top of page
  • anlitsch

Where to Save vs. Spend on a custom closet

When it comes to designing a custom closet the options are limitless. Does that mean you have to have the sky high budget to go custom?

Absolutely not!

In this post I am sharing my personal recommendations for where to save vs. spend when designing custom and trying to align on budget.

If you want to learn more about custom closet levels I wrote a blog post with a simple breakdown here.

Here are some ways to save in a custom closet design if you need to bring the cost down.

  • hardware

  • forgo backing

  • hybrid or off the floor a system

  • don't go to ceiling

  • two tone, trim closet instead of upgrading finish


Hardware for doors and drawers can be expensive.

If there is a lot of hardware for doors, drawers, laundry hampers- this is a great option to look at for cost.

Tag Hardware is a great brand that supplies hanging rods with coordinated accessories and hardware. On the scale of cost they are at a reasonable price point.

If you want to explore on your own to provide the hardware for your closet (check to make sure the company you are working with allows this) I recommend Amazon or looking for a wholesaler open to the public (If you live in the Tampa Bay Area go to A&M Supply).

Let me give you an example on hardware cost- Acrylic handles have been popular for a while. If you go with this beautiful Schaub option it can cost $47 a handle. If you look on Amazon for an option that will look similar (there are differences in weight and feel) it can cost you as little as $4 a handle. If you need 10 handles in your closet that is $470 vs. $40!

Forgo the backing

Backing can add 30% to the closet.

Reasons you might want backing: you are doing a Reno & the backing cost is cheaper than full wall repairs, you have lit your closet up like a Christmas tree and there is a lot of wiring needed and the backing helps to channel/hide it, you prefer the cabinet feel with a back on it.

If none of those apply to you chances are you don't need the backing. Painting the wall a bold or complimentary color is a nice touch. I have also had clients wallpaper the walls and that looks pretty spectacular!

Hybrid or Off the Floor systems

A hybrid system is where part of the system is touching the floor and part of it is off the floor. Typically the shelving/drawers sections are floor mounted and the hanging sections float.

An off the floor system is where everything is floating and nothing is touching the floor. This is a great option for reach in closets and secondary/kids rooms.

In both of these applications, the less material the less the price- both of these styles still allow for customization to meet functional needs.

Don't go to the ceiling.

If the system goes to the ceiling it needs a top treatment to have it flush.

The more material the higher the cost.

In some applications- if you leave a ft of space at the top of the closet it can become usable space to store items like purses, out of season garments etc.

Two-Tone &/or trim the closet in an upgraded finish

If you have fallen in love with an upgraded finish but are over budget- using it on doors, drawers, trim and edge banding is a way to get the pop but lower the cost.

These are my tips for where it is worthwhile to spend the $$ in the design.

  • lighting (especially in a dark closet)

  • the right accessories

  • picking the right metal finish to coordinate.


If the budget allows- lighting in the closet is a beautiful way to be able to see your stuff better and create an inviting atmosphere.

There is accent and functional lighting.

Accents intent is to highlight and functional is to help you to see better. Functional can be accent and accent can also be functional :)

An example of accent could be puck lights. Functional would be horizontal over wardrobe poles and shoes.

The right accessories

Choosing to go custom in your closet means you are creating a space that meets your functional needs. Do not forget the accessories! I would rather you have the $4 handles and include the needed valet rod, belt rack and draw dividers vs. skipping out.

The accessories are the icing on the cake and without you are doing an injustice to yourself.

Having drawer dividers means the items stay divided and easy to grab and go. Having proper belt storage means you can easy find the belt you need. A valet rod can hold the #ootd you are putting out the night before work, or to help unpack the fresh dry cleaning coming back into the closet. The hook on the wall beside the door can hold the bath robe you reach for daily. Every space is different but there are some universally appreciated closet accessories. Click here to read a post on the 5 most common and high use closet accessories.

Picking the right metal finish

Gone are the days of having to settle for a shitty chrome hanging rod in your closet.

I mentioned them above but Tag Hardware came into the closet scene early 2000's and changed the game.

They offer 6 different finishes and while chrome might be the best option for your space :).....don't be afraid to 2 or 3 tone your closet and think outside the chrome box.

I hope you found these suggestions on where to spend vs. save in your closet helpful!

If you would like to learn more or work together please click here for more info.

Thank you for stopping by!


Couldn’t Load Comments
It looks like there was a technical problem. Try reconnecting or refreshing the page.
bottom of page