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Large closets top buyers’ priority lists

“When I speak of home, I speak of the place wherein default of a better — those I love are gathered together; and if that place were a gypsy’s tent or a barn I should call it by the same good name notwithstanding.” — Charles Dickens (1812-1870), English novelist, “Nicholas Nickleby”

Who would have thought that closets would be the new “it” space in our homes and have as much prominence as they do?

Closet space is one of the key features that prospective homebuyers are looking for in a new home, and having enough of it is the goal of every current homeowner or renter. We just possess a lot of stuff, and we need a place in which to organize it, see it and have easy access to it.

Charles Dickens was right. Regardless of what home is — a gypsy’s tent or a barn — we love it, but it had better have enough closet space!

And even now, most of us see a little HGTV and it seems that every prospective homeowner wants big closet spaces. That’s a priority on their lists.

When I tour model homes, I almost always covet the closet space. Having the luxury of sorting your clothing by color, style and use would be an absolute joy and luxury for me.

In general, our clothing habits have changed dramatically over the years, and now each of us owns more clothing than an entire family would have even 30 or 40 years ago. There were a lot of homebuilders in my family, and I remember going in many homes built by them years ago. The closets were tiny by today’s standards — and nobody complained!

Jump forward to the current crop of new homes and even apartments, and closets are either walk-in or large, roomy affairs. Even walk-in closets are out of date now; the current closet is, in fact, a separate room. Yes, I don’t think you can count it as an additional room, but some closets are bigger than many bedrooms.

Furthermore, in some larger homes, there are his and her closets in the master suite. Some actually have seating areas in them or at the very least a bench or ottoman for putting on shoes.

And often in “her” closet, there is even a small washer and dryer. And a lot of them have TVs. Yes, that’s right.

Closets are so prominent in our homes that it’s not good enough to just build them. They are designed and outfitted.

A lot of closets in larger new homes don’t even have clothing rods in them. It is just a shell, and it’s up to the homeowner to have the closets installed. I have had clients and friends who had the pleasure of having their personal spaces designed and are so very happy with them. And keep in mind this work should be done before you move in unless you like living out of boxes.

And as you can imagine, if we have a need (closet design), there are many businesses ready to provide that service. In the Las Vegas Valley, several companies provide full closet service.

A specially trained closet designer will come out and meet with you, find out how you intend to use your closet, what kinds of clothing you have (do you own a lot of long formal gowns, for instance) and will customize your space to fit your clothing. They will even build in shoe racks based on how many pairs of shoes you own and will further design drawers for folding clothes, underwear, jewelry, hats or any other items that require special attention. I’m happy to recommend if you email me.

It’s hard to believe that your dream room could be a closet, but it is for a lot of people. And I will continue to covet all of those beautiful closets until I’m able to have one designed just for me.

And remember, you don’t have to own a mansion to have a great closet. A well-designed one, regardless of size, is a great asset to your space and will make your life a lot easier. And it will be a big plus if you put your home on the market.

Carolyn Muse Grant is a founder and past president of the Architectural and Decorative Arts Society, as well as an interior design consultant and stylist specializing in home staging. She can be reached at creativemuse@cox.net.

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