One of the highest priorities on the top of my clients’ lists of desires when evaluating condos in Boston is the amount of closet space, as well as the property’s overall storage capacity. In fact, this criterion can be so important that it can actually make or break a deal. Having familiarity with a range of storage options, I try to point out to clients that what they see is not necessarily what they could get when it comes to storage.
While the expansion of closet space may be a possibility with some remodeling, most clients want to work within the space they have and make the most of it. No matter the space, how small or large, there are always ways to use it more efficiently, while accommodating your personal lifestyle, wardrobe or storage needs.
For some expert advice, I turned to Debbie Anastos, Senior Design consultant with the Closet Factory. She has counseled hundreds of Bostonians through closet crises and offered these tips:
Leverage existing closet space: Most closet spaces are poorly planned. Gone are the days of when a lone pole and shelf sufficed, but don’t feel constrained if you’re interested in a condo with this configuration. Your options for designing closets are now nearly as wide as your choices for furnishing your house. According to Debbie, “In many instances we can create a custom closet solution that will maximize the space by simply removing an existing shelf, cleat and pole and replacing them with double-hanging space, shelves and drawers, if the space allows. In addition to maximizing the space, with a custom solution you can choose the materials and finish to create the look you’re trying to achieve — contemporary or traditional, simple to spectacular, or everything in between.” I concur and have seen so many fabulous closet solutions in a wide selection of materials and finishes that appeal to every home owner and decor.
Use every inch of vertical space: Often in urban spaces the footprint is small, but ceiling heights are tall. Take advantage of this architectural feature to suit your storage needs. For example, you can create additional hanging space for off-season clothing all the way to the ceiling by installing a clever clothes rod at the top that has a pull down bar for access. In the photo at the left, Debbie stacked cabinetry all the way to the ceiling in a Commonwealth Ave. condo to maximize storage in a small space.
Look for storage opportunities that don’t currently exist: Debbie revealed, “Increasingly, I’m seeing a trend toward the creation of custom built-ins or recessed storage where it currently does not exist.” For example, Debbie recently designed oversized drawers that were installed beneath a window in her clients’ South Boston loft, which provided much needed storage capacity along with a great aesthetic (despite the fact that hardware had not yet been installed in the photo below). Don’t forget to consider available space underneath the stairs, too, which is often overlooked. Unless the space is super small, you can turn it into storage by installing panels, shelves, book cases, rods and doors, where applicable, that are custom made to fit the space.
Many customized closet solutions, according to Debbie, are surprisingly affordable… especially when you consider the value of transforming unused space into usable storage.
Closets are increasingly being recognized as a factor in the real estate equation and can tip the scales in Boston where space is at a premium. With smart design and some inspiration, you can reinvent your storage space to make it bigger, better and more functional. How about sharing some photos of closets you’ve transformed?