Walk-In and Reach-In Closets

Walk-In and Reach-In Closets

“The type of closet you choose, whether a walk-in or a reach-in, is a decision that is ultimately based on personal preference,” said Marissa Shaffer, designer with Callen Construction in Muskego, a full service and award winning remodeling company. “While a walk-in closet can allow you to store your clothing and other items while serving as a dressing room, reach-in closets help you be more minimalistic and organized, allowing you to see your entire wardrobe at once.”

When you look beyond the obvious difference in physical size of a walk-in closet versus a reach-in closet, you can start to examine how exactly the space is utilized. In addition to storing apparel and operating as a fitting room, walk-in closets also allow for folding clothes and ironing. “Although walk-in closets are synonymous with clothing, an assortment of organizational systems can be installed inside a walk-in closet to help you get the most out of your space,” said Shaffer. For instance, organizational accessories include custom-made cabinets and drawers; jewelry trays; belt, tie, and shoe racks; various hooks; valet rods; and any and all shelf sizes. Additionally, large walk-in closets can serve more than one person. “Sharing this space with your significant other or children in order to create a space that fits everyone’s belongings is easy,” she said. “Alternatively, if you prefer a more personal space, you can transform the closet into a boutique-like dressing room that is fully equipped with seating, a vanity, and a full-length mirror.”

For those interested in a highly functional, organized space, you may want to consider a reach-in closet. Having a reach-in closet helps eliminate clutter, so that you are able to see exactly what you have. This will help keep the space organized and more efficient. “Plus, sorting through your wardrobe can be a positive and cleansing experience. If you are feeling really ambitious, you can organize your possessions by color for total tidiness,” Shaffer said.

A reach-in closet can also be revamped and customized to include other belongings. “During this process, it’s important to take into account the type of door and it’s placement because it directly affects the number of sections in the closet and where they are placed,” she said. To fully maximize the potential of a reach-in closet, consider using bins or baskets, hooks, premium hanging rods, or even a small table with a mirror. “Get creative and be smart when planning out your reach-in closet, so you can get the most out of your space,” said Shaffer.

Both walk-in and reach-in closets have their own unique advantages, and each can be customized to match an individual’s taste. So, the deciding factor between the two different closets is you. “Whether you’re tempted by the luxurious room that a walk-in closet offers, or you’re drawn to the structured design of a reach-in, your style, needs, and space will help determine which closet is most appropriate for you and your situation,” said Shaffer.



Don’t Wait to Plan Your Remodeling Project

Last month I talked about even with the holiday, it is a good idea to get a head start on your remodeling project, whether it’s interior or exterior. Many of us are currently immersed in holiday celebrations because “it’s the most wonderful time of the year!” This includes end of year planning and of course, trying our best to enjoy the holidays.

However, let’s look ahead to 2018 for a minute. What are your goals around the house? Do you have any remodeling plans? Even the smallest projects take time to investigate, call for estimates, and compare quotes and contractors (more on that in a bit) to make sure it turns out the way you intended. Ever since I started my relationship with Callen (Gutter Topper was installed on our previous home), I became tuned in to how things take time and effort, but in the end, result in an exciting time for you and your family.

By thinking ahead, like planning for next spring for example, you will accomplish all of those goals while everyone else is just getting started. Many contractors tell me they get a flood of remodeling projects in spring – it’s just human nature to want new windows after the long winter, or decide it is finally time for new siding or roofing or an updated lower level or bathroom. The problem is everyone else have the same thoughts in spring.

Designers, both for inside and outside your house, need to work with you on planning the project, then order product, schedule the project, well you get the point. It doesn’t happen overnight. There is a certain sense of relief in getting things done ahead of your anticipated goals.

So, if spring is your goal for getting some estimates on a simple window install or a kitchen remodel, let’s move that date up and start now. Callen is there for you, as they have full time designers to assist you in every way.

One of my best memories working with Callen was the suggestion that I put heated floors in my bathroom remodel. We ended up putting heated floors in the bath and our new walk-in closet that Callen designed and remodeled. I would not have done it had they not brought it up. It is easily one of the best decisions I ever made! I no longer walk into cold tiles, but rather a cozy and warm tiled bathroom and closet. I absolutely recommend it.

Also, take time in getting ideas from Houzz or any good website, such as, to get ideas and save photos for your designer. Then call Callen for an appointment to get an estimate. Callen’s award winning team have been remodeling Kronforst homes for more than 20 years. We trust them and listen to their ideas, because they’re the experts. They, in turn, will listen to what you want and then the fun begins.

Thank you to all of our WISN-AM 1130 listeners that tune in to my Remodeling show on Saturday mornings. Enjoy the Holidays and Merry Christmas to all of you.

Paul Kronforst



How to Revamp Your Closets for Maximum Potential

When it comes to closet organization, it helps to know your options before making an informed decision that satisfies your storage needs and meets your budget. “Whether you’re creating more room in a narrow reach-in closet or putting everything in its place in a spacious walk-in, the closet systems installed by Callen have the quality and options to make the best use of closet space and enhance the access and style of any closet,” said Paulette Sodemann, designer with Callen. “We apply customizable design and installation techniques to create closets that hold more and function better,” she added.

How to Revamp Your Closets for Maximum Potential

Walk-in closets are commonly found in master bedrooms and are valued for their versatility and storage opportunities. “Compared to a traditional reach-in closet, a walk-in closet offers more depth and space. They can range anywhere from a few square feet to as a large as a bedroom,” said Paulette.

Extra space for a dressing area or a vanity may come in handy, however you still need to give careful consideration to your closet’s design. For organizational purposes, it’s helpful to set up different zones in your walk-in closet. For instance, the top of your storage system should be confined to seasonal storage, while the belt level zone or “hot zone” of your closet should be used to maximize storage for such items as jewelry or men’s watches. You’ll also want to keep shoes visible and accessible.

In order to free up even more storage space on your walls, a walk-in closet can include a center island. “A walk-in closet should be at least 6 ½ feet wide for easy access, if you are considering a center island,” said Paulette. In addition to the island suggestion, you will also want to be mindful of tricky corners and angles in a walk-in closet. When utilized correctly, they offer optimal storage capacity as well. “The walk-in closet system installed by Callen uses each available wall to its greatest extent and provides the best solutions for hard-to-reach corners. Your closet will be carefully planned based on the area’s size and shape to ensure the open area or aisle does not feel crowded,” she said.

“Conversely, reach-in closets are usually anywhere from three to eight feet wide with a limited depth of 24 to 30 inches,” said Paulette. Reach-in closets are typically found in hallways, kids’ rooms, and bedrooms of older homes. Originally, these closets were designed with a single rod for hanging clothes under a shelf, with return walls that limit inside access. However, nowadays there is a wide array of available products that allow you to create a more efficient space with numerous storage opportunities. “Our reach-in closet system, which generally goes wall-to-wall, improves the function of any size closet. Door placement and type, the most important considerations for these closets, affect the number of sections and where they are placed. Generally, the larger the closet, the wider the sections will be,” she said.

Remember, you want to maximize space as much as possible when it comes to reach-in closets. For example, stackable storage components like cube organizers and drawer units, will give you storage for folded items and accessories. If you have traditional hinged doors, you can add hooks or over door racks and pockets to the back of the door for items such as keys or shoes to increase storage. Wire starter kits are an option as well. They offer an adjustable mounting system that you can customize as your storage needs change. Finally, a double-tiered hanging system can be used for folded articles to gain space.

“Our systems at Callen can be both floor-based and suspended. Available features include 24 colors and 13 door and drawer profiles, as well as a choice of veneer, perfect edge matches, crown and base moldings, and more. In other words, whatever type of closet you’re looking for, we have the selection and the expertise to suit your specific needs,” Paulette said.

For more information or to arrange an initial showroom consultation, call Callen at 414-529-5509.



Seven Tips for a Luxury Custom Closet

A customized walk-in closet is a luxurious touch to any bedroom. Not only does it serve a purpose for organized storage, but it also creates a pleasant retreat and a calming way to start and end each day.

If you dream of a luxurious closet, here are some tips from Callen Construction designer Marie Owens to help you reach that goal.

Callen Blog - Designing Your Dream Closet 040416Lighting: This can’t be over-emphasized. A single overhead light casts shadows and makes it hard to distinguish colors, such as between navy blue and black. “Instead, replace with directed lighting and spotlights, and for a special touch, a chandelier, sized appropriately to the space,” Owens said. Another luxurious upgrade is to install LED-lit hanging rods.

Customized storage: Organizing clothing items by type makes it easy to view and select. “Use valet rods, hanging rods in multiple heights, pull-out hooks for ties, belt racks, shoe shelves that are tilted with a stop on front so they don’t fall, pull-down closet rods for easy access to items stored higher up, and jewelry drawers with organizational dividers and velvet liners,” Owens said.

Island: Nothing says custom like having an island for additional storage and a place to set items such as your purse or briefcase, and having a handy spot for folding clothes. Just like kitchen islands, a closet island should have a high-end top like granite or marble.

Mirrors: A full-length mirror is a must-have, but consider one that gives a 360-degree view or a custom mirrored wall.

Matching hangers: Even the smallest of closets look tidier when all hangers are the same.

Ironing board: A discreetly hidden ironing board that you can pull out is more necessity than luxury when you need to touch up a few wrinkles.

Work with a designer: Designers know how to work with difficult spaces and can imagine storage solutions you may not have thought of. “We’ll ask questions about your style, whether you have a shoe or purse collection, whether you need space for long dresses or formal wear, whether you like to see everything at once or prefer to have items behind doors and drawers,” Owens said. “Don’t think you have to have a 10 x 10 room to create a walk-in. Even small spaces can be customized to maximize organization.”

Callen’s design specialists have plenty of ideas on how to develop a closet that works best for you. Call Callen, the leading remodeling company in Brookfield, for inspiration on how to get started.