How to Design a Master Closet: Tips to Keep in Mind | Nova Closet (2024)

To plan and design a master closet differs significantly from that of a standalone wardrobe. Nowadays, closets, like all modern home appliances, are jam-packed with features. Further, closets must be flexible, durable, and easy to use, whether they’re just for storing clothes or serve as dressing as well as sitting rooms.

Here are a few simple tricks that can make any custom closet ideas more practical, no matter how big or small it is or what you keep in it.

How to Plan and Design a Master Closet?

How to Design a Master Closet: Tips to Keep in Mind | Nova Closet (1)

Use the Vertical Dimension in Both Directions

Utilize every inch of available space, from the ceiling to the floor. When it comes to storing items you don’t often use, bins on high shelves, roll-out boxes on the floor, and even a third closet pole (if your ceiling is over 9 feet high) are ideal solutions.

If you have enough space and don’t need to rotate clothes, use it to get oddball shoes, bags, hats, or sentimental items out of damp basements and freezing or baking attics.

Think About Lighting

You must be able to see what’s inside a closet in order for it to function. Natural light from skylights or windows is beneficial, but keep in mind that sunlight can cause fading (windows also eat storage space).

You’ll need good artificial light if sunlight isn’t available. Artificial light must be between you and the contents of the closet. This is because, if it is behind you, you’ll cast a shadow on what you’re trying to see.

One factor to consider that you may not have considered is heat. In the tight, enclosed confines of a small closet, incandescent bulbs can be a fire hazard. In many cases, fluorescent lighting is the only code-compliant option.

Know Your Wardrobe

Closets, more than any other room in the house, work best when you know exactly how you’ll use them ahead of time.

For instance, if you bunch your socks, you’ll need more space than if you roll them. Shirts are the same way: do you stack them neatly or hang them?Consider what you wear and how you get dressed, and design the space to accommodate you: most-used items near eye level, less-used items below, and least-used items high above.

The majority of walk-in closets have far too much hanging storage and far too few shelves or drawers.

Design in Visibility

When you can see all of your socks, ties, and undergarments (rather than just the top layer), you have more options when getting dressed.Use see-through wire bins, acrylic- or glass-fronted drawers, drawers with dividers, and belt and tie racks to keep items organized.

For maximum versatility, shelves (and drawers that are part of store-fabricated cabinets) must be adjustable and movable from place to place within the closet.

Don’t Overlook the Floor

Even if you’re the only one who notices it, the floor of a closet is essential because you’ll be standing on it every day on your bare feet.

Carpet is the best choice for warmth underfoot. Closet carpets, on the other hand, can be difficult to vacuum. Choose wood or vinyl for maximum cleanability while designing a master closet.

Beware of Mold, Mildew, and Other Still-air Breeders

Closets require airflow and dehumidification to prevent mold, mildew, and even insects from growing.Even when the closet door is shut, a bathroom-size fan set to turn on and off at regular intervals will help pull air through.

Another way to keep things from becoming musty is to use a small dehumidifier, especially if the closet is in a damp basement.

Watch Out For Cedar

Although cedar closets keep moths at bay, the scent of cedar can pervade adjacent areas.

If you don’t want your master bedroom to smell like a gerbil cage, put the cedar closet in a basement or attic with at least one other door between you and it (other than the closet door).

Things to Keep in Mind While Designing a Master Closet

How to Design a Master Closet: Tips to Keep in Mind | Nova Closet (2)

Closet equipment options are now almost as numerous as home-furnishing options. For a long time, the only options available to you were poles, hooks, and shelving.

In today’s market, custom millwork is common, and it can have a visual finish to match any bedroom furniture.

How Do You Design a Master Closet?

Any contractor who doesn’t hear you out will put up a “pole and shelf” setup, which is a single pole with a fixed shelf on top. It is then your responsibility to personalize the interior. This is the least expensive option because you build and paint it on-site.

Multiple poles and shelves of various lengths and heights are the next steps up to accommodate various kinds of clothing.

For the most part, adjustable shelving is built with vertical partitions that support the poles and act as the shelves themselves. Components can be built in a shop and painted on-site. You can also surface them with melamine or laminate for a more durable (but more expensive) finish.

Another choice is to buy pre-finished wood furniture that has been custom-built to fit your specific closet dimensions. Custom-made dresser drawers, shelving, shoe cubbies, and partitions provide the most storage space, yet they are the most expensive.

How Can You Create Closet Space in an Existing Closet?

How to Design a Master Closet: Tips to Keep in Mind | Nova Closet (3)

A standardized closet “system” is the quickest way to increase storage capacity in an existing closet.Further, the traditional coated-wire basket system is widely available, easy to set up, and inexpensive, but the bins are frequently too deep to allow easy access to smaller items. Clothes can also get caught in the wire shelving.

On the other hand, standard systems installed by suppliers, which are professionally designed and measured to fit your closet, are less expensive than custom-crafted interiors but far more expensive than the do-it-yourself option.

However, on the positive side, they have proper drawers, provide the most storage capacity, and have a more finished appearance.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts


As an expert in home organization and design, I can provide valuable insights on planning and designing a master closet. I have extensive knowledge and experience in creating functional and practical storage solutions for closets of all sizes. I can help you optimize the use of space, consider lighting options, and choose the right materials for your closet. Let's dive into the concepts mentioned in the article and explore each one in detail.

Utilizing the Vertical Dimension in Both Directions

When planning and designing a master closet, it's important to make the most of the available space. Utilizing the vertical dimension in both directions can help maximize storage capacity. Consider using high shelves for storing items that are not frequently used, roll-out boxes on the floor for easy access, and even adding a third closet pole if the ceiling is over 9 feet high.

Thinking About Lighting

Proper lighting is essential for a functional closet. Natural light from skylights or windows can be beneficial, but it's important to consider the potential for fading and the loss of storage space. If natural light is not available, good artificial lighting is necessary. It's important to position the lighting between you and the contents of the closet to avoid casting shadows. Additionally, consider the heat generated by different types of lighting. In small closets, incandescent bulbs can be a fire hazard, so fluorescent lighting is often a safer option.

Knowing Your Wardrobe

Understanding your wardrobe and how you use it is crucial when designing a master closet. Consider how you organize items like socks and shirts, and design the space accordingly. Keep frequently used items at eye level, less-used items below, and least-used items high above. Many walk-in closets have an excess of hanging storage and a lack of shelves or drawers, so it's important to strike a balance based on your specific needs.

Designing for Visibility

Visibility is key when it comes to finding and selecting items in your closet. To make it easier to see and access your belongings, consider using see-through wire bins, acrylic- or glass-fronted drawers, and dividers for belts and ties. Adjustable shelves and movable components can also enhance visibility and provide versatility within the closet.

Considering the Floor

The floor of a closet is often overlooked but plays an important role in daily use. Choose a flooring material that is comfortable to stand on, such as carpet for warmth or wood and vinyl for easy cleaning. It's important to consider the cleanability of the flooring material, especially in a master closet that is used frequently.

Preventing Mold, Mildew, and Other Issues

Closets require proper airflow and dehumidification to prevent mold, mildew, and insect growth. Consider installing a small fan or using a dehumidifier to maintain airflow and reduce moisture levels. This is particularly important if the closet is located in a damp basement.

Cedar Closets and Scent

While cedar closets can help keep moths away, the scent of cedar can permeate adjacent areas. If you don't want the scent to spread to other parts of your home, it's advisable to place the cedar closet in a basement or attic with at least one other door separating it from the main living areas.

Creating Closet Space in an Existing Closet

If you're looking to increase storage capacity in an existing closet, a standardized closet system can be a quick solution. These systems, available in various configurations, are easy to set up and provide additional storage options. However, it's important to consider the depth of the bins and the potential for clothes to get caught in wire shelving. Standard systems installed by suppliers offer more storage capacity and a finished appearance, but they are more expensive than DIY options.

Designing a Master Closet

When designing a master closet, there are various options to consider. A basic "pole and shelf" setup is the least expensive option, but it requires personalization. Multiple poles and shelves of different lengths and heights can accommodate different types of clothing. Adjustable shelving with vertical partitions is a popular choice, and pre-finished wood furniture custom-built to fit specific closet dimensions provides the most storage space but is also the most expensive.

In conclusion, planning and designing a master closet requires careful consideration of space utilization, lighting, wardrobe needs, visibility, flooring, airflow, and storage options. By following these guidelines, you can create a practical and functional closet that meets your specific requirements.

How to Design a Master Closet: Tips to Keep in Mind | Nova Closet (2024)
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