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Our guide to designing the perfect custom robe

Updated: Jan 11, 2023

There's nothing worse than rushing in the morning and not being able to find anything you need in your robe. If you have the opportunity to create a custom robe, it's vital that you take the time to design it to suit your needs instead of just letting your cabinet maker do what they think. We have therefore created a guide of the 5 steps we recommend you take in order to create the perfect robe for your needs:

1 | Consider what you have and how you like to store it

The best way to work out what your robe needs is to know exactly what is going into it. The first step is therefore to lay every single thing to go into your robe in front of you and make a list of what you have, how much you have of each thing (in terms of a rough volume percentage) and how you'd like to store it. For example, your clothes might be 20% chunky knits which you like to store in drawers. As well as clothes and shoes, you need to include anything else to be stored like belts, ties, jewellery, perfumes, scarves, handbags, hats, or other accessories. If you have a large walk in robe, you may also consider adding extra things like a make up station, a seat or a safe. This all needs to be taken into account when creating your percentage breakdown. It's quite a time consuming activity, but we recommend you don't skip this step as this is really the best way to give you an overview of how your robe needs to be broken up.

2 | Understand all the standard sizes

Next you need to have a really good understanding of standard sizes to ensure that the rails, drawers and shelves you design function properly. Some of the most important sizes to consider are:

Overall size: we recommend to make robes 500mm deep so that hanging clothes don't stick out into the walkway. If adding doors to the front of your robe, we recommend a depth of 600mm. You will also need to consider the width of the doors and how much they stick out while open to ensure you have enough clearance space. We recommend a walkway of 900-1200mm width.

Rails: We recommend for a hanging rail to be around 1600mm high for single hanging or no higher than 1900mm if having another rail below. A second rail should be at around 900-950mm below the top rail. However, it's important to consider the height of those using the robe (and their clothes!), and adjust these slightly as needed.

Shoe shelves: Shoe shelves should be around 250-300mm deep for a single row, or around 550-600mm for two rows on a pull out shelf. We also recommend a height clearance of 300mm for most shoes and 500mm for tall boots.

Drawers: We usually make drawers around 200-300mm deep depending what we need to store - smalls only need 200mm whereas sweaters or pants may need a 300mm deep drawers. The width of the drawers will depend on what you'd like to store. We recommend measuring your folded clothes and using this to work out the best width. We also don't recommend having drawers beyond around 1200mm from the finished floor level.

If you're interested to find out more about standard sizes, we have a whole blog post just about this that you can check out through the link below:

3 | Play around with the layout

Now you're ready to start playing around with the robe layout. The first thing you need to do is to measure the space and draw it to scale either on grid paper or using a software like SketchUp. Keeping in mind doors, windows and walkways, create scaled elevations of all the walls that are usable for your robe. Using the percentages you worked out and standard sizes as a guide, you can then start to map out a layout that works for you.

4 | Accessories and extras

Once you have an overall idea of the layout, you may want to consider adding some accessories and mechanisms. Some of our favourites include,

  • Pull out mirrors are super handy if you don't have any wall space left for a mirror

  • Drawer dividers for jewellery, belts and other accessories

  • Pull out shoe shelves

  • Pull out pants racks

  • Pull out clothes hampers

  • LED strip lights above rails or shelves

  • Hooks near the door for bags or scarves that you use often

5 | Select your cabinetry finishes

The cheapest material to use for a robe with no doors is the white melamine that all joinery carcasses are made from. However, if you'd like to add some colour and personality, a laminate from a company like Laminex or Polytec is a great budget-friendly option with a huge variety of colours and patterns. Other options include 2pac, vinyl wrap and timber veneer. We usually recommend a 2pac finish, which allows you to select any colour and choose from a range of profiles for your door or drawer fronts. If you'd like to read more about cabinetry materials and finishes, we have a blog post about this which you can check out through the link below:

I hope this step by step guide has been helpful! If you want to find out more about how to make your robes work for you and your family, you can get in contact with us using the link below.

Have a wonderful week!

Nina xx

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