getting closets right

ontariomomMarch 28, 2012

Hi all,

We have a few closet issues to figure out. Our weirdest closet is a 18" wide space by 3 feet deep. It will be in our entrance way. I know this is less than ideal, but it is the space we have left over. Would it be best just to put hooks and make it an alcove, or make it a regular reach- in coat closet (perhaps with extra things stored in the extra foot of depth). I also wondered if we should do some sort of pull-out cabinets for coats. Our family will enter through a mudroom, so no family coats need to go here.

Another closet issue we are trying to struggle with is our eighteen year old son's closet. We could give him a reach- in closet that is 8'4" wide, or we could break that space down into a hall closet and a bedroom closet. The other bedrooms in our house are a floor up where we will have a good-sized linen closet. However, a hall closet here could be used for a variety of purposes (cleaning, vacuum hose, younger children's toys, linens or towels, general storage). Any opinions here?

Finally, what style of closet door do you find most useful? We have had bi-fold doors in the past, but they tend to break over time.

Below you will find my son's bedroom and the foyer area that shows the weird entry closet. Please note at this point in our renovations we are only moving interior walls and not adding square footage. We just completed an addition out back.


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I think I'd do the hall closet option; making your son's closet more standard size.

As for the deep, narrow closet: I'd look into getting a clothing rack (on wheels), that would fit. You could wheel it out to hang guest jackets, and put them away...if that is something you could use.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 9:18PM
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Guests don't need a closet. They need (1) a place to sit to don/remove shoes, (2) a place to hang jackets (hooks are easier than hangers, unless your friends usually arrive wearing expensive mink coats), and (3) a place to put their shoes. We're personally doing an alcove with a bench and coat hooks, rather than a closet.

For your son's closet, I agree with giving him a traditional size closet and using the space as a hall closet. If I lived in your house, here are some things I would store there: board games, vacuum cleaner, luggage.

In my current house, we have sliding two-panel doors for some closets and bifolds for others. Of the two, I prefer the sliding two-panel doors. I personally prefer pocket doors or normal hinged doors that swing fully open and are flush with walls on either sides, but that's not always possible.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 6:39PM
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Putting a double pocket door on the laundry won't work--there's no place in the wall for the doors to slide back. I'd put a single door and have it open against the back side of the bath wall. Then move the hall/laundry wall to the right 2 or 3 feet into the hall, making the laundry larger.

I'd keep the large closet for your son, but make it 1 or 2' narrower, move his BR door a little to the left, and put the hall closet to the right of his BR door, and switch the swing of the BR door.

Can you move the 40" window to the wall on the left, next to the closet? Then you could put the bed on the long wall and still have space on the left wall for a larger chest.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 9:23AM
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Thank you everyone for your help. This forum is truly helping with my sanity as we get through this big addition project.

Kirkhall, thanks for helping me out once again. I really like your idea of the roll out devise in the guest closet - now to find one that would work.

Minneapoliste, thank you for responding. You are right that guests don't need a closet. It is just that there is this leftover space, so we felt a closet would be the best in the spot, rather than add the space to an entrance floor. Hooks in this space might work rather than hangers. Thanks as well for your thoughts on closet doors.

Anne I appreciate your helpful comments. There is just enough room to have a pocket door into the laundry room and it has already been framed, as has most of the house at this point (just the entrance and son's bedroom to go as add-ons). However, I am intrigued by your idea of adding more space to the laundry. If we move it over 2 - 3 feet as you suggested (i.e. move the wall between laundry closet and hall over), then I don't think we could get a single swing door into the laundry (on second look we could gain around 7 inches, but we need to reframe). I hope I have understood your idea correctly. Can you clarify your idea of laundry expansion if I have misunderstood? BTW, we can't move the bedroom window, or exterior door in my son's room as these are needed for front symmetry and are existing.

Any more comments are most welcome.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 3:15PM
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Your drawing must not be correct--what looks like a double pocket door must be a single pocket door. One of the doors must be the pocket that the door fits into?? In looking at the drawing more carefully, my 2'-3' is wrong; it seems like it would be more like 15" to 18" into the hall.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 6:26PM
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