Exploring closet styles and finishes

Photo By Ruffino Custom Closets, New Orleans, Louisiana

Closet design has evolved significantly over the years. Today, numerous options cater to every taste and preference, from modern and sleek designs to classic and timeless transitional styles.

Closets & Organized Storage magazine spoke with closet designers and professionals across the United States to provide insight into the changing trends of closet design styles and finishes. They also discuss the latest materials and innovative techniques that are currently in vogue to create today’s stunning designs.

Karen Bradbury – Closet & Storage Concepts (Norwalk, Connecticut, East): Bradbury emphasizes the transition towards contemporary designs in closet spaces. Traditional raised panel installations have given way to sleeker, more modern approaches. Clients gravitate towards cleaner lines and minimalist aesthetics, with preferences leaning towards high-gloss finishes and textured surfaces that mimic luxurious materials like leather and linen.

When it comes to finishes, Bradbury stresses the importance of aligning choices with budget considerations. Starting with a baseline design in white allows for flexibility in upgrades based on client preferences. While durability and maintenance are universal factors, the focus is on providing clients with options that suit their aesthetic preferences and financial constraints.

Christian Russell – Ruffino Custom Closets (New Orleans, Louisiana, South): Russell highlights the surge in popularity of sleek, modern designs, particularly in urban areas. However, he notes traditional preferences are gradually shifting towards contemporary styles, even in less urban regions. Clients are increasingly open to experimenting with finishes, with white remaining a popular choice alongside trends in woodgrain and two-tone palettes.

Russell also emphasizes the transformative power of lighting in closet spaces, citing it as a critical factor in creating ambiance and enhancing the overall design. Clients are prioritizing their primary closets early in the planning stages of construction projects, underscoring the recognition of closets as essential home design elements.

Mike Foti – Innovate Home Org (Columbus, Ohio, Midwest): In the Midwest market, Foti observes a client preference for transitional styles, with Shaker designs being particularly favored. Brushed nickel finishes reign supreme in hardware choices, offering durability and ease of maintenance. While his market primarily opts for laminate finishes, Foti underscores the importance of blending closets with their surroundings, particularly bathrooms.

Foti also suggests harmonizing closet designs with adjacent spaces to create a cohesive aesthetic throughout the home. He advocates for blending finishes and styles subtly, ensuring that the overall look remains balanced and complementary to the home’s overarching design theme.

Jeff Turner – Closets To Go (Tigard, Oregon, Pacific Northwest): Turner echoes the trend towards modern and transitional styles, emphasizing clean lines and built-in aesthetics. Lighter color tones dominate the palette, with white and shades of gray. Innovations in materials and finishes also allow for greater customization and creativity in closet design. Turner highlights the versatility of quartz countertops and the evolution of textured finishes for a refined look.

Turner also emphasizes the importance of seamlessly incorporating functional elements like lighting and hidden compartments into the overall design, enhancing aesthetics and usability.

Christina Relyea – JB Cutting and ACSP president: Relyea identifies a shift towards natural finishes and matte surfaces, reflecting a preference for understated luxury. Tone-on-tone simplicity is a prevailing trend, with mixed materials adding depth and visual interest to closet spaces. Relyea emphasizes the importance of balancing function with aesthetic appeal, ensuring that closets not only serve their practical purpose but also enhance the home’s overall ambiance.

Closet design styles and finishes reflect a broader trend toward personalized and integrated living spaces. From contemporary minimalism to transitional elegance, the key lies in finding the perfect balance between functionality, durability, and aesthetic appeal. By staying attuned to emerging trends and leveraging innovative materials and technologies, designers and homeowners can elevate closets to stylish sanctuaries of organization and design.


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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.