A custom closet is different from a closet system, which is a pre-built set of closet organizing components. A distinguishing feature of the custom closet is that it is not pre-built, but is designed — by the homeowner, the builder, or both — to meet the specific and particular needs of the space, the purpose, and the people who will use it. A custom closet is a good choice when there are special requirements that can’t be met by a closet system, such as an unusually shaped space, a user with special needs, or a non-standard purpose. It can be made for a bedroom, a pantry, a laundry room, a mudroom, a garage, a utility room, a home office, or a media center, for example.
A number of custom closet suppliers offer online software tools for the client to use in designing a personalized closet. You may have to set up an account to create your own design. Once engaged with the software, you may have choices such as the general purpose and the general shape. Often, you will be asked to name your design, and this means that it’s possible to create multiple options for consideration. After choosing a general layout, you enter specific measurements for the various dimensions, and receive a proposed layout, with several alternatives available, and exact dimensions noted, and a price tallies as you make your choices.
With dimensions and clearance set, a proposed set of components may be loaded in the available space to start off with. By selecting each component, you can edit it, substituting other components that will fit in the same space. There are a wide range of components to choose from, appropriate to the use you’ve designated. Included are rods, hangers, and hanging storage, shelves, drawers of various depths, basket drawers and undershelf baskets, racks, bars, pegs, and islands. Specialized components include tie racks, belt racks, jewelry drawers, hampers and ironing board holders for the bedroom, closed cabinets and hanging wall storage for tools for a garage or utility room, and stemware holders, wine racks, or spice racks for the pantry.
A range of color and material choices are also available for custom closets. Colors often include white, ivory, almond, gray, and black. Wood or faux wood choices include cherry, rosewood, oak, beech, walnut, pear, and maple. Accessory choices include moldings, hardware, and drawer front styles. If the tool doesn’t work for you, or if you have needs that are beyond the software’s capacity — for example, everything accessible to a person in a wheelchair — you may need to contact the closet manufacturer directly and/or work with one of their designers. If you don’t wish to be involved in the design, there are closet providers who will send a representative to your house to do all the measuring and planning for you — although, of course, you get to approve it.