It’s a common problem, especially in apartments or older homes – not enough storage space. If your bedroom closet is tiny, but your clothing collection is not, a wardrobe is the quick and easy way to add another storage option. Plus, wardrobes aren’t only good for clothing and accessories – you can also use them to hide a television or music system, store pillows and linens, or hide away miscellaneous items in a child’s bedroom, such as games, crafts or toys. Here are brief descriptions of the... four most common wardrobe types.
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The basic wardrobe or "instant" wardrobe is a quick, inexpensive solution for clothing storage. These box-like wardrobes typically have a frame, a rail, and a shelf at the bottom. The more decorative options will sometimes have drawers at the bottom, along with a few extra shelves. The most inexpensive models have outside covers of canvas or nylon. You’ll pay a little more for melamine or other manmade materials, and still more for a wooden wardrobe. Basic wardrobes are most useful for holding winter clothes, formal dresses or eveningwear, infrequently worn outfits, sporting wear such as ski pants or football gear, or coats. These wardrobes are also useful in dorm rooms, children bedrooms, guest bedrooms, or if you need something temporary while you rent.
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Armoires are a more ornate and appealing option than a basic wardrobe. Most are made of wood, and you can find an armoire to match any decorating style from rustic country to sleek contemporary to the lovely antique model shown here. Often, armoires have more storage options inside than do basic wardrobes – shelves, drawers, rods and dividers are common – but these options are likely to be fixed in place, unlike basic wardrobes that typically have adjustable shelves or rods. The price range for armoires varies greatly depending on the quality and type: you can find very inexpensive models at stores like Walmart or Target, or spend thousands on an armoire from an upscale furniture store.
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If you want something similar to the customization of a professionally organized closet, but don’t have the big budget, an adjustable self-assembly wardrobe is the best solution. These highly adjustable units are great for organizing closet space, and many are quite reasonably priced. IKEA has a wide range of these types of units, which are relatively inexpensive, but still have some choice when it comes to door finishes and inside storage options. The quality is decent (they can be a little flimsy) but you can adjust the rails and shelves to suit your needs, plus they offer different options for drawers, baskets, shoe racks, and more. These are good if you want a "proper" wardrobe, but don’t want to spend too much money.
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If budget permits and you aren’t a renter, the most ideal solution to your bedroom closet woes is a fully customized wardrobe. These offer nearly limitless choices of closet door design, shelf configuration, shoe organizers, accessory storage, hanging rods, drawers, color options, finishes and more. A custom wardrobe or closet system is the most expensive storage option, mainly because you will need to use a professional to design the unit and then install it. If you do not know where to find a local closet designer, there are a few national companies, such as California Closets, Closet Maid, and Easy Closets who will send a consultant to your home to discuss your needs, plan the organizer and then oversee the installation. If you do decide to go this route it is expensive (be prepared to spend $2,000 and up), but it will solve all of your closet and storage problems, as well as increase the value of your home.
Edited by Michelle Ullman
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