The dream dressing, a “must have” in every home
I cannot imagine a life without a well organized dressing or wardrobe
A well organized dressing or wardrobe is the key element for a good looking and clean home. Unless you are ultra minimalistic and can live with a capsule wardrobe, which consists of 3 to 5 items per category. And just to be clear, when I say well organized I do not mean the standard 1m per 2m in height which only has one hanger rod and one shelf. I also had clients asking me for the following “big wardrobe” idea: up to the ceiling, with 2 hanger rods, but no elevator system, because those are expensive. These 2 ideas would look something like the two images below:
I still remember my early childhood years: when visiting my great-grandparents, I saw 2 beds the size of a one person bed and 2 wardrobes of around 1m each in their bedroom. I was about 5 or 6 years old, but I could not wrap my head around the idea that my great-grandparents, having a total of 5 daughters, manage to live with such a small wardrobe for a total of 7 people? Their explanation: Back in the days they didn’t have much clothes. This did not satisfy my couriosity.
Don’t let your prosperity drift out of your wardrobe
Nowadays we are enjoying the most prosperous times in history and as a result we accumulate a lot of things. Personally I do not get attached emotionally to things, which is why I often declutter and give away things that I do not need or use, thinking that other people, less fortunate, might need them more than I do. I also tend to think twice before buying items on impulse. I value too much order and a nice looking dressing over owning a lot of items.
Based on years of experience and observations working with clients and accommodating their storage habits, I came out with the following “rules” for clothing storage:
1. Identify the best space for a wardrobe or dressing in the house/apartment
This space can be a room on its own or just a bedroom wall, a hallway wall or any other space that doesn’t take much away from the visual space or the walking paths. In my opinion this is a major decision point when buying or renting a space.
2. Evoid long and narrow walk in closets
The standard depth for a wardrobe with hangers is 60cm, while space needed for a person to navigate between a wall and a wardrobe or between two wardrobes is a minimum of 80cm. Personally, I am not a big fan of walk-in dressings of 3-4m lenght and 1,5m width as an appendix to the bedroom. I find them unfriendly and sinister and I would preffer a bigger sized bedroom with a sliding door dresser on one side.
The exception from this rule would be the case, if the walk-in dressing is designed big enough to put an L-shaped, U-shaped wardrobe or two lines of wardrobes on two separate walls in. If there is only space for one line of worbrobes, then a bigger bedroom with a built-in dressing would be a better choice.
3. The inner organization relates to the number of persons
which will use it and their needs. As standard depth for hangers is 60cm I recommend using most of the space for hangers and identify other spaces in the room for wardrobes with shelves for folded clothes, that only require a depth of 40cm. A cabinet of 40cm in depth is easier to place in a space, without taking away too much of the walking paths.
4. Think twice before adding a TV in the bedroom.
In the case that the only storage space in a bedroom is in front of the bed and the length of the wall is somewhere around 3m: Isn’t it a shame to use a 3rd of this space to be taken over by a TV? Of course, we can use the space under the TV for drawers and the upper part for shelves for folded clothes, but see the upper point on folded clothes.
5. Think in linear meters of rod for hangers
Make sure that the storage space in the new dressing will be bigger than what you have available at the moment. For example if you are using a regular wardrobe at the moment, you probably have only one meter of hangers rod per every meter of closet. You should take into consideration using at maximum the height of the room to optimize the space, this meaning to get higher furniture. That way you are going to use the inner space in a wise manner and succeed in doubling the storage space, for example creating 6 linears meters of rod for hangers in a 3 meters long dressing. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
6. Adjust the height of the shelves
When using shelves for storing folding clothes make sure you take into consideration the optimal height. The typical mistake that people make is to leave a space of 35cm or even more between shelves. This is an absolute waste of space, since we are not going to build towers of t-shirts that are going to get destroyed each time we get one out. Less space between shelves means an extra one or two shelves so more storage space and more order in the wardrobe can be realized.
7. Have in mind the height of the clothes
We tend to believe that for hangers with long dresses or coats we need almost the entire height of the wardrobe. That is completely wrong. In reality, a medium size dress needs around 130-135cm space between shelves, including the rod. For men shirts or costumes we need a length of approximately 1m (+/- 5cm), but for women skirts and blouses we can work with less than that. Another aspect to take into consideration is also the fact that you do not want to let too much space between the rod itself and the upper shelf – experienced cabinet builders know that.
8. Use as much drawers as possible
Drawers are heavenly for well organized people. Don’t even think that you can live without them. They should not necessarily be in the wardrobe, because they would take out from the hangers space. If there is a space for a dresser with drawers it is better to use that one. A double dresser is even better. It is true that drawers add up on costs in all furniture, whether the furniture piece is ready-made or custom-made. But they serve us well in organizing small items such as undergarments, socks, stockings and sometimes even folded t-shirts or pullovers. Another example of using a different space for the drawers in this gallery.
Let me come up with a short story. For example, Maria is moving from an apartment in which she had 1m of wardrobe with 1m of rod for hangers and another closet of 1,2m with a single rod for hangers that she was using for coats and jackets. She had some drawers in the bedroom and some shelves scattered in different places of the space, in which the order was impossible to keep (the explanation for that lies in point no.6, see above). In the new apartment where she moves in with her boyfriend we find the possibility of placing a 3m wardrobe not in the bedroom, but in the living space, on a wall that is completely out of the walking path and doesn’t clutter the space visually. We end up with 5,5m of rod for hangers and lots of shelves.
We placed the TV in the living room furniture which has enough space for 10 drawers for both of them. Additionally, in the entrance hall, we identify the possibility of putting a closet for coats and jackets. They end up having not just a beautiful new place, but also a very neat and functional space.