A generous aisle as well as enough clearance around an island bench to swing cabinet doors open and closed. The larger the room, the larger the island proportions. And it is certainly a popular choice these days to have doors on the cabinets to create a true dressing-room feel.
A room of this size also offers the luxury of decorative panels and mirrors on cabinet doors, as well as soft furnishings such as rugs, seating, curtains, lamps and dressing tables.
An island bench 700 millimetres wide with hanging space on either side of the island, and aisles of about 750 millimetres. At these dimensions, it may be too tight to have doors on the cabinets, unless they are positioned on the long end of the rectangle as in this wardrobe.
Tip: Additional display cabinets with doors can also be positioned in the upper section just below the ceiling, where door clearance is not an issue.
A narrow island bench of about 450 millimetres, with enough hanging space either side. This size room is best kept quite streamlined, so don’t include rugs or doors as they will interrupt the aisle (unless you are willing to forgo the island bench).
With these dimensions, there is scope for pretty lighting, should ceiling height allow. In this space, elegant features on the cabinetry, complete with Hollywood regency detail and decorative cabinet handles, finish the room beautifully.
Tip: The clearance around the island bench feels more generous if the height of the island is lowered. So when pushing the limits width-wise, drop the bench to around 750 millimetres high.
There is not quite enough clearance for an island bench. If you want to incorporate a dressing table, it will need to be along one of the walls. Positioning the dressing table at the far end is a good choice if you want to sit at the table, as this avoids potentially kicking your toes on the chair as you walk through the main space.
Tip: With the floor space clear, a rug is a wonderful connecting piece. Adding wall sconces above the dressing table, and other design features such as beautiful mirrors, allows plenty of scope to personalise this space.
There’s room for an ottoman and any combination of hanging space and shelving on either side. And remember, seating is very much appreciated when attempting to finish an outfit in restrictive clothing with dainty shoes.
Less clearance is needed from a low piece of furniture such as a seat than an island bench, as we don’t feel as cramped with things close to our knees as we do with things near our thighs.
Tip: Position the deeper, protruding hanging items such as double hanging rods furthest from the entrance to the room, to make the space feel larger.
A simple galley-style walk-in wardrobe can be comfortable in spaces as small as 1950 millimetres. This width provides enough space for hanging storage and shelving on both sides of the walkway.
Tip: A space this size will feel even wider if you recess the shelving back to 380 millimetres; that’s all you need for folded clothes. So, cutting back on that depth will open up the space. Hereis a space of the same dimension opened up with this trick.
This is pretty much the cut-off point for deciding if you have enough width for a standard walk-in wardrobe. But wait, there are more options for those who don’t quite have this much space…
By bringing the shelves back to 380 millimetres deep for folded clothes (less for shoes), all the way along one side, you’ve doubled your storage space under the standard allowance for a walk-in wardrobe. And, you’ll still have a comfortable 820-millimetre-wide aisle.
Note: This wardrobe shows narrower shelves than I am suggesting, but by angling the shoe shelves they have made the space work with even less width.
See a wardrobe where the above idea has been utilised. This is an 1800-millimetre-wide space, with shelves and drawers that fit larger items
Newly constructed walls can be built as an L-shape or a U-shape to afford you more space for minimal cost. Thinking about how much space you actually need for specific items in the wardrobe will return you space in adjoining rooms. One of the biggest cost savings you can make is in the planning, because you can actually reduce your total footprint. Building standards will allocate you 600 millimetres for wardrobes, but that wastes space.
Tip: Shoes, underwear drawers and shelves work perfectly fine between 300 to 380 millimetres deep, so you can gain back up to 300 millimetres in the adjoining room compared to a standard 600 millimetre wardrobe allowance.
A walk-in wardrobe of this proportion has pros and cons, compared to a regular built-in wardrobe:
- Access is uninterrupted by doors.
- The space is more easily lit.
- There is a significant cost saving on doors.
- You can have full-length mirrors and accessory storage for belts, ties, scarves etc. on the opposing wall, easily seen and accessed.
- Single-sided walk-in wardrobes use twice as much floor space for the same amount of storage as a built-in wardrobe, due to the aisle.
- This loss can be offset when the back of the wardrobe provides a wall for the bed to be set against.