Ok guys, what I’m about to suggest may come as a surprise. It will perhaps change everything you ever thought you knew about real estate and home design. It will shatter the premise that we designers promote regarding how and where to invest your funds within your home. Yes guys, I’m here to tell you, that the most important space in your home is not your kitchen, your bathroom and definitely not your man cave. It’s, in fact, your closet!
Think about it. Your closet is a space that creates the man who is about to engage the world each day anew. Your closet helps to define you, helps to create your persona, helps you to put your best foot forward each morning before you head out the door. So why is it guys, that when asked, most men don’t even consider their closet a room to design?
Custom closets can be quite pricey and range anywhere between a few thousand dollars for a small space closet to tens of thousands of dollars for some of the most well fitted.
Deconstructing the layers of a well designed closet, however, can help you save on that hefty price tag and give you the direction needed to redesign or retrofit your existing closet, saving you thousands of dollars.
1. Color Concept
A key element when redesigning any space is consideration of a colour concept. Men gravitate to dark rich colours, which is why many companies chose to promote dark wood finishes and black lacquers, to name a couple. While some might argue that cladding a small closet in dark colours makes the space feel smaller, I’d suggest that it in fact creates a feeling of envelopment and warmth. A closet is not a room you’ll be spending hours in and as such, feel free to break free form the general rules of design, makes your closet space more suited to your liking.
2. Give your Accessories the Love they Deserve
While we may not admit it, we guys do love our accessories. Often, we require them as part of appropriate office wear. Whether ties, cufflinks, tie pins, hats, bags, watches or colourful socks, the days of hanging a tie off a hook on the back of your door, or throwing your cuff links into a shoe box should have ended in college.
When redesigning your closet take inventory of your accessories. This will help in deciding where to invest your funds when it comes to choosing the correct storage solutions for your personal aesthetic. Do you need more tie storage, or more jewellery compartments? Saving money on closet details that will never be used, is the best way to re-appropriate those funds into details that will give you the most bang for your buck.
3. Divide and Conquer
One of the biggest challenges I find with my male clientele and their drawer organization or, the lack thereof. Piles of socks or underwear in one drawer makes it almost impossible to find the perfect pair for the day. Not to mention makes it difficult to know what, if any, new pair needs to be purchased. An easy fix, whether you are retrofitting an existing drawer or redesigning a new closet, is to introduce acrylic dividers within the drawer. Acrylic is an easily accessible material that is sturdy and will stand the test of time. Additionally, it is transparent so it doesn’t impede on the visual openness of a drawer. As a tight fit is crucial when having interior drawer dividers cut, when ordering from an acrylic manufacturer, I suggest taking a drawer with you (just in case). If possible, rather than doing it yourself, allow the manufacturer to take the measurements, to guarantee a proper fit. This may seem like a small and unimportant detail but, I guarantee that once you’ve done it and you’re able to clearly see and access your accessories properly. Not only will it create less stress, you’ll save time during your morning routine. Ikea definitely has some great options that can assist you in better organizing your accessories, for a great price.
4. Raise the Bar
I mean that literally and figuratively. Have you ever stood in your closet, filing through the copious number of shirts and pants hanging side by side, often times, so tightly, you can barely access your own wardrobe? By simply raising a hanging bar in your closet, you can free up enough space below to hang another bar, thus doubling your vertical hang! Standard closets are built with a bar hanging at a height based on average North American height and really do not take the wasted space both above and below into consideration. Depending on your closet’s ceiling height, a shift of 6-12 inches can add that much needed additional hang power that most of us so desperately require by incorporating an additional bar below the now raised bar.
5. Speaking of wasted Space
While we might need a step ladder to access the high space in a closet, simple disregarding its importance is doing a disfavour not only to your closet, but to you as well. While you may not have the funds to invest in custom organization, the area on the top of your closet needs some designer love too. As that area is generally filled with any item that doesn’t have a designated home, it tends to, over time, become a pile of “stuff”. Design rule 101, piles of “stuff” are never ok. Consider inexpensive baskets or boxes to line that top shelf. Big box stores have really jumped on the bandwagon when it comes to small organization and as such, offering design savvy boxes and baskets has become almost second nature for design centric retailers.
Lining your top shelf with boxes, labelled with its contents will not only create a well designed space, but will help with the much needed declutter that closet shelves so often suffer from.
6. Shoes — sneakers, loafers, kicks or whatever yours are
Admit it guys. Everyone loves their shoes — yes, some way more than others. But whether you have a fabulous kicks collection, or are more of the Italian loafer aficionado, a frat house show pile of shoes boxes on top of shoe boxes is not the way to store and/or display your footwear.
For those of you who are investing in a custom closet, investigate the many types of shoe organization that the manufacturer is offering. But, for those of us who need to be a little bit more conscious of our budget, shoe storage solutions can be found at most big box stores nowadays and I’m not talking about your grandmother’s hanging shoe tree. Taking the time to give your footwear a proper home, will not only up the look of your closet, it will save you thousands in footwear care and replacement.
7. Finally, a Bright Idea
What’s a well designed closet good for if you can’t properly see what it contains? We live a time when LED light strips are so mainstream, it’s rare to find a supplier who doesn’t carry them. A well lit closet will make outfit selection so much easier because pairing colours or patterns or choosing that perfect tie sock combo, can never be done correctly in the dark. Throwing up light strips on the undercount of each shelf will illuminate your closet exponentially, direction the light where it’s needed most, on your clothing.
So gents, I think we can all agree, it’s time to come out of the closet when it comes to closet love. This ever important space should no longer be the afterthought in your home. Appreciating its importance to your daily routine is paramount and with my 7 tips, no matter what your budget, you too can create the perfect home for your wardrobe.