ARTICLE Stephanie Matheson
Dress up your wardrobe and take it from standard to personalised. The main points of difference will be a larger floor area and more specialist storage systems – plus a few luxury wardrobe accessories if you so desire. Size and layout are two of the main factors to consider when planning your walk-in wardrobe. To get the most out of your space you should set aside anywhere between $10,000 and $20,000 for a mid-range kit out.
How big should a walk-in wardrobe ideally be?
Generally speaking, bigger is better when it comes to walk-in wardrobes, but a moderate size of about 2.4 by 2 metres allows for a good fit out. It’s wise to go larger if space permits, in anticipation of more clothes to store, and to work with a wardrobe specialist to make the most of every nook and cranny. Think about future-proofing your wardrobe by adding 10% or 20% extra hanging and stacking space.
In terms of layout, a scenario where you have to walk through a walk-in wardrobe to the ensuite is common when renovating and retro fitting a walk-in wardrobe. If you are designing or redesigning the whole master bedroom area from scratch, for example when building a new home, this can easily be avoided to ensure no steam or moist air gets into the wardrobe.
What’s the best way to store shoes?
Built-in shoe storage that meets your specific needs is one of the features that is usually neglected in a basic walk-in wardrobe fit out. But depending on your obsession with shoes, this could be a big oversight. Shoes create an untidy mess like no other item of your wardrobe, and if left in a pile on your floor you also risk damaging them.
Depending on your preference, there are many different ways to keep your shoes organised, ranging from plain shelves or cubes through to angled pull-out drawers and pantries. The latter work much like the pull-out pantries found in kitchen and help you make the most of narrow spaces.
As a lower cost alternative you could plan in a dedicated floor or wall space for shoe hangers, racks or cupboards. Shoe bars are great for heeled shoes, while flat surfaces are a match for any pair.
How can I keep my walk-in wardrobe ventilated?
It’s not a glamorous topic and you won’t actually ‘see’ much, but you will notice the difference in your clothes with a properly ventilated and heated walk-in wardrobe. While ventilation and heating systems are no eye candies, they work behind the scenes to regulate air temperature and humidity levels. Say goodbye to musty cupboards and mouldy drawers.
The best solution is probably a ducted heat pump system for the whole house with an outlet in the walk-in wardrobe. So if your wardrobe upgrade is part of a larger renovation project that includes installing a heating system, or you already have a heat pump and could include a further room, ensure that you include an outlet for your system in the wardrobe.
Retrofitting a wall heater is an affordable way to take care of the inner wardrobe climate, along with installing an extractor fan. You could decide to get basic models that you can manually turn on at regular intervals or as and when needed. Putting a heater or fan on a timer is another good idea, as is connecting the extractor fan to the light switch so that every time you turn on the light in the walk-in wardrobe you get some air movement.
Along with these measures it’s essential to dust and vacuum the wardrobe frequently, and in some area where humidity is high, it’s also worth washing clothes regularly even if they haven’t been worn. Also, try not to overfill the wardrobe, on the contrary make sure you go through your clothes every once in a while to cull out unused items and make space for air to circulate.
Is natural or artificial light better for a walk-in wardrobe?
While natural light is ideal for dressing and putting make up on, it’s not very kind on clothing. Direct sunlight will fade garments, so in most circumstances it’s advisable to shy away from installing windows. Since wall space is at a premium, it’s usually best used as storage space anyway. If your mind is set on having a window you could consider frosted glass, special decorative blinds or skylights with a UV filter. Solar tubes are another possible alternative to bring natural light into a room, with a reflective tunnel that passes through the roof cavity.
However, good artificial task lighting is your best bet for a walk-in wardrobe. It’s also essential to see into all shelves and corners, to allow you to see and match items properly. You can choose to install basic lighting to match your minimum requirements, or go further and make lighting a real feature of your wardrobe.
With LED lighting becoming more and more affordable, this is now more achievable than ever. Recessed lights in the ceiling are a standard type of lighting for wardrobes and most other rooms. The will cast shadows in some areas, so it’s worth adding several extra small LED lights under shelves and in closed cupboards. You can go as far as to illuminate the whole wardrobe with lighting in and around all shelving. In custom-built wardrobes, extra spaces can be included for LED lights and light strips. Colourful LED strips, typically installed underneath or above shelves, allow you to add a bit of glamour to your wardrobe and set the right mood.
What’s the best flooring type for a walk-in wardrobe?
In many cases the flooring material of your master bedroom will flow into the walk-in wardrobe for a seamless and harmonious look. Carpet is a common choice for the master bedroom. It will give your walk-in wardrobe a plush and comfortable feel. Wooden flooring also works well in a wardrobe, and this flooring surface is easy to keep free of dirt and dust. Tiles would work just as well but seem to be less popular due to the fact that they are colder and harder underfoot. In larger walk-in wardrobes you could add a small rug or chair with cushions to add some cosiness.
Depending on your budget, you might be interested in building a walk-in wardrobe with a basic or high end budget.
If you would like to discuss walk-in wardrobe options and ideas for your home renovation, please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.
*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Refresh Renovations specialist. All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.