Open vs Closed Walk-in Closets


I hope I am not boring you guys with yet another image heavy aspirational home decor post.

After seeing a number of spectacular but superlatively expensive walk-in closets, I stumbled across this fabulous open one, which has me dreaming.

Love the light bulbs along the mirror

Love the light bulbs alongside the mirror

Super-neat and well-organized

Super-neat and well-organized

A view of the drawers

A view of the drawers

I would love a perfume tray like this one (only after the littles are more grown up though)

I would love a perfume tray like this one (only after the littles are more grown up though)

So what differentiates this closet from so many others on the internet?

  • Almost every piece in it is from Ikea. And I checked the prices online, and this closet is definitely affordable. In India, there are news reports now and then about Ikea entering the Indian market. If/when it does come, it will be great to check out these pieces in person.
  • The size and structure of the above closet is almost identical to my bare bones walk-in. If I wanted to I can reproduce this almost exactly in my walk-in space.

My Reservations about an Open Walk-in Closet

While I love the images above and would love to have something like that in my house, I do have my reservations.

  • It is a commitment to neatness. Most days, I just tend to throw in stuff into the cupboards and sort and organize them over the weekends. This is no longer possible, I am guessing with a walk-in.
  • It is a safety/privacy issue. I have a maid who comes in and cleans my home during the weekdays when I am at work. While she’s totally trustworthy, I still don’t want to piqué her curiosity by leaving all my things out in the open.
  • It’s also an open invitation to dust. My house overlooks a lot of still-in construction office buildings, and while this part of the house isn’t too affected, I really don’t want to be spending my weekends dusting yet more shelves.
  • I would need to really curate and cull a few of my clothes. I do like the idea though that an open space forces me to think about what I really like and wear regularly.
  • It would probably also mean banishing K’s clothes into a different area altogether. He’s such a hoarder his clothes would never fit into such a setup.

So, with a great sigh of disappointment, I have given up my dream of an open closet and just went with straight-forward cupboards for this area.

I did keep in mind some of the elements that I really liked from the above pictures – the monochromatic look, and the modern simplistic appearance of the closet. I have also earmarked the mirror with the bulbs on the side for the future.

Our Reality Now

We were initially thinking wooden custom-made cupboards but my horror of having carpenters invade the house for days/weeks on end put an end to the issue. We eventually agreed that we just couldn’t manage the time required to oversee the work and that ready-made cabinets would have to do.

After seeing a couple of shops, we also realized the ready-made wooden cupboards within our budget was actually particle board, which I really didn’t want to pay for.

We finally made our way to Godrej. Yes, the good old Godrej. I was pretty sure we were wasting my time here. I really didn’t want those huge old-fashioned steel almirahs from my grandma’s time.

I promise you that the only thing that made my change my mind was that one of the color options that were on offer was the exact same color as my walls – a pleasant grassy green. Hmm, this might not be too bad. My inner voice then reminds me that Godrej cupboards are so long-lasting they will probably outlive even me.

I voiced my concerns to K as while I liked the cupboards I wasn’t sure if I could commit to 20 years of Godrej and he reassured me that I could change it up after 8-10 years if I wanted.

I think he knows me well enough that I won’t bother about it afterwards 😉 .

Anyway, we have these cupboards for now, and once we placed them there, I realize these are just perfect for our room – secure, holds all our stuff without any unnecessary culling, and most important keeps things well away from Piglet.

Our new(ish) wardrobes - it's been almost six months now since we installed them

Our new(ish) wardrobes – it’s been almost six months now since we installed them

The blank wall space between the cupboards will eventually have a full-length mirror (with or without the fancy light bulb effect) once Piglet becomes a little more trustworthy. He loses his little mind every time he sees mirrors and I don’t want accidents with Piglet breaking the mirror or hurting himself.

Although I have compromised (a lot) on my dream walk-in, I am happy with the current set up too. I always have big decor dreams but very little time to implement it.

So, do you have open closets in your house? How does it work out for you? Do you often feel that your decor dreams don’t match up to your reality?

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  • Open closets (and kitchen cabinets) would be a nightmare for me. I definitely lack that commitment to neatness. 🙂

    • Nishita

      @aprilthesteadfastreader:disqus so do I 🙂

  • readingtheend

    I’ve got open kitchen cabinets, and that’s already too much of a commitment to neatness — and theoretically, kitchen cabinets would tend to be much tidier than closets. So yeah, although the pictures of that open closet are gorgeous, I know better than to believe I’m remotely capable of having such a thing.

    • Nishita

      @readingtheend:disqus yeah, it’s a real commitment and while my closed closets are pretty neat and everything in its place, it’s still a mental leap to do away with doors altogether. That would mean I MUST have everything in it’s place, not something I want to get into right now.

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