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Alternative closet door ideas

Updated February 21, 2017

If you're tired of the standard types of closet doors, such as sliders, bi-folds and regular hinged swinging doors, there are plenty of alternatives to try. Depending on the amount of space you have, your closet's opening size and your budget, you may be able to do a quick fix for a more attractive closet opening, or you may want to do a complete redesign that allows you more space for built-in storage.

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Fabric

Curtains are a fast, easy and often cheap alternative to closet doors, and they can add a feeling of space and warmth to your room. Hang a curtain rod over the top of your closed opening and choose floor-length curtain panels or make them yourself out of your favourite fabric. An added benefit of fabric closet coverings is that you can place light behind them, such as a low-voltage rope light or other low-temperature light fixture, and create an additional window-like panel of light to brighten your room. For this purpose, choose pale-coloured fabrics that are also lightweight to allow more light to come through.

Wardrobe doors

If your primary reason for wanting to change closet doors is that accessing your clothes is not as simple as you'd like it to be, consider replacing wall closets with built-in wardrobes. For a small closet, you may simply be able to knock out the small walls that frame the closet doors and insert a pre-built wardrobe in the space, then add trim around the wardrobe for a finished look. In larger spaces, custom-designed built-in cabinets and drawers may be necessary. The cabinets will still have hinged doors, but unlike bifold and swinging doors, cabinet doors require smaller amounts of framing and will cause fewer hidden or hard-to-reach spots in your closet.

Distract and display

Closet doors are quite useful for keeping messy closets hidden, but if you don't mind giving up your closet as a hiding place for messes, you can remove the doors completely and turn your closet into a focal point of the room. First, organise the interior of the closet so it is attractive and easy to keep that way. Shoe organisers, drawers, shelves and bins can be handy for this purpose, and attractive wood or polished metal versions are available in many retail outlets. Install a sliding track on the ceiling in front of your closet and use decorative chain to hang a few clothing hangers (nice wooden or fabric-covered ones) down in front of the closet. Hang your favourite outfits from these hangers, such as fancy dresses or colourful shirts. They won't act as solid curtains, but they will draw people's eyes rather than the interior of the closet behind them, and the sliding track will let you easily push them out of the way when you need to access your closet. You can change out the front outfits with the season or whenever you want to alter your decor. Adding attractive lighting and display items such as mannequin heads on shelves for hat storage can add to the look.

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About the Author

Anne Hirsh has been writing and editing for over 10 years. She has hands-on experience in cooking, visual arts and theater as well as writing experience covering wellness and animal-related topics. She also has extensive research experience in marketing, small business, Web development and SEO. Hirsh has a bachelor's degree in technical theater and English and post-baccalaureate training in writing and computer software.

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