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The Low Down on Closet Cabinet Doors

Shoes behind closet cabinet doors in walk-in closet

The Advantages of Using Cabinet Doors Inside Your Closet and Where to Place Them in Your Closet Design.

Most closets are already concealed by some sort of door. So why add more? Cabinet doors elevate the closet experience. They transform a ho-hum storage area into an elegant dressing room you will gravitate towards at the beginning and end of each day while adding practical protection for your clothing.

Large attic closet with closet organizers covered by closet cabinet doors
Large attic closet with several closet organizer sections covered by closet cabinet doors.

A wardrobe closet always includes closet cabinet doors, because it has no other door. However, other types of closets, such as walk-ins and reach-ins, can also effectively use these types of doors. Closet cabinet doors can be used to cover certain storage sections inside a closet — like a closet within a closet. Closets that feature these cabinet doors inside the closet may seem redundant at first glance. However, they add a level of sophistication that can transform a simple closet into an elegant space for getting dressed each day. They also add extra protection against the dust and smoke that can ruin your clothes and expensive shoes, purses, and other accessories. Closet cabinet doors can be used to cover the contents of an entire closet or just particular sections where the homeowner wants extra protection. They are very useful when you want to hide certain accessories and components, like a closet safe, from view.

Types of Closet Cabinet Doors

Closet cabinet doors come in all shapes, sizes, colors and styles.

Types of glass closet cabinet doors
Types of laminate and wood closet cabinet doors

The cabinet doors used inside the closet are a little different than the doors used outside the closet. They are like the doors used on kitchen cabinets and come is a wide array of colors and finishes. Various types of glass door are very popular inside closets. The glass screens the contents of the closet section. This, in turn, gives the space a less cluttered appearance while still allowing the contents to be viewed for quick and easy selection. Mirrored doors are also commonly used. The advantage of using mirrors is that they reflect a lot of light into the often-dark closet space, make most closets appear larger, and are useful for checking your appearance before going out. Wood and laminate doors are also popular in closet design. They also provide a less cluttered look to the space by hiding cluttered shelves and the crowded jumbles of hangers from view. For larger closets, use a combination of glass and wood doors to create a style that reflects your personality and melds with the other spaces in your home. Smaller closets will need fewer doors. They look their best when all the closet cabinet doors are the same style.

Closet with closet cabinet doors in wood and glass
Traditional style walk-in closet with several sections covered by closet cabinet doors in both wood and glass.
Reach-in closet with central shelving covered by upper cabinet doors
Reach-in closet with central shelving covered by upper cabinet doors.

Where to Use Closet Cabinet Doors

Cabinet doors are effective in covering both shelving sections and hanging sections of the closet. Use the doors to screen cluttered shoe shelves from view. This will also prevent dust from building up on the shoes if you have a lot of them and some are used infrequently. Also use a door to hide your closet safe. The safe itself already provides some protection from theft. However, closet safes are usually small enough that a determined theif might be able to cut away and take the whole unit. If it is hidden behind a door, the safe calls less attention to itself. Add additional security to the door by using a Stealth Lock so that it doesn't open. It can even be designed to look like an ordinary mirror and not a door at all so that no one would guess that a safe is tucked discretely behind the door.

Hanging sections can also be covered by doors, but the hanging section must be at least 20-inches deep to allow the hangers to swing freely. Standard closet organizers are only 14-inches deep. It makes no difference if you are covering shelves, but attempting to cover hanging sections that are too shallow to accept doors is one of the most common mistakes homeowners make when designing their own closet. The panels need to be pushed out between 20-24 inches depth in any hanging sections that are covered by doors. The exact depth will depend on the size hangers you are using. If you are unsure, make your panels 24-inches deep.

Wardrobe closet with center section 20-inches deep
Wardrobe closet sections covered by cabinet doors. Notice how the central section, which contains all the hanging areas, is deeper than the side sections that cover shelves and drawers.

Although closet cabinet doors provide practical benifits in the appearance, dust control, and security of the closet, the best thing about adding cabinet doors to your custom closet is the way it will look after installation. They can transform the most mundane storage locker into a room worthy of your time. Use cabinet doors inside your closet to cover sections of shelving or hanging. They visually streamline the space and eliminate clutter. Glass doors are useful if you still want to be able to see what is behind the door. You can even add easy-to-install LED closet lighting behind the doors to give it movie star glamour. Closet cabinet doors are one more way to personalize and upgrade your space in a way that adds value and that "wow" factor when it finally comes time to sell your home.