A walk-in wardrobe is probably on 95% of my clients’ wish lists. It might be the dream addition to any home but it’s not always the best solution for storing your clothes? Here are some of the key points to consider to help you decide if a walk-in wardrobe is the right choice for you.
Do you have enough space?
Unless you have a good amount of space to devote to your walk-in wardrobe I would actually advise against it. Small walk-in wardrobes offer no advantage over traditional wardrobes and mean that you often have to sacrifice space that would be better used elsewhere.
In a recent project we took out a small existing walk-in wardrobe allowing us to extend the en-suite making it far more functional. We then introduced a full wall of wardrobes in the bedroom which gave almost twice the clothes storage space than the walk-in had previously offered.
In theory the idea of a separate room to hold all of your clothes, shoes, bags and accessories is a good idea, but you need to be realistic about the space that you have. Carefully measure how much wardrobe space you could get within the space and then measure what you could get along one wall in your bedroom. You might be surprised at the difference between the two.
Plan your lighting carefully
Walk-in wardrobes generally lack windows meaning that unless you plan your lighting really well it can be hard to find things. This an issue particularly in the winter mornings – you might find that you arrive at work in miss matched clothes! It can be almost impossible to decipher black and navy without good light.
For a dressing room to work well you ideally want to have some source of natural light. If you don’t have a window then a roof light is a good second option. Plan your lighting very well so you have good overhead lighting and some internal closet lights also.
Closed or open shelving?
Opinion varies on the question of whether to go for closed or open shelving, this really is a personal decision and has a lot to do with how neat and tidy you are. But practically I would advise a mix of the 2.
Things that you don’t use frequently will tend to get dusty unless they are covered so having cupboards with doors for items like your winter coats, which you put away over the summer, or clothes that you only wear occasionally is a very good idea.
Shoe storage is another important consideration. Shallow open shelves work well for shoes that you wear regularly but those that only get worn once in a while will tend to gather dust. My personal favourite solution for storing shoes is a larder style pull out cupboard with racks to hold the shoes. It operates in a similar way to a pull-out larder press in a kitchen, meaning you can see everything at once and because the cupboard only has to be just over a foot in width it doesn’t take up much space.
Be sure to include plenty of drawers, they are ideal for storing anything that can be folded and work far better than open shelving. And don’t forget to incorporate a full length mirror into the room, whether it’s on one of the wardrobe doors or on a wall. Not only is it really practical to have this in a dressing room but it will also reflect light making the space seem brighter and larger.
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