Closets are essential, and frequently weigh-in to a buyer’s calculus and criteria.
My personal project is still a work in progress! As a broker, I see examples of all kinds of remarkable design and architecture that have inspired me as I’ve curated pieces in my own home over the years. I’ve seen some really fabulous master bedroom closets. One of my clients owns a home where her husband’s closet is lined in suede. That definitely got me going.
I’ve now bought and renovated three properties over the years – but I’ve never re-designed a closet. To some extent, I really don’t have enough of a concept of what I’m doing from a functional perspective, even if I understand what type of aesthetic I want. This summer, I’ve decided I’m going to re-do my master bedroom walk-in closet – for me – the way I want it.
I must say that the best closets I’ve seen look like the inside of a Tom Ford boutique. You know, something like this (yes, this IS an actual Tom Ford boutique, but we’re talking ideals.
Would you believe I don’t have quite that much space? While I can daydream about moving into my Tom Ford closet fantasy world, the reality is that I have a significantly smaller space to work with. As this is what I have right now, well, we have our work cut out for us:
One of my many considerations is the effect of what my selections will be on resale. Can’t escape being a broker… Obviously, the buyer for my home could be a man or a woman, so some long hanging is probably necessary even if I don’t personally need much of it. In addition, does the investment I’m going to make for a high-end closet pay me back?
There are several things to consider when making the decision to design your closet space. I’ll share them with you here:
Closet Design for Broader Appeal
There are a lot of things you do to your home for yourself – and some of them make it easier to sell – but they don’t necessarily add to the sales price. A high-end closet in a home in my price range probably won’t substantially change the price when I sell, but it is something that buyers will appreciate if it is done correctly.
For example, my client Maria, who owned Altamont #12, did a great mid-range closet (about $3,000). It may not be the same trim level I’m going for, but I’m pretty sure it paid her back on the way out – all of the buyers who viewed the apartment really appreciated what she did.
In addition, the type of system Maria chose was quite versatile and able to easily be modified by a new owner. Maria’s mid-range closet is a great way to add to resale value that can intrigue a variety of different kinds of buyers and give her property a competitive edge. For me, what I’m looking at will be a little bit more customized and therefore will likely not gain me the same sort of value dollar-for-dollar.
Closet Design Just For You
When re-designing a closet for you – do exactly what you want. When re-designing with resale in mind, do understand that you can’t anticipate what your buyer will want, and that you may not get your money out. The buyer may feel the function necessitates their re-doing it again. Closets are very personal.
Shop Around for the Right Fit
I initially thought this would be an easy project. I called a reputable closet company, provided my budget, and spent a significant period of my time discussing the details of what I was seeking. After assuring me that my budget was realistic, they came back to me with a quote more than twice my initial budget! Even their “lower end” options was over budget, and it didn’t give me what I wanted at all. I was frustrated and disappointed that they had wasted my time as I was transparent about my expectations from the start. Instead of increasing my budget, I’m saying, “NEXT”.
After meeting with the first closet vendor that came in at double my budget, I built a vision board on a lower cost closet web site. I’m looking forward to meeting with them to see what they can help me come up with.
The challenge of an oddly-shaped space is not lost on me. My closet is actually about 15” narrower than that of Maria’s (see above), so my options are going to be more limited from a width perspective.
I decided to take down the current shelving on the right side to get more of a “walk-in” feel and to get a better feel for how the layout should look and I am loving having the use of that space. Sometimes you need to play around with the existing closet to fully-determine what you need before you go out to price it.
I’ll update you on my own adventure as it progresses, but in the meantime, let me know if you need any assistance with resources or questions about your own home projects and how they can affect your home’s value.
Sammy Dweck, REALTOR
TTR Sotheby’s International Realty