Think of it as the closetless closet, or perhaps the closet turned inside out. Just as kitchens have opened up to become free-flowing spaces connecting to dining areas and family rooms, so too are closets losing their doors — and in many cases, their walls.
When Robert Sweet remodeled Joe Borst's Marina del Rey house [full article and photo gallery], he eliminated formal closets in favor of built-in wardrobes and storage units lining the master bedroom wall and entryway.
Ginny Snook Scott, vice president at California Closets, sees the trend as the American home comes full circle. In the 1920s, she said, closets with doors increasingly replaced armoires. In the 1950s, larger closets with sliding doors spread across suburbia. The love affair with the walk-in closet began in the 1980s, and by the 1990s, his-and-hers walk-ins were not uncommon. By the early 2000s, closets in larger homes had reached the size of small bedrooms — or actually were converted bedrooms.
And now? Wardrobes and storage units are essentially larger, modern takes on the armoire. Among the primary drivers of the trend: consumer desire for fully open floor plans, improvements in cabinetry quality and more competitive pricing.