Learn The Dimensions and Get Tips On Designing A Walk-In Closet

Walk-in Closet dimensions and design tips

Walk-In Closet Dimensions and Ideas

Designing Your Master Suite Walk-In Closet

If you're considering adding a custom closet to your master suite, the design process will be much easier if you first take the time to define your needs. Once you've taken that step, the next is take inventory of the items you need to store and consider comfort amenities you might like to add. If you have the space, budget and creative vision, your closet can include benches or a dressing area, mirrors, an island, artwork, lighting and even a radio or TV!

Let's look at some elements you'll want to address as you begin the design process for your dream walk in closet!

Walk-In Closet Basics

Ultimately, the storage capacity and functionality of your walk in closet will depend on the amount of space you have available. While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to dimensions for your dream closet if you're converting a room, the standard width of a walk in closet ranges from about 5 feet to 12 feet or more. The minimum width allows for a 3-foot walkway in the closet after you hang clothes or store items along one wall. Depth can vary anywhere from 5 feet to 17 feet or more if it's a bonus room style closet.

Some of The Most Popular Walk-In Closet Amenities

If you have the space and you want a walk in closet like those you see on Houzz or pictured in design magazines that have expansive rooms filled with shelves, trays, seating, and baskets on all sides, here are some of the most popular amenities homeowners request:


Seating makes dressing easier. With no place to sit putting on hose, stockings or shoes is unnecessarily complicated.


Whenever possible, natural light is perfect for a walk in color when it comes to picking “true” colors. If you are taking over a bonus room, consider leaving the windows in place or even adding a skylight if possible. If not, bright lighting can help you see what you're picking out! But be careful! Exposed bulbs in a closet are a fire hazard and are governed by building codes. Consider daylight fluorescents, or cool to the touch LED lighting as an alternative.

A Full-Length Mirror

For walk in closets, a mirror can be easily attached to a wall or door, or a mirror that tucks away behind a tall cabinet is a must have! If you have the space, consider adding a three sided mirror like you'd find in a clothing store so you can see yourself from every angle!


A walk in closet should include a hamper, or even better a multi-bag hamper that allows you to sort colors, whites and delicate and dry cleaning. When it's time for the laundry, the bags easily detach, or you can get a hamper on wheels for even more convenience.

Ironing Board

An in wall ironing center with a swiveling, collapsible board that is adjustable and enclosed in a small cabinet is a great convenience. The cabinet can also store your iron, spray fabric finishers like starch, and other useful items.

A Television or Sound System

This is a growing trend among homeowners. Remember to keep the TV at eye level and make sure to plan your storage around it carefully. Keep it reasonable; you probably don't need a 60-inch plasma TV with surround sound! If a TV is too much, consider adding a radio.

Think About Location!

Proximity is important! While it is possible to convert an attic or other unusual space into a walk in closet, it's always best to keep it attached to your master bedroom. The truth is, almost any space can be converted, but a standard square or rectangular room is the best choice.

Ideally, the bedroom closest to the master is a perfect choice. This allows you to close off the doorway and open the room up to the master by creating a new entry. Closing off a room and creating a new doorway is relatively minor construction. It's also easily reversible if you ever decide to sell your home.

Adding a walk-in closet to your master bedroom can add a great amount of enjoyment to your life. It's a relatively inexpensive renovation that can help you to achieve your creative vision for your space, and it's an incredible convenience that you'll enjoy everyday as you prepare for work. Speak with your design-build contractor to determine the best option for your home.

Walk-in Closet Dimensions

While there are no hard and fast rules for creating a walk in closet, there are some dimensions that you should be aware of when planning your space. These are some working dimensions to consider.

Minimum Closet Depth

• For overcoats and heavy jackets you'll need a minimum of 28 inches, 30 is better.

• For suits, dresses and other hanging clothing you'll need a minimum of 24 inches, 25 is better

Closet Rod Length and Spacing

• Allow a minimum of 48 inches per person

• Allow 3 to 4 ½ inches for overcoats

• Allow 2 ½ inches for men's suits

• Allow 1 ½ to 2 inches for all other clothing (shirts, blouses skirts

Closet Rod Height

• 60 – 63 inches for dresses

• 38-42 inches for shirts, blouses, skirts and men's pants

• 68-75 inches for formal gowns and floor length dresses

• 30 – 35 inches for young children's clothing (3 to 5-year-olds)

• 38 – 45 inches for “tweens” clothing (6 to 12-year-olds)

Shelving: Distance Between and Depth of Shelving

• Allow 3 inches between the top of the clothing rod and the lowest shelf

• 12 to 15-inch depth of lowest shelf

• 12-inch depth of all shelves above the lowest shelf

• Minimum of 8 to 9 inches of space between shelves

Image courtesy of Plus Closets

Image courtesy of Plus Closets

Forward Design Build is a residential design-build firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan that is known for its commitment to craftsmanship and communication. We are committed to improving our neighbors quality of life with inspired design and creative remodeling. Our homes are highly functional, exquisitely beautiful, and remarkably comfortable. Contact us to speak with an expert about your new home or remodeling project.