Walk-In Closet: Perfectly Set the Scene for Outfits

A walk-in closet makes daily dressing easier and can be arranged in various ways – even if there is less space in the bedroom. We will help you plan and show you how to design your dressing room.

A walk-in closet creates an overview and order in the bedroom
A walk-in closet creates an overview and order in the bedroom.
Photo: Rauch Möbelwerke GmbH

What Is a Walk-In Closet?

Do the standard wardrobes or the large shelf not fit under your sloping roof? Or do you just want more than the classic three-door from the catalog? A walk-in closet saves your clothes from a dreary existence in the laundry hamper and can be set up in an extra room or a section of the bedroom – even with limited space because you can build the walk-in closet yourself or have it built how you like it. The individual wardrobe is 100 percent tailored to you and your needs: This makes the walk-in closet so attractive, not to say unbeatable, compared to ready-made closets. If you do not have enough space, you can also build an ordinary closet yourself.

An individual dressing room adapts 100 percent to your needs
An individual dressing room adapts 100 percent to your needs.
Photo: Rauch Möbelwerke GmbH

How Big Should a Walk-In Closet Be?

How big a walk-in closet should be depends entirely on your needs and available space. However, a dressing room doesn’t always need a lot of space: even in a 14 square meters or more bedroom, you can integrate a practical walk-in closet with relatively little effort. If you even have an entire dressing room to spare, you can put your clothes in the spotlight.

Tip: Use the “build a walk-in closet” project to part with one piece or another, giving you more space for the clothes you wear. Maybe a minimalist Capsule Wardrobe is something for you – this helps when space is limited and the available volume is limited, such as in a bedroom with a sloping roof.

How Expensive Is a Walk-In Closet?

The price of a walk-in closet depends on your wishes. Wardrobes and shelves come in all price categories, so it is impossible to name a clear price.

For example, you can hire a professional to install a custom-made wardrobe in your bedroom – of course, this will cost more than doing everything yourself and building the wardrobe and shelves yourself. But don’t worry: even with a limited budget; you can still fulfill your dream of a walk-in closet: All major furniture stores now offer ready-made (and often inexpensive) wardrobe and shelving systems – both with and without drawers or clothes rails.

You can combine if your wallet allows it, and the dimensions are right. You can also browse the Internet for inexpensive shelving or wardrobe systems that you can customize – for example, by adding a shelf to create more space in the dressing room.

Many large furniture stores now offer ready-made wardrobes and shelving systems for the bedroom
Many large furniture stores now offer ready-made wardrobes and shelving systems for the bedroom.

Walk-In Closet From Old Furniture

Ask friends if they would part with furniture they no longer use. Or use the almost endless offers of used shelves and cabinets on the Internet. Perhaps there is also a second-hand furniture store in your town. Upcycling is the magic word here: an old living room chest of drawers can be given a new lease of life with a bit of paint and colorful handles – and you can put your socks where grandma’s good silverware used to be. Or old wooden CD shelves, repainted and lined with small rubber protective mats, become a new home for your shoes. These ideas can be implemented even with little crafting skills and a small wallet.

How Do I Plan a Walk-In Closet?

To build a walk-in closet, you should consider where the closet or shelf will be located later. Measure the height – in the case of sloping ceilings, both centrally and on the outer sides – and the width and depth of the new dressing room – this way, you will know exactly where the wardrobe or shelf can be placed. Ensure they still have enough room to pass, for example, between the bed and the walk-in closet. Write down the numbers and preferably make a small sketch – this way, when you buy the finished closet and shelving systems or cut the boards to size, you can be sure that every piece will fit in the walk-in closet.

If you have little space available, it is convenient to simply close the walk-in closet with a curtain attached to a curtain rod. This way, you also visually separate the dressing area from the sleeping area and add a nice decorative element to the dressing room. Alternatively, you can use space-saving sliding doors, a suitably cut wooden panel, or a plasterboard. Wooden or gypsum boards as a partition element have the advantage that you can still attach shelves to the boards themselves, creating additional space in the bedroom. However, it is not advisable to use mirrored sliding doors. They bring too much unrest into the room. Wall mirrors are better placed inside the walk-in closet.

Whether you want to store your winter clothes and your summer pieces in the walk-in closet or whether you have a basement, for example, where the ski jacket can wait to be used again in the summer months, also plays a role in the design. Your clothing style is also important when planning a walk-in closet: do you often wear blouses or shirts? Are you comfortable in jeans or prefer cloth pants hanging on a pant rack? Do you fold your t-shirts, or do they go on a hanger? Do you have long coats or do you wear short jackets? Depending on your tastes and habits, a walk-in closet should have more space for clothes rods, more space for shelves, or more space for drawers. Also, remember the storage space for socks, for example.

You can also get a handle on tricky corners in the walk-in closet: Have shelves cut to size at the hardware store and find instructions online to help you securely fasten the DIY shelf. Make sure the shelf supports can withstand 20 pounds of weight or more. Even if you just want to put “a few shirts” on it – you should not underestimate the weight of the clothes; for stable fastening, buy suitable dowels and screws. By the way, this also applies to cabinets you place in the walk-in closet: Fasten well!

A walk-in closet can be customized and designed entirely according to your preferences
A walk-in closet can be customized and designed entirely according to your preferences.
Photo: iStock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Walk-In Closet: The Right Color Scheme

When it comes to color design in the bedroom, the following applies: the furniture and walls should be light, preferably natural or white. A walk-in closet thus needs less artificial lighting, and there is no unwanted color clash when putting together the outfit in the morning.

If you opt for darker furniture, you usually need more lamps and spotlights. Otherwise, the beautiful new walk-in closet becomes more of a dim closet. If you buy used, dark furniture or get it as a gift, it’s best to factor in money for a new coat of paint for the wood. More budget-friendly and, for some people, easier to use, can be adhesive films from home improvement stores or the Internet, which are then cut to the size of the cabinet or shelf and each drawer front. You can also use the foils to add accents and make individual cabinet doors or shelves a different color. Another option is to jazz up furniture with wallpaper.

Speaking of closet doors, you don’t necessarily need a walk-in closet – unless you’re concerned about dust and want to be extra gentle on those fancy evening gowns or suits. Another advantage: you can put a mirror in the doors. If a mirror is added on the opposite side, you can look at yourself from behind.

A walk-in closet with darker furniture usually needs more lamps and spotlights
A walk-in closet with darker furniture usually needs more lamps and spotlights.

How Can I Expand a Walk-In Closet?

It’s done! The wardrobe and shelving systems are where you wanted them to be, the self-built shelf holds thanks to your good preparatory work, and everything fits where it should be. The blouses and shirts hang nicely arranged on the clothes rail in the closet, and the leisure clothes are neatly folded on the shelf – and then you notice that the drawer intended for the socks is now full after all? Don’t panic: A walk-in closet is flexible. Let your eyes wander through your new dressing room: Does everything else have a place? Shoes, jackets, jewelry, scarves? Can you still find a place with strategic rearranging? Maybe put the winter sweaters in a vacuum bag and store them in the basement?

If everything is already full, plunge into boxes and boxes. How about a nice hat box for the socks? It looks good as a decoration on the dresser, and a walk-in closet gets some color through it. Maybe you can even find a box for your watches or rings in the same design. Because: too much color is also not good and brings unrest in the walk-in closet again. Stick to two harmonized colors: one a little stronger, the other a little weaker. For example, choose protective covers to protect evening dresses or suits from dust, not in black, but in a different color. Or use transparent protective covers. This way, you will always have your favorites in view. Get small drawer dividers or boxes to organize small items in the drawers better – this will create even more space in your walk-in closet.

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