Yet another question: This time, closet height

wi-sailorgirlSeptember 22, 2010

Now that the space is *almost* closed in completely (unfortunately it rained in my living room last night. Not much to do about it other than have a glass of wine and get out of the house!) I'm beginning to get a better feel for how things will look and things I hadn't thought of (the angled ceiling, for instance, has a new wrinkle, but I won't post about it until I can get decent pictures to illustrate the issue ... we were up there with a flashlight last night).

If you look at the drawing (sorry for posting it again but I wanted it handy in this post), you'll notice there is a small closet in Bedroom #2 that sort of juts out into the room. The ceilings will be quite tall in that area: probably 9 to 13 feet (angled). Do you think we should have them square off the top of that closet (and if so, at what height?), run a whole "column of closet" all the way up to the ceiling, or do something else. I'd like to make it as nice looking (read: not so HERE IS THE CLOSET!) as possible so I'd love some suggestions.

And thanks again to everyone for being so friendly over here. Your input is very helpful.

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Sailorgirl, my first impulse is to say go all the way up and have that closet tower. What will your walls be made of?
Is this going to have beadboard or some other wood for wainscoting down low? If so, I'd say encase the tower in the beadboard all the way up. I'd also consider installing some of those "pull down" shelving appliances which would let you hang clothes up there, and the mechanism lets you pull it down and out to access it at floor level. I'm very much into bifold doors, and they can be custom built to fit that space to look seamless.

Or, you could leave the higher reaches open at this time. Then later on, if you choose to put storage up there, add the proper doors. But IMHO, that is storage space that will be really useful.

Hmmm, depending on how wide it is, it could be an indoor tree house, with a ladder access.

On the other side of the small window in that bedroom, it says sloped ceiling. To build a short window seat would be quite appropriate, and terminate it under the slope with a sort of chest which does the same as the tall closet....just goes up until it ends with the ceiling slope. Even open shelving would be good there.

I'm also curious about what lighting you'll be using in both bedrooms. A light to wash the ceiling with light? That is one option. Nothing that would glare in your eyes. A wall washer/ceiling washer could emphasize the unique dimensions of your spaces. I think it could be quite dramatic to point them out instead of trying to hide them.
At least, have the LIGHT (not the paint) emphasize them.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 10:24AM
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No real answer for you. I have had closets that go way up high and then not able to access the top part.Made me crazy. there is not all that much room to get past the first shelf above clothes and all that wasted space above. Here I had them leave off the front wall so I can put shelving up there and be able to get to it. In your house I would maybe flatten closet ceiling to normal height with the one shelf then add doors above for more storage.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 10:40AM
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Back in the old days we had cupboards above our closets. As it is now, there is wasted space that you can't see and can't use.

I agree with leaving the area for a bookcase, linen closet or other storage. If you are going to have your window seat next to it, then you have climbing ability to get there. Even if you can't easily reach it, major space to use for storage...winter blankets?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 11:12AM
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Thanks for the opinions, everyone. Turns out they were just in the nick of time as the GC called me out there this afternoon to ask about the closets because they want to start the interior framing tomorrow.

I told them to take it all the way up to the ceiling (the framing), and then I can either do cupboard-type doors up there or something more built-in looking, but I have a few days to decide on that.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 4:15PM
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"Back in the old days we had cupboards above our closets. As it is now, there is wasted space that you can't see and can't use. "

I like these also. makes more sense than added shelves within the closet - too hard to access. with separate doors on them you can always use a ladder to get stuff out. store things you don't often use. They're often seen in homes in other countries - House Hunters Int'l.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 1:55AM
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Way to go, Sailorgirl!!
You are anticipating the next play in your reconstruction job.
I agree that you don't need to work yourself into a corner that you cannot get out of, so keeping your options open is a wise way to go.

And Steph, the way you say it is so true. That is why I think a real good walkin closet is fantastic to have.

Sailorgirl, when you do the cupboard doors, think about getting them as open louvers. That would give some ventilation. Of course, you could enclose that portion of your storage with CEDAR BOARDS, and make yourself a real CEDAR CLOSET up there. Then, of course, solid wood doors and not open louvered ones.

Yes, Steph, they have those storage areas a lot in very old homes. I'm thinking it might have been common in stone houses? In Ireland, for instance, the space behind the hearth and chimney was turned into a lofted space where the children slept. In the case of my DH's mother, they had TWO hearths, and the girls slept up a ladder behind one, and the boys slept up a ladder behind the other one. The parents slept in the room behind the chimney on the ground floor. So I can see that space was useful for storage if the kids were not sleeping there.

Incidentally, they also had a way to fold away the bed in a special cabinet so the room was used during the day for sewing or other uses. Hmmmm, it makes me realize that the "Murphy" bed may well have been an IRISH invention? :)

In small rooms, especially in small GUEST rooms, a Murphy type bed is a great invention. Some are made to raise on their sides, some on their ends. Where ceilings are low, the side rise would be the best, IMHO.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 11:57AM
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