Closet Envy

Ample closet space is often high on every homebuyer’s wish list but it wasn’t too long ago that closets were considered a luxury. In fact, in the pre-World War II United States, built-in wall closets were uncommon. If they did exist, they were small. Following the war, larger closets came into fashion to appeal to wealthy buyers or entice them from the city to the suburbs. Today, an expansive walk-in closet is all but expected. For single residents, designers suggest a 7 by 10 foot space. When a closet is shared by a couple, 10 by 10 feet is the recommended dimension.

If you’re interested in putting every inch of that square footage to work and want to make preparing for your day easier, consider these closet upgrades that will enhance your look and your life.


In 1978, while working as a carpenter, recent high-school graduate Neil Balter came up with the concept of incorporating customized shelves inside closets. Some might say the young builder, who would become the mastermind behind the popular California Closets, revolutionized the way we think about closets.

Customized closets ensure there are no dead zones or unreachable dusty areas. They go well beyond shelving to include drawers designed to accommodate everything from sweaters and socks to jewelry and handbags. If you have space that’s going to waste, consult a designer who can offer you a customized closet plan that will make the most of your area.


Revolving racks are no longer just for dry cleaners. Available with either single or double-tiered hanging tracks, the Closet Carousel is well-suited to walk-in closets as well as areas with height limitations such as attic spaces and sloped-roof applications.

In addition to keeping your clothing organized and hanging freely, this amenity assists seniors as well as those with any physical challenges by eliminating the need to bend or stretch to reach garments.


Not all closets are perfect squares. Many have a cave design, also known as the “spelunker’s special,” making it inconvenient to access items at the rear of the closet. By installing a revolving closet, similar to the popular kitchen table helpmate, the Lazy Susan, you won’t have to crouch or crawl to find what you need.

Designed to replace both the traditional closet for hanging storage and the customary dresser for drawer storage, revolving closets can be tucked neatly into a corner and require very little room. To make them as aesthetically appealing as possible, add doors that resemble enviable Craftsman-style built-ins.


Every closet can benefit from a mirror, but what if that piece of glass offered more than simply your reflection. The MirrorVue Smart Touch Mirror from EverVue allows you to check your email while putting together the perfect ensemble.

It pairs with the operating system of your choice, offering you a chance to match your outfit to the weather and catch up world news before you’ve left the bedroom.


A window in a walk-in is a rarity. Some consider it a blessing and a curse. While it may make the closet appear airy and larger, too much natural light can cause colors to fade and degrade over time.

Adding a light source is a simple remedy for hunting around in the dark. Which light bulbs are best? Builders agree bare bulbs, even in recessed lights, can be fire hazards. High efficiency lighting such as LED, fluorescent or Xenon are popular picks and are available in multiple warmths to provide an incandescent glow that presents everything in the best light.