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6 Closet Seating Ideas

Woman sitting in her closet using a chaise for closet seating

Whether you wish your walk-in closet could function as a true dressing room retreat or just want a spot to put on shoes, you'll need a place to sit down inside the closet. Closet seats add convenience and functionality. But what is the best way to go about it? Should you go with built-in seating, a comfortable chaise, or something else? There are a lot of options. The right solution for you will depend on the size of your closet and how you intend to use it. Get closet seating ideas here that will help you make an educated decision. Who knows? With these tips, your closet seat may end up as the most desirable chair in the house.

For many, the closet has become the last refuge from a hectic and often chaotic world. It may seem odd at first but think about it. Isolated and quiet, closets offer a lot of extra sound proofing due to thick layers of clothing that cover the walls. And they aren't just Plain Jane storage centers anymore. Luxury closets abound. It's no wonder so many people have come to use their closet as a retreat rather than just storage.

The benefits of closet seating are numerous.

  • Closets with seating can be used as a quiet place to read or work, adding work-from-home functionality to your storage space.
  • Seating turns the average closet into a dressing room because it allows the owner to put on shoes, stockings, or other clothing without leaving the closet.
  • Bench seating offers the added opportunity for deep storage of oversize items under the bench top. What better place for this than inside the closet?
  • Multipurpose closet islands can be designed to include bench seating, increasing functionality and value without changing their footprint.
  • Built-in vanities are hot in luxury closet systems. And they all require seating.
  • More and more closets feature natural lighting. This offers an ideal opportunity for a cozy built-in window seat inside the closet.

If you are lucky enough to own a large walk-in, a place to sit down inside the closet is an amenity you've probably thought about. If not, isn't it time you considered it?

Go beyond basic. Transform your space into a full-fledged room rather than just a place to put stuff using these closet seating ideas.

Options in closet seating:

There are many possibilities in closet seating, but they boil down to two basic types — built-ins or freestanding furniture. Within this, there are three kinds of built-in seating for closets — island seating, closet benches, and window seats. All are types of bench seating. Built-in bench seating is practical for closets because it doubles as storage. It offers a convenient spot to sit and put on your shoes. However, you probably wouldn't want to nap in it. That's why some people prefer to bring upholstered furniture into the closet — especially when the space doubles as a dressing room retreat. Chaise lounges, armchairs, and various foot stools are the most popular choices in freestanding seating for closets. But, other than space restrictions, there's no reason to limit yourself to just one seat. They all have benefits. Consider the pros and cons of each before making your choices.

Go for built-in closet island seating.

Do you have a large closet with an island? If so, built-in closet island seating may be right for you. With this arrangement, the island becomes part of the closet seating. A bench is usually built into the island. It can either be added on the end in a linear fashion. Or the island can wrap around the bench on two sides, creating a seating alcove within the island. Both arrangements have benefits. The best one depends on the width and length of your space.

built-in closet island seating
This closet seating idea builds a bench into a corner of the closet island as an alcove. It adds a place to sit down without effecting the footprint of the island or requiring additional floor space.

Try a built-in closet bench for seating plus storage.

A bench can be constructed at the end of an island or along the wall. The advantage of having the bench built-in rather than freestanding is that the material will match the rest of the closet organizers for a more integrated look. Upholster the bench top for a cushioned seat. Us the space below for storing bulky items like blankets, pillows, or even luggage.

built-in closet bench seating
This closet features a built-in bench with storage underneath for bulky blankets and pillows.

Build a window seat.

A window seat is the third type of built-in closet seating. Put one in and it's guaranteed to become the focal point of any closet. That's because the cozy charm of this type of closet seating can't be beat. Surround your window seat with shelves and/or cabinets. If you need hanging next to your window seat, place it inside the cabinets. This will work better than open hanging. Use the space under the bench for shelving or more cabinets. The depth of the bench should match the depth of the surrounding closet organizers. That means if you have 14-inch-deep shelves to either side, your bench should be 14-inches-deep as well.

closet with built-in window seat
This large walk-in closet features a built-in window seat surrounded by 14-inch-deep shelves and cabinets for shoes and folded items.

Center a chaise lounge.

Built-in seating can be rather stiff. That's why many homeowners prefer to bring in upholstered furniture into their luxury closet spaces. One of the most popular choices is the chaise lounge. Use this type of closet seating to add instant opulence to your closet. For greatest impact, position your chaise seating in the center of the closet. That usually means no closet island. However, in some ways the chaise is more versatile than a closet island because it can be used in smaller spaces that won't hold an island. It is also more comfortable and will usually hold more than one person at a time.

closet with chaise lounge in center
A relaxing chaise anchors this closet.

Use a comfy armchair and ottoman.

If you use your dressing room closet for napping or reading, a cushy chair is a must! Position it next to a window or lamp for best use. Select something that you're comfortable sitting in for long periods of time. Upholster it in a fabric that accentuates your wardrobe and personality. Make that chair your personal retreat. Don't worry about taking a fashion risk because closets are personal, not public. This is the place to use that wild animal print or favorite color that might clash elsewhere in the home.

Luxury closet dressing room with an arm chair next to the island
The addition of a comfortable chair next to the closet island allows the closet space to do double duty as an "away room" and private sanctuary for the owner.

Add a vanity with seat.

A vanity is another way to get seating inside your closet. Add one and watch your ordinary closet transform into an opulent dressing room in the blink of an eye. Use it to style your hair or put on makeup without leaving your closet. As an added benefit, your closet vanity can also be pressed into service as a quiet place to work-from-home. But if you're going to be working out of your closet all day, make sure you select a comfortable chair with an ergonomic design as your seating. Your back will thank you for it.

Luxury walk-in closet with traditional style built-in vanity and chair
This luxury walk-in closet is traditional in style and includes a built-in vanity with closet seating under the chandelier

Relax! Choose closet seating ideas that fit your lifestyle.

There are six types of seating that typically work in a walk-in closet. The best choice for your closet depends on its size and how you plan to use the space. Options to consider include:

  1. Built-in closet island seating
  2. Built-in closet bench with storage
  3. Window seats
  4. Chaise lounge in place of an island
  5. Armchair for reading or lounging
  6. Closet vanity with seating

Closets are a very personal space. They contain all your clothes and are often the place where you dress or undress each day. That's why your closet seating should be as unique as you are. Whether you decide on custom built-ins or some sort of freestanding furniture, choose seating that reflects your personality in addition to your practical needs. With the right choice, your closet seating may just be the best seat in the house!