We have recently completed a major home addition that included building a dream closet. We converted an existing bedroom into a walk-in master closet and dressing room. In the past we’d always had typical his and hers reach-in closets that were functional but stuffed to the gills.
With the addition of this dream closet, we have a one stop shop for all of our clothes, shoes, and linens, with room to dress, and extra storage space to boot! The closet is far from full but we built it that way on purpose. Inevitably we’ll need somewhere to put “something” and now we have the space.
Original Reach-in Closets
Our old closets were utilitarian, reach-in closets that were typically overflowing. We both had other clothes and shoes in other closets in the house that we didn’t use because we kept forgetting we had them. We also didn’t have a linen closet that met our needs so we had to store linens, etc. elsewhere in the house.
Most Important Closet Features
When we started planning our new closet we made a list of what was most important to us. I would encourage anybody planning a new closet or re-organizing an existing closet to do the same. This allows you to plan the right foundation for your own personal needs. Our list included:
- Shoe shelves
- More short hanging space
- Two hampers for separating darks and lights
- Linen closet space for towels, personal care items, cleaning supplies, etc.
- Shelves for clothes and storage
- Hooks/storage for belts and ties
- Valet rod
- Seating space
This list helped us establish the foundation of our closet and build up around these key items.
Closet Design Companies
We researched many different closet design companies, as well as DIY options. There are many good options and companies out there and it’s a good idea to talk to several before making a decision. I researched a number of different closet companies online:
Closet Factory – Closet Factory is a nationwide company and provides all sorts of closet systems, not only for clothes closets but for every other storage area you can think of in your home. They customize each design to meet the individual needs of the customer. They have a broad range of pricing as well, you can go with the standard level without the bells and whistles all the way up to fancy intricate designs, colors, and materials.
Closets by Design – Closets by Design is a nationwide franchise that provides closet systems for every area of your home where you might need storage. Similar to other closet designers, they have different tiers of materials. You can go with the standard materials all the way up to high-end materials, moulding, different types of countertops, etc. I can’t speak for their materials from first-hand experience because I didn’t meet with them directly as their appointment availability didn’t work with our desired timeline. If you do want to consider them,I would recommend talking to them and seeing their materials and designs in person.
Closet America – Closet America is locally owned and operated in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia. They are based in Landover, MD and are known for their high quality. With that quality comes a matching price tag. The materials include features like dovetailed drawer construction and soft-close drawers. They provide excellent service and design. If you are in the Washington DC metro area and not scared by the higher price tag, they are worth considering.
California Closets – I did not talk to California Closets when designing our closet system, however they seem to be on par with Closet Factory and Closets by Design. They are a worldwide franchise with over 100 locations. They have a range of options in terms of standard up to high-end finishes. I can’t speak to the quality of their materials but they appear to be of excellent quality. If you do want to consider them, I would recommend talking to them and seeing their materials and designs in person.
Easy Closets – Easy Closets is a do-it-yourself option if you are on a tighter budget or enjoy doing these types of projects yourself. I used Easy Closets in a previous home and the install was easy and straightforward. You can design your closet(s) yourself and have their design professionals give you advice or suggest changes if you’d like. The quality of the products are good. They are not high-end but then I wouldn’t expect them to be. If you want to do a weekend closet remodel yourself, this is a great option!
Container Store – The Container Store has a unique closet/shelving system called Elfa. I have not used it personally but friends have raved about it. The only complaint is that it’s expensive. Container Store does run sales on Elfa a few times a year so if you’re interested, wait for a good sale first!
We decided to use Closet Factory for a number of reasons. We liked their design, they didn’t try to over-design for us. They listened to what we wanted and needed and designed accordingly. A few others we talked to tried to up-sell too much and we didn’t want that. We wanted something that would meet our current and future needs but not go overboard. We had to wait almost 2 months before they could install the closet but it was worth it in the end.
Please Note: Most closet design companies offer discounts and sales. Always check online to see what kind of promotion they may be running. Also don’t be afraid to negotiate the overall price when you get to that point. Most times companies will work with you on price.
Also, I would recommend searching Yelp reviews for the individual locations in your local area. When I was researching closet companies, the reviews varied based on the particular franchise or location being reviewed.
Conversion of Bedroom to Dream Closet
The original layout of the second floor of the house included four bedrooms and two bathrooms:
We decided we only needed four bedrooms in total and that we would convert the one right next to where we would be building the addition into a closet:
The dimensions of the new closet are roughly 11 feet by 11 feet square so space was no longer an issue.
After two long months of waiting we were finally getting our new closet. The installation crew arrived first thing and got straight to work building our new master closet and dressing room:
Completed Dream Closet
About four hours later everything was installed and ready to be used.
Once everything was in place we added a rug and a storage bench (more storage is never a bad thing)…
…and voila, our dream closet and dressing room was complete!