What design software will help?

Well, naturally, this is where we can help!! Our design software has been developed to be used just once or many times for the professional designer. If you are going to attempt the closet re-design yourself then you want a simple piece of software that can aid you with the design and which will help you have an idea of what materials you will need to create the finished closet.

Our software is so easy to use… you will instantly recognize the common Windows icons and a design can be created in minutes. We have created an Online Movie and a comprehensive help file to help you.

What goes where?

We suggest that you think about what closet type you want to re-organize and the content you will be likely to place in the closet. We have listed below a few suggestions to help you get started.

Entry Closets These closets usually will store items such as boots, backpacks, umbrellas, jackets, strollers and many more items that travel in and out of the house every day. We suggest that you can install hooks, racks, pegs or clips to hang everything from dog leashes to keys. You could also provide an assortment of bins on a shelf to hold scarves and mittens and shoe racks at the bottom where shoes can be stored tidily. If you have room a free standing drawer unit offers additional storage in a small space. Sometimes our entry closet is small but has the big job of storing everything from coats to cleaning supplies. Dividing the space with an upright may be the key to fitting it all in. This way coats can go on one side and an ironing board or vacuum can go the other side. Top this with some upper shelving dedicated to less frequently used items and you have maximized the use of your Entry Closet space.

Bedrooms Closets Usually we require our bedroom closets to be easily accessible but with a softer look. Even a modest bedroom closet is a pleasure to use when clothing and accessories are ready to wear and easy to find. Hang clothes with room to breathe and they will stay wrinkle free, pile folded garments neatly on shelves using dividers to prevent stacks from collapsing on one another. Place handbags and other frequently used accessories where you can grab them and go. Divide the space with a combination of vertical partitions, shelves, drawers and racks to help you get the most out of every square inch. Using mirrored doors for the closet helps the bedroom space look larger but soft curtains can be used to create a more peaceful relaxing space. Use wicker baskets and label them to hold scarves and belts for example. Handbags and hats can go on shelves as can boots and shoes. Large or small handbags can present a real storage challenge. The easiest way to store handbags in a closet is to line them up on a shelf, preferably at eye level and separated by shelf dividers. If you prefer you can attach a towel rack to the wall or back of the door to accommodate S-hooks which work fine for handbags. If you are concerned about dust you could use see through plastic boxes or labeled covered baskets.

Also think about who is going to use the closet. Many couples find their needs entirely different. She needs a high rod for dresses while he needs a place for neckties; he’s got four pairs of shoes, she’s got 35! Different storage needs clearly call for different closet components. Shoes, for example, can be stored in a variety of ways from free-standing racks, shelves and cubbies and over-door hang-ups with vinyl coated prongs to slip the shoes over and offers easy viewing.

Walk-in High End Closets A spacious walk-in closet with a dressing area and vanity seating is the ultimate in luxury. If you are lucky enough to have one you should bear in mind that it does not matter how big or small your walk-in closet is, if you can’t actually walk into it. A good walk-in has it all. Hanging clothes and shoes can be categorized by formal, casual and business attire. Bins on high shelves hold out-of-season garments. Fold sweaters and out of season garments on shelves and also use shelves to store wicker baskets and jewelry boxes. For the man’s closet it is useful to provide special storage solutions for neckties and belts. These can be stashed in divided drawers or hung up in full view. There are many tie caddies and specially designed drawers for neckties. Remember the aim is that the layout of the closet maximizes space and places your belongings in easy-to-access spots. Play around with our software and try a variety of designs until you come up with just the right one. In our software you will find that most accessories have their respective images too so you can more easily visualize the finished closet.

The Teen Closet As your child becomes a teen his or her closet needs change. Help transform your child’s closet with some of the appealing organizing accessories on the market today. Help transform the space into an attractive and useable space for a growing teenager. Involve your teen in the process and they actually may decide it is fun to put their stuff away!! A couple of hanging rods at different heights takes care of hanging clothes and drawer units can store both folded sweaters, tops or accessories. Shelving in the closet can be used for handbags and shoes either as they are or in clear acrylic boxes.

Kid’s Closet For a kid’s closet choose a flexible system that can effortlessly accommodate changing wardrobes and gear as your child grows. Bins and boxes, pegs and hooks, hanging shoe pockets and colorful mesh bags can hold everything from shoes to dolls. Use shelving to hold books, toys, baseball caps and wire bins catch odd shaped sports equipment. If your child has a lot of clothes to hang, stack rods two or three high. That way you need devote only a small amount of horizontal space to hanging clothes, leaving the rest for more versatile shelving and drawers.

The Nursery Closet Because infants’ clothing and belongings are as tiny as they are an armoire can be a perfect storage solution. In closets one short rod is usually sufficient for babies and toddlers. Colorful baskets and bins on shelves for toys and other small items works perfectly. The inside of doors are perfect for hooks, blackboards or bulletin boards on which kids can create their artistic masterpieces. Up on top shelves store special toys and other keepsakes. Shoe cubbies may start out holding folded stacks of toddlers’ tiny pants and t-shirts then graduate to storing sneakers as the child gets older. Colorful, cheery decoration on walls and doors just finishes off that special nursery.

Craft Closets If you or your family are creative and love doing crafts a closet dedicated to crafting and wrapping supplies is a must. Fold down tables can be installed which creates a work surface with ease. Hang items on the walls instead of stashing things in drawers not only makes them instantly accessible but can be decorative too. Slender metal curtain rods underneath a shelf, for example, can hold decorative rolls of ribbon, threads, tapes etc. Curtain rods are also useful to dispense wrapping paper and simple glass jars can contain an inspiring collection of stickers, gift tags, glitter and other supplies. Consider also lining your closet walls with cork tiles, pegboards or fabric covered foam core to create surfaces for hanging everything from baskets of quilting threads or colored pencils to decorate paper and stickers. Drawer organizers intended for everything from spice jars to silverware can be a boon to crafters and sewing enthusiasts.

Office/Guest Room Closets Converting a closet into a home office or an office supply center is easy if you borrow the space from a guest room or hallway. To create a fully functional office in a closet all you really need is a 24 inch deep space. Add an electrical outlet and you’re in business. You can build a desk designed specifically for your closet’s dimensions or buy one ready made. Cabinets, rolling file carts and modular drawer units can be found in sizes to fit underneath just about any work surface. Just add shelves for files, books and office supplies. Choose doors wisely. Bifold doors take up the least amount of space when open but swing-out doors offer vertical surfaces for bulletin boards and chalkboards. Or, take off the doors entirely so that your closet office is an integral part of the room. CCDS have developed software that can illustrate any feature or design you require for your home office. Visit the CCDS Website and see the range of software to help you design for home offices, garages, pantries and closets.

Laundry Closets If you want your laundry room indoors rather than in the garage or basement. Being indoors the laundry room needs to create a neater, more pleasing, appearance. Add shelves for cleaning products and use common household items like jars and wine caddies to hold spray bottles of stain removers, fabric softeners etc. Glass jars filled with detergent and clothes pegs brighten up the closet. Install a tension rod for hanging those delicate items. If you don’t have room for the washer and dryer to sit side by side, a stacked system, either a single unit or separate machines designed to be set one on top of the other, is a terrific solution. There are many built in components that can be added for extra organization and neatness. Laundry bins come in an assortment of designs and materials. Ironing boards can be installed to slide back into the closet or on a fold-away board that is stored in a wall mounted cabinet.

Linen Closets To arrange your linen closet in the most convenient way, place things that are needed on a daily basis at waist or eye level, with blankets and pillows on the higher shelves. Clip on shelf dividers will keep stacks from tumbling into one another. If you have room use this closet to house toiletries, bath tissues and cleaning products. Store sheets in sets by size (twin, full, queen, king) and grouped according to room (master, children’s guest’s), labeling the shelf edges will help maintain order.

Tiny Closets With their doors removed many small closets can be used as alcoves or nooks to become extensions of the room they adjoin. If, for example, you want to store a full wine rack or display china removing the door and decorating in bold colors can add so much to the room. If, however, you want to store items such as pet supplies it may be preferable to keep the door but add a large plastic bin to contain the dry dog food, Hooks keep leashes and collars ready for the next walk. Use shelves to store things like dog shampoo, medication and treats in wire baskets.

Pantry Closets Visit the CCDS Website and see the range of software to help you design for pantries, garages and closets. If you have a small closet near your kitchen or dining area, make the most of that space by refitting it as a pantry. Fit the space with strong shelves and decorate the back wall to create a rich backdrop for dishes and glasses. Custom built shelving can be supported by cleats nailed to the wall. Quarter-round molding attached near the back edge can function as a plate rack for displaying attractive platters. If you wish to store wine bins or other wooden crates attach casters to allow ease of access.

Whether you have a walk-in pantry or just a narrow storage space the key to making it practical is to group contents according to category (canned goods, boxed items, glasses, plates etc.) A variety of shelf racks and dividers from kitchen and home stores can help. Store items used less frequently on top shelves. Whether you use them daily or only for special occasions your favorite dishes and linens need their own storage solutions. Hooks, hanging racks, drawer organizers etc. will eliminate wasted space and help you get more things into less space without crowding.

Utility Closets An essential closet to stash all those houshold necessities – dustpans and brooms, grocery bags, cleaning supplies and paper goods. Here you will need to create vertical spaces for ironing boards, vacuum cleaner, brooms and horizontal shelving to house smaller items such as light bulbs in boxes or bins. Hooks and clip-ons can house everything from extension cords to aprons.

Whatever type of closet you are designing bear in mind that the door may be the last thing you think of when designing the closet but it is actually very important. Different types of doors offer different kinds of solutions. You could even shake things up a bit by choosing a door that’s not usually intended for a closet, curtains look pretty whilst keeping everything in the closet hidden from view. Be Creative!

Take advantage of the many different types of containers there are out there and also in a variety of colors that can be mixed and matched. Stow all your belongings in style with boxes, storage cubes, open bins, baskets and zippered containers. You’ll find stylish stowaways in plastic, canvas, cardboard, wicker, fabric and metal. Don’t be afraid to go for colorful, bright and cheery containers, they look great in the closet. When designing the closet take advantage too of the vertical options. In other words the more you can hang the better. The walls and the back of the doors tend to be underused.


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