Are you in the process of designing your first closet? Are you looking for inspiration for your next design consultation? Many people find themselves struggling to maximize storage and minimize cost when it comes to custom storage solutions. This guide, created by JL Closets,  to help you better understand the custom home storage industry and the impact it can have on your home.

The Demand for Home Organization

The demand for home organization and storage is at an all time high and continues to grow. The industry is expected in increase in the United States by 3.8 percent every year through 2021 to a $11.8 billion (U.S. Census Bureau). Still not convinced on the importance of home storage solutions? Check out these industry statistics!

  • 60 percent  of homeowners are willing to pay extra for a walk-in closet located in the master bedroom (USA Today)
  • 30 percent of U.S. Homeowners say their master closet has the worst storage system in the home (Statista)
  • National Homebuyer Association reports ranging from 1938 to 2017 all have “not enough storage space” listed as a main concern for homeowners
  • Closets and bedroom storage were the most popular areas updated in 2016 (Houzz)
  • “Do It Yourself” projects are decreasing in popularity with 48 percent of people in 2017 choosing a specialty provider over any other option for their storage solutions (Houzz)
  • Home buyers currently spend $22 billion a year to rent storage space to compensate for the lack of storage space at home (Self Storage Association)
  • 42 percent of renters say they are willing to spend more on rent for better storage options (Probuilder)
  • 56 percent of renters are interested in organizing their closet spaces specifically (Closetmaid)

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Contemporary Closets and Storage

Closet Design Vocabulary

Before we dive into the nuances of custom closet design, it is important to build a solid foundation. Below you will find some beginner vocabulary to help you better understand every aspect of your custom closet.

  • Double Hang– the use of two hanging rods within one section which allows for an upper hanging section and a lower hanging section
  • Long Hang– the use of a single hanging rod with 1-2 shelves above it which is great for hanging dresses
  • Half and Half– putting a hanging rod in the lower section and shelving in the upper section. This is arguably the most useful configuration because both the hanging rod and the shelves are easy to see and reach.
  • U-Channel Brackets– metal u-shaped brackets that attach to both the wall and the panel. There are typically 1-3 breakets per upright panel and they keep the panels in your closet from moving horizontally
  • RTA Shelf– RTA stands for “Ready to Assemble” and these shelves have plastic fixtures on the bottom that screw into the panel for stability
  • Inside Dimensions– the actual width of the section between the outside panels of the unit
  • Outside Dimensions– the width of the section including the outside panels of the unit
  • Hard measurements– precise measurements that go wall to wall and measure the entire space
  • Bridge Shelf– the top shelf connector piece that is typically between 10 to 14 inches wide. Designing with a bridge shelf allows for one continuous storage shelf along the top of the system
  • Soft measurements– these wall measurements typically have bridge shelves that connect adjacent sections for continuous top shelf storage. Since the bridge shelf is easy to cut on site, we refer to these wall measurements as “soft” because there is some flexibility. Soft measurements can also refer to measurements when the closet sections don’t fill up the entire space or go wall to wall
  • Tear Out- what we refer to when we’re referencing the amount of material that needs to be removed before the installation of your new closet.The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Contemporary Closets and Storage

Maximizing Space

A well designed closet takes advantage of the space available. Even smaller closets can provide a surprising amount of storage if designed properly. Knowing how to maximize the given space is crucial to designing custom storage success.The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Contemporary Closets and Storage

  • Maximizing the Minimum: 5 by 5

These small, square closets offer just enough walk-in space to turn around in. Installing shelves all the way to the ceiling and adding double hanging rods creates a surprising amount of storage. Plan on aligning double hanging rods at around 40 and 80” on a vertical wall.

  • Long and Narrow: 6.5 by 9

This standard walk-in usually consists of two long walls of parallel hanging space and a shorter wall at the far end. Use the long walls for hanging clothes and storing shoes. The shorter wall should be used for drawers to avoid drawers on opposite walls hitting each other.

  • Island Time: 12 by 4

With a closet this big, it is easy to feel frustrated with the large amount of open space in the middle not being used. Adding an island to the center allows for extra storage space, drawers for accessories, as well as a useful work surface for putting laundry away or planning your outfit.

Designing for Every Room in the House

These room layout and storage requirements for every room of the house show that storage is not limited to a simply walk-in closet. On average, bedrooms make up less than one-third of the home. If you are already providing quality closets in the bedrooms, there are plenty of other opportunities for better storage including the kitchen, living room, laundry room, and garage. Don’t miss out on the other opportunities for profit by ignoring the rest of the home!

  • His and Hers Master

Two smaller walk-ins allow for more space than one large master closet! This design options allows both him and her to have a say in their custom closet. Ensure the top shelf is around 14 to 16 inches deep for large item storage.

  • Bedroom Reach-In

A well designed reach-in closet can provide more storage than expected. For bedroom reach-in closets, specify 15 percent of space for long hang, 60 percent of space for double hang and 25 percent of space for shelving.

  • Kids’ Room Reach-In

Custom storage in children’s rooms allows for adjustments to the design as the children age. Providing triple hang with shelving accommodates smaller childrens clothes but allows for easy adjustment over time. As the closet transitions from a triple to a double hang, the extra space can be turned into additional shelving.

  • Pantry

A well organized pantry helps make cooking an enjoyable experience and keeps the kitchen free of clutter. Unless it is a walk-in pantry, the shelves should be between 17 and 24 inches deep. Drawers and large shelves help store items that typically take up counter space.

  • Garage Storage

Garage walls can be classified as either major walls or minor walls. A major wall accommodates storage from floor to ceiling across the entire span of the wall and is typically the wall located at the front of the vehicles. Minor walls have limited storage space due to car doors opening and necessary walkway space. A well-designed complete garage storage solution consists of 30 percent cabinetry, 50 percent shelving, and 20 percent accessories.


The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Contemporary Closets and Storage

Additional Design Tips

  • Make room for sufficient rod length

Make it a point to have bedroom closets with at least 48 – 50-inch rod length to avoid folding expensive suits and dresses. Even in a built-in closet without doors, remember to keep sufficient space for hanging clothes that can be pulled off the hanger and worn without the fuss of ironing or removing creases.

  • Fit lights where necessary

Wouldn’t you want to see the color and design of clothes before pulling them out of the closet like those hanging neatly in a clothes store? Incorporate the same technique at home and have well-lit walk-in closets. If you’re considering investing in a contemporary custom closet consider adding stylish interior lights which will help prevent the ordeal of sifting through several items before finally finding the right one.

  • Door mirrors

All dressing rooms need a full-length mirror to display how an outfit looks with a complementary set of accessories and footwear. But if you have a smaller space to work with, then a full-length mirror fitted to its doors can serve the purpose just to check how it looks on you, with or without accessories.

  • Customize it to your convenience

When planning a contemporary closet remember to select closet accessories and materials that are tailored to your needs. Things like drawers with slots for jewelry, vanity sections with foldable mirrors, hooks to hang belts, ties, etc., should be arranged to suit your collection. Remember you should have a sufficient number of open shelves and drawers for your belongings so that it is easy to find items you need. Plus, this makes it easier to put them back after use which will keep your closet organized.


The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Contemporary Closets and Storage


Custom Closet Design Trends

Just like clothes, closets can go out of style. JL Closets is passionate about providing stylish and modern custom closets. With a constantly expanding market of custom closets, it’s no wonder that trends are always changing. Here are our favorite closet trends from this year so far!

  • Drawers, Drawers, Drawers

Closed storage in a custom closet is a massive DRAW. Drawers provide an out-of-sight storage option while maintaining the sleek and elegant look of your custom closet. With over 300 drawer front option from JL Closets, we promise your drawers will fit in perfectly with your design ideas.

  • LED Lighting

Good lighting can make or break your custom closet. Stop fumbling around in the dark to find the perfect shirt or your favorite necklace. A well-lit closet makes it easier to find what you’re looking for. Lighting can be used for functionality or to bring attention to your most prized possessions. Whatever your goal is, custom LED lighting can really elevate a custom closet.

  • Custom Islands

Make a bold statement while creating more organization in your home with a custom island. Custom islands can store everything from designer jewelry to shoes to sweaters. You can take it a step further and add bench seating to your island. Drawers, display doors, or simple shelves can truly customize your island.

  • Chandeliers

Looking to add a dramatic flair to your closet? A chandelier is the way to go! A unique light fixture in the middle of your walk-in further personalizes a custom closet. This trend not only creates a Pinterest worthy closet, but it provides the perfect closet selfie lighting.

  • Multi Generational Homes

A record 64 million US families live in multigenerational homes. Despite the popularity of multigenerational homes falling in the past, there has been a steady increase since 1980. With no foreseeable decline in popularity, it is important for designers to learn how to adapt to these households. Design features like neutral colors, statement pieces, and LED lighting are found in design trends with every generation. Single hanging rods, lower drawers, and drawer construction also allow for greater accessibility for everyone.

  • Neutral Colors

Sticking to colors like white and grey allows the closet to match any room. Neutral colors allow the clothes to define the aesthetic which means each closet is easily personalized. These colors may seem basic but they’ve been around forever for a reason.

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Contemporary Closets and Storage

Ready to upgrade your closets? Call us at 561-912-9881 or click here to schedule your free design consultation today!

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