Ask Sally

Ask Sally


Dear Sally:

My master bedroom closet is a mess. It’s a walk-in, but needs some major work to make it workable and efficient for my husband and me. I’ve talked to several of my friends about it, and most of them have encouraged me to talk to a closet company. I’m skeptical. Would it be better have a carpenter build me a custom closet?


Racking My Brain


Dear Racking:

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all perfect closet. In fact, in old homes, the terrible-ness of the closet is often inversely proportionate to the fabulousness of the rest of the house.


I like to send folks to Pinterest to get their renovation juices going. Go ahead an get quote from a large closet company. The exercise of planning a closet with someone who designs closets daily will be a good start. Your friends are right in that it may be the easiest solution. It’s not always the most economical. The large companies have particular formulas they work with that run standard from project to project. That’s how they turn out their products so quickly. They may not use the highest quality materials. They are hardly green and certainly lack the feel good of “buy local” but your renovation is about your priorities. If you need a simple, fast, no thought solution a closet company is maybe your best bet.


That said, I’m a huge fan of working with local craftsman, contractors and specialists. Most of the projects I manage are precisely customized to the space and to the client with a team we pick explicitly for the purpose. You can have the closet you want as opposed to the closet that comes closest to the one you want.  You can have solid wood, stylish finishes (like white washed ash uppers with a solid milk paint base or natural solid cherry cabinets with custom wrought iron pulls) with unique touches (secret drawers for your eyes only or cork board backed doors to post a winning game ticket stub or that small pic your son drew on a post it note) for a custom update. It might cost you a little (and not necessarily a lot) more money. In this case, though, taking a bit more time and spending a bit more will almost certainly give you a longer-lasting, better-end product.


Imagine your closet system is a hamburger.  You can go through a fast-food drive-thru and a burger that comes from a freezer in a warehouse in who knows where  or you can get a grass fed, organic, made to order burger – cheddar, bacon, lettuce and tomato or goat cheese, arugula, and a fried green tomato. The difference is that a burger need only fill you up until your next meal. A closet should satisfy you for years to come. The choice is yours.


Hang up your worry and have fun with it,


Comments are closed.