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Slanted Ceiling Closet Solutions

Large walk-in slanted ceiling closet in attic

So, you want to use your attic or space under the stairs as a closet. Chances are, it's already in service as long-term storage for boxes. But to make it into a functional closet for clothing and more you need to make adjustments. Forget about design rules that rely on a basic box with right angles. Your walls may be crooked or sloped. Ceilings probably have a slant. The space is likely not at all regular. But there are tricks of the trade that can make it work. Learn how to organize a slanted ceiling closet and gain precious storage for you home.

The first thing you need to do for your slanted ceiling closet is to make sure the space is finished. Always start with a clean, well-ventilated space with access to electricity. Don't worry if there's no center ceiling light fixture. However, you will need electrical outlets to power a new LED closet lighting system. Have a qualified electrician place these in advance of starting your closet design.

After you've got the basics, it's time to set up your hanging and/or shelving. Depending on the type of space you've got, there are different closet organizers and ways of setting things up. Take a look at these examples of various closets with slanted ceilings for inspiration and solutions. Then get going on your own closet system for slanted ceilings.

Examples of Slanted Ceiling Closet Solutions.

Closet for Large Attic Space

If you have enough room to stand upright in the center of your attic, you can convert the space into a luxury closet. Often, attics are better suited for conversion to a closet than another use because there isn't as much concern regarding heat build-up. Finish, insulate, and ventilate your attic closet first. And keep it free of critters. But as long as you aren't using the closet to store furs or leather, your clothing should be able to tolerate the inevitable higher summer temperatures. Fur coats and leather clothing need cold storage and are better brought to a professional storage facility during the warm weather months.

luxury attic closet with sloped ceilingThis luxury attic closet is accesses though a staircase in the master bedroom. The owners removed the small, old closet in favor of the stairs. They then expanded the master closet to extend over the entire house using the attic.

Advance planning is key. Look around the edges of your attic space. In most attics with adequate headroom, you will find a short, 90° perpendicular wall before the slanted walls or ceilings begin. If this short wall is forty-two-inches or higher, you can install a closet organizer for hanging clothes against it. Walls less than forty-two-inches-high are better off with shelving.

Design the space so that your shortest items are against the shortest usable wall. Recommended closet rod clearance for shirts, jackets, etc. is 40.5-inches from the floor. Use the taller perpendicular walls found near the gable ends of the attic for your longer items. Cabinet doors are recommended to cover any garments that are used infrequently. The doors will prevent dust from getting on the clothes and can help keep pests out. Although standard closet organizers extend 14-inches out from the wall, be sure to make hanging sections that will be covered by cabinet doors at least 20-inches deep.

Small Walk-In Attic Closets

Small attic spaces are more of a challenge. However, there are solutions for every space. Start your slanted ceiling closet design at the gable end of the attic. Follow the angle of the ceiling and stagger your closet organizers along the slope. Reserve the shortest section of wall for shelving.

small slanted ceiling closet with staggered closet organizersThis small attic closet places shelving against the shortest wall. Closet organizers with drawers and hanging follow the slope of the ceiling. They extend at staggered heights along the higher wall to create the needed storage.

Closet rods can be installed against the sloped ceiling and above the low shelves if necessary. Be sure to use a cleat anchored to the studs/rafters if you need to do this. Special O-brackets can then be mounted to the cleat at 30-inch intervals to hold a closet rod. Don't skimp on these brackets. Clothing can be heavy. Support brackets every 30-inches plus the cleat anchored to the studs is necessary for proper support.

small slanted ceiling closet with rod hung from sloped ceilingThere aren't enough perpendicular walls with height to handle the needed hanging space in this small attic closet. Therefore, rods are hung from the slanted ceiling to create additional hanging areas. Place shelves underneath to maximize storage on the short walls close to the floor.

Reach-in Closet Under the Stairs

When a reach-in closet has a sloped ceiling, it's usually due to a staircase running above the space. This can render it a small, awkward area to work with. But don't let that deter you. These challenges can be easily overcome with the right design. Stagger the height of your closet organizers to follow the slope of the ceiling on the longest wall. If you're working with a deep return under the angled ceiling, that's the perfect place for a bank of shelves or even a closet rod to handle your medium-hang garments.

reach-in closet under stairs with partial slanted ceilingThis reach-in closet is located under the stairs. The ceiling in the return portion of the closet is sloped due to the staircase above.

Another way to manage a small reach-in closet with an angled ceiling is to remove the old closet doors. Finish the space with custom built-ins using drawers for folded items and cabinets for hanging. Sit back and watch as your overall storage increases with this simple arrangement. You might not even need as much furniture in your room.

reach-in closet and drawers in bedroom nook with slanted ceilingThis custom closet solution was designed for a bedroom nook with a slanted ceiling. The original doors to a reach-in closet were removed to make way for custom organizers.

Closet Over the Garage

If your home features an unfinished attic over the garage with a lot of head room, it could make an expansive closet — especially if the space is accessible from a second story hallway or bedroom. Builders often include the unfinished footprint of this room so that home buyers can adapt the space to their individual needs at a later date. With a room-size closet like this, you'll want to be sure to take advantage of all the light your windows can provide. Be sure to keep them accessible with your closet design.

large closet with slanted ceiling and windowThis slanted ceiling closet wraps shelving around the large window at the gable end. The shelves directly below the window also function as bench seating.

Arrange hanging areas for medium and short garments under the angled walls of the room. Use the higher walls for your long hang. This type of space is ripe for a closet island. But be sure to size it properly. You'll need to leave a minimum of 36-inches open space around all sides. That will allow you to open drawers and still walk around the island.

large closet with slanted ceiling over the garageThis large walk-in closet was carved out of a bonus room over a three-car garage. The space is expansive, but the roof line limited the number of areas that could use long-hang closet organizers.

Pantry Closets with Slanted Ceiling

Pantries are a favorite when it comes to assigning a use to that awkward space under the stairs. Use 14-inch-deep shelves and stagger the sections as needed to follow the slope of the ceiling for maximum storage. The 14-inch depth provides the most versatility when choosing pantry accessories. Select from pull-out wire baskets, built-in spice racks, and more to keep your pantry the model of efficiency.

long narrow pantry under stairsThis long, narrow pantry under the stairs has a slanted ceiling that follows the angle of the staircase above on one end.

Ready to try your own slanted ceiling closet solution?

At first glance, it may seem that your angled ceiling closet is a difficult to use effectively. But the right closet organizers can make all the difference. Stagger your units to follow the slope of the ceiling. Place shelves on the shortest walls. Use a cleat and hang clothes on rods from the slanted ceiling or wall if necessary. Ditch the old door on a small reach-in and maximize the storage with attractive built-ins designed to fit the resulting alcove like a hand in glove. And if you need more help with the organization of your space, Closet Works designers are always ready to lend a hand. Why not schedule a free, no obligation appointment today?