Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Build 101...why a walk in robe is a great style choice and a great investment

A walk in robe is not just a luxury item, it's an opportunity to increase the value of your home.  It's a chance to get your build dollars working hard for you, and here is why.

Here is why walk in robes are a good investment:
  • Compared to other building expenses it is a relatively small investment in cash and space, and it delivers the wow factor that will have people wanting to live in your house. 
  • You don't need much space to create lots of storage and lots of style.
  • It's a must have item for buyers of modern luxe homes.
  • You will love living with it now, and will reap the financial reward when you sell later. 
You don't need much space, in less than 3m wide you can create your own.  In terms of building costs we are talking around 9 square meters of space.  Much cheaper than putting in an extra room.  Our own walk in is xxxxxx and it's generous both aesthetically and in storage capacity.  The joinery cost around $3,500 not including a premium for the stained oak finish.  

Tailor your finish to your budget, but even with a small budget its possible to deliver a stylish and functional walk in.  See this post by Stylizmo for a glamorous transformation of a small room for around $700.

Have I got you convinced?  See below for my top tips to design your own glam walk in.

Finding inspiration
I don't think you can look past the Italian walk in robe designs (like Poliform) for inspiration.  They are all over both function and form, lots of hanging space, lots of drawers and a crisp, clean contemporary look.  

Plan for all items in your wardrobe
Don't forget to plan storage for items like hats, bags and boots.  

  • I love boots so I designed a shelf that is tall enough for mine to fit into.  No more scrounging under coats and dresses for me. 
  • Open shelves above hanging height are perfect for storing bags and hats which you don't need easy access to every day.
  • Drawers or slide out shelves for accessories, jewellery, belts and ties.
  • Extra shoe space if you have a large collection.
  • Storage space for handbags and hats can be set above hanging space as you will use it less often


His and Hers sides
Our walk in has two sides, His (Mr B) and Her's (moi), and because our clothes are different I designed them slightly differently too.

For him -
  • No full length hanging space, but 3 hanging areas just tall enough to hang suits and shirts.  We even hang t-shirts there is so much room.
  • A large pull out pants rack with space for shoes underneath.  (see how to make your own here)
  • 8 generous drawers, plenty of space for storing ties, belts and even shoes.
For her (moi ofcourse) - 
  • 2 long hanging sections with double drawers below.   I designed the height to fit mid length dresses and coats.  Most of us don't have wardrobes bursting with ballgowns requiring full length hanging space anymore.
  • Shoe shelves and a boot shelf.  Ladies shoes are pretty enough to display and they definitely need their own space.
Take storage right up to the ceiling
We used every inch of our 2.7m ceiling height.  
The area above the hanging space has been divided into two wide shelves.  
  • The lower shelf is easy enough to reach and perfect for storing less used items like hats, bags, or chunky sweaters.  
  • The higher shelf is great for storing blankets, seasonal bedding and in a happy coincidence are the perfect size for suitcases.  
If you don't plan to build all the way to the ceiling, make sure there is enough space on top of your wardrobe for baskets to store seasonal items in neatly.

Finish 
Our walk in robe is finished in black stained oak, gorgeous but definitely a luxury item.  I think it has been totally worth the extra cost, its simple but feels luxurious, glamorous but with a crisp masculine touch.  I love the contrast of the chrome drawer pulls, a tiny bit luxe but not too girly.

The dark wood is lovely in the small space, it makes it moody and intimate.  To achieve something similar on a smaller budget, black painted wood or a good dark veneer would be very effective.

In this budget diy on Stylizmo, Nina has opted for white on white, and doesn't it look amazing.

The more hanging space the better
More is more, I like hanging everything, even t-shirts if I can.
In a choice between extra hanging space and extra drawers choose hanging space, better for your budget too.

Our walk in robe is still one of my favourite spaces.  I get that movie star feeling every time I use it and I would do it all over again tomorrow.  But even better I know it was a great investment in the value of our home.

It's not just about how lovely its going to be to live with now, you will get financial pay back later.  Hope I have convinced you to get planning.  I am going to share the measurements and finishes in my walk in robe in another post.  Until then, have a look at Build 101 for other post to help make your build experience that little bit easier.

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