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When embarking on a bedroom refurbishment that involves custom-built cabinetry, there are many factors to consider, one of which is: How deep do built-in wardrobes need to be?
While the size of a fitted wardrobe usually depends on the space you have available, the minimum depth required to ensure functional storage for your clothing is 60cm.
However, this can vary based on different factors so our expert team of joiners have put this guide together to help answer some frequently asked questions about built-in wardrobes and their benefits.
How deep should your built-in wardrobe be to ensure optimal storage space and functionality?
As a rule of thumb, the ideal depth for an ample-sized built-in wardrobe is approximately 67cm. Anything less than 60cm deep means you won't be able to make use of standard features like horizontal hanging rails.
As a wardrobe's intent is to keep your space well organised and clutter-free, it’s vital to establish a list of your requirements before you start the planning phase. This should include the number of drawers, hanging space and shelves needed to house all your clothes, accessories, jewellery, shoes and anything else you have in mind.
Once you have a clear picture of your requirements, you can enlist the help of a professional built-in wardrobe specialist to assist you with a detailed, functional layout.
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Here are some useful measurements to ensure that you make the most of every inch of space in your closet.
Large wardrobes have hinged doors that are held in place by simple hinges and swing outwards when opened. Make sure you have enough space between the wardrobe and your other furniture to accommodate this.
The normal depth of this kind of wardrobe should be 60cm, but you can get away with a minimum of 55cm if you are not planning to hang any clothes.
The wardrobe's height should either equal the lintel level of the doors, which is typically 210cm, or you can make a full-height wardrobe by utilizing the space from floor to ceiling.
Each door should not be wider than 60cm or the hinges will be overloaded.
Wardrobes with sliding doors have panelled doors that slide from side to side on tracks, so are perfect if you have limited space and need to place your wardrobe close to your bed.
A sliding-door wardrobe should have a depth of 66cm plus a running track of about 5cm to allow unrestricted movement.
They should be at least 210cm long from left to right to accommodate two door panels of 105cm each. This will allow you to access one side at a time with ease.
Each panel should not be wider than 120cm or they will be too heavy to slide.
What are the benefits of having a deep built-in wardrobe?
While commissioning a bespoke built-in wardrobe might seem daunting, there are certain advantages that make them 100% worthwhile. Here are 7 benefits you won’t regret:
- Fully customisable interior: Unlike their shop-bought counterparts, fitted wardrobes give you complete freedom when it comes to customisation options, so you’ll be able to go beyond standard shelving and add hanging rails, drawers, laundry bins, tie racks and whatever else you can imagine.
- Made to measure: When shopping for a freestanding wardrobe you have to stick to what’s available, while built-in wardrobes can be designed to fit the proportions of your space even if it has awkward angles or a sloped ceiling.
- Ample storage space: Because luxury built-in wardrobes are tailor-made they can be designed to take advantage of every spare inch, ensuring that your possessions are displayed exactly to your liking.
- Choice of finishes: Built-in wardrobes are available in a vast range of colours, materials, door types, handles and other finishes so, whether you’re after a contemporary feel or something more timeless, you’ll be able to match it with the aesthetics of your room.
- Longevity: If made by an expert, fitted wardrobes are created using high-quality materials, ensuring that they are durable and long-lasting.
- Low maintenance: Because they are spacious and made to fit into your wall from floor to ceiling, you don’t have to clean behind or on top of them.
- Increased value: Custom-made wardrobes can raise the value of your home. So if you plan to sell your property in the future, building wardrobes will be one of the elements that add appeal for prospective buyers making them an excellent investment.
How can you make the most of your built-in wardrobe?
Make the most of your built-in wardrobe (especially in cases when it's not too deep) by including the following features:
- Shelving: This is ideal if you have lots of foldable items like jerseys and t-shirts and is an easy way to store handbags and shoes.
- Hanging rails: Our top designers agree that placing two short hanging compartments one above the other with an adjacent section for longer items like coats and dresses will help maximise your vertical space.
- Drawers: Drawers are the perfect solution for socks, underwear, ties and belts. Use dividers to keep everything well organised and in place.
- Storage containers: Take advantage of the floor space and uppermost parts of your wardrobe by storing items in well-ventilated containers like baskets, bins and boxes. They are perfect for clothing that you only wear in season.
What should you consider before installing a deep built-in wardrobe?
Before you install a built-in wardrobe, here are some key considerations:
- Available space: Decide how big you need your wardrobe to be and where you’re going to put it. Do you have space for a walk-in, or will it be a standard build?
- Functionality: The object of your wardrobe is to provide you with a practical storage space that will accommodate all your clothing, shoes and accessories. Make sure you plan a layout that meets all of your needs.
- Accessibility: Consider how your doors will operate and where to position shelving, racks or drawers so that they are easy to reach.
- Doors: Take the size of your room into account before you choose your wardrobe doors. Hinged doors are great for large spaces, whereas sliding doors are more appropriate for smaller areas.
- Style: Make sure that the colour, material and finishes of your wardrobe match your existing aesthetics. A quality built-in wardrobe will last at least 10 years, so think ahead and future-proof your entire design before you commit.
- Budget: Have a set budget in mind before you begin so that you have parameters to work with. It will also help your professional team narrow down your options.
How to measure a built-in wardrobe?
Before you start planning your built-in wardrobe layout, it’s imperative to measure up. Here are some guidelines:
- For floor-to-ceiling wardrobes calculate the height from floor to ceiling, taking measurements from the centre and both ends to ensure that it’s even. If there are discrepancies, modifications will need to be made.
- Calculate the width from the top and bottom and from front to back.
- Measure your wardrobe’s depth from front to back at both ends.
- If your wardrobe is near a window, take the measurement from the back of the wardrobe to the beginning of the window architrave. Make a note of the depth of all curtain pelmets, shutters or blinds.
- Check to see if the allocated space has skirting boards, coving, power points or any other protrusions and include their measurements.
- Ensure that the floor is level and make a note of the finish. Installing a fitted wardrobe on a carpet is not recommended, so it may need to be removed first.
If you're unsure about how to take accurate measurements, contact our professional design team and let us do it for you.
The depth of a new built-in wardrobe depends very much on both your available space and specific storage needs.
Once you’ve decided where you would like to put it, our talented design team will facilitate every step of the process from layout to final installation. So if you can’t wait to get started, get in touch with us or book a one-on-one consultation with us today.
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