When it comes to transforming clothes storage in your home, two options reign supreme: the built-in wardrobe and the walk-in closet.
Both offering the potential to increase the quantity and efficiency of your storage, built-in wardrobes and walk-in closets are more than storage spaces – they’re an opportunity to transform your space and express your personal style.
But which type of storage is the best choice for you? This will depend on many factors including the room’s floor space and dimensions, your budget, and your personal preferences.
To help you decide which type of storage is best for your home, we’ve put together this ultimate guide to walk-in closets and built-in wardrobes. Read on to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of both styles of storage.
Built-in wardrobes, also known as fitted wardrobes, are a popular choice for homeowners looking for a streamlined storage solution. These wardrobes are designed to fit into specific spaces within a room and can be customised to fit the exact dimensions and aesthetic of the room.
With built-in wardrobes, the space is used efficiently as there is no gap between the wardrobe and the wall, and they can be blended seamlessly into the room’s décor. This means that they are a great way to use space efficiently in a small home. If your room has awkward corners, sloping roofs, or other hard-to-reach spots, a built-in wardrobe can be an effective way to turn these weird spaces into useful storage for clothes, shoes, or accessories.
Built-in wardrobes are typically made of materials such as wood, laminate or MDF and can be designed with a variety of features, including shelves, drawers, hanging space and sliding doors.
Advantages of a built-in wardrobe
Fitted wardrobes have a wide range of benefits. Perhaps their biggest benefit is that they use space efficiently, allowing you to adapt the wardrobe to the contours of your room and ceiling. As a result, built-in wardrobes are often homeowners’ first choice for loft rooms with sloping ceilings or in old rooms with awkward corners. Compared to a freestanding wardrobe, built-in options are ideal for achieving maximum storage efficiency.
Built-in wardrobes are more affordable than walk-in closets, which makes them the more budget-friendly storage solution. Moreover, they’re easy to install and upgrade. You can easily swap the sliding doors or panels when they become outdated or old. You can also opt for mirrored sliding doors to open up the space and or choose various other finishes to match your room. This means that built-in wardrobes are especially versatile.
When it comes to arranging your storage space, built-in wardrobes give you the opportunity to use the space effectively. You can get various add-ons like hanging rods, shelves, and more to suit your storage needs. They push you to be minimalistic and eliminate anything you don’t use or need; all of your belongings will be in one place and easy to reach.
Finally, if you opt for a built-in wardrobe with hinged doors, you can include full-length mirrors behind the doors and double the built-in closet as a good dressing space. This is perfect for small or minimalist style bedrooms.
Downsides of a built-in wardrobe
While we love a built-in wardrobe here at Bravo London, there are also some downsides to consider when planning your bedroom storage. Firstly, by definition, built-in wardrobes are built into the available space and therefore cannot be easily expanded or adapted. This means that you have to be mindful of the quantity of clothes and accessories you collect, ensuring that they can all fit in the allocated space. With too much stuff, a built-in wardrobe can start to feel messy or disorganised.
Another potential downside is that built-in wardrobes can sometimes become dark and dingy, making it hard for you to find the right outfit or pick out matching items. This is why we love installing DIY lighting in fitted wardrobes. This makes it easier to keep the space organised and instantly find the item you’re looking for.
A walk-in wardrobe is like gold when it comes to storage and more space. Typically a large, standalone storage area that is accessible via a door or opening in a room, walk-in wardrobes are a more spacious and functional storage solution, allowing for ample room for hanging, shelving and organising clothing, shoes, and accessories.
Walk-in closets can vary in size, design and layout, with some being small, simple and practical, while others are more elaborate with features such as built-in cabinetry, lighting, shoe racks, mirrors, couches, and more. Some fashionistas even have walk-in wardrobes the size of a master bedroom!
While this type of wardrobe gives you a lot of space for storage and allows you to incorporate your personal style, it also requires more space than a built-in or freestanding wardrobe.
Advantages of walk-in closets
Walk-in closets are ideal if you have a lot of clothes, shoes, and accessories, and want a space entirely dedicated to organising and displaying them. With everything in one place, these closets make it easy to find the item you want because they tend to be better lit and more spacious than traditional wardrobes.
Moreover, walk-in closets can be used as a dressing room and can even be used for ironing your clothes! One idea we love is installing an island in the middle of the walk-in closet. This can be used as a space for sorting laundry, ironing, or just laying out an outfit for the next day.
By removing all the clutter from the main room, walk-in closets are ideal if you want to create a more spacious or minimalist look in your bedroom. They allow you to express your personal style in the way you organise the room, displaying clothes and shoes however you like.
Downsides of walk-in closets
Of course, walk-in closets also have their downsides. Most significantly, they require a lot of space. The walk-in closet of your dreams might not fit in your home – but don’t fear; even a small walk-in closet can make a huge difference to your storage space.
Another downside we sometimes encounter is the mess – with all your clothes in a single room, it can easily become cluttered and messy if not carefully organised. Then again, if you’re the type of person planning a walk-in closet, you’re probably already pretty good at organising your belongings! And with all the extra space, it shouldn’t be hard to find a home for everything.
Finally, walk-ins can be on the pricier side, depending on the size, storage, and furniture you install. However, walk-in closets are absolutely possible on a budget; just chat to us and we’ll be happy to share our ideas for a budget-friendly walk-in wardrobe installation.
Deciding Between Built-In Wardrobes and Walk-In Closets
Ultimately, deciding if a walk-in closet or built-in wardrobe is for you should all come down to the space available in your home and how much stuff you have. If you live in a small apartment or house, then using your space the best you can should be a priority. A walk-in closet in this scenario may not be the best idea.
A built-in closet can easily store all of your belongings if organised correctly, and both built-ins and walk-ins reduce mess and clutter. You also need to see if you have enough clothes and accessories to fill a walk-in closet. There is no point in building a huge walk-in closet if your entire wardrobe fits on a few shelves.
Built-in closets are generally the better option if you want something that takes up less space and is low maintenance. They are also best if you do not own a lot of clothes.
However, if you love clothes and have a major collection, a walk-in closet is for you. Don’t forget that a walk-in wardrobe can free up space in your bedroom, help declutter your room, and double as a dressing room or space for ironing or folding laundry – it’s not just a fancy storage space!
A closet is a vital addition to any bedroom, and we understand that it needs to be the perfect fit for your home. It all comes down to personal preference when deciding between a walk-in closet or a built-in closet. Each has its pros and cons, so you need to decide which will best suit your needs and lifestyle.
Need help planning your wardrobe upgrade? Book a free design visit and get started today! We’ll be happy to share our expert advice to help you make the most of your space.