- how big should the closet be?
- what should it be constructed from?
- what kind of storage should it offer?
The first question is of course depends on how much room you can realistically allocate but also on how much storage space one needs while still allowing the closet to be usable and give freedom of movement. The third question is probably the most important but most overlooked by architects and builders. I know from experience that closet layout and design (arguably most the third most important feature in a house behind kitchen and baths) are neglected or ignored until very late in the design process by many architects and builders. The result tends to be the allocation of a token shelf and clothes rod or calling a "closet designer" into the process. The fact that firms actually design and install closets should be an indicator of how in depth and important a well designed closet can be but when they are called in too late they are forced to work with whatever arbitrary measurements and layout they have been left with.
We were determined to not neglect the closet. We made (as any architect or designer should) a list of requirements before we started building. How many shoes did we want out at once? How much hanging clothing space did we need? Shelves or drawers? Ah! Handbag storage. What about spaces for boxed items, be it shoes or scarves, etc. Who will use the closet and/or require more of the space and how should it be divided so that things don't get mixed together? We laid out of the closet space to give most functional room for walls to accommodate storage space but now we needed to figure out how much of each component would fill the meager 80 square feet of space.
Here, from a bit further back in the entrance, the shoe shelves are easier to see. Note the "height gauge" handbag on the shelf at the end. While well intentioned I now think it is advisable not to use one of your spouse's handbags during the construction process.