Each home is as unique as the people who live in it. Its style, age, décor, and even the imperfections are part of what sets it apart from the other houses on the block. Your closet design should embrace and enhance this character through your selection of closet options and finishing touches. Select the right closet options to ensure every detail is perfect for a result you can be proud of.

How to Choose the Best Closet Options for Your Needs

Every home has a style. Part of that style comes from its exterior. It may be a mid-century modern home with a contemporary vibe, an antique Victorian with historical overtures, or something else. But an even greater part of the home’s character comes from its owners. The choices they make on the interior are a reflection of their individual style and preferences. Everything from colors, décor, furniture, appliances, and even the closet adds to the uniqueness of the home. When it comes to designing your closet, you want to make sure you choose closet options and finishing touches to reflect your personality, lifestyle, and needs.

Important Considerations When Building a Closet

No matter whether you’re working with a walk-in closet, reach-in/wall closet, or wardrobe, there are certain considerations that are critical to the success of your closet. Some are based on your height or physical limitations. Some are based on your lifestyle and whether you have small children in the house. Others are driven by the age and type of housing that you live in. And others are just personal preference.

Fully Bored vs. Selective Drilling

Drilling pattern selection is often overlooked by do-it-yourselfers. Yet, it is an important part of all closet design because it affects both the appearance and functionality of the final closet. It should, therefore, be given careful consideration. Full bore means that rows of holes will be drilled into one side of all your closet panels. This is the standard procedure for most closet companies. The advantage of this is that you can more easily move a shelf or closet rod to a new location when these holes are already there. Selective drilling means that holes are only drilled in the pre-planned locations of your shelves, rods, and other closet components. It gives more of a high-end, furniture like appearance, but is much less able to be changed later on. For this reason, we don’t recommend selective drilling for children’s closets.

Laminate panels with two different types of drilled hole patterns
The photo on the left shows a full bore panel where there are small holes are drilled every 1.25-inches. This allows for maximum flexibility. The photo on the right shows selective drilling. This means that holes are only drilled where needed.

Adjustable Shelves vs. Fixed Shelving

All closets need shelves. Hanging space is simply not enough, especially if you want a space for your shoes or folded items. The decision, therefore, is not whether to include shelves, but rather how flexible do you want them to be. A top-shelf must always be a fixed shelf. That means it is locked in place and can never be moved. Depending on the size of the system, there may also be a middle shelf that is fixed. The rest of the shelves are usually the adjustable type that simply sit on a set of pins. This is true of both full bore and selectively drilled closets.

If you don’t want the other shelves to come off, you must request/purchase special pin-in-place shelf pins. These are shelf supports that prevent an adjustable shelf from moving. The decision to use these shelf pins is usually based on lifestyle. Among there many applications, they are recommended for families with young children where the kids may try to climb the shelves. You wouldn’t want the shelf to tilt so they fall and get hurt.

Fixed shelves versus adjustable shelves
The photo on the left shows a fixed shelf that is locked into a single position. Top shelves are always fixed. The image on the right shows adjustable shelving with pins that can be repositioned depending on need.

Closet Rod Styles and Rod Height

Signature clothes rod for a closet in matte gold finish
Signature closet rod in a matte gold finish installed on a closet panel that is selectively drilled for a premium appearance.

The appearance of the rod from which the clothes hang can set the tone of the closet. For this reason, closet rods are available in many styles and finishes. Select the one that best matches the rest of the hardware in your home.

Equally important is the location of the closet rods. There are standard positions recommended for closet rod placement based on the type of garment to be hung from them. As a general rule, these guidelines should be followed as they will provide optimal placement for the majority of people. If you are exceptionally short, tall, a child, in a wheelchair or have mobility problems, these guidelines need to be adjusted. Position the rods so that you can comfortably reach the hanger. If you are tight on space, make sure the clothes you wear all the time are accessible. Store your out-of-season or infrequently used items on upper shelves or clothes rods that must be accessed by a step ladder or shepherd’s hook.

Tall people should measure the length of their clothes to make sure that the recommended standard rod positions will work for them. You may need to go up an inch or so to ensure the bottom of the garment doesn’t drag on the floor or shelf.

standard closet rod heights
Standard closet rod heights are 64.5-inches from the ground for long hang, 52.5-inches from the ground for medium hang, and a rod placed at both 40.5-inches from the floor and 79-inches for the double hang section.

Moulding

To mould or not to mould is a personal decision. However, moulding has distinct advantages when you are building a closet. It covers up gaps created by crooked walls and floors. Don’t forget that your closet components will be filled off-site at a factory where everything comes off the machine with perfect right angles. Most homes are stick-frame, built on-site, and walls and floors are never perfectly straight. If your closet extends to the ceiling, there will probably be a gap unless you use crown.

Often the choice of whether to use moulding is influenced by the style of the home. Historic homes usually have traditional crown moulding installed along the ceilings. It is nice to match this look in the closet as well. But crown is available in flat contemporary styles as well and will suit any decorating style.

optional crown moulding for a closet
This closet features traditional crown moulding above the upper storage cabinets.

Lighting

Closet lighting has come a long way from the days of the single bare bulb hanging down from the ceiling. Modern LED closet lighting systems are easy for the do-it-yourselfer to install. There is no in-wall wiring. Systems are low voltage meaning a transformer plugs into an existing outlet. All the wires for the closet lights run off the transformer. Modern closet lights are all LED, therefore consuming very little energy. They are usually turned on and off by remote control but wall mount switches are available. The wall-mount switches also work off the remote control principle and do not require any interior wiring. Closet lighting systems improve your ability to locate the items you are looking for much better than a single light fixture in the center of the ceiling could hope to provide. They also add an unparalleled element of drama to the closet you’re sure to enjoy.

Closet with LED Lighting system
This closet features an LED closet lighting system. Vertical strip lighting is used along the front edge of the vertical panels of the shoe shelves. Horizontal strip lights are used above the closet rods on the undersides of the shelves. Puck lights are installed above the countertop of the closet hutch for task lighting.

Choose Your Closet Options and Finishing Touches with Care

It may be a cliché, but your home truly is your castle. If you’re going to invest the time and money in a custom closet design, you want it done well. That is why the best closet options will complement your lifestyle, home, and personal flair. With the right choices, who knows, your closet may just end up your favorite room in the house.

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