Walk-ins have always been a staple in the home design industry. They are highly desired by homeowners looking to add and optimize storage in kitchen pantries and especially bedroom closets. Custom walk-ins also provide homeowners the opportunity to add some unique styles and functionality to otherwise uninspired storage spaces. According to the NKBA/KBIS 2023 Design Trends Study, walk-in pantries will be the most requested styles over the next three years.
In other words, if you’re considering custom walk-in closets for your next renovation project, you’re not alone. Designing a walk-in closet, of course, requires more than just a focus on style and luxury. You also need to think about comfort and efficiency.
The team at Holland’s Custom Cabinets has put together a list of 15 must-have features that will bring practically any custom walk-in closet to life.
Must-Have Custom Walk-in Closet Features
1. A Safe
Most custom closet designs include a safe. It’s the best place to keep your jewelry, watches, and other valuable items. While you may already have a safe in your home office, walk-in closets make great locations for safes, too.
Make sure to think about adding a safe while brainstorming your walk-in closet ideas. Your cabinet experts will provide you with the best solution for integrating a safe into your closet design.
2. A Valet Bar
One of the most underappreciated elements of any closet space are valet bars. You can use valet bars to hang clothes while packing or unpacking. For example, you may regularly dry clean your expensive clothes. When you bring your drycleaning home, it’s usually covered in plastic. To avoid wrinkling these items or dirtying them all over again, you want to get them into the closet as soon as possible. While most people lay their clothes on the bed to remove the plastic, with a valet bar you can hang your clothes on the bar directly, remove the plastic, and then quickly place each item in the closet, with fewer chances of disturbing them.
So anyone interested in finding a better way to manage their clothes, whether packing or unpacking, should include a valet bar in their walk-in closet ideas.
What good are custom walk-in closet ideas if they don’t include an armoire or a wardrobe? Customized wardrobes can help add storage space, plus they can help adapt your walk-in closet to better meet your personal storage needs.
You’ll want to avoid the rookie mistake of jamming your wardrobe design into a corner, though. From corner shelves to corner rods, corner storage is rarely a good idea if you can avoid it.
One way to get more out of an armoire or a wardrobe is to use mirrored doors or open shelves. These are two walk-in closet ideas that can create more functionality with less space.
4. Belt and Tie Racks
One walk-in closet idea you won’t regret is the addition of belt and tie racks, especially if belts and ties are part of your everyday wardrobe. Most people store these items in the back of a sock or underwear drawer, where they get forgotten or wrinkled.
Dedicated racks keep your belts and ties organized and accessible, helping you get ready in minutes rather than requiring you to fumble through drawers all the time.
5. Dressing Table
A dressing table or vanity can greatly add to the functionality of your walk-in closet. Just think of how great your walk-in closet would be with mirrors, stylish lighting, and a small seating arrangement! This is a great idea for custom closet designs if your space allows.
6. Fold Out Ironing Board
Most walk-in closet ideas may not include a fold-out ironing board, equipment that’s typically found in the laundry room. Just imagine, though, the convenience and efficiency of a fold-out ironing board in your walk-in closet.
7. Full-Length Mirror
Whether you add a full-length mirror to your closet doors, use fully mirrored doors, or have a dressing table, a full-length mirror is a must-have walk-in closet idea. Besides allowing you to look at yourself and your outfit from head to toe, a full-length mirror also helps make small rooms appear bigger. With excellent lighting, you can use it as a statement piece, and when positioned properly, a full-length mirror can help fill your walk-in closet with plenty of sunlight.
8. Hanging Space
We know it’s hard to believe, but many custom closet ideas fail to consider hanging space for extra-long items such as dresses, gowns, and suits. If you have even a few of these items, the cabinetry experts at Holland’s Custom Cabinets can work with you to incorporate additional space for extra-long items into your design.
9. Hat Shelf
Back in the first half of the twentieth century, most home closets included a hat shelf. Nowadays, while that may sound retro, hats remain a popular style statement. So while the types of hats worn have changed over the years, for any wardrobe with even just a few hats in it, an open shelf for hat storage is a good idea. You can choose the number and size of shelves, depending on the type of hats you have.
10. Closet Island
Larger walk-in closets can accommodate closet islands. Typically placed in the center of the closet space, they provide a countertop with extra drawers and storage for jewelry, watches, ties, belts, and other items beneath. Often wired for power, closet islands are a great place to charge your smartphone, watch, laptop, or other device while you get ready. This is one walk-in closet idea you’ll want to discuss with your designer early on to determine if your closet layout and space will accommodate a closet island.
11. Laundry Hamper
A built-in laundry hamper is a must for most custom closet designs. It’s a pleasant upgrade to a laundry basket lying around the closet or bedroom floor. While you’ll need at least one laundry hamper, it’s quite common to add more depending on your needs.
12. Locking Drawers
Most top custom walk-in closet ideas include the use of at least some locking drawers. Locking drawers let you store valuables with confidence and help keep items away from children.
Seating is an excellent addition to larger-sized custom walk-in closets. Ottomans, side chairs, or even small sofas can be a big help when taking off or putting on shoes or stockings.
14. Shoe Shelves
In addition to hat shelves, shoe shelves are a great idea for custom closet designs. Shoe shelves help you organize your shoes, letting quickly choose the pair you want to wear. You can also think of adding cubbies to store sneakers, flats, sandals, and flip-flops. Again, the size and number of the shelves you need depends on how many pairs of shoes you own.
15. Well-Balanced Lighting
The final element of functional and stylish custom closet designs is ample lighting. You can include different types of lights in your walk-in closet. Some of the most common types of lights include:
- Recessed lighting for general use
- Integrated LED lighting under or behind shelves and racks
- A chandelier (depending on the size of your walk-in closet)
- Wall-mounted scones, especially around a dressing table.
When considering lighting ideas for your walk-in closet, it’s best to consult a professional. They’ll have experience with different styles and can help you decide how to add perfect lighting to your walk-ins.
Make Us Your Walk-In Solution
Custom walk-in closets provide increased storage, better functionality, and help you make a unique style statement. But as is the case with any remodel or design project, there are numerous factors to keep in mind. We’ve outlined 15 considerations here and urge you to contact Holland’s Custom Cabinets before you move forward with your project. We are a one-stop shop for all custom cabinetry solutions. Call 619.443.6081 or contact us online to schedule a consultation now!