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Designing Around Columns and Walls

designing around walls and columnsNot all walk-in closets are simple.

And it’s often true that the larger the space, the more demanding it can be with the clients often wanting more customized features.

In this project, the client wanted two islands and was willing to tear down a wall that divided this large walk in closet to achieve this goal. An additional reason for wanting to tear down the wall was because she wanted to be able to see everything she had without going into two separate areas of the space.

We then consulted with the customer's contractor who felt that it was not a load bearing wall and the interior wall could be removed.

At this point, because the project was starting to get involved, we secured a retainer to keep the project moving forward and the contractor began the process of tearing down the wall only to find a support column and some other piping to further complicate matters.

The client then found the original house blueprints and consulted with the architect. He felt the column should stay because it was supporting the second floor even though the contractor thought we might be okay to tear it down..

So we’re back to the starting gate with designing the closet. And now, there was really no way to incorporate two separate islands with a post in the center of the room.

Luckily, that’s where my design inspiration angels showed up and I came up with the idea that we built” says designer Donna Siben.

“My design dilemma was that I now had to redesign the entire thing and incorporate this post. Yuck. Talk about imbalanced.Then I had an epiphany. I came to the conclusion that I could balance this out with another false post and build a back to back island in between the two posts” says Siben.

walk-in closet designed around columns“We then opened a whole can of worms once everything was out of there and we could see all these other obstacles. The floor was uneven. There was duct work in areas we didn’t anticipate. Electrical feeds and outlets showed up that we had no idea would be there.

“My epiphany was to make the existing post deeper than it was and then I mirrored it on the other side. They wanted it deep enough to get a wall safe hidden inside. A safe that’s deeper than what we use in this industry. They didn't want it exposed so we created a decorative door to cover that and then made a balancing decorative door on the other post that was just that - decorative. But now they matched and symmetry was achieved.”

“The design elements of all of this are that there are three different tall vertical pull-outs.  One for robes, one for belts and one for scarves. One of them she converted to shelves and folded the scarves on it as opposed to hanging them. It was versatile enough to do this after the design” says Siben.

The placement of the 3-way mirror helped too because the mirror is across from the entrance so you see the back to back island. So we were able to achieve her goal of seeing all of her clothing at the same time.

At this point she became much more flexible and agreeable to my whole new approach to this design which was now required.

Another design element that was important was the window wall. It was perfect for boots and purses in columns with doors. Framing this window was important to make it look like the rest of the closet” says Siben.

“We also put lighting everywhere, which looks fantastic. Unfortunately, the client has yet to install the stone tops, but we wanted to share this amazing puzzle of a project to highlight the work we do and the length we’re willing to go for happy, satisfied clients and great, functional design results”.

three way mirror master walk-in closet