Pros and Cons of Custom Closets

Every fashion-addict dreams about it: a custom-designed closet, preferably walk-in,
with all your clothing, footwear and accessories in sight and at arms' reach. The kind of space which makes getting dressed in the morning feel like shopping on Madison Avenue. It can be yours with a custom closet, but it doesn't come cheap. If your'e thinking of taking the plunge and going custom, here are some things you might want to keep in mind.

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Pros
1. They're designed for your stuff.
This is the most obvious plus for custom-designed closets. Whether you're a shoe addict, have an extra-long inseam or an unusually large collection of outerwear, a custom closet will be designed for your specific wardrobe needs. Rails of exactly the right height, shelves of the right depth, and enough storage for all your favorite items.

2. They make efficient use of space.
A good closet designer is like a good kitchen designer, carving storage space seemingly out of thin air. Nooks and crannies you never believed could be functional are suddenly efficient and useful. If you 're tight on storage space (and who isn't?) going custom might be worth considering.

3. They add value to your home.
Obviously, this is a moot point if you're planning on staying put. But if you plan to sell in the next 5-10 years, a custom closet might be worth the investment. After the "big four" improvements that buyers look for (kitchen, bathrooms, flooring and lighting), smaller upgrades like good storage and luxe master suites make your home that much more attractive to prospective buyers.

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Cons
1. They're designed for your stuff- now.
This may fly in the face of the first point above, but think about it. Our style changes over time, just like anything else. Sure, you may need an entire wall for your scarf collection now, but what about next year, when you're into hats instead? While some closet systems are quite flexible, the bespoke built-in options will be expensive to change later on.

2. They can encourage hoarding.
With so much efficient storage space to work with, you might be tempted to fill it. You'll never convince me that having wardrobe options is a bad idea (I used to work in the fashion industry, after all), but I do know that having too many clothes, like anything, can weigh you down. A regular clear-out is key to keeping your style and home fresh, and this can be difficult when your closet stores more than you need.

3. They're expensive.
The cost of custom closets is probably the number one reason why people don't install them. For a room that you don't actually spend much time in, closets sure can suck up a lot of disposable income. These days there are loads of options, from the slightly more affordable systems from IKEA and The Container Store, to high-end bespoke spaces from California Closets and Closets by Design.

Images: 1. The Container Store, 2. Better Homes and Gardens, 3. California Closets.

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