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Trends in Home Storage Design Include Open Closets Without Doors

Open Floor Plans Often Lead to Open Closets

Open closets have become standard in many European countries. The trend has finally crossed the ocean and homeowners throughout the United States are embracing the idea of a closet space without doors. The premise behind open closets is that they banish doors (and often the walls themselves) in favor of a highly organized system of built-in shelves, doors, baskets and drawers. The results fully integrate clothing with the character of the room, creating a true dressing room space within the bedroom.

Open closets tie in with the current trend towards open floor plans throughout the home. By removing the doors to your closet, you can also visually increase the square footage of the room. To pull off this look, however, you must have a very organized closet.

A well-designed closet space is beautiful on its own and should be on display rather than hidden behind doors.

view of an open closet
This project was part of a larger home renovation, where the owner is updating a 1970s colonial to meet the needs of the 21st century. The clients had already opened up the front wall of the old walk-in closet, removing the door and enlarging the entrance. They envisioned that the new space would be an extension of the master bedroom rather than just a closet to put things in. The main area of the master bedroom was to be designated as a sleeping and sitting area only, with no dressers for clothing or other storage. That meant that the new closet space needed to provide functional storage for all of the clients' wardrobe needs, including hanging, shelving and drawers, without the aid of doors to conceal the couple's plentiful amount of clothing. In effect, the owners' complete wardrobe would be on permanent display within the master bedroom.

Open Closets Ideas

Closets without doors work well in many applications:

  • Large Walk-In Closets: Removing the door and/or wall from a large walk in closet will visually open up the bedroom to create a dressing room space within the room. It is very important to use a lot of built-ins to keep the area looking organized and tidy. Color choices, from the hangers, to baskets, to choices of finishes used should coordinate with the décor of the sleeping space. Glass cabinets can be used to great effect as a place to showcase special possessions. Large walk-in closets can also incorporate a closet island into the design, taking the place of dressers and other furniture pieces in the bedroom. This will open up the sleeping space further, possibly allowing for a sitting or reading area.

    open closet ideas include a closet island glass cabinets used in open closet
  • Small Walk-In Closets: Smaller closet spaces can also be opened up to both increase the amount of functional storage area within the closet, and also to open up the visual square footage of the bedroom. Getting rid of the door in these instances can often create prime storage real estate in the area that used to be hidden behind the open door. Using built-ins that coordinate with the décor in the rest of the room makes the space a part of the bedroom and will ensure the closet stays tidy. Special articles of clothing and accessories can be used as pieces of art to add a level of personalization to the space that might otherwise be unachievable.

    open closet ideas for a smaller walk in closet spaceopen closets need built ins to keep organized
    Investing in high quality closet built-ins is especially important if you are thinking about going with an open closet plan for your bedroom. They offer the functionality of furniture, with their array of shelving and drawers. They also help keep the space tidy and organized.
  • Reach-In Closets: A small reach-in closet can offer a lot of attractive storage when replaced with closet built-ins. Completely removing both the closet doors and the return walls will open up the space in even the smallest bedroom. As a bonus, storage potential is also increased through the better organization of the space. It is a good idea to include drawers or doors when opening up a small closet space like this to keep small items tidy and eliminate the need for other furniture in the room. Depending on the depth of the closet, additional built-in storage can be incorporated in place of the return walls.

    open closet ideas for a smaller space or reach in closet

With the ever-growing popularity of open floor plans and a trend towards smaller homes, there has been a surge in demand for open closet designs. Many people really like the look that a more open layout offers in the rest of the house and want to extend that aesthetic to the bedroom. High quality built-ins are essential to making the open closet idea work in the bedroom. They will control or eliminate the otherwise cluttered look that can happen when a messy closet is left exposed. Drawers and cabinets with doors incorporated into the built-ins will do a lot to further contain clutter, however, baskets on shelves can also work for this purpose. Built-in storage can even replace other furniture in the bedroom like dressers.

A bedroom with an open closet will never look like a generic hotel room. Due to the unique nature that accompanies any personal wardrobe, the bedroom with an open closet will take on the unique personality of its owner. Expect to see more and more open closets in future American homes. Done right, they are a great way to increase storage while giving an expanded feeling of spaciousness.

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open closet for small apartmentside storage for open closet in small apartmentleft side storage for open closet ideas
This is a closet that wants to be seen. If you have a small condominium or apartment, why not try this — enlarge your space by removing the closet doors and install a professional closet system like the one pictured here that you can be proud to have out in the open! An open floor plan will visually make the most of a small space by eliminating barriers. Although it may require you to think a bit "outside the box," there is no reason why the closet space cannot be included in your open floor plan. See Project >

open closet idea for babyopen closet idea for baby front viewopen closets include a lot of buil-in drawers and baskets
This reach-in closet organization system accommodates daytime to goodnight story time, and everything in between. Designed to meet the needs of multiple children, it basically offers space for everything. A closet system like this could even be built outside the traditional closet space along any wall. After all, what is an open closet, but basically a wardrobe closet without doors. See Project >

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