There are a great couple of articles on built-in closets and wardrobe walls, from starcraftcustombuilders. There are a lot of homes built in the 70’s or earlier with tiny closets and those heavy, sliding closet doors that when open still block 1/2 of the closet; this can be very frustrating for clothing storage and other storage items!
The following information is gleaned from Star Craft Custom Builders articles, titled “Thinking Outside the Closet” and “Beyond the Closet, 21st Century Storage Solutions.”
Most of us, especially those of us who live in and love old houses, are stuck with those tiny reach-in closets. They may be dark little recesses stuck in one corner the room behind a narrow door. Half of the clothing stored in them is pushed into corners where it cannot be easily seen or reached. Anything stuck on the upper shelf is lost.
There is a limit to what closet organizers can do. Designs are limited to what can be made to work inside a typical closet. Closet doors create blind areas at the sides of the closet that restrict visibility and access. If pullouts are installed, doors limit pullouts to the doorway opening — the shoulders cannot be used and become largely inaccessible dark holes once pullouts are installed. Bifold doors are worse and bypass (sliding) doors are even more restrictive.
Don’t closet, think storage. Maybe a closet is the best storage solution for wardrobe organization, or maybe not. Reach-in closets have serious structural problems that have no real solution. So, for the most effective wardrobe storage, the first step may be to recognize that the closet may not be the best solution to clothes storage and open our minds to some alternatives. In fact, think about getting rid of the closet for something better.
A better solution for most homes — especially older homes — is a space-conserving wardrobe wall. In a wardrobe wall, the restrictive closet doors are replaced by cabinet doors and drawers for easy access to stored items.