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Strange to believe, storing of clothes in closets has not always been historically practiced. In Modern day home, the custom walk-in closet is relatively a recent development to enhance the luxurious organization of one’s priced personal belongings.
As humans started owning more than one set of clothing, the need for a closet and closet organization took birth.
Textiles evolved over time and the use of these innovations had made clothing to evolve as well, for the originally white, beige and gray colors to vibrant colors and clothing styles that once were body hiding and very conservative to designer clothing and body-hugging clothing that have started the need from the once Long Hanging clothes to the Medium Hanging and Short Hanging requirements in a Walk-In Closet or Reach-In Closet.
As the variety of different types of clothes started getting stored in a Closet, the requirements of organization of the Walk In Closet and Reach In Closets became a necessity.
The Closet Organization required a method of clothes storage, for which different cultures had different organizational skillsets and methods.
The Storing of clothes in reed baskets was practiced by the Egyptians, while the wealthier Egyptians choose Alabaster chests. The Greeks, to who wood was easily accessible, wooden chests were chosen for their clothes storage.
Soldiers of the Roman Empire, seem to have taken the initial steps towards the innovation of the modern walk-in-closet when the armorium was invented. The armorium (Armor Holding Vessel) was a plain wooden box that could safely transfer their weapons and armor from one location to another.
The wooden chests idea slowly spread to the Romans during the Roman Empire.
In the Medieval period this wooden box that was used for Armor slowly got utilized for storing of clothes. The wooden chests were made from Cedar to prevent them from getting destroyed by mice and moths.
The Armorium thus became an Armoire during the few hundred years to the modern day. The Armoire was an upright, tall and free-standing wardrobe with shelves and drawers enclosed in a two-door accessible wooden unit with ornate designs and decorations. Originally developed in France during the 17th Century the Armoire (French for Cabinet or Wardrobe) was used for Armor and weapons or tools. Thru the next 100 years gradually these wooden chests became a common method for the wealthy to store their clothes. The shelving and drawers usually with some hanging space for the long draping clothes of the era. These Armoires, over the years, slowly evolved into a built-in facility within the walls of buildings, and effectively created the initial root of our modern-day Reach-In Closets.
As the dressing sense, style and design of clothing evolved, and people started having more than just a few sets of clothing, the need for these built-in the Armoires needed to be expanded into small rooms, usually close to or within a bedroom, containing one’s personal clothing. As the size of such Reach-In Closets began to increase, these rooms started to become what we today know as Walk-In Closets.
Progressively in the 19th Century, the hanging of clothes got introduced into the Closet or Wardrobe and this gave birth to the clothes hangers. During the late 19th Century, builders began incorporating specially designed clothes storage areas into high-end homes. The original sizes of these “Built-In” Closets were only Reach-In Closets, and gradually became more and more a central focus of bedrooms to have Walk-In Closets.
As the affluent public started designing the Walk-In Closet into a “Personal Space” where they chose to place not only their clothes, but their shoes, safes and priced possessions. The Walk-In Closet thus became the traditionally start and end each day of their daily life.
In larger homes, the Walk-In Closet started became larger than the bedrooms of some of the cheaper homes.
Today, the Closets, Reach-In Closets and Walk-In Closets have become the organized personal storage spaces that contain the personal belongings of one’s person, including shoes, watches, sunglasses, cuff links, ties, belts, scarfs, jewelry, socks and undergarments.
Specific implementations such as Shoe Shelving, Shoe Cubbies, Tie Racks, Belt Racks, Scarf Hoops, Jewelry Trays and other such additional organizational tools to “house” these variety of items stored in the Walk-In Closets.
The Walk-In Closet is now the place where clothes for washing are generated, and therefore the introduction of built-in Tilt-Out Hampers and Roll-Out Hampers have now become very common. These Hampers enable the occupants to easily remove cloth bags from the Hamper installations to be carried out to the Laundry Room for washing.
Through the evolution of the LED Lighting, today, the Walk-In Closets have began being “dressed” with both direct and indirect LED Lighting to enhance the look and feel of the Walk-In Closet.
As the opulence of closets grew with the celebrities, as with MTV’s 2006 exploration of Mariah Carey’s massive 12 thousand square foot closet shown in an airing of their popular celebrity lifestyle show Cribs. Carrie Bradshaw was proposed to in a custom walk-in closet in a 2008 “Sex and the City” movie, which brought its place in pop culture for the future years.
In modern day homes, Custom Walk-In Closets have become a necessity for the serious home organizer while making maximum use of the space. From Reed Baskets to Wooden Boxes graduating to Reach-In Closets and then to Walk-In Closets, and later to Custom Walk-In Closets.