​What to consider for your wardrobe design | homify

​What to consider for your wardrobe design

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Mulberry The Wood Works Modern dressing room Engineered Wood Grey
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A poorly designed wardrobe costs the same to build as a well-designed one – it’s how you design and use the space that makes the difference! And seeing as space should be on some sort of endangered species list, one needs to be careful about how that valuable space (whether it’s in the corner of your bedroom or a separate room altogether) is being used for a wardrobe to ensure the end result is stylish, practical and comfortable. 

So, how does one go about to ensure that, when it comes to proper wardrobe design, every single step and vital factor (like space planning, functionality, aesthetics and ergonomics) is ticked off and accounted for?

By scrolling down, of course…

1. Wardrobe design: light or dark cabinetry?

Bespoke cabinetry Baker & Baker Dressing roomWardrobes & drawers
Baker & Baker

Bespoke cabinetry

Baker & Baker

Picking cabinetry for your wardrobe is vital, as it forms part of your home’s colour palette. But you also need to see that wardrobe as an investment, regardless of whether or not you’re planning on selling your home later on. 

Generally, it is recommended to match or relate the cabinetry of your wardrobe to that which is already used throughout the rest of the home, like the kitchen. Of course it’s always possible to take a colour risk with your wardrobe and dressing room. Just be confident in your colour use – it is your personal space, after all.

2. Wardrobe design: natural or synthetic material for the cabinetry?

Hangar Walk In Wardrobe by LEMA Campbell Watson Dressing roomWardrobes & drawers
Campbell Watson

Hangar Walk In Wardrobe by LEMA

Campbell Watson

Which would you prefer for wardrobe design: natural materials (like timber) or synthetic materials (like laminate)? Keep in mind that, in addition to personal preference, your choice will also be influenced by budget and the joinery in the rest of your house.

Compared to laminate, timber can be quite costly. But remember that your wardrobe must complement the rest of your bedroom; thus, if have gone for a very high-end look with high-end finishes, it’s best to follow through and complete the look with the wardrobe design.

3. Wardrobe design: Handles or no handles?

'Step' hinged door wardrobe by Maronese homify BedroomWardrobes & closets

'Step' hinged door wardrobe by Maronese


Again, your choice needs to reflect the rest of your house/room. If your home has a more contemporary design, then handles aren’t really required. Soft-push doors/drawers will do. 

On the other hand, if your house is flaunting a classic look, then wardrobe handles really need to tie in with that. A brushed bronze can do the trick. And if you want to add a touch of femininity to your classic wardrobe, finish it off with a crystal handle.

4. Wardrobe design: What type of lighting is best?

Canton De Vaud, Switzerland Ardesia Design Rustic style dressing room
Ardesia Design

Canton De Vaud, Switzerland

Ardesia Design

The best recommendation for viewing and maintaining the condition of items in a wardrobe is LED lighting on sensors. This can help save on energy costs, plus it doesn’t emit that much heat, making it well suited for narrow spaces. 

So which would be best: vertical or horizontal strip lights? This depends on the space available for your wardrobe. If space maximising is an issue, the heights of drawers, shelves and rails will vary. And in this case, vertical strip lighting will give a more consistent line than horizontal strip lighting, which will follow shelf and rod heights.

homify hint: For viewing clothes, warm lighting is best. Not only does it give a true colour of the clothing, but it’s also softer on the eye. And remember that too-strong lighting can damage clothing over time, leading to discolouring and even burn marks in severe instances.

5. Wardrobe design: Where to place your lighting

Your wardrobe lighting not only needs to be functional for viewing items, but its placement can help create a mood or feel in the space. Keep in mind that recessed lighting provides a lovely moody effect for walking through to an en-suite space. 

But if on-trend is the name of your game, remember that having your closet area backlit to give the illusion of grandeur and opulence is the ideal choice. And for a more timeless look, have lights built into a bulkhead along the top.

6. Wardrobe design: Where to place the mirror(s)

Just like lighting, mirrors serve a dual purpose by enabling you to assess your outfit before leaving the house. They also help to enhance visual space. 

The best spot for your wardrobe mirror is at the very end – and if you can, opt for a full-length one. This creates the illusion of space and is super practical.

7. Wardrobe design: What about doors?

While the choice of whether to have doors is often up to personal preference, it may also be dictated by budget, space and style. For some, wardrobe doors are a pro, as they are convenient for clothes rarely worn, such as formal gear, helping to keep dust at bay. 

However, closet doors can also be a con, as they add to the overall cost of your wardrobe design. And in small areas, they can become obstacles. 

So, what would the homify recommendation be? Leave the doors to show off your high-end finishes and joinery. Just make sure to keep your wardrobe organised, clean and tidy.

8. Wardrobe design: What’s the ratio of hanging space and drawers/shelving?

CLOS-IT - Dressing Room Shelving System Regalraum UK Classic style dressing room
Regalraum UK

CLOS-IT—Dressing Room Shelving System

Regalraum UK

This depends on whether you have more tops or bottoms in your wardrobe. However, it’s about two-thirds of hanging space to one-third of shelving or drawers in most cases. 

Keep in mind, though, that many people tend to purchase more shoes than anything else, meaning it’s moving toward a 50:50 ratio in a lot of cases.

9. Wardrobe design: What about temperature?

The dressing room Zodiac Design Modern dressing room
Zodiac Design

The dressing room

Zodiac Design

It’s not only your kitchen and bathroom that require temperature control and proper ventilation. These factors are also important to keep your wardrobe smelling fresh and fabrics in tip-top condition. If you have the luxury of a window or are able to control temperature in your wardrobe, then factor this into your design. 

Try to maintain some sort of airflow in your wardrobe, as it’s important with natural fabrics. If there’s a window, open it occasionally (it can also help with smells, especially if shoes are stored near your clothing). 

The more you know… See these 21 creative wardrobe ideas you can copy in your home.

What other factors, in your opinion, are important when it comes to wardrobe design?
Whitton Drive GK Architects Ltd Terrace house

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