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Closet Depths: Pt.1 What to consider when building or renovating

Closets are more than just storage spaces; they are the gatekeepers of our belongings, guarding our possessions with the utmost efficiency. However, the key to a truly organized and functional closet lies in a factor that often goes unnoticed: closet depth.

closet depths back and front wall

In this blog post, we will discuss closet depths, their significance, and why it's important to take them into consideration when building or renovating your home.

The Basics of Closet Depth:

Closet depth refers to two things:

  1. The interior distance from the front to the back of the closet frame itself

  2. The measurement from the front to the back of the custom closet system installed within the closet frame

This post discusses #1: interior closet depth.

Closet depth has a profound impact on how efficiently you can store and access your items.

How does closet depth impact storage?

It directly affects the types of items you can store. Shallow-depth closets might be better for pantry's, cleaning supplies, and linens, while closets that are meant for clothing or storage tubs need more depth to accommodate the inventory.

Walk-In Closets:

Walk-in closets often have more flexibility in terms of depth and what you are storing. Things to think about for depth when the architect or interior designer is creating the size of the closet:

  • Do you want doors over your hanging clothes? You will need more depth for the closet system to surpass the hangers and for the doors to be able to open.

  • Do you want to design the back and front walls of a closet? The depth determines if this is possible.

For Example:

In the closet aerial below. If the side walls are 70" and the closet system depth is 14 inches on the front and back walls, you are left with 42" of open space.

walk in closet depths

If you have hangings or hangers sticking out further, the space between them can narrow to 20 inches, which is very tight. If you did hang opposite shelving, that would give about 30 inches of space between the sections.

what you need to understand about closet depths

If you wanted to hang items on the back and front walls, an ideal minimum is 84 inches in depth.

ideal closet depths

That way, with clothes sticking out past the closet system, you still have a minimum of 36 inches of walking space.

To understand more about walk-in closets check out this blog post.

Reach-In Closets:

For reach-in closets, an ideal minimum depth is 24 inches. If you go below 22inches for a closet with hangings, the hangers will start to hit the wall.

reach in closet depth minimum

reach in closet depth

For a more in-depth description of a reach-in closet, please check out this blog post.

**Utilizing vertical space in a reach-in closet:

The door frame height matters for utilizing the space on top of the closet system on a reach-in closet. For example, if the closet height is 9 feet but the door frame is 7 feet, there is 2 feet of space above where the closet system will stop that will be hard to access. You can drop the top shelf in linen closets or pantries, but in a closet system, you need the height for double hanging, so a lower top shelf is not an idea. Bottom line = high ceilings = higher door frames on reachin closets.

Personalization is important:

Every individual's storage needs are unique. Most closets are not squares like the example photos above. When designing a closet, consider your belongings, lifestyle, and the specific items you want to store. Custom closet solutions are tailored to your requirements. To make the most of your closet space, consult closet professionals at the beginning of your construction journey to maximize and create a functional closet size and design.

In Thursday's blog post, I am discussing depths in regards to the closet system itself.

If you have any additional questions or would like to work together, please click here.

Thank you for stopping by!


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