Smart closet space with cubbies, shelves and drawers
I have recently visited one of our remodel projects in River Oaks and am so excited at the progress. They have incorporated some great solutions in their closets and it gave me inspiration for this month’s topic. Closet organization and storage!
Custom closet space and organization
Storage has taken a turn to the creative and more beautiful. Whether you have a small closet or a large spacious closet, what is done to the actual storage can be the highlight of a bedroom. Custom closets are now available in a variety of finishes and colors, with different bells and whistles. We as designers are often given the task of how to make a closet more functional. We take into account our clients’ wants and needs and create a room that is not only a place to store your clothes, shoes, handbags and scarves but a space that may need to store seasonal items as well. Making sure everything has its place is key to a well-organized closet.

We often collaborate with contractors and closet designers to help us along the way. There are many tips and tricks a good closet designer has to make use of a small space or create a large space that provides for more than one person. Here are several ideas to keep in mind when designing your new closet.
Pull-down rod doubles your closet space.
Double your hanging space. A single closet rod is the norm in most closets, but a double hang will provide the extra space needed to make your closet feel double its size. Be sure to measure your hanging items for ample clearance and also be sure to measure how much space off of the floor you want the clothes to hang. Placing a second rod toward the ceiling doubles the space and, if you are a little height-challenged, installing a pull-down closet rod (like the one shown here from Custom Closet Geek) helps retrieve the clothes on the top rod.A telescoping valet rod is a good choice in closet design.

A telescoping valet rod is also a nice closet accessory to hang items that are too large to fit in with other clothes. Also, if you are someone who likes to set out your clothes for the next work day, this will help you manage your time and make you feel more organized. When not in use, it can push back into its place. Valet hooks or rods are also helpful when packing for a trip, hanging bags, belts or scarves. You can even hang your gym bag for that workout you don’t want to miss!

Cubby holes or decorative storage bins and baskets are another trick for organized closet storage. Storage bins are a life-saver for shelves that are hard to reach and are also a great way to group like items together. I love shoes and use storage boxes in my own closet. Clear storage boxes are helpful when you are looking for that particular pair of shoes that go with that particular outfit. Cubbies are a great solution for shoe storage. Think about using them for sweaters, gym clothes or small items as well. They can be stackable or built right into the closet itself.
A custom bench cushion adds to the comfortable use of this client's closet.
Cubbies are also a great way to help you see just what you have, rather than items hiding behind other clothes and accessories. You can even incorporate cubbies underneath a dressing bench. At right, we share a panned out view of the photo at the top of this web page, showing the full height of shoe shelving, drawers, cabinets and even a vanity with a mirror. These cubbies serve a dual purpose. Our client now has a place to sit while dressing and gains more storage underneath the bench. We had a custom cushion made for this bench seat in our recent River Oaks client’s Urban Townhome. The client had the pillows, which served as inspiration for the cushion fabric. We loved the way it turned out and our client did, too!

Boot storage can be tricky in a closet. It is nice to have your boots stored upright instead of folded over and a boot organizer is a great solution. The boots can be hung in multiples on a long rack or in singles on hooks. They can also be stored upside down on a special boot rack. There are even boot storage bags available to keep them nice and neat.  If you have enough space in your closet, you can have tall boot cubbies built. This is a great idea!

We are currently working on a remodel near West U with a new client and they are incorporating cubby storage in all of their bedroom closets as well. They will have cubby storage and drawers for her closet and shelving and drawers for his closet. Incorporating cabinetry with drawers is a great way to save space in the bedroom. It is one less furniture piece of storage furniture you need to buy (I can’t believe I just said that!) and will give you the option to add a sitting chair with a small table for reading or a nice upholstered bench.
Closet island
If you have the space available, incorporating a storage island is another great feature for organization. It’s also a great motivation to remind you to fold and put away your clothes! The closet island can be equipped with drawers for jewelry, belts, watches, scarves or other items. They can be made with cabinet doors for larger items like suitcases. A bench can even be built on one side to serve as a seating area. Another benefit is that it’s a convenient place to put your suitcase when you’re packing, allowing you to easily grab clothes from your closet and see where to place them in your travel bag.

If you’re limited on closet space, you can consider creative alternatives. As shown below, we created more storage space with a bank of drawers across from a master bedroom closet for a client in River Oaks. These built-in dresser drawers look quite elegant with the dark finish and quality knobs and pulls.

Built-in dresser across from the closet

Photo Credit: Julie Soefer

Closet Organization

Photo Credit: Nicole Franzen & House Beautiful magazine

So remember: whether you have minimal closet storage or are fortunate enough to have ample closet space, the manner in which you store your items will help you be more organized, coordinated and happy with your storage. You can dress your closet up with decorative finishes, have a decorative bench seat made with a fun fabric on the cushion or keep it minimal to suit your style. Keeping like items together will help you be efficient with your time and also keep everything in its place.

Keep an open mind, take inspiration from different everyday experiences, and let your creative juices flow!

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