Double hutch gives small walk-in closet a built-in furniture look
April 6, 2022 | 5:53 pm CDT
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2022 Top Shelf Design Awards

Designer: Sue Tinker, Closet Works

Category: Closet: Laminate Under 18 linear ft.

Project Title: Wholistic Healing Includes the Closet

Project Description: 

The client is a medical professional. For him, it's all about maximizing quality of life by taking care of yourself and making the most of what you have. And, if that applies to your body, then why not your closet as well? He had a small walk-in closet, but it wasn't working very well for him. The closet contained the typical single wire rod and shelf on three walls with a door centered on the fourth wall. The problem was that there was no place for items that didn't hang. As a result, laundry baskets full of folded clothes littered the floor. Since the client spends most of his days in scrubs, he wanted more drawers and shelves for folded items. This included towels as his en suite bathroom lacked any sort of linen storage. He wanted to make better overall use of the space, eliminating the need for a dresser in the bedroom. And the final closet must be easy to maintain since he's often in a hurry. The bottom line was the original space didn't suit his needs and was therefore languishing in neglect. Luckily, I was ready to take on the challenge of nursing this closet back to health.  

The space wasn't very large, but I was determined to add the kind of features that make a closet more like a dressing room than simple storage. I started by creating a double hutch to span the back wall. It became the focal point of the closet. This feature is like built-in furniture and makes the space feel more like a small room than a closet. It also provides an attractive view in the event the closet door is left open. A bank of eight drawers in the hutch provides plenty of storage for small items, fulfilling his desire to eliminate the need for a dresser elsewhere in the bedroom. Shelves above the hutch add additional convenient storage for bulkier folded items without burdening the budget. An engineered quartz countertop finishes the hutch and is a practical place to display his watch collection, a mirror, or memorabilia.  

The left wall of the closet handles most of the hanging along with shoe storage and a linen cabinet. Double-hang next to a half-and-half section took care of most of this man's hanging needs and all his shoe storage while leaving enough room for wardrobe expansion over time. There was even enough room left on this wall for a good size linen cabinet. The finished cabinet is deep, and we were able to hide a closet safe behind a stack of towels.  

The right wall adds more shelving and a medium-hang closet section for business suits. These sections use suspended construction. There was enough space under his sports coats to slide the client's hamper along with a plush stool for sitting under the clothes. It's a simple matter to pull the stool out when needed. The ability to provide simple closet seating makes a big difference to this client. He can sit and get dressed during the early morning hours without having to leave his closet and disturb a sleeping partner.  

Accessories like a slide-out tie and belt rack keep him looking dapper, and I included two valet poles for staging his shirt and tie combinations. We went with white laminate combined with simple shaker style door and drawer fronts to add detail without overwhelming the small space. The finished closet always appears clean, bright, and organized. And with a place for everything, it's easy to keep it that way.

Project Construction: 

•    Combination of floor-based and suspended construction. 
•    Constructed to 95-1/4-inch height to take advantage of extra vertical space due to ceiling height. 
•    A floor-based cabinet behind the closet door holds linens and a hidden safe. 
•    Custom built-in closet hutch with dresser at an ergonomic 40-inch height.

Materials Used: 

•    8 birch wood dovetailed drawer boxes with soft-close, under-mount glides. 
•    Silestone countertop in "Lagoon" with eased-edge for dresser. 
•    Brushed chrome hardware including Metro handles for drawers and cabinet doors. 
•    1 closet safe 
•    1 pull-out belt rack organizer 
•    1 pull-out tie organizer 
•    2 pull-out valet poles 
•    6 shoe shelves

Equipment Used: 

ClosetPro drawing software for front-end design work. Cabinet Vision CAD software for final plans.
 

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About the author
Michaelle Bradford | Editor

Michaelle Bradford, CCI Media, is Editor of Closets & Organized Storage magazine and Woodworking Network editor. She has more than 20 years of experience covering the woodworking and design industry, including visits to custom cabinet shops, closet firms and design studios throughout North America. As Editor of Closets & Organized Storage magazine under the Woodworking Network brand, Michaelle’s responsibilities include writing, editing, and coordinating editorial content as well as managing annual design competitions like the Top Shelf Design Awards. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media.