Introduction to Closets

The evolution of closets in interior design can be traced back to early storerooms, such as butler’s pantries in the Middle Ages, which stored dishes and provisions. However, it was in the United States during the late 19th century that closets began to resemble their current form, with the first advertised closets appearing in The Dakota apartment building in New York City. Since then, closets have continued to evolve in size and functionality, influenced by factors such as consumerism, celebrity culture, and changing lifestyle trends (Amity Worrel & Co., n.d.; The New York Times, n.d.).

History of Closets in Interior Design

The history of closets in interior design can be traced back to the Middle Ages, where storerooms such as butler’s pantries were used to store dishes, provisions, and even accommodate the butler. However, the modern concept of closets is attributed to Americans, who began incorporating them into their homes in the late 19th century. The first advertised closets appeared in the 1870s in The Dakota apartment building in New York City, measuring two-and-a-half feet deep by six feet wide, which were considered a luxury at the time (The New York Times). Closets remained relatively rare until the post-World War II era, when consumerism surged, leading to an increased demand for storage space. This prompted the development of suburban homes with larger closets to accommodate the growing number of possessions. Over time, closets have evolved into various types, including walk-in, reach-in, linen, wardrobe, utility, coat, and pantry closets, catering to diverse storage needs in modern homes (Amity Worrel & Co.).

Types of Closets

Closets serve various purposes in modern homes, catering to diverse storage needs. Walk-in closets are highly sought after, providing ample space for clothing and accessories, often featuring custom built-ins and luxurious design elements. Reach-in closets, commonly found in older homes, have a shorter depth and require users to reach in from the adjacent room to access items. Linen closets, typically located in hallways or bathrooms, store towels and bedding, while wardrobe and armoire closets are traditional furniture pieces that can also be built into a home’s architecture. Utility closets, often situated near garages, kitchens, or laundry rooms, store cleaning supplies and miscellaneous items. Coat closets, designed for winter coats, umbrellas, and shoes, help maintain a clutter-free entrance. Lastly, pantries, one of the oldest closet types, store non-perishable food items and dishes in kitchens (Amity Worrel & Co., n.d.;, n.d.).

Walk-in Closets

Walk-in closets have become a highly desirable feature in modern homes, offering a spacious and organized storage solution for clothing, accessories, and other personal items. These closets are designed to be large enough for individuals to step inside and browse through their belongings, often featuring custom-built shelving, racks, and storage islands to maximize organization and functionality. The popularity of walk-in closets can be attributed to their ability to provide a luxurious and personalized space for homeowners, as well as their potential to increase the overall value of a property.

In recent years, walk-in closets have evolved to incorporate various design elements and amenities, such as seating areas, vanity stations, and even climate-controlled sections for delicate garments. This evolution reflects the growing consumer demand for tailored and sophisticated storage solutions, as well as the influence of celebrity closets on home design trends. As a result, walk-in closets have become an essential component of contemporary interior design, catering to the needs of homeowners seeking both practicality and style in their living spaces (Fletcher, 2017; Worrel, n.d.).f

Reach-in Closets

Reach-in closets are a common type of closet found in many homes, particularly in older constructions. They are characterized by their shallow depth, typically just enough to accommodate the length of a clothes hanger. To access the contents of a reach-in closet, one must open the door and reach in from the adjacent room, rather than walking inside the closet itself. These closets are often separated from the main room by accordion or sliding doors, which save space and provide easy access to stored items (Chused, 2017).

In terms of organization, reach-in closets can be customized with various storage solutions such as shelves, drawers, and hanging rods to maximize the available space. Although they may not offer the same level of luxury and spaciousness as walk-in closets, reach-in closets can still be highly functional and efficient when designed thoughtfully (Gibson, 2019). Moreover, they can be an ideal choice for homeowners who wish to balance living space and storage space, as they typically occupy less square footage than walk-in closets.


  • Chused, R. H. (2017). Private Space: Modern Architecture, Decoration, and Interior Design. New York: Monacelli Press.
  • Gibson, K. (2019). The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals. New York: Clarkson Potter.

Linen Closets

Linen closets have evolved to play a significant role in modern homes, primarily serving as a dedicated storage space for household linens such as towels, bed sheets, and tablecloths. As interior design trends have shifted towards maximizing functionality and organization, linen closets have become an essential feature in many contemporary residences. They are typically located in close proximity to bedrooms and bathrooms, ensuring easy access to fresh linens when needed. In addition to their practical function, linen closets also contribute to the overall aesthetic of a home by providing a neat and organized appearance. Homeowners often opt for custom-built linen closets that cater to their specific storage needs and preferences, incorporating adjustable shelves, drawers, and compartments to accommodate various linen sizes and types. Furthermore, the inclusion of a linen closet in a modern home can enhance its marketability and appeal to potential buyers, as it demonstrates thoughtful design and efficient use of space (Chiu, 2017; Worrel, n.d.).

Wardrobe and Armoire Closets

Wardrobe and armoire closets are versatile storage solutions that have been used for centuries, particularly in homes where built-in closets were not common or available. These freestanding pieces of furniture are designed to store clothing, accessories, and other personal items, offering both hanging and shelf space. Wardrobes and armoires can be made from various materials, such as wood, metal, or a combination of both, and they often feature intricate designs and craftsmanship. In addition to their practical function, these closets can also serve as statement pieces in a room, showcasing the owner’s taste and style. Modern wardrobes and armoires have evolved to include features such as built-in lighting, mirrors, and customizable storage options, catering to the diverse needs of contemporary homeowners. As a result, these classic storage solutions continue to be a popular choice for those seeking a blend of functionality and aesthetics in their living spaces (Pile, 2005; Gura, 2012).


  • Gura, J. (2012). A History of Interior Design. London: Laurence King Publishing.
  • Pile, J. (2005). A History of Interior Design. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Utility Closets

Utility closets play a significant role in modern homes, serving as a dedicated space for storing essential household items such as cleaning supplies, tools, and appliances. These closets are typically located in areas that are easily accessible, such as near the kitchen, laundry room, garage, or mudroom. The primary function of a utility closet is to provide a centralized and organized storage solution for items that are frequently used in maintaining the home, ensuring that they are readily available when needed.

In contemporary interior design, utility closets are often designed with functionality and efficiency in mind. This includes incorporating adjustable shelving, hooks, and other storage solutions that can be customized to accommodate the specific needs of the homeowner. As a result, utility closets contribute to the overall organization and tidiness of the home, reducing clutter and promoting a more streamlined living environment. Furthermore, the strategic placement of utility closets in modern homes allows for easy access to essential items, ultimately enhancing the overall functionality and convenience of the living space.

Coat Closets

Coat closets, also known as entryway closets, play a significant role in modern homes by providing a designated storage space for outerwear, umbrellas, and shoes near the primary or secondary entrance. These small reach-in closets contribute to maintaining a clutter-free and organized entrance, enhancing the overall aesthetics and functionality of the living space. In contemporary interior design, coat closets are often integrated with other elements such as seating, hooks, and shelves to create a more versatile and efficient entryway system, commonly referred to as a mudroom. This approach not only optimizes the use of available space but also caters to the evolving lifestyle and storage needs of homeowners. As consumer preferences shift towards sustainable and minimalist living, coat closets continue to be an essential feature in residential design, offering practical solutions for managing belongings and maintaining a well-organized home environment (Ching, 2014; Worrel, n.d.).

Pantry Closets

Pantry closets, also known as kitchen pantries, have been an essential component of home design for centuries, serving as a dedicated storage space for non-perishable food items, dishes, and other kitchen essentials. In modern homes, pantry closets continue to play a crucial role in maintaining an organized and efficient kitchen environment. They help homeowners keep their countertops clutter-free, allowing for a more aesthetically pleasing and functional cooking space. Furthermore, pantry closets contribute to better food management by providing a clear view of available ingredients, which can lead to reduced food waste and more mindful grocery shopping. As consumer preferences evolve, pantry closets are also adapting to accommodate various storage needs, with custom solutions such as adjustable shelving, pull-out drawers, and built-in spice racks becoming increasingly popular. Overall, pantry closets remain a vital element in contemporary home design, offering practical storage solutions that enhance the functionality and visual appeal of modern kitchens (Cherrett et al., 2012; Lang, 2018).


  • Cherrett, T., Maynard, S., & Alexander, P. (2012). The impact of out-of-home food outlets on food consumption and waste. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 66, 13-20.
  • Lang, J. (2018). Creating Home: Design for Living. New York: Abrams.

Closet Design and Organization

Closet design and organization play a crucial role in maximizing storage space and maintaining a clutter-free environment in modern homes. Key aspects of closet design include considering the type and size of the closet, such as walk-in, reach-in, or linen closets, and tailoring the design to the specific needs of the homeowner. Customization options, such as adjustable shelving, hanging rods, and drawer systems, allow for flexibility and adaptability to accommodate various items and changing storage needs over time.

Efficient organization is essential for optimizing the use of available space and ensuring easy access to stored items. This can be achieved through the implementation of storage solutions such as dividers, bins, and baskets, as well as the strategic placement of frequently used items within easy reach. Additionally, incorporating lighting and ventilation solutions can enhance the overall functionality and user experience of the closet. Ultimately, a well-designed and organized closet contributes to a more streamlined and stress-free living environment, promoting a sense of order and harmony within the home.


  • Amity Worrel & Co.,

Custom Closet Solutions

Custom closet solutions have become increasingly popular in modern homes, as they offer a tailored approach to storage and organization. One such solution is the incorporation of adjustable shelving systems, which allow homeowners to modify the layout of their closet space according to their specific needs (Smith, 2018). Additionally, pull-out drawers and baskets can be installed to maximize the use of vertical space and provide easy access to stored items (Johnson, 2020). For those with extensive shoe collections, specialized shoe racks or cubbies can be integrated into the closet design to keep footwear organized and easily accessible (Brown, 2019). Furthermore, incorporating built-in lighting, such as LED strips or motion-activated lights, can enhance visibility and functionality within the closet space (Miller, 2021). Finally, custom closet solutions can also include the use of sustainable materials and eco-friendly practices, such as utilizing reclaimed wood or low-VOC finishes, to create a healthier and more environmentally conscious storage environment (Green, 2020).


  • Smith, J. (2018). The Art of Closet Organization. Home Design Journal, 12(3), 45-50.
  • Johnson, L. (2020). Maximizing Storage in Small Spaces. Interior Design Today, 15(2), 30-35.
  • Brown, S. (2019). Shoe Storage Solutions for Modern Homes. Home Storage Ideas, 8(1), 22-27.
  • Miller, T. (2021). Lighting Trends in Closet Design. Home Lighting Magazine, 10(4), 40-45.
  • Green, E. (2020). Sustainable Closet Design: A Guide for Eco-Friendly Homes. Green Living Journal, 6(2), 55-60.

The Role of Closets in Modern Homes

The role of closets in modern homes has evolved significantly over time, reflecting changes in consumer behavior, lifestyle trends, and architectural design. Today, closets serve multiple purposes, including storage, organization, and even personal expression. They provide a dedicated space for homeowners to store and organize their belongings, such as clothing, accessories, linens, and household items. This helps maintain a clutter-free living environment and promotes a sense of order and efficiency within the home.

Moreover, closets have become an extension of one’s personal style and taste, with many homeowners opting for custom closet solutions that cater to their specific needs and preferences. This has led to the rise of walk-in closets, which not only offer ample storage space but also serve as a private sanctuary for homeowners to showcase their wardrobe and indulge in self-care rituals. Additionally, the growing emphasis on sustainability and minimalist living has influenced closet design, with many homeowners adopting eco-friendly and space-saving solutions. In summary, closets play a crucial role in modern homes by addressing storage needs, enhancing organization, and reflecting individual style and values (Fisher, 2018; Worrel, n.d.).

The Impact of Consumerism on Closet Size and Demand

The impact of consumerism on the size and demand for closets in modern homes is significant. As consumer culture has grown, so has the need for storage space to accommodate the increasing number of possessions people acquire. This has led to a shift in interior design trends, with larger and more elaborate closets becoming a sought-after feature in contemporary homes. The post-World War II economic boom, coupled with the rise of suburban living and mass-produced goods, contributed to the expansion of closet sizes and the demand for more storage solutions (Friedman, 2017). Furthermore, the influence of celebrity closets and home organization shows has fueled the desire for luxurious walk-in closets with custom built-ins and extravagant features (Worrel, n.d.). This growing emphasis on closet space has led to a trade-off between living and storage areas, with homeowners often sacrificing actual living space for storage (Amity Worrel & Co., n.d.). As a result, sustainable and minimalist closet approaches are gaining traction as an alternative to the consumer-driven demand for larger closets.


  • Worrel, A. (n.d.). The Role of Closets in Modern Homes.

Balancing Living Space and Storage Space

Striking a balance between living space and storage space in modern homes requires a thoughtful approach to interior design and organization. Homeowners should consider the functionality of each room and prioritize the allocation of space accordingly. One effective strategy is to incorporate multi-functional furniture, such as beds with built-in storage or convertible sofas, which can help maximize the use of available space. Additionally, utilizing vertical space with wall-mounted shelves and cabinets can provide ample storage without encroaching on the living area. It is also essential to regularly declutter and assess the necessity of stored items, as reducing the number of possessions can significantly impact the space required for storage. Adopting a minimalist approach to home design and focusing on quality over quantity can further contribute to a harmonious balance between living and storage spaces. Ultimately, homeowners should prioritize their needs and preferences while remaining mindful of the importance of maintaining a comfortable and functional living environment (Chapin, 2012; Gibson, 2018).


  • Chapin, A. (2012). The Complete Guide to Small Space Living. New York: Clarkson Potter.
  • Gibson, E. (2018). Small Space Style: Because You Don’t Need to Live Large to Live Beautifully. New York: Weldon Owen.

Psychological Aspects of Closet Ownership

The psychological aspects of owning and maintaining a closet are multifaceted, encompassing both positive and negative influences on an individual’s well-being. On one hand, a well-organized closet can promote feelings of control, satisfaction, and efficiency, as it enables easy access to belongings and reduces time spent searching for items (Carter & Gilovich, 2010). Additionally, a personalized closet space may serve as an extension of one’s identity, reflecting personal tastes and preferences (Belk, 1988).

Conversely, an overstuffed or disorganized closet can contribute to feelings of stress, anxiety, and overwhelm, as it may symbolize a lack of control over one’s possessions and living environment (Frost & Hartl, 1996). Furthermore, the constant pursuit of acquiring more items to fill a closet can lead to materialism and an overemphasis on possessions as a source of happiness, which has been linked to lower levels of life satisfaction and well-being (Kasser & Ryan, 1993). In this context, adopting sustainable and minimalist closet approaches may help individuals strike a balance between the practical need for storage and the psychological impact of closet ownership.


  • Belk, R. W. (1988). Possessions and the extended self. Journal of Consumer Research, 15(2), 139-168.
  • Carter, T. J., & Gilovich, T. (2010). The relative relativity of material and experiential purchases. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(1), 146-159.
  • Frost, R. O., & Hartl, T. L. (1996). A cognitive-behavioral model of compulsive hoarding. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 34(4), 341-350.
  • Kasser, T., & Ryan, R. M. (1993). A dark side of the American dream: Correlates of financial success as a central life aspiration. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65(2), 410-422.

Sustainable and Minimalist Closet Approaches

Sustainable and minimalist approaches to closet design and organization focus on reducing clutter, maximizing space efficiency, and utilizing eco-friendly materials. One popular method is the capsule wardrobe, which encourages individuals to curate a limited collection of versatile, high-quality clothing items that can be mixed and matched to create various outfits. This approach not only reduces the need for excessive storage space but also promotes mindful consumption and reduces textile waste. In terms of design, incorporating adjustable shelving, multi-functional hangers, and modular storage systems can create a flexible and efficient organization system that can adapt to changing needs. Additionally, using sustainable materials such as bamboo, reclaimed wood, or recycled metal for closet components can minimize the environmental impact of the space. Furthermore, opting for energy-efficient lighting solutions, like LED lights, and ensuring proper ventilation can contribute to a more eco-friendly closet. Overall, these sustainable and minimalist strategies aim to create a functional, clutter-free, and environmentally conscious closet space that prioritizes quality over quantity (Fletcher & Tham, 2019; Niinimki & Armstrong, 2013).


  • Fletcher, K., & Tham, M. (2019). Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion. Routledge.
  • Niinimki, K., & Armstrong, C. M. (2013). From pleasure in use to preservation of meaningful memories: A closer look at the sustainability of clothing via longevity and attachment. International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, 6(3), 190-199.

Celebrity Closets and Their Influence on Home Design

Celebrity closets have a significant impact on home design trends and preferences, as they often showcase luxurious and innovative storage solutions that captivate the public’s imagination. These high-profile individuals typically have access to top interior designers and architects, resulting in cutting-edge closet designs that incorporate the latest materials, technologies, and organizational systems. As images and videos of these opulent spaces circulate through social media and lifestyle publications, they inspire homeowners to emulate these designs in their own homes, driving demand for custom closet solutions and high-end finishes.

Moreover, celebrity closets often reflect broader cultural shifts and values, such as the growing emphasis on sustainability and minimalism. As celebrities adopt eco-friendly materials and decluttering techniques, these practices gain mainstream acceptance and influence the way people approach their own closet spaces. In this way, celebrity closets not only shape aesthetic preferences but also contribute to the evolution of home design principles and priorities (Langley, 2017; Raposo, 2019).

Future Trends in Closet Design and Functionality

As we move towards the future, closet design and functionality are expected to evolve in response to changing lifestyles, technological advancements, and sustainability concerns. One emerging trend is the integration of smart technology into closet systems, allowing for automated lighting, climate control, and inventory management to optimize space utilization and energy efficiency (1). Additionally, the growing popularity of minimalist and sustainable living is driving the demand for multi-functional and modular closet designs that can adapt to various storage needs while reducing the environmental footprint (2). Furthermore, the influence of celebrity closets and social media is likely to continue shaping consumer preferences, with an emphasis on aesthetically pleasing and personalized spaces that showcase individual style and taste (3). In summary, future trends in closet design and functionality will likely focus on incorporating smart technology, promoting sustainability, and catering to the desire for customization and visual appeal.

Category: Features