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The History of the Closet

The history of clothing storage goes long before the closets were introduced in the current homes. The Egyptians stored their clothing in a wicker-type storage basket, while the Greeks used wooden chests. The elite stored their clothing in alabaster chests for their heirloom clothing. This tradition continued starting with the Romans while the French started using the Chest to become the current-day armoire.

Until the advent of textiles, as they got more popular and affordable, the designation of a location for clothing storage in a specific location in the home became apparent. The designated location of the clothing storage in homes became desirable in a home as masses of the public began acquiring more than a couple of clothing outfits, those that are worn daily, and the Sunday Church clothing.

At the turn of the century from the 1800’s to the 1900’s gradually clothing started being stored in the areas of the home, usually where there was only a single entry, and access to the clothes got popular, storage locations got organized into a small area of the home with a closed curtain and gradually a door to the storage location. The location of the storage of clothing started being called a “closet” – meaning a closed area.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, closets came into being and in some cases were promoted as an incentive to buy a residence, as evidenced by the first closets built and advertised for The Dakota apartment building in New York City. In the 1870s, The Dakota used closets to appeal to wealthy tenants.

According to a piece published in The New York Times, The closets in the Dakota were two-and-a-half feet deep and 6 feet wide. This is essentially a small, reach-in closet by today's standards.

Gradually, as textiles became more and more popular, the promotion of different types of textiles led to the development of a variety of clothing and the gradual build of the fashion market in locations such as London, Paris, Milan, New York, and other such places made owning of different types of clothes gradually more popular and widely accepted.

The clothing trends and styles began to grow as the travel industry, originally by train & sea travel, then the automobile and air travel. This developing global integration into the clothing styles gradually began to grow and the clothing styles of different cultures started to breed new fashions and further enhance the choices of the variety of clothing.

First the affluent started having more than a few sets of clothing and required an adequate place to store the growing assets of clothing. Originally, such expensive clothing was stored in a Wooden Chest but the clothing suffered as access to the items at the base of the chest was difficult and was always wrinkled. This led to the idea of storing the clothes on hangers.

The use of larger spaces for the storage of the growing quantity of clothing and the need to hang the clothes rather than store them flat became a trend, and the growth of the small clothing storage became bigger and became small rooms rather than a corner with a covering.

In the current day, the trend towards a large closet, even as large as rooms have become not only fashionable but a necessity. The master of the home obviously had the largest collection of clothing, and therefore the closet became started to be called the “Master Closet” which traditionally was a much larger closet where clothing and other daily use items started to accumulate over time, and each additional item that started being located in this central clothing storage area, the larger the closet became.

Today, a closet mostly has designated areas for Long Hanging Clothes, Medium Hanging Clothes, Half Hanging Clothes which can be upper body wear or lower body wear.

Certain clothes like woolen items never got the honor of being draped over a hanger due to the shoulders getting “stretched” and giving the “Hanger Bump” look on the shoulders. For such clothing, flat storage areas become evidently necessary.

Gradually, precious jewelry and expensive watches became permanent residents in the larger Closet, which then invited a safe or secure storage additions to the closet.

As the world started making costume jewelry for the masses, the quantity of jewelry stored in a closet began to demand jewelry storage areas, such as a jewelry drawer, often with a velvet-lined jewelry tray.

As the Closet become an integral “Dress-Up” and “Dress-Down” area of the home, the homeowner started organizing and inventing new ways of making the closet a place where daily life began and ended.

Today a majority of homeowners that have a large walk-in closet in the master bedroom or a reach-in closet in the other bedrooms all start and end their daily routines in or at the closet.

As trends towards larger closets have developed, full rooms are designated as Closets, using islands in the middle with drawers, hampers, safe stowage, filing cabinets full of important papers and travel documents, shoes – both his and hers, and of course a place to sit and relax while one put on the footwear, and occasionally clip toe-nails.

In today’s modern home, the lady of the house has trended to gauge the comforts of the storage places around the home an integral asset that attracts her choice of the house to be made into a home.

Along with clothing, food storage, dispensation, and use have also trended the same track as the storage of clothing in a home. The Pantry has grown to be a bare necessity in a home, and the larger homes have huge pantries with appliance storage, food storage, canned products, onions, and potato storage, and of course, Fresh Fruit that does not go into the refrigerator.

We at Designer Closets, offer the expertise to create your dream closet into a reality.

Designer Closets utilizes the latest in technology and equipment to convert your dreams into first a Digital Reality, and then on your approval a complete storage space with all the elements that help make this daily sanctuary called the closet into a serene, calm and soothing place where you get pumped-up in the morning and relaxed into the evening.

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.

Contact us for your Master Closets, Walk-On Closets, Reach-In Closets, Pantry Closet, Linen Closet, Hobby Room Closets, Laundry Room Cabinets, Garage Cabinets, Summer Kitchens, and any other storage area in your home that need both organizing and space utilization.


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