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Finally turning that extra guest room into a shoe gallery, or working with your design concierge to customize all the closets in your new home?

First, you’ll want to take stock of what you really need to store. From the mud room to the garage and your linen closet, stuff piles up. Miraculously. There are plenty of charities happy to pick up what you no longer use.

Ok, now let’s take a look at some tips for great closets.

Start by thinking about your dream closet as a room. Wallpaper, artwork, mirror, rug, chandelier? Sure.

Closets work best if you know precisely how you’re going to use them. Design the space with most-used items at eye level, less-used below, and least-used high above.

Take advantage of accessories options like glass-fronted drawers, belt and tie racks, and moveable shelves.

Take inventory of all the belongings that are going into the room.

Hang in there.

Are you sharing space with someone a foot taller?

How much space will you need for hanging, shelving and accessories? Prioritize space for dresses or longer hanging clothes. Design for a long hang section first, then make room for drawers and shelves.

Think vertical and adjustable. A wall-mounted system will let you use all of your floor space.

No dead spaces. You may need to work around electrical outlets, access panels, or light switches. Effective closet design is about using the entire volume of your closet.

A mixture of closed and open storage is a must so that some pieces can be displayed and others kept out of site. You may prefer to rotate your wardrobe seasonally.

Stay awhile.

You know you’ll always want more shoes. Design for ample shoe storage and room to grow. More shoes can fit on a flat shelf and best stored heel to toe for maximum space.

Like your fashion, consider adding a pop of color on the walls or drawers.

Mirrors in doors give you a 360-view of the items and let you see how you look.

Get closet comfy with a rug.

Your closet is now so inviting, you’ll want to stay awhile. Make it a sit-in. Add a pouf or stool for zipping up boots or trying on jewelry.

Details.

Hooks are great for hanging clothes you plan to wear later in the day, or storing purses and belts.  Perhaps inside your closet door or on an empty wall to maximize space.

While hooks and shelves are useful for larger items, you’ll need a place for the little things too. Rings and bracelets in trays will remind you of what you have with easy access to them.

For a clean, elegant look, opt for uniformity.

When choosing hangers, get all the same type. A popular choice is wood. You may want thicker ones for jackets but make them all the same material and style.

Organize your storage bins by getting multiples of one kind and color.

Make the lighting in your closet as natural as possible, preferably with frosted bulbs to avoid shadows. Add drama with a modern ceiling fixture.

Think ventilation. Remember, your cedar closets keep moths away, but they also smell of cedar. Perhaps move yours to the basement?

Not so glamorous closets need attention too. How about those laundry bins? Incorporating them into the millwork in your custom closet will turn a necessity into an attractive design feature.

From decorative hardware and back-lit shoe storage to velvet tie drawers and islands with built-in seating, your design concierge will help you choose all the right storage elements to complement your home decor.

Photos courtesy of closetfactory.com