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Setting up a walk-in closet

Veronica Stivala shares tips on setting up a walk-in wardrobe that’s so great even narnia would be jealous.

Nothing makes Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City happier than a walk-in closet with full features.

Nothing makes Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City happier than a walk-in closet with full features.

For clothes lovers, and clothes wearers, the walk-in closet is the ultimate dream wardrobe. Whether it is an annex to your bedroom, or a cordoned-off space in your bedroom, this means of clothes storage is the best idea since sliced bread, and the wheel.

Just think of it, you can have all your clothes neatly (in theory) arranged in different sized cupboards, drawers and shelves according to type: smart trousers, comfy trousers, jeans, pencil skirts, mini-skirts, dresses, jackets, blazers, coats, scarves, ties, hats, socks, boots, brogues and heels. And that’s just her section.

If you’re not a fan of folding your clothes, then go for an option mainly based on rail systems

The difference between a walk-in closet and a reach-in one is depth. A reach-in closet is just deep enough for you to reach in and take what you need. A walk-in is kind of like Narnia, but with more clothes than just the fur coats: you can walk into the closet and retrieve your clothing.

One of the most appealing aspects to the walk-in wardrobe is that you don’t need to ever put away clothes for different seasons, or for that matter, have to rummage through garments buried beneath a mountain of wool, cotton and, dare I say it, flannel.

Of course this all sounds fabulous, but, as with all things built, there are a number of aspects you need to keep in mind in order to have a functional and fabulous wardrobe. Here are some tips:

Location

Q: Where do you set up your walk-in wardrobe?

A: Preferably within your bedroom, or as close as possible to your ensuite/main bathroom. You want that comfortable proximity.

Interior architect at CamilleriParisMode and fashion stylist at www.cloudedrevolution.com Claire Galea advises: “Get creative, steal away some extra length in your room and close off an area behind your bed, a disused end of a corridor, or create an ante-room to your ensuite.”

Getting personal

The great thing about a walk-in wardrobe is that it is most often custom-built. This means you can create storage catered to your belongings. It’s a good idea to go through your outfits and accessories to get an idea of what you have before designing your walk-in so you can house your regalia accordingly. Do you own long coats and dresses? Many hats? Sceptres? Tiaras?Other than relocating to a castle, you may wish to make sure you have extra high rails and set up some hat racks.

Features

Q: What are the basic features needed for a walk-in wardrobe?

A: Claire says the idea is to tailor-fit it to your needs. “For example, if you’re not a fan of folding your clothes, then go for an option mainly based on rail systems. Generally you need higher rails for dresses and coats. Then you can have your shorter rail sections for shirts, jackets and trousers and a few low-lying drawers for comfort. You could also place a shoe rack along the base of your wardrobe, or dedicate a narrower wall, perhaps one that doesn’t allow much depth, for a high shoe rack. Lastly, don’t forget a full-length mirror.”

Dimensions

Q: First you need to measure the space you have to work with. Depending on what you own, decide what needs to be allotted most space.

A: If however, space is no issue, these are the best dimensions for a walk-in closet,

Claire suggests leaving a 60cm depth for your clothes, and 80cm as a walk-way. So if it’s a corridor style walk-in, having clothes on just one side, then the full width of corridor needed would be 140cm.

If it’s more of a square layout, with, say, clothes on three sides, then you’d need a central free area for the user, of 80 x 80cm with 60 cm (for clothes) on either side and on the opposite wall, i.e. a room of 200cm by 140cm.

Celebrities’ walk-in closets

• Mariah Carey’s climate-controlled closet in her 12,000 square foot Manhattan triplex can’t contain her 1,000-plus shoes, so she has to keep some in storage. Poor dear.

• All former American Idol judge Paula Abdul’s outfits and coordinating accessories are numbered with tags so she can easily pack for trips and events. She is reputed to always wear heels unless she’s working out.

Olivia Wilde transformed the guest and sitting room of her Venice townhouse into a decadent cedar-lined walk-in complete with translucent panels, a plush rug, a black-glass chandelier and a 19th century mirrored vanity from the south of France. Jealous? Us? Never.

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