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We often get general inquiries from customers asking for a new closet or wardrobe. They usually use the two terms interchangeably so our team often needs to clarify what the potential client is really asking for.

Are they looking to redesign an existing closet with more shelving, built-in drawers, double-hand sections, and cabinet doors?

Are they looking to build a brand new closet? If yes, do they want to have the actual closet structure built and then add a “door opening” after the drywall?

OR are they looking to install custom shelving and cabinetry between two existing walls (otherwise known as a recessed space)?

Part of the issue is that people often don’t really know what to ask for. Do they want a custom closet? A closet re-designed? Or a wall with shelves, cabinets, and drawers?

To help with this confusion, we decided to do a deep dive into each style of project. That way potential clients can make sense of the benefits each of these storage spaces have to offer. Read on for our explanations, picture examples, and common terms used in each type of project.

What is a Closet?

A closet is a built-in or walk-in storage space that is usually attached to a wall or a corner of a room. It typically has a door or a curtain that conceals the contents inside.

A closet may have shelves, rods, drawers, or baskets to store different types of items. Some also have mirrors, lights, or hooks to enhance their functionality.


What is a Wardrobe?

A wardrobe is a free-standing piece of furniture that can be moved around or relocated as needed. It usually has doors that open outward or slide sideways to reveal the interior.

A wardrobe may have hanging rails, shelves, drawers, or compartments to store various kinds of items. Some wardrobes also have mirrors, locks, or wheels to improve their convenience.

It’s also important to understand that there are different types of wardrobes. Standalone wardrobes (also called armoires) are versatile in that they let you hang clothes, store accessories, and keep items in drawers. Also referred to as armoires, they are ideal for bulky items like winter jackets and sweaters.

Built-in modular wardrobes are custom-designed and built to fit into any space. They can be floor to ceiling and wall to wall, maximizing storage and making use of every inch. They’re also a great choice for people who want personalization as they come in a wide range of finishes.

Open-concept or no-doors wardrobes come without doors or curtains to cover the contents inside. They can create a spacious and airy feel in your room and add to aesthetic appeal. However, the open access to air makes the contents accumulate dust more easily so they will have to be cleaned more frequently.

Closet vs Wardrobe: Which One Should You Choose?

There are several factors that you should consider when choosing between a closet and a wardrobe:

Space – If you have a large room with enough wall space, you might prefer a closet that can fit all your belongings and blend in with the rest of the decor. However, if you have a small room or limited wall space, you might opt for a wardrobe that can fit in any corner or niche and add some character to your space.

Cost – A closet is usually more expensive than a wardrobe, as it requires more materials, labor, and customization. But a closet also adds value to your home, as it is considered a permanent feature. A wardrobe is usually cheaper than a closet, as it comes in standard sizes and designs that you can buy off the shelf or online. A wardrobe also does not affect your home’s value, as it is considered a movable asset.

Flexibility – A closet is usually more fixed and permanent than a wardrobe, as it is attached to the wall or the floor. They aren’t easy to modify or remove if you want to change the layout or style of your room. A wardrobe is usually more flexible and portable than a closet, as it can be moved around or taken with you if you relocate. A wardrobe may also be easier to update or replace if you want to refresh the look or function of your room.

As you can see, there are various benefits, drawbacks, and selling points to closets and wardrobes. Both can provide you with ample storage space and enhance the look and feel of your room. However, it’s important to understand the difference so you know what you’re asking for.

If you want a permanent and customized solution that fits your space perfectly, you may want to consider a closet. If you want a flexible and portable option that can be easily changed or moved, you may want to consider a wardrobe. Whatever you choose, make sure you consult with a professional who can help you design and install your ideal storage system.

The team of experts at My Custom Closet is here to help you determine the type of storage system that would best suit your needs. Contact us today for a free consultation and quote!