Expert James Treble gives us the lowdown on everything you need to know to design the ideal walk-in robe.
James Treble talks wardrobes.
A WALK-IN WARDROBE was once a sign of luxury but these days many Australian homes have them, and not only in the master bedroom. Instead of the more traditional freestanding cupboards or built-in robes with hung or sliding doors, a walk-in robe can provide a much larger area for storing clothing, shoes and accessories in various layouts, making them easy to access and view.
There are many options available for the fit-out of your wardrobe, with each offering different degrees of style versus function, and obviously coming in at different price points.
There are DIY options such as wireframe baskets, which are lightweight and quick to install, and also flat-pack melamine cabinets and shelves; both provide adjustable shelving options.
If you have the budget, a customised fitout will make the best use of every inch of available space, ensuring each bit of railing, shelving and drawers fits exactly to maximise your storage.
HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT WALK-IN WARDROBE
The amount of hanging space we need can vary greatly but one thing always seems to ring true: women need more hanging space than men. I usually suggest a mix of long and short hanging options with double the amount of short rails (often placed one on top of the other) for shirts, skirts, pants, jackets and trousers, as we have less long items to hang.
Getting into corners can be tricky. Run long hanging rails into a corner and hang long dresses and suits you don’t need to get out every day.
Drawers are important for smaller items such as underwear, socks and other folded accessories, such as scarves. Make sure the drawers are wide enough so your clothes don’t have to be folded up on the sides, and consider including dividers or small boxes or baskets inside for rolled belts, scarves, ties, etc, to keep things tidy and organised.
Practical and cost effective (drawer mechanisms cost more than open spaces), shelving works best from waist-height upwards. It’s perfect for
“Are you a bit messy? A walk-in lets you hide all your clutter behind one door.”
folded jumpers, shirts and trousers. Open shelving is also ideal for storing your handbag collection – a narrow or awkward space can be easily turned into a practical display for your beautiful designs!
Narrow open shelves installed at a slight angle along the bottom of your walk-in robe are very practical for storing your shoes and, as well as being accessible, make use of the otherwise dead space under clothing rails for hanging long items. You could also install flat, narrow shelves to store your shoes in their boxes.
A customised walk-in allows for efficient use of space, and the convenience of having everything on display.
Customise as much as you can to use all the space you have and save money with DIY components.
On the rails Installing one high and one low rail makes the most of tall spaces and double the room for short hanging items.
Stack it up Use high or out-of-theway shelves for storing bags you might not need as often.
Pop narrow shelves in where you can – they’re perfect for shoes.