Bucks County Custom Closets
The history of closets in the home
Looking back at clothing storage shows there was a need long before closets were introduced in housing design. It has been noted in ancient history, that Egyptians kept their clothing in wicker-style storage baskets, while the Greeks preferred wooden chests. The Romans used chests of alabaster while the French adapted the chest to become what we know today as the armoire.
Clothing didn’t aspire to be a designated room in the house until textiles became more readily available and cheaper to produce for the masses. Designated storage for clothing wasn’t considered desirable in a home until the majority of people began owning more than the modestly acquired two sets of clothing: an outfit worn daily, and an outfit considered “Sunday best.”
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, closets became the preferred clothing solution in early American culture. In fact, the first closets built and advertised date back to the Dakota apartment building in New York City. In the 1870s, the Dakota used closets to appeal to wealthy tenants. The closets in the Dakota were two and a half feet deep and six feet wide. Essentially, this is a small, reach-in closet by today’s standards.
Today, we trend toward larger closets, often as large as rooms. This reflects current attitudes regarding the importance of our possessions and the care of them. As we acquire more, we aspire to larger closets with more storage features that appear to be integrated with the style of the home. Designated home storage has become important well beyond clothing. We require storage for cars, laundry, sports gear, and housewares. Closet storage is estimated to be about 146 square feet of an average home and beyond.
With the trend of more open-concept homes, closet storage becomes sacrificed to achieve an open feel. This can create unintended storage stress for those of us with high volumes of things to store. It is important to look at the available space in our home and evolve to think creatively about storage. There is a closet system for every type of space, especially those areas that are not traditionally meant for storage. And there is storage customized to almost every type of item you can think of. You no longer need a designated room (4 walls) to make a closet, thus challenging our views of the closet from a historical perspective.
So even if you think you have an impossible space, or if you just want to enhance the storage areas in your home for better resale, closets remain as desirable as they are necessary with features that surprise and delight. We would be happy to show you what good storage can do for you and your home value.