Pleasing dimensions for a linen closet

oldbat2beJanuary 6, 2014

We're designing a floor to ceiling built-in which will go in this landing area, at the foot of the stairs.

Here's the space looking straight on at it.

It's approximately 36" wide and depth will be 17". Existing trimwork will be removed and redone.

1) Inset doors and drawers.
2) Would like 2 tall drawers to store comforters/afghans for easy access in the family room)

I'd like it to look interesting and attractive but am not sure what the correct proportions should be. Are there rules of thumb regarding height of upper doors with lower drawers?

Here's what it looks like in Sketch-Up. 93.5" tall, assuming 5" each for upper trim and some sort of baseboard. Those are two upper doors.

Any suggestions or tweaks to improve? How much clearance should I allow for the inset upper doors to open?

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Updated with dimensions.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 1:11PM
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I have 2, both closets type versus cabinet, neither with drawers. If your comforters are thin, the drawers will work, but if they are down and puffy , it's going to be a struggle. I actually roll mine, and tie with ribbons. Takes up less room and 'stay' better than if folded.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 3:19PM
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If you're going to use it as a linen closet, you may want to consider making the upper portion one large door, or double doors, so that you have use of the full width of shelves. The door(s) could have faux panels on the front if you want it to look like 4 small doors.
I suggest having one wide closet because I find that with sheets, extra pillows, large towels and misc. blankets that I need all the maneuvering room I can get.
Regarding the drawers:
I find the ones I use for long term storage are limited when it comes to actual usable space and accessibility. Whenever I need something that is on the bottom then I have to remove everything on top. Personally I prefer shelves where I can see everything and just pull out what I want. If you're only going to keep 1-2 blankets in the drawers then you should be fine.

Also, if you're going to keep the same door trim on the existing doors, check to see if the linen closet doors interfere with the upper trim.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 6:53PM
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I agree with both Annz and Patty Cakes' suggestions. I don't have a dedicated linen closet, but instead have built-in linen cabinets in our two main bathrooms. Neither have drawers, just shelves. But, I do have a similar set up to the one you've pictured, on one side of our guest room's walk-in closet that I'm using to store extra sheets, blankets and comforters. In there, my upper doors are double ones, making access to the shelves easy. But the drawers, deep as they are, are not working very well at all for storing my comforters in. I'm going to try Patty's roll & tie idea with them. instead. The drawers do hold sheet sets, neatly folded inside one pillow case fairly well, though. I can set them on end ( like books) in the drawers for easy access. The problem, up until Patty's idea, is that the comforters folded on the shelves are so puffy that my cabinet doors won't stay closed.

Anyhoo, just more food for thought. But, how wonderful to be getting ANY type of extra storage, so I'm happy for you! Don't forget to post After pics of us.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 7:17PM
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Don't fill it in. It's there for a reason. Consider the problem of losing that area for maneuvering while carrying largish things up and down the stairs.

Fill the area with cardboard boxes and test it by taking a double bed headboard and box spring up the stairs, or a highboy.

Can you do it?

If not, install a tall linen cabinet that you can move out of there.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 11:34AM
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An excellent design point about the actual physical space -- and being able to use it to move items around and in-or-out of the adjoining rooms ....

Yes -- perhaps check into adding a basic armoire or vintage wardrobe to house linens .... or add basic shelves (with lined and labeled baskets to hold linens) that COULD be removed if things need to be moved around that area .....

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 12:39PM
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Patty_cakes, good tip, thanks! I'm actually thinking smaller (say, twin size) comforters, for use when on sofas.

annz-upper portion is two tall doors. To be totally honest, other than the comforters/afghans, I'm really not too sure what I'll store here. Perhaps overflow shoe storage :)
I love your idea for keeping the sheet sets in a pillowcase; I go crazy hunting for certain sizes.

lazygardens, teacats - thanks for thinking of this, we have definitely taken that into consideration. We can come in at an angle from the family room and make it up. (We were carrying up 4x8 3/4 inch plywood sheets this weekend, could easily go wider).

edited to move color question to a new post.

This post was edited by oldbat2be on Wed, Jan 8, 14 at 6:28

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 4:53PM
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This is an open view of a linen cabinet we have in our Master Bath. It is free standing, 22 x 24 deep x 96 tall.

Fortunately we have another in the hallway which measures 5' wide x 15" deep. It has double doors opening to 48" with an Elfa system inside.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 6:33PM
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fnmroberts - beautiful linen closet, I like seeing your organization.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 6:27AM
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