Even if you’re not a frequent shopper, you probably have quite a lot of clothes in your closet. Like everybody else, you have probably tried different ways to maximise your existing closet space.
But sometimes, the best way to get more storage is to get a new wardrobe entirely. And, I’m not talking about flat-packed wardrobes from other furniture shops. Abuilt-in wardrobe, wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling wardrobe. With the exact layout that you like.
What is a built-in wardrobe?
A customised built-in wardrobe is a wardrobe that is designed according to your room size and the space of your rooms. A built-in wardrobe can also be styled to your exact specifications, so that it blends well with your bedroom interior design.
Why buy a built-in wardrobe?
Because a built-in wardrobe is custom-built to your room, you can maximise storage space all the way up to the ceiling, as well as build into awkward corners. This is different from buying a free-standing, flat-packed wardrobe where it comes in fixed sizes.
For example, if you have a bedroom that has an angled wall, or an unused corner, a built-in wardrobe may be the only way to turn that space into something usable.
If you got a standard wardrobe, the maximum height it would go is 236cm. But, the typical ceiling height of a bedroom can be as high as 300cm. If your wardrobe was 2m wide, then a built-in wardrobe would give you nearly 30% more storage space.
When you custom-build a wardrobe, you’re not limited to just the closet space. Why not add a custom-built vanity and mirror next to it? Or integrate a study desk with a bookshelf? Anything’s possible.
How to plan the layout of your custom-built wardrobe
To help you plan out your ideal built-in wardrobe, here are a few tips:
1. Know your clothing mix
Some people have more dresses than tops; while others have more shoes than skirts. Before you start browsing through the designs and taking measurements, make sure you have a clear idea of what you need the built-in wardrobes for and how you are going to use it.
Knowing what you need to store will help you determine the dimensions and the design of your wardrobe. Since it is customised based on your specific needs, you can decide whether you want more drawers or more hanging space; low or high shelves; full-height mirrors or foot mirrors. Other things to consider is the height and the number of hanging rods you need.
2. Place most-used items at eye-level
A well thought out wardrobe is easier to be tidied up and enables you to find things without hassle.
Communicate well with your wardrobe designer so that he or she understands the way you use your cabinet. For example, since you reach for your pyjamas and undergarments everyday, put them in a place that is easily accessible.
The rule of thumb in ergonomic wardrobe design is to place the most-used items at eye level, and less-used ones at the bottom. Lastly, put your least-used items on the highest shelves.
It is recommended to have shelves of at least 30cm (12 in) wide and 35cm (14 in) deep as it is the average size of folded clothes. This size will allow you to stack your clothes right to the top without having to reach to the back.
3. Have a mix of open shelving and drawers
Drawers generally add more cost to your built-in wardrobe because of the extra materials and installation needed for drawer runners, drawer fronts, and handles.
Not only will drawers add to the cost of your built-in wardrobe, they also limit the storage space in your cabinet.
However, drawers are useful at lower levels, since you can pull them out and look down into them, instead of bending down and peeking deep into an open shelf.
Don’t want to create permanent drawers? Use storage boxes or baskets instead. You can get smaller boxes for jewellery and bigger ones for underwear and socks. Such accessories allow more space and flexibility in your wardrobe. When you need more space in the open shelves, simply remove these storage boxes or baskets and place them elsewhere.
4. More dresses need more hanging space
Hanging space is a must-have for a built-in wardrobe to keep clothing that needs to be ironed. Women tend to need more hanging space than men, and it is good to have a mix of long and short hanging options.
You can generally allocate double the amount of short hanging space compared to long hanging space. This makes your wardrobe ideal for skirts, tops, jackets and trousers.
5. Small bedroom? Get a sliding door
Traditional wardrobe design typically uses swing-out doors which can take up a lot of space, especially when you have a small bedroom. If space is a premium, you have the option of using sliding wardrobe doors instead for your closets, which work equally well.
With sliding wardrobe doors, you do not have to leave any space after your wardrobe and thus, create more space for other furniture in your room. The only downside is that sliding wardrobe doors only allow half of the wardrobe to be open at any time.
6. Accessorise your wardrobe
Once you have decided on the configuration of your wardrobe, you can convert some of the open shelves into more specific uses, using accessories such as pull-down rods, pull-out shelves, carousel or custom corner hanging rods. All these additional features are a smart way to help you utilise those spaces that may be difficult to reach. You can also customize almost all of these with Carpentry&Reno with our extensive range of materials and designs!
These interior organisers take up less height than a full drawer, and are perfect to store jewellery, cufflinks or watches.
As mentioned earlier, if you don’t want to create too many drawers, you can easily convert an open shelf into a slide-out basket. This is especially useful for long-term storage, such as winter clothes and spare pillows and blankets.
I wasn’t a fan of these initially, but I am now. Pull out hooks are a must-have in your closet as they are great in keeping clothing, belts and handbags organised.
If your belts are always tangled up and your handbags are a mess on your closet floor, simply hang them up with these hooks and you will be able to choose from them conveniently.
Adding mirrored wardrobe to your closet will give the illusion of a larger space. You can mount them on the inside of the closet door, if you only use it when dressing up. Or, you can add mirrored wardrobe on the outside doors of your wardrobe to make your bedroom look bigger, as well as allow you to check your appearance before leaving the house.
There are many ways of bringing light into your closet, be it a lamp or pendant light, or even LED light on hanging rods. We can install recessed lights that switch on instantaneously as you open the wardrobe to start your day!
A standard accessory in most built-in wardrobes. Soft-closing hinges let you swing doors shut without a loud bang. You can also install soft-closing drawers that serve the same purpose. AllCarpentry&Reno wardrobes are built with the World’s Quietest Hardware for your peace of mind.
7. Decide on wardrobe materials
AtPicket&Rail Carpentry&Reno, our fitted wardrobe material is laminated chipboard, or better known as melamine. Melamine is made of compressed chipboard with a melamine (plastic) finishing. This type of material is easy to clean and maintain. All you need to do is to ensure that any water spillage is wiped dry.
Melamine is affordable and it is a versatile material which is suitable for modern wardrobe design, especially those with sliding doors. Many prefer melamine for its affordability and its wider selection of colours and designs.
As for concerns about melamine boards swelling if it comes into contact with water, it is all down to the finishing.Carpentry&Reno ensures that laser edging of melamine boards means no water can penetrate through the cracks, making it longer lasting than others.
After shopping for new clothes, did you think about how to store it? A built-in wardrobe will allow you to maximise storage space in your bedroom.
Since a built-in wardrobe can extend all the way the ceiling, and can be built into weird corners, you can squeeze out as much useful space as possible. A functional and beautiful fitted wardrobe offers you sufficient storage space and helps you be organised.
As you begin planning out your wardrobe layout, communication with your cabinet contractor is essential so that he or she understands your needs well. By hiring a skilled cabinet contractor, you will enjoy a stylish built-in wardrobe that suits your style, meets your specific needs, and will last for many years to come.