Plan for enough rod length. The first rule of thumb when planning your closet is at least 48" of rod length per person in the household. Here a dark stained wood built-in closet takes on a masculine seriousness.
Add a vanity. A more feminine closet has light painted built-ins and a vanity area on top of the drawers. Sometimes more drawer space needs to be sacrificed to provide a vanity wall mirror and a surface to place jewelry and perfume bottles on.
Include ample light. Lighting is very important. Bright lights allow us to see what we are about to wear, especially in closets carved out of space deeper in the room, away from natural light.
Maximize your vertical space. The minimum height of rods is 63" for street dresses. You can fit two rods in your 48" long allotted space by allowing 45" for hanging pants and shirts.
Include a mirror. A full-length mirror is very important to seeing how the outfit comes together. Here, the clothes are hidden behind frosted glass for a modern and extra tidy feel.
Decorate. Closets spaces can take on their own personality, like a tiny room. A statement rug and pretty wall decorations create a darling space I would want to spend time in to pick out outfits for a young child.
Add a seat. Trying on outfits can be tiring. Provide seating, even if it's a small built-in bench to try on shoes, or drape rejected clothes items on. This custom tufted version with the small chandelier above is trés chic. I feel glamorous just thinking about getting dressed here.
Get creative. You can create your dream closet in otherwise unusable rooms. An awkward attic space with slanted ceilings would be used for storage of seasonal decorations, winter coats, and old board games. This wise homeowner created a storage haven with custom built-ins that maximize the atypical ceiling heights. A skylight provides natural light and the white cabinets with white painted walls and white ottoman upholstery allow for a clean canvas against which to build outfits.
Do it yourself. The IKEA Stolmen system is a budget-minded organizer's dream. It offers components you can mix and match that work with a tension-mounted pole system allowing you to customize the system to your needs and install it ourself inside a closet or against a blank wall. I have been very happy with this system.