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Closet Blog: How to Maximize the Closet Space in an Older Home to Suit Modern Needs

Increasing the Closet Space in a 1874 Victorian House

Historic homes have a particular charm and beauty that can not be duplicated by modern construction. For some home owners, a vintage house takes on a character of its own, exuding the essence of the families it has sheltered for decades or even centuries. This seems to be particularly true when the house has been in the family for a long time, but any older home can assume its own character — having absorbed the lives of its previous residents through all of its dents and dings. While some people will run at the thought of old wiring or distressed floors — like certain comfort foods, an older home can offer more than just shelter. It gives off the sense of a welcoming embrace that many crave in today's hectic world.

It's all a matter of opinion and preference. Special architectural details like ornate trim and mouldings or custom built ins are characteristic of older homes. Duplicating these features is usually cost prohibitive and missing from newer construction. In addition, older homes often come with stately lots full of mature trees or a prime location. (Being first on the block has its advantages). One thing an older home almost never comes with, however, is a lot of closet space or storage. Many of these homes were built before ready-wear clothing became the norm and people owned fewer clothes — possibly because they all had to be custom made. This is not the case for modern families and inadequate closet space is a prime concern of the owners of older homes.

There are several ways to address this, including a room addition, but the least invasive solution is to add "outside-the-closet" wardrobe closets to exisitng rooms, hallways or alcoves. Space will turn up in a surprising array when you know what to look for and are ready to utilize unorthodox areas. Nooks and crannies in the hallway, behind the door, bedroom or even bathroom are perfect candidates. Custom built wardrobes can be designed to fit any size space. If the older home has high ceilings, a tall, stately wardrobe closet will be able to maximize vertical storage. The style can be designed to blend seemlessly with the architectural look of the home if desired, making it look like it was always there. Classic details like corbels and arches are retained or even highlighted in the home when a custom wardrobe is properly introduced to hold all the clutter. Wardrobes are a great way to meld classic design with contemporary needs, breathing new life into old homes that may not otherwise be able to meet the demands of modern life.

Closet Works is Chicagolands' largest and most experienced provider of custom storage solutions. Since 1987, we have been helping homeowners by creating custom closets, pantries, bookcases and more to help organize their lives. Examples of our custom wardrobe solutions can be found on our website. For more information on Closet Works call toll-free at 800-4-CLOSET (800-425-6738).

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bedroom in old home needing new closets
Bedroom before new wardrobe closet

vintage closet remodel with new wardrobe closets
Bedroom after new wardrobe closet
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old victorian house receives closet remodel to meet modern needs
Take a look at our wardrobe closet solution for a classic Victorian and be inspired with wardrobe closet ideas for your own vintage home.