If you ever watch any of those ‘at home with celebrity’ type shows on TV you’ll know that at least half of them have these huge walk in closets in their homes that not only look incredibly cool but rather decadent as well.
Then of course you switch off the TV and look at your own closet. A full to the brim mess of not just your clothes but your other half’s as well. There are clothes in there that haven’t seen the light day in months if not years and that is not necessarily because you don’t like them but because they are so hidden among the clutter that you actually forgot they existed. Wouldn’t it be great to have one of those ritzy walk ins right about now, except such things really are just for the rich and famous.
Except they really are not. If your home has a small spare room, or even a wall in the existing closet that can be knocked out to steal a little space from an adjoining space the you can indeed have a walk in closet and this particular home renovation can cost an awful lot less than you might imagine.
There are two types of basic ‘skeleton’ for a walk in closet; wall mounted and floor mounted. Wall-mounted closet units are attached directly onto the wall or sometimes hung from a rail that has been securely mounted on the wall.
Floor mount closets are also attached to the wall but they are supported from the floor up, making them quite a bit sturdier and giving them a built in cabinetry look.
Both are good options and both have their own set of pros and cons. To most people the cabinet like look of a floor mount set up is more visually appealing but it is also more expensive to buy and install. On the other hand wall mounts tend to be cheaper but they can also be less durable and sturdy.
Creating a practical and attractive walk in closet will take more in terms of design planning than simply painting the walls and throwing up the racks though. Some of the best walk in closets are those that function as a full dressing room, so that the closets are basically hugging the walls and the centre space is available for other furniture; a couch or chaise lounge, a mirror, perhaps even a decorative dress form.
It is certainly quite possible to design and build a walk-in closet yourself, as long as you are sticking to a simple system from a big box store that is not too complicated to put together. If on the other hand you know that you do not have the skills, time or patience to complete the project, or you are most concerned about making the most of a smaller space and still having the results look great then working with an experienced general contractor really would be the right way to go. In addition, if you project involves knocking out walls then a pro should always be consulted.
Another very important component great walk in closets is great lighting. To ensure that you get that – and you will need both task and ambient lighting – you will need the help of a pro, both to get the design right and to ensure that everything is fully functional!
In the gallery below you can browse through all kinds of examples of walk in closets that have been built into homes like yours.
Angelica Pinto is an artist, interior design lover and Realtor serving the Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph, Ontario communities.