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The Fitted Wardrobe: Pros and Cons

In the not too distant past, homes were not built with the luxury of walk in closets. Storage space for clothing was not integrated into the design scheme; it had to be added using dressers, free-standing wardrobes, or built-in fitted wardrobes. Depending upon the size of the room, fitted wardrobes could be small or exceptionally large. Regardless of their size, they were designed to maximize the storage utility of the available space.

When properly designed and constructed, the fitted wardrobe provides superb functionality and architectural elegance. If you are currently in a home without either a fitted or free-standing wardrobe, and are trying to decide whether to have a built-in unit constructed, consider the following.

Both types have inherent advantages and disadvantages. Your first consideration should be to determine how much storage area you need and of what type. Do you need a lot of hanging room? Will you need many drawers? What about shelves? Once you’ve determined the configuration that you would require, take measurements to see if the size and layout of your bedroom lends itself to having a wardrobe built-in. When envisioning a built-in unit in use, consider how much room you will need in front of the unit for reasonable access, and how the placement of other furniture in the room will be affected.

If the fitted wardrobe turns out to be impractical in the bedroom, look into the different styles of standalone wardrobes. They take up less space and come in all sizes. If a single unit that would meet all of your storage needs is too large for the room’s layout, consider two smaller wardrobes that may fit better in the room layout without taking up so much room at one location. Smaller units would also be easier to reposition in the room, if necessary. Standalone wardrobes come in with many standard storage options. Some have more hanging space than others; some with more drawers and shelves. Most storage needs can be met using standard wardrobes, and the cost is generally much less than a fitted unit.

If your research shows that a built-in wardrobe will be a fit for the room, you should sit down with the carpenter or installer to determine exactly what the storage configuration should be. At this point, cost will rear its ugly head, and you will have to determine if the added cost of a fitted wardrobe is a cost effective investment in the long run.

Is the wardrobe to be your only clothing storage area? Will you also be storing clothing accessories and other personal items? Will you also be keeping some clothing in a dresser that will remain in the room? You want to be sure to have a wardrobe that is adequate for your needs, but you also do not want to build a unit that uses valuable space in the bedroom for excess unused storage space.

A fitted wardrobe, properly configured, is a truly functional storage area that efficiently utilizes the limited space in your bedroom. It makes an obvious architectural design statement. When the fitted option is not feasible, a standalone wardrobe can add character and charm to a smaller bedroom. Whichever way you decide, the important consideration is adequate storage, pleasing aesthetics, and the convenience offered by having all of your clothing stored neatly nearby in your bedroom.