Long Narrow Closet Design – 21 Ideas from Pro Interior Desingers

A long narrow closet is a big challenge for homeowners to design.

We rounded up a few long narrow closet design ideas on how to optimize the usage space and on how to make it looks not cramped any longer.

Try These Designs to Take Full Advantages of the Space

To use every inch corner of the long narrow closet, follow the design tips and tricks below:

1. Customize Fitted Closet or Rack System

A fitted closet and hanging rack system are capable to increase the depth, expand the inside space of the closet and take full advantage of the dead corner on the upper ceiling.

Worry it is oppressed when you walk in? Leave the top of your custom fitted closet about 30mm apart from the ceiling.

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2. Make Use of Awkward Corners

The corner is a place that is easily ignored in the most long narrow closet.

To make good use of the corner, it is highly recommended to turn the corner into a corner cabinet or shelving space.

Therefore, in addition to meeting a large number of your storage needs, it also cares for the aestheticism.

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3. Arrange Your Closet Single-Sided

If you have a long narrow closet in a small size, avoid installing your closet around, and a space with single-sided closet will allow you to move around at liberty.

A reach in closet is also a convenient and easy-to-access garment storage space.

Have A Look at These Designs:

single sided closet for long narrow closet room

4. Increase Open Cubbies

If you want to expand the usable space of a long narrow closet, or want more space to move around in depth, try the open cubbies which will perform a marvelous result.

The open design reduces the blockage of dividers or doors, and further increases the depth of the narrow closet.

This unobtrusive design, certainly, increases the radius when you walk in to try garments.

For another, it brings a comfortable visual effect.

Have A Look at These Designs:

Credit: DigsDigs
long narrow closet with shelves

5. Use a Sliding Glass Divider Inside of the Extra Long Narrow Closet

If you have an extra long narrow closet, an endless confined passway will terrify you, especially when this space features a dim light.

If you are some of those who have an extra long narrow closet, don’t hesitate to use a glass partition.

The glass divider creates a permeable visual sense of the space, increasing the width from the naked eyes.

Remember that you need to control the width of the partition which should not surpass 1/2 of the total width of your closet passway.

Have A Look at The Designs:

Credit: Raumplus

6. Direct the Rack and Shelves on the Wall

Similar to the design of reduction on the inside closet doors, the back panel occupies at least 2cm in depth.

If your chosen hanging rack system is the same or similar color scheme as your wall, to save space for moving around, it is possible to direct the timber or rack system on the wall.

By doing so, it is unnecessary to flatten your wall before mounting back boards. Also a great way to save budget, right?

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7. Increase Drawers

Replace your hanging space with drawers in your small long narrow closet!

It is tested that the storage space of drawers is 2 to 2.5 times more than that of the hanging area. That is to say, you can stock 2 to 2.5 more clothes into drawers than you can hang.

If you are not somebody that hates folding garments, and pursue more storage space, don’t miss the drawer addition in your long narrow closet.

Not only that, drawers can be a great asset to store your jewelry, eyeglasses, belts, ties, scarves and hats without damage.

Here is a dimension (height indicates that of the drawer face) reference to stock items of different sizes.

  • For T-shirts, yoga pants and leggings, drawers should be 24 inches or 60 cm in width and 8 inches or 20.3 cm in height.
  • For small stuff and undies, you should design the drawer 5 inches or 12.7 cm in height.
  • For bulky sweaters, 12 inches or 30.28 inches in height is more practical.

Have A Look at These Designs:

Credit: @handmadeweekly

8. Increase Shelves

Shelves can be stacked layer by layer to the ceiling, making full use of the vertical space.

The orderly shelves create a clean and tidy effect, while also visually creating a sense of spaciousness.

If you prefer to stock your garments and belongings by different partitions, increasing shelves in your long narrow closet is a go to choice.

It will clear the static and allows you to select the perfect outfit in seconds.

Have A Look at These Designs:

Credit: @ournestonpowell
Credit: DigsDigs

9. Arrange More Shoe Shelves

Arranging a shoe shelf in your long narrow closet is an urgent thing to do if you are in favor of collecting shoes.

But you should reject the cubbies as your shoe storage shelves. Open cubbies characterize more dividers, if which is reduced, you can stock one more pair of shoes.

Before building the shoe shelves, you should know:

  • For men, you should set the shelves at a minimum of 14 inches or 35.6 cm in depth.
  • For women, at a minimum of 12 inches or 30.5 cm in depth.

If you want more flexibility, it is suggested to change the fixed shelves with adjustable ones, so you are free of making your shelves move with your shoes and boots.

Have A Look at These Designs:

Credit: @camillestyles

10. Install Sliding Doors If Required

Imagine you have to unfold a hinged closest door in a narrow space. Where should you stand? Will the doors hit your shoulder or body? Is it convenient to take out the garments and close the cabinet door?

For the sake of embarrassment, you need a horizontal sliding cabinet door which will spare much more space for the passway!

So does the outside door of the closet!

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Now, you have the ideas on how to make use of your long narrow closet. The above ideas are from the view of the construction design.

If you still wanna more ideas to make an illusion of the space to make it look larger,

Try These Tips to Enlarge Your Small I-Shaped Space Visually

Want to make an illusion of a large space with a long narrow closet? Follow these tips!

1. Choose Light Neutral Colors

Credit: @behance

A rule of thumb is to reduce the multiple colors but use uniformly clean and neat colors in a small space.

Keeping the long narrow closet in the same color scheme will expand the height of the ceiling visually. And make the floor the same color as the walls and ceilings to create an extension effect.

If you want to make your long narrow closet look larger and more welcoming, furnish your space with light color walls and ceilings, furniture and decorations.

That is to say, blend the wardrobe cabinets and decors with similar color scheme walls and ceilings.

Here are the popular matching strategies:

  • White walls and ceilings, light wood laminate flooring or white-washed tiles, white french closet.
  • Cream walls and ceilings, cream carpets, white closets and dressers.

2. Lower the Center of the Closet Room

Credit: Homedit

Lower the center of the space is the most effective way to make a small space appear larger.

If you are looking for the easiest method to lower the center of the closet room, try a short and thin-footed closet.

Make your closet float if you prepare to ask for a custom closet.

3. Simplify Your Ceiling

Credit: @brittanypeytonbryan

If you want to expand the space from the floor to the ceiling, simplify your ceiling work to make it look more open.

It would be much better if you do nothing to your ceilings.

If you feel the empty ceiling is tedious, use plaster lines to do simple decorative modeling.

4. Design a Large Window

Credit: @bhg

As we know, the higher and brighter the color, the larger the space will be.

So, designing a large window will enlarge the narrow closet in the root.

If you have a fixed window, then what you need to do is to try to eliminate the lighting dead corners in your long narrow closet and allow every corner exposed to the sunlight.

To help the natural light access your narrow closet smoothly, attention:

  • Do not make dividers if your closet room is small.
  • Do not place objects in front of the window.

If you have a closet room that is windowless or designs a small window, then,

5. Install More Lighting

Credit: @behance

Every designer knows but won’t easily say about the strategy to make small space larger is “Various light sources give more depth to the space”.

Yeah! Applying your long narrow closet with more ceiling lighting can widen the space.

A great lighting design will make you immersed first and ignore the limitation of narrow space.

Though the ceiling light is almost an obtrusive home decoration, it can fully show up the personal preferences and tastes of the homeowners.

So, when you install lighting for a long narrow closet room, you should pay attention to:

  • Reject using a pendant chandelier unless you have a high ceiling.
  • Do not make your lights just gathered in the center of the ceiling but make them diffused to every corner.
  • Rather than fitting a single natural daylight ceiling light, installing packs of warm recessed lights evenly will make the space pleasing and cozy.
  • Setting up lights in different areas can make you feel that each space is independent and visually “make” your small space bigger. This even gives you the illusion that every corner is in the middle of the room.

6. Reduce Cluttering Piece of Furniture

Credit: @decorpad

Avoid placing complicated furniture or decoration. On the basis of comfortability, choose a relatively small and simple piece of furniture.

But when you pack a pile of furniture and decorations in, you will get a low utilization and rather smaller closet room.

A successful way is method is to slim your narrow closet room and get together all the open space.

7. Leave Ottoman or Shoe Stool in the Corner

Credit: @m_lovehammer

To save space for freedom moving, you can put the ottoman in the corner or use a folding stool.

Fitting a folding stool has a stunning performance. When not used, put it away. Put it down when you require it.

8. Use Mirrors

It is one of the most common means to make an illusion or enlarge your narrow space through the reflection of the mirror.

You can alternate a mirrored wall, or install full length mirrors to every corner. This ensure a impressive result when you paint your walls white.

9. Lay Wall to Wall Carpet

Credit: @est_living

If you prepare to carpet a rug in your long narrow closet, try to lay a wall-to-wall one so as to reduce the cluttering.

10. Hang the Right Size Wall Art

Credit: DigsDigs

Too many small wall paintings will disrupt the visual focus. It is a must-no choice for a long narrow closet.

For the small narrow closet, at most 1 or 2 relatively medium-sized artwork is for decoration.

Especially the abstract geometric style painting can bring a different visual impact to the small space, while creating the illusion of a large space.

11. Utilize the Wall Organizer

Credit: @kelleynan

Don’t miss using the wall organizer or door organizer if your narrow closet is small.

Don’t forget!

Fighting to every inch count is the most difficult thing to do in your long narrow closet, but with these tips in mind, you will find it is as easy as a pie:

  • Measure your closet dimensions carefully. Once you choose the furniture with the most reasonable size, you actually use every inch of closet space.
  • Plan the furniture you want to put. If necessary, look at the effect in your imagination via CAD or other tools. Consider putting the must-have furniture first. If there still is some space left, put the additions you want. (Remember to leave a 2 feet or 60cm radius to move on.)
  • Declutter your narrow closet room frequently. When your clothes grow, tidy them up quickly. The neater the space, the larger your closet.

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Aine has been an interior designer for about 10 years, with a rich experience in decorating houses in various styles, and recognizing what is the best-quality and best-fit furniture and home improvement products ranging from cheap to high-end tags.