Closet design
kroze
November 20, 2013 in Design Dilemma
In the design process of a master suite renovation, I am wondering the best possible configuration of these two closets. The diagonal closet is a new construct. The other closet is just an update. I want to maximize the storage areas in both closets with ample drawers because we have no other place to put our clothes.
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Closet Experts
@kroze: I hope you do not mind. I am reposting my comments here for the benefit of others in this community, and to allow commentary on my thoughts:

The diagonal closet layout is pretty good, but I would allow 24" - 27" for the double hanging and access to the back corner around the drawers. The most common drawer width is 24" (inside panel to panel). I would also try to make sure the doors will open fully against the walls. That may be a problem on the double hang side. Also realize the lower shelves next to the drawers will be the most difficult space to reach.

The existing closet design indicates to me the cabinet designer did this. If I were to design this space, I would put a drawer unit on each side of the door opening. This will give a more spacious feel as you walk in. I would explain to you the pros and cons of the cubbies above the drawers, and I would be more inclined to have the wider opening just above the drawers. I would then divide the balance of the rest of the wall on each side and create double hang and long hang sections depending on your needs. (2 double - two long, or three double - one long).

The biggest problem is the single hang directly perpendicular to the double hang. This will create a dead corner that you will lose clothes in and have a hard time accessing.

Finally, in the center of the back wall, between the hanging on either side, I would put the shoe cabinet and make it shallower, to provide easier access to the hanging at the back on either side. The mirror on a door in front of the shoes is an excellent idea, and will work better this way. You will be able to stand further back and get a better view of your outfit.

At a minimum, I would move the shoe cabinet described above, butt the two drawer units together towards the doorway, and put the single hang the remainder of the space on the drawer wall.

Hope this helps!
November 20, 2013 at 8:38am        Thanked by kroze
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oliver91020
Kroze, thanks for your time and explanation. I greatly appreciate your assistance.
November 20, 2013 at 10:59am      Thanked by kroze
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er612
Have you considered pocket doors on the diagonal closet?
November 20, 2013 at 11:20am        Thanked by kroze
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kroze
I have, but they would never be closed because that is my husband's closet and he wouldn't close them. That is why I am opting for the swinging doors. That is the only way to keep them closed. ; )
November 20, 2013 at 11:52am     
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suzanne_m
Closet Experts, I am not an expert and in the intention of helping Kroze, I designed these 2 closets. I am very happy that you gave your professional advice to Kroze. It really helps me too. I really like your advice on the existing closet. Especially having a set of drawers on each side of the door and the shoes closet at the back. I have a question: what width for the cubicles would you recommend? I have 12 in. wide cubicles in my closet at home and I feel that based on how I fold my shirts, this is the perfect width. I have some cubicles at 18 in. wide and I find it is a bit of waste of space.
One other question I have, is about the diagonal closet. I did have a concern about the corner. I prefer, by far, having rows of storage instead of a L shape. However, in this diagonal closet, that was not possible. Do you have a way to avoid that or make the corner more efficient?
Kroze, I agree with Close Experts about the not so easy access to the lower shelves in the diagonal closet. One thing that could help is to install the lowest shelf the highest possible so at least if you don't have space in front of the shelf to take out shoes or clothes, you would have vertical space to help you take them out.
November 20, 2013 at 1:56pm      Thanked by kroze
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kroze
Thank you Suzanne. I am not understanding the problem of access to the lower shelves in the diagonal closet. With the door closed, it looks to me that there should be ample clearance for most items....... especially if they are just shoes.
What am I not seeing?
November 20, 2013 at 2:00pm   
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suzanne_m
Considering the space you have in the diagonal closet, the clearance for the shelves in the corner is not that bad. I think you can retrieve the shoes or clothes relatively easily on the upper shelves. Only the bottom would be harder since you cannot bend to see what is there. Having more space vertically on the lower part will help you seeing what is there.
November 20, 2013 at 2:13pm   
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suzanne_m
Your husband may just need to make sure he does not put his shoes too deep on the floor so they are not hidden from the shelf above.
November 20, 2013 at 2:16pm   
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kroze
Maybe we will make it very large and put his sweats there! :)
November 20, 2013 at 2:26pm   
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Closet Experts
@ suzanne_m: As I mentioned, your ideas for the diagonal closet are pretty good, I just tweaked some dimensions. I thought about pocket doors but have concerns about the wall structure with them as the whole wall. Thus, I think the two in-swing doors are the better alternative.

The issue with the lower shelves next to the drawers is that when you crouch down you physically require more space to access them and the door will be taking some of the space. This will be most problematic if these are shoe shelves close together. Actually, I would probably reduce the depth of these shelves a bit to provide more room, especially if the shelves are used for shoes. Also I would put the least used items on the lower shelves.

Regarding the cubbies, I would just want to make clear that a divider creates a hard restriction. I generally prefer to design for two stacks wide, one leaning against each side. If a stack is wider than another, it can take some of the space allotted for the other stack. As a result I often design a combination of cubbies and wide spaces. Finally, I find the space above drawers is used for emptying pockets, decorative items, small mirrors and so on. That is why I would generally leave the space above drawers full width, and put cubbies above if desired.

Hope this makes sense!
November 20, 2013 at 3:11pm        Thanked by kroze
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kroze
One point of correction here. The swinging doors will not stay open when entering the closet. They will close behind the occupant and the light will come on. Therefore, they should not contribute to any potential obstruction to the lower shelf. Access to the shelves is one reason for the auto close aspect of the doors. Hope that helps the dialogue.
November 20, 2013 at 4:23pm   
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Closet Experts
I missed the cafe doors. Will they be full size doors? Does your husband understand how they will work? I have a concern about bringing garments and other items in and out. I imagine one hand on each door to enter or exit. Otherwise you or he will have to push the other door with the body.
November 20, 2013 at 4:45pm   
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kroze
They will be full sized doors. Was I suppose to tell my husband? : )

I thought he would just blare through the doors and stop. Then blare out again. That is his usual entrance and exit!
November 20, 2013 at 4:48pm     
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Closet Experts
I would really have a discussion about them with him. Otherwise he may do a lot more blaring! : ) Another option would be to use a 2' 4 or 2' 6 door that swings out and is shifted left towards the double hang. Put a self closer on the door like is used for entry doors for most of the time. Then you could use a door stop to hold the door open to carry larger amounts in and out. You could hide the door stop from him.
November 20, 2013 at 5:01pm   
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kroze
Closet Expert, I do not understand this statement....
Another option would be to use a 2' 4 or 2' 6 door that swings out and is shifted left towards the double hang.

I am very challenged in design lingo. Please say that another way. : )

I cannot understand the problem with carrying anything into the closet..... large or small. If the doors close behind you and the light comes on, why is there a problem?
November 20, 2013 at 5:12pm   
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Closet Experts
If you are carrying items in one or both hands, how are you going to open two doors?

I did not explain the door idea well. Imagine one 28 - 30' wide door swinging out. This door is framed near the left end of the diagonal wall. The door would swing all the way against the wall on the right. It could not swing in because the hanging would be in the way
November 20, 2013 at 5:20pm   
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kroze
It is a divided double door that swings both directions..... just like a saloon door.
November 20, 2013 at 5:25pm   
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I understand the concept. Take a moment to visualize that you are carrying a basket of clean clothes from the laundry or hanging from the dry cleaner. How are you physically going to open the doors with your hands full?
November 20, 2013 at 5:38pm   
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kroze
I walk through them. You don't need to "open" swinging doors.
November 20, 2013 at 5:42pm     
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Closet Experts
The doors do not swing open by themselves, do they? You somehow have to make contact to push them open, and they will close on you, especially since you are not moving much past the doors in the closet. Have you lived with this kind of door before? Has your husband? When I was growing up we had these on a pantry, and they were the normal half sized doors. I would not want these on my closet. Additionally, you are talking full height doors with more mass and weight. That is why I suggest you discuss this with your husband since he will have to deal with them on a daily basis.
November 20, 2013 at 5:51pm   
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Fred S
The whole reason they call them cafe doors is because someone with a great big arm load of dishes can walk through them without having to "open" them. Perhaps YOUR pantry is too small. Please note the circle in the middle of the closet that designates a space the size of a standard shower. Her husband has known about this for months. He is the one that decided that it is what he wants. How heavy do you think a commercial cafe door is? This will surely be lighter than a big steel door with glass in it.
November 20, 2013 at 6:06pm      Thanked by kroze
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kroze
You may be right Closet Expert. I have no experience with them.

When you push through these doors...... hands full of things or not, they aren't heavy. They should open with the weight of the body against them. No?

I may be making a mistake but I don't know of a better alternative for this situation.
November 20, 2013 at 6:07pm   
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Closet Experts
I was not aware that her husband knew and chose them. Had I known that, I would not have made a point of it.
November 20, 2013 at 7:27pm   
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Fred S
We even discussed self-closing hinges on a standard door, but I don't understand why you think turning a knob and pulling a door open when your hands are full would be easier?
November 20, 2013 at 7:35pm   
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Closet Experts
Dressing everyday would involve one hand to open one door. that could self close. When times involve bringing loads of clothes in, with two hands, a door stop could be first used to hold the door open and out of the way to allow unencumbered access. The door stop could then be removed.

Or the husband could learn a new habit of closing the door when not using the closet and eliminate the self closing issue. The self closing hinge could be adjusted to eliminate the self close action. And you would have a standard closet door for resale value.
November 20, 2013 at 7:48pm   
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wislawcat
Wow you gave your husband a closet ? And it's even in the mbr? My hubbie's clothes ended up in the guest room closet ;-)
November 20, 2013 at 7:56pm     
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Fred S
So, your solution to keeping the door shut is to use a door stop to block it open? They make cafe hinges with a stay open feature past 90 degrees. Then you just tap them to have them automatically close to center. So, no door stop needed! Who told you a swinging door was inferior to a standard door?
November 20, 2013 at 7:58pm   
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Closet Experts
My first point regarding these cafe doors is that the husband be aware of this solution, since he is the one using the space. The thread indicated otherwise in a joking comment.

I have seen thousands of closets in 27 years and not once have I seen cafe doors for closet doors. From a resale point of view, this will seem odd to any home shoppers. Some may marvel at it. Most will say that's weird because they are going to think of a restaurant kitchen entrance.

Yes I offer more common ideas that will feel familiar. I have often seen unusual solutions that were clever to those that came up with them. And sometimes people react with "what were they thinking?". I built a home and can point to a number of things I did different. Most of them visitors find amazing. And some of them I regret. So I am just playing devil's advocate and offering a different perspective. To help someone make sure what they really want and be aware of the consequences when selling. I will take no offense one way or the other. All I ask is a willingness to consider what I offer without taking offense.
November 20, 2013 at 9:08pm     
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kroze
Closet Experts, you have been most helpful in many ways. I really do appreciate your interest in this project. With regard to the swinging doors, it is my intent to use doors which match the other doors in the house, but just order them to work as cafe doors. It is my hope that they will not look in the least bit out of place in the bedroom.

We currently have a split door between the bedroom and bathroom. Those doors stand open all the time. I envisioned the same thing happening with the closet....... which would be an eyesore to say the least. I plan to change the existing bathroom door to a pocket door. If it were not for the hinges, I could just convert it to the cafe doors. Unfortunately the hinges prohibit that idea.

I am having great difficulty envisioning your ideas for my closet built ins. They sound very good but I can't wrap my brain around the concept. Maybe Suzanne will be able to picture them for me. Any further clarification you may add will be appreciated.
November 21, 2013 at 10:26am   
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Actually, with some reflection I am warming up to the cafe door idea. Especially if they are the same style as the other doors. Starting to think that might be one of the cool unique ideas. I would just want a detent (hold position) at the 90º open out position. That would address my concern as to ability to walk in and out with armfuls of stuff. Even if hubby left them open at the detent, just a tap as you walk by would send them closed.

I think Suzanne likes my suggestions, particularly in the existing closet. Maybe she can noodle up a visual for you.
November 21, 2013 at 10:43am      Thanked by kroze
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kroze
I am trying to remember who actually came up with the cafe door idea. I think it was Fred. He is a very creative guy and full of great ideas. He also seems to always know what will actually work and what won't!

Thanks Fred!
November 21, 2013 at 10:51am   
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Closet Experts
Yeah, I would love to be fly on the wall when you present that to the contractor/carpenter : )
November 21, 2013 at 10:56am     
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suzanne_m
I believe this is what Closet Experts meant. This is one try, if you like the idea of splitting the built-in in 2 and have it on each side of the door, we can build from here and you tell me the adjustments you would like to bring. In the example below, each built-in are 30 in. wide. If you are fine with this width then I recommend that all drawers be 30 in. wide as well. I think it would look better than 2 rows of 15 in. wide drawers. But this is your call, since you are the one who would use those drawers.
November 21, 2013 at 11:40am   
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Yep that's the idea. I mostly do 24" wide (inside width shelf above) drawers to maximize hanging. Fits two stacks of foldable items above. Shoe cabinet I might make an inch or two deeper (to fit shoe boxes) and 27" inside width shelves. Will make side hanging more accessible. I would split the door height because this will be a heavy door with mirror on it.
November 21, 2013 at 11:54am   
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kroze
Ah-so, now I get it.

It reduces my hanging space by about three feet I think. Will that small hanging space be a resale problem?

Also, I am thinking that two feet of space for longer garments is probably not enough.

How about we put a hanging rod above one of the chests instead of cabinets. Maybe cabinets on one side is enough. But I guess that would look unbalance.
November 21, 2013 at 12:00pm   
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Closet Experts
@ kroze: You need to have an inventory of what your needs are to fine tune this. A pro storage designer would take such an inventory. I assumed the original design was based on a needs analysis to fit you. Otherwise it is just a guess based on average people and the space allotted. There are so many ways to design even spaces like this. An adjustable system can adapt to changes in need and time and who is using it, so it is less critical to get it right the first time.

I have never heard anyone say they need to maximize every inch of space in a kitchen or a bathroom. But I hear it all the time regarding closets and storage space. So storage is particularly where form follows function. Balance really is not important in a non public space.

The priorities in closet and storage design are capacity, organization, and usability in that order, especially in smaller spaces. Storage design requires thinking less about look and more about function. So symmetry comes in dead last. You are not going to see symmetry because you will be standing too close to everything in this closet anyway.

Most of the items listed in the original article I commented on are extremely inefficient uses of space, and that is why they are luxuries appearing in oversized closets.. .
November 21, 2013 at 12:19pm        Thanked by kroze
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suzanne_m
Closet Experts, this is how I interpreted your suggestions. Since you are talking about inside measurements, I allocated 1 in. thick frame for the built-in and closet. So this explains why the drawing show 2 ft 2 in. built-in. Let me know if it is wrong.

Kaye, I reduced the built-in by 6 in. on each side. It gives you 9 ft 9 in. of hanging space. Although it seems that you loose a lot of hanging space, you don't loose that much. In the original layout you have hanging space in 2 corners. That space is not that efficient and you cannot really count it as full nice hanging space. Thees 2 corners accounted for 4 ft.
November 21, 2013 at 12:22pm   
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Closet Experts
@Suzanne_m: You basically have it. Couple of bits of info for you: The closet industry is based on frameless construction. Reveals are half overlay for drawers and doors which come after hanging and shelving in importance. This allows sharing a partition instead of building boxes. No backs either. This creates the maximum storage and the least material taking up storage space. Bottom line is: cabinetry is about the look and closet organization is about capacity.
November 21, 2013 at 12:36pm   
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suzanne_m
Closet Experts, I really appreciate the time you take to educate me on the closet industry. Thank you.
I am not sure about what you mean by "Reveals are half overlay for drawers and doors". Could you post a picture of that?
November 21, 2013 at 12:59pm   
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Closet Experts
Here is half overlay doors using both side of the same panel.
November 21, 2013 at 1:06pm   
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suzanne_m
Thank you. How thick is the side panel usually? Would the panel at one end be the same thickness as a middle panel?
November 21, 2013 at 1:11pm   
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Fred S
The panels should all be 3/4" thick. The type Closet Experts is talking about are standardized panels, so are basically the same no matter where you put them. In this case, however, you would need to hold the door side panel 3/4" off the wall to allow drawers to slide past the door casing. I am sure there would still be a way to use the granite top on the lower unit, but using modular shelves pretty much would ruin the continuity of the look from the vanity to the closet anyway.
November 21, 2013 at 2:21pm        Thanked by kroze
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kroze
Closet Expert, I live in the south so I don't have very many sweaters of shelf type clothing. I even hang my t-shirts. I also hang my slacks on slack hangers with no fold. Therefore, they must be in a long hanging space. Maybe that is a bad habit and I would be better served to put them on fold over hangers. I do it because it helps prevent double crease lines and unintended wrinkles when hanging on the fold over hangers. I clamp them with two clips at the waist band now. That is the way they are hung in most department stores.

I need drawers mainly for lingerie and socks/stockings/scarves. Also, shorts are a big thing here, so I have a lot of them. We can wear shorts almost nine months out of the year. I do have a few nice sweater sets that I fold and keep on a shelf, but they are thin sweaters, not bulky. I hang my sweatshirts. I have some gym clothing but not a lot.

As I told Suzanne earlier, I'm not a boot wearer. I do have a couple of ankle height boots for winter, but that is all. My shoe collection is not extensive...... mostly sandals. I might have 25-30 pairs.

I have two jewelry boxes and half a dozen shoulder bags. I have lots of cosmetic bags and small totes. No hats, but a couple of small caps.... and a visor.

That pretty much covers things. Does that help?
November 21, 2013 at 2:28pm     
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kroze
Fred, I agree. I am thinking that the built-ins will be customized as the vanity.
November 21, 2013 at 2:29pm   
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Fred S
Kaye, I am sure you know how tight your closet feels now with hanging racks on both sides. There are always trade-offs to any closet design. If you closet was 7'-0 wide instead of 6'-6" wide, then clothes hanging on both sides would be a more obvious choice, but with a counter and cubbies on one side, it opens up the whole closet and makes it feel more spacious. On the other hand, if more space right by the door feels better for the way you get dressed, then go for it. As for a corner that is slightly less convenient to get cloths out of, even in Texas, you must have "off season" clothing?
November 21, 2013 at 2:34pm        Thanked by kroze
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kroze
Fred, the closet currently only has clothes on two adjacent walls. The other long wall cannot have a rod because the closet door is not centered. It is on the left side. So, we currently have some cheap snap together shelves on that long wall. It houses most of our shorts, my husband's sweats and odds and ends. Also, I have a small chest sitting in the corner to the right of the door. I also have a Lowe's shoe shelf with four shelves. It is about the height of the lower hanging rod....... rendering about 2 1/2 feet of the rod useless.
November 21, 2013 at 2:49pm   
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kroze
Since I do have hanging clothes only on one side now, you make a good point Fred about the spacial perception. Putting the built-ins together on one side would "feel" roomier probably.
November 21, 2013 at 2:53pm     
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Fred S
As per Suzanne's last drawings, it appears that the lower built-in would be 21" deep and the upper 15" or 18"? , so compared to a standard modular 24" deep drawers, it will make it feel more spacious. It just depends on where you want it to feel more spacious, more by the door or some all the way back.
November 21, 2013 at 3:05pm        Thanked by kroze
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kroze
I think I want the space to be linear.....
So, it looks like we are back to Suzanne's original drawing. Yes?
November 21, 2013 at 3:45pm   
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suzanne_m
Actually, IMO it is a matter of do you want more spacious right when you enter and feel a bit more tight at the back or do you want the same free space all inside your closet. After reflection, I think it would be better to have the same width all inside your closet.
November 21, 2013 at 4:04pm        Thanked by kroze
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kroze
Okay. That works for me.
November 21, 2013 at 4:13pm   
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suzanne_m
Oops, I haven't read your last comments before I posted mine ... it showed ... I just repeated the same thing ... at least we are all on the same page!
November 21, 2013 at 4:17pm   
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@kroze: Good luck with your project. I hope the results are all you hope for. This has been an interesting dive into Houzz for me.
November 21, 2013 at 4:26pm   
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kroze
Thank you so much Closet Expert for your perspective. You have been helpful.
November 21, 2013 at 4:34pm   
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suzanne_m
Closet Experts, if you have some tips about making the corners in a closet more efficient, please share them with us.
November 21, 2013 at 4:43pm   
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kroze
Yes, please do!
November 21, 2013 at 4:55pm   
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countbla
What will be stored in the closet in the "toilet room"? I would make sure there's amazing ventilation in there...
November 21, 2013 at 7:28pm   
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kroze
There is an exhaust fan in there now. I plan to store the vacuum and suitcases in that closet along with other large non fabric items.
November 22, 2013 at 4:03am   
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Kroze, are you planning to have the closet drawer units for you and your husband in the same style and finish as your bathroom vanity?
November 23, 2013 at 1:48pm   
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kroze
Well, that was the plan. However, it is not essential.
I thought the same carpenter would be doing both and they all will have granite counter tops with the same granite.
November 23, 2013 at 2:00pm   
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Closet Experts
So when the bathroom is updated again both closets will be updated too. Would you put the same cabinetry in your dining room as in your kitchen?
November 23, 2013 at 2:05pm   
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kroze
I have no built-in cabinetry in my dining room, but I have put the same cabinetry in my kitchen and two other bathrooms. I actually debated using it in the master bath also but opted not to. I want the master bath cabinets painted a pale creme color. Thought I would do the same in the closets.

I'm in my sixties and have no plans to remodel anything in this house again. The next owners can do as they want.

I'm in a prime neighborhood, so this house will likely be around for a very long time.
November 23, 2013 at 2:53pm   
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It is rare to for a homeowner to have the foresight to consider the implications of a current remodel on future remodels. It is your home so obviously you can make it the way you want, but it will have an effect on the resale value.

The closet and the bathroom have separate purposes and warrant different products and materials. From a design standpoint, if you want a carpenter to install the same cabinetry for both, and you want a linear look, then why have a wall between them? Instead of a walkin, create an L shaped closet for the hanging areas, and make the wardrobe builtins part of the bathroom. For the look you seem to be after, that would make more sense.

Since you live in the south, you do not have the seasonality of clothes that we do up north. So, the dead corner created by the hanging in the original design is not justified by change of seasons clothing.
November 24, 2013 at 6:23am   
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Fred S
It would be completely ridiculous to live with something you don't like just in case the next owner might want something different. You would have to be saying that Kaye's taste and style are completely unacceptable for that argument to even pass the smell test.
As far as blind corners go, your only advice so far is to not use them for anything. How does that possibly make sense?
November 24, 2013 at 6:35am      Thanked by kroze
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Fred, I acknowledged that she can have what she wants, I just offered a suggestion of how to achieve it even more. There are best practices for anything, and they can be ignored to satisfy one's self. Ignoring them is likely to be valued less by the next owner. So many custom homes sell for much less than they cost to build because they are so individualized.
This is why so many realtors make suggestions on changes to make a home more attractive. But of course, you know all that.

I offered the best solution for the blind corner, but it was rejected because the look is more important than the function. You cannot eliminate a corner, you can only minimize it. As you yourself mentioned, there are tradeoffs for every design. As a professional, my job is to advise on various solutions, pointing out the tradeoffs. Clearly the look is more important here.

Initially I was not aware of the priorities of this situation. I have come to realize some of them. Rather than take responses as personal attacks, I have attempted to understand the perspective, and present ideas more along the apparent priorities.
November 24, 2013 at 6:58am   
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mefor
Hi Kaye, just wanted to tell you that I have shelves in one corner of my closet. The shelves go back behind the side wall of shelves on adjacent wall. I have used it to store handbags and other odd items that are easily slid in and out of the area. I also put in those LED push lights on the bottom side of the shelf above to light up what's on each shelf.
November 24, 2013 at 7:09am      Thanked by kroze
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Fred S
Best practices according to who? Your plan loses 3.5' of rod just to gain a foot of shoe shelf. And lose 2' of blind corner.
You could literally not use that corner at all and only lose 4' of rod. Continue the rod only as deep as the shoe shelf would have been, and you would only be losing the last 8" that is hard to get to. That is only 16" of rod lost compared to your 3.5'
The math doesn't add up.
November 24, 2013 at 7:11am      Thanked by kroze
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Closet Experts
Not who, what. An industry represented by thousands of design professionals. The Association of Closet and Storage Professionals. My interaction with many other closet and storage design professionals providing the same solution validated by hundreds of people who complain about inability to access corners like this.

The design as shown does not show access space. Sometimes you give up a little capacity for ease of use. have seen 5 foot wide walk ins with hanging on both sides. Maximum capacity but pretty hard to use.

Maybe Kaye would like easier access and does not need as much hanging capacity. Maybe she needs more. I have not seen a reference to hanging capacity/style needed/desired, and when it comes to closets that should be the first consideration. The only mention is her slacks are hung long. She stated she could consider hanging over the hanger, and I did not try to dissuade her.

Another option is to create a separate area of slack hang, and put shelves above or below. It helps to break up long spans of hanging and allow adjustability since not all clothes are the same length. Then you can use the space in other ways. If she puts the slacks in the center of the back wall, it will be easier to access the corner since there are no sleeves taking up space. Or if the slack hanging was on a side wall, the back wall could have shelves above and hanging below, making access into the corners even easier. Again it is all about trade offs. If she used an adjustable system she could change layout based on how her lifestyle or needs change.

If the long walls were divided into three sections with the front two drawers and or shelves, then the center and back sections could be used in different ways. Shelves above/below short hanging, medium hanging (day dresses/slacks) with shelves above or below, double hanging with one or two shelves. Long hanging with 2-3 shelves above. Any combination is possible at any time with an adjustable system. Many of the items she detailed could be stored on shelves. A stack on a shelf is easier to see than opening a drawer and seeing only what is on top. The design may show maximum space utilization, but little flexibility or ease of use.

I reiterate that if she values the linear look of the cabinetry, why not include that area in the bathroom?
November 24, 2013 at 8:24am   
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sunnydrew
Why are you angling the closet? Why not just make it bigger and you walk into a square space. Having those double swinging doors is a waste. They will just get in the way. Why not have a single larger door that opens into the bedroom so you can get in the closet more easily. Your husband can learn to close the door when done or not. The plan for the toilet room looks so big. By moving the toilet to the other wall, you could enlarge the closet next to it. I would think that overall there could be better use of the spaces to create a larger closet. I do have some experience in this area and see lost potential from the plan.
November 24, 2013 at 8:50am   
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kroze
sunnydrew, I would appreciate your design to be posted here.

The closet is angled because it makes the bedroom roomier and doesn't create a long empty entrance hall. The bedroom is rather small for a master bedroom already. To make it smaller doesn't make sense. Neither does it make sense to have a regular closet door protruding into the bedroom and blocking the walkway. To me, the cafe doors made the most sense for this configuration.

As far as the toilet room is concerned, it is currently two walk in rooms...... one going into the toilet room, the other going from the toilet room to a tiny linen closet. Truly a waste of space. I contemplated for quite some time about moving the toilet and making a walk thru closet from the bedroom doorway into the bathroom. That would have been lovely, BUT it not only took too much room from the bedroom, it also required moving the toilet a significant distance. That is extremely expensive and compromises the integrity of the concrete slab foundation. We also entertained turning the toilet to the adjacent wall, but it was unsatisfactory for a number of reasons. So, I chose to keep the toilet as is and tear down the wall separating it from the linen closet. I could then make a large and deep closet on that wall. It will functionally be a storage area for very large items..... suitcases, upright vacuum, extra folding chairs, etc.

When I first brought the project to Houzz many months ago, I had no idea how to utilize such illogically configured space. I asked for help from people with experience. They have donated much of their valuable professional time and provided a wealth of information and suggestions. The triangle closet didn't even emerge until well into the design phase. Everyone seemed to agree that it was the best use of that particular poorly utilized space. (It is now a 3' wide, 6' deep closet...... virtually useless.)

I assure you that this has not been a snap decision design nor have I been flying by the seat of my pants. I truly want to make the most of my limited dysfunctional space.

That is why I eagerly started this thread about the closet designs at the behest of the Closet Expert. I am always eager to entertain creative ideas from anyone. Since you say you have experience and have some ideas, I heartily ask you to participate in the process with me. But realize that experienced professionals have been working to resolve this design problem for many months. But maybe you have insights that everyone else has missed.
November 24, 2013 at 12:26pm   
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kroze
Closet Expert, you make a very interesting observation. I had not even considered leaving the closet built-in cabinets in the bathroom area. That would definitely make the bathroom optically roomier. Instead of making an L shaped enclosed hanging space, why not make the walk-in closet shorter? By doing that I could actually incorporate the "bench" wall in the bathroom into the built-ins now in the closet. By doing that, I could actually alleviate the need for closet space for the built-ins and increase the current hanging space as it would lessen the need for closet space to accomplish the desired number of storage cabinets/drawers. Does that make sense?
November 24, 2013 at 12:39pm     
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suzanne_m
Kaye, did you mean to do something like below:
November 24, 2013 at 5:51pm   
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kroze
Fabulous, Suzanne. That is exactly what I was talking about. Do you think it is an improvement or not?
November 24, 2013 at 5:57pm   
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kroze
There still may be room for a small stool on that bench wall.
November 24, 2013 at 5:58pm   
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kroze
Will that make the towers unbalanced? One side will be narrow and the other wider......
November 24, 2013 at 6:00pm   
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suzanne_m
I will look at it closer later tonight. I like the fact that the hanging space is no longer a L-shape. I need some time to think about the symmetry of the 2 towers on each side of the vanity and the extra 2 feet of built-in beside the left tower.
November 24, 2013 at 6:04pm      Thanked by kroze
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kroze
Maybe that extra two feet by the tower should be decidedly different in design so as to set it apart from the rest of the vanity. ???? Not sure what..
November 24, 2013 at 6:08pm   
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Closet Experts
You could still do a 12"deep shoe unit on the back wall of the closet. If you make it about 24" wide, you would still have space between the unit sides and the side hanging to access to the end of the hanging walls.

I do like the idea of putting the matching built ins in the bathroom and shortening the closet as needed.
November 24, 2013 at 6:23pm   
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kroze
Me too, Closet Expert. I can thank you for that suggestion!

And I think you are right about the shoe unit on the back wall........ 12" deep with doors.
I love it!
November 24, 2013 at 6:28pm   
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suzanne_m
Sorry Kaye, I am not sure. I try to imagine myself in the bathroom and I think that if I were standing in front of the sink to the left, it will feel less spacious. Maybe Closet Experts has an idea how to draw it but right now the way I drew it, you have only 30 in. between the corner of the vanity and the corner of the opposite built-in.
November 24, 2013 at 8:28pm   
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suzanne_m
The more I look at it, the less I like because I feel the room is unbalanced. On one side it is all spacious and the other side it is all 8 ft tall cabinetry 3 ft apart. I find that the walls 23 and 24 are making a nice psychological transition between the spacious room and tighter room.
November 24, 2013 at 8:39pm   
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kroze
Okay, what about we go back to the original closet size and make a different change.

Don't put any granite in the closet. Only put one built-in with mostly drawers and a closed cabinet above...... all the same depth. Then, on the outside bench wall put a shallow closed cabinet about four feet high...... granite on top.

That will probably give plenty of storage and not have the problem with symmetry and narrow walkway. It will also add significant hanging space in the closet, as the long wall will be the double hanging rod.

Would that work?
November 25, 2013 at 4:25am   
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suzanne_m
Is this what you had in mind?
November 25, 2013 at 7:40am     
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kroze
Almost. : )

The closet built-in would be only 30" - 36" wide, not five feet. I don't need that if I have the outside cabinet on the bench wall.

Also, if it would look better, the bench wall cabinet could be 12" deep...... it doesn't matter that much. Whichever works better.
November 25, 2013 at 9:39am   
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suzanne_m
Actually I drew the built-in 4 ft instead of 5 ft in the layout above but I had forgotten to change the label.

In the layout below, I made it 3 ft wide and made the outside cabinet 1 ft deep. I like it better. I wonder if it should be the same height as the vanity .i.e. 34 in. or 4 ft is fine.
November 25, 2013 at 12:49pm   
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kroze
Yes, I think that would work fine. The 48" tall cabinet would get me ample room for four shelves inside. But if the vanity height would be aesthetically more appealing, I can go with that and only have three shelves inside. Not a big deal.
November 25, 2013 at 1:06pm   
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tammis
I was wondering where you purchased your kitchen chairs, the ones you have up against your kitchen bar, the ones that rock and swivel? Thanks, Tammy.
December 4, 2013 at 12:35pm   
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kroze
I purchased them through a local shop called "The Billiards Factory". They are only in Texas locations I believe.

They are called The Trendler Swivel Tilt...... by Trendler, Inc.
Hope that helps.
December 4, 2013 at 12:38pm   
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kroze
I just found them on the internet called Bullseye Swivel Tilt. ??

Which thread did you see them pictured? I am curious why you didn't ask me on that thread?
December 4, 2013 at 12:43pm   
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kroze
I just found this link...
http://www.hayneedle.com/product/bullseye30inbarstoolarmsswiveltilt.cfm?srccode=cii_328768002&cpncode=33-233594660-2&source=mspla

They are extremely comfortable. We originally bought only two, but quickly ordered two more. You can choose different metal finishes and fabric. We have the oil rubbed bronze metal and I don't know the name of the fabric but it is usually pictured in ads.
December 4, 2013 at 12:46pm   
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kroze
Oh, wait a minute. That picture shows only four spoke legs. Ours have five spokes.
December 4, 2013 at 12:48pm   
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suzanne_m
Actually Kaye, I am not sure if the cabinet opposite to the left tower should be the same height as the vanity. I think it could be fine if it is 4 ft high. I hope someone else has a more firm opinion on that.
December 4, 2013 at 1:23pm   
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kroze
Okay. Maybe someone else will post here for us...
December 4, 2013 at 2:02pm   
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sunnydrew
Kroze, I am sorry I did not submit a drawing for you but I realized that this project already had enough ideas and you were probably not in need of more suggestions or opinions. I would have to take into consideration what the rest of the room was like, where the windows are which dictate which is the bed wall etc. It became far too detailed of a dilemma for me to enter into finding a solution. So I just butted out. Personally I would prefer a long walkway into the bedroom if it means having a practical, useful closet. I have redesigned closets from small ones and empty walls. I think a corner closet is not going to be as useful as a square one. have you had a local closet company come and do computer drawings to give you other options? I also did not understand about the toilet room, but see that was for a different need. I would not let a bathroom designer or contractor design my closet. Usually the closets end being squeezed in any space with out thought of the 24" depth you need for hanging clothes, for starters. Having doors swing in mean you have to completely enter the room/closet to get inside of them. That eats up valuable space. If you have a closet planner helping you here without any expectation of getting this job, but perhaps a houzzer will hire them later, that is good for them to do so. Plus they are just sincerely helping because they love (a good challenge) what they do.. So I did not want to interfere with that. I hope it works out and meets your needs.
December 4, 2013 at 3:23pm      Thanked by kroze
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kroze
Thank you sunnydrew. This entire project has been a real challenge on almost every front. There weren't any really good solutions to a myriad of problems. I would have loved to bulldoze and start anew, but of course that was out of the question.

As far as the angled closet is concerned, it will be my husband's space and he doesn't require much room. I actually think the angled wall adds interest to an otherwise boring room. Those cafe doors may prove to be a nuisance, but I cannot understand how a regular door would be any better. Splitting the door in half helps with the space requirements.

The Closet Expert has been very helpful with the closet arrangements. I am fortunate to have input from someone with professional closet experience. She thinks of things that might not occur to me.

Now, I need advice as to how tall to build a storage unit in the bathroom between the bedroom door and closet door. Should it be the same height of the vanity or possibly a foot taller? Maybe staggering the levels would make it look more customized. I hate the cookie cutter look. What do you think?
December 4, 2013 at 3:49pm   
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Amy Canary
Just read through all discussion. I think that a more open feel would be gained with the double hanging on the back wall, drawers and folded on the right wall when entering the closet as shown and then long hang with lower drawers on the left wall. I always place double hanging into overlapping areas to give better access to shelves or drawers that are part of long hanging sections. I also like an open shelf above drawers and then cubbies of at least 12 inches wide but no more than 14 wide or wasteful of width. The drawers could be next to each other with a shallow shoe cabinet just on right as you enter to create a bit more space for using the mirror.
December 5, 2013 at 12:23am      Thanked by kroze
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Amy Canary
If you are willing to spend for cabinetry in the closet, why not eliminate the bifold doors in the toilet room and build cabinets there too - drawers for linens and shelves / doors above - armoire style - but only 18 deep bottom section and 14-16 deep above or all one depth of 16 inches.
December 5, 2013 at 12:33am      Thanked by kroze
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kroze
You make excellent points Amy. Thanks for posting.

I like the fact that you understand the spacial aspects of designing a closet. I would not have known that the double rod in back would have opened the spacial feel. Very interesting! As I contemplate the makeup of my wardrobe, I think I could utilize a longer single rod. ........ I hang my slacks full length to avoid a crease. And I wear slack or shorts 99% of the time. I even hang my jeans. That probably sounds odd, but it is a habit. I definitely like the idea of drawers below the single rod. I don't hang my shorts, so a couple of deep drawers would be helpful.

One reason I designed the toilet room closet the way I did was to stop the financial hemorrhaging from cabinet building expense. I like your idea and I will discuss the possibilities with my contractor. I will weigh the cost and then make a decision. Also, I really do need a storage area with really deep shelves because I need to store some very large items. And I don't have deep shelves anywhere else in the house. I will need to give some more thought to the exact configuration of that storage area. I was thinking that since it is so far removed from any visibility to anyone except my husband and I, it didn't need to be quite as nice as the other cabinetry.
December 5, 2013 at 4:42am   
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kroze
Amy, I have a lot of these floor pillows throughout my home, but I also have a stash of extras that are not being used. Also have a stash of pillow covers in case I want to change the look in a room. Currently I have these extra pillows stacked in the small linen closet next to the toilet room. But they are huge and take up a lot of space. I'm not ready to get rid of any of them yet. I expect to incorporate more of them into my decor when I finally get this house totally remodeled and decorated.

Therefore, I need some large and deep shelving to store these monsters.... : )
December 5, 2013 at 8:42am   
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Amy Canary
The double hanging closet components can be full depth - 22-24 inches which would provide deep storage above for the pillows placed in a storage bin. What is your ceiling ht? If you are trying to be budget conscious, consider having your closets built with melamine and thermofoil. Much less costly than wood and a closet industry standard.
December 5, 2013 at 9:33am   
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kroze
Amy, I have visited some of those custom closet businesses and their prices are through the roof. I feel sure a local contractor could provide something less costly. I live in an area that has reasonably priced carpentry and cabinet makers. There is much competition around here for that kind of work.

I love the pictures you have posted and would go for that in a NY second if not so costly.
Thanks.
December 5, 2013 at 9:52am   
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Amy Canary
Your contractor can order from us online and have shipped directly. Canary closets and cabinetry.
December 5, 2013 at 10:27am   
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kroze
No doubt you do superb work Amy. They are gorgeous. But your website confirmed my above statement. They are not in the price range I am willing to spend.

But thank you for your suggestions. I do appreciate them.
December 5, 2013 at 10:34am   
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Amy Canary
Good luck with your project! You are fortunate to have available cabinetmakers in your area.
December 5, 2013 at 11:20am      Thanked by kroze
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