Everything you need to know & ask about remodeling your closet
California Closets review, all of the design questions and aspects you need to consider & organization tips. Our dream walk-in master closet renovation is done but are we happy with it? California Closets is famous for their closets and the company we decided to go with after lots of research and meetings with 3 different companies. Here’s why we chose this closet design company, questions you need to ask your designer when doing a closet remodel and an honest California Closets review NOT sponsored. As well as all of the things to consider when designing it, needs vs wants and organization tips.
This is not a sponsored post. I paid for this closet in full. This post contains affiliate links.
Before California Closets remodel
This was our master walk-in closet before the California Closets remodel. It was a long, narrow space with very yellow overhead lighting, carpet that’s over a decade old and all of the original fixtures that were there when we moved in.
It was pretty grotty and there wasn’t assigned places for everything so it never felt neat and organized. The carpet and lighting was an absolute “no” for me as well so I couldn’t wait to get those ripped out.
Closet makeover | Choosing the company
My husband and I are very much word of mouth, referral people. It’s always easier to go with a referral from someone you know and trust than just take random peoples reviews. Even better if you can see their work beforehand, not just their showrooms.
The 3 closet companies we’d narrowed down to, to come in and create designs and give us quotes were:
- California Closets
- Classy Closets
- Inspired Closets
Based off of both recommendations and companies we’d heard of and had great reputations.
All 3 came out to us, looked at our master walk-in closet which is a long, narrow space that needed to major work and organization. They created designs and gave us quotes based on what was discussed.
Only 2 companies listened and nailed the design, 1 design looked like they’d come over with ear muffs and a blind fold on. Just 1 company measured and counted what we had in each category of clothing and shoes. Only 1 company stayed longer than 30 minutes. Actually it was closer to 90 minutes. Only 1 company gave us several different price options and the ability to come into their showroom to work on a final 3D design with them that fit our budget.
The company that measured, counted, spent the time, listened to our brief and based their design our needs was California Closets. Which is why we went with them.
Designing your custom built in closet
After the first draft we went into California Closets showroom to finalize the design, make some tweaks and finalize options. These are some of the things you’ll need to consider or ask about when doing your closet remodel:
- Materials & paneling
- Amount of cupboards
- Type of cupboards (glass front, solid doors)
- Accessories like valet rods
- Drawer organizers e.g. sunglasses or jewelry organizers
- Number of shelves
- Height of all of the rails (based off of our clothing and how high I could reach).
- Do you have outlets in there or do you need them? They’re needed for a lot of accent lighting e.g strip lighting.
Considering wants vs needs and practicality while designing your custom closet
While our designer took care of our needs e.g. the amount of shelving space we needed for shoes and hanging space for clothers. I had lots of wants too such as:
- The shoe shrine to be the central focal point. Even better if we could add accent lighting.
- A sunglasses organizer as I’ve always wanted one and have so many glasses.
- Shelves and glass cabinets to display my bags.
- Bright lighting in 5600K cool not a warm hue to be able to film my YouTube fashion videos in there.
As much as I wanted floor to ceiling built-in closets it does mean that the top shelves and cupboards are only reachable by ladder. So it’s not practical for storing everyday items. Instead I use those level for displaying off season bags, beach hats I only use on vacation and other things like spare buttons and neck pillows.
If you’re watching your budget or don’t like the closet companies options for certain things there are some things can you do price comparisons on or search around for. Such as the handles, drawer organizers, lighting, flooring, etc.
I found my drawer and cupboard handles, dimmable overhead lighting and drawer organizers all on Amazon.
Preparing for California Closets installation
California Closets doesn’t offer the rip out or flooring so that needed to be done before hand. Before they could begin the installation we had to:
- Storing everything in your closet so that it’s totally empty for the demo.
- Rip out everything: existing shelves, rails, carpet, baseboards and lighting.
- Patch, retexture and paint the walls and ceiling.
- Replace the lighting.
- Run any electrical lines or do any wiring needed for the closet ceiling and accent lighting.
We stored what we wouldn’t need for the next couple of weeks in big boxes in the garage. Then the clothes we’d be wearing went onto rolling racks. I stored any shoes and bags I thought I’d want in the workout room so I didn’t have to scramble through boxes to find them.
It was basically an organized mess during the whole closet remodel so you will need to plan on where you’re going to put everything during the process.
Step by step of the rip out and repair phase of the closet remodel
After ripping everything out they had to patch, retexture and paint the walls to match the new built in California Closet.
Because we decided against doing backs to the closet frame the walls needed to look perfect.
I’d originally wanted the flooring laid in a Herringbone pattern but the space was too narrow to have really appreciated it. So we went with a classic, straight lay.
Finally the lighting went in. I went with a really modern design that was as flush to the ceiling as possible to give the illusion of higher ceilings. I also wanted really cool Kelvins and a really bright light to be able to film in here.
California Closets review | The installation experience
The installation went really quickly and fairly smoothly with California Closets. They called 30 minutes before they were scheduled to arrive each day to let us know they were on their way and were always punctual.
They were really good about laying down sheeting to cover where they’d be walking and cleaning up after themselves at the end of each day. The install should have only taken 2 days but unfortunately a couple of cupboard doors came damaged.
It was about a week wait for the new doors to come in but at least we were able to put everything back into the closet in that time. So it was just a case of them popping the doors on.
The cats were very excited to have a new area to explore!
Final tweaks and ddd ons after the California Closets installation
After California Closets was done with their installation we had to have the handyman back out to put the baseboards back in to complete the final closet.
I also ordered drawer organizers and jewelry organizers after having the closet for a few weeks. Once you have everything put away and have lived for the space for a while, it’s easier to know what final touches you want to make and to identify what’s missing.
California Closet before and after photos
After some careful design planning to maximize this closet space this is the final result.
California Closets review
Our whole experience was great, even with the damaged cupboards. As they dealt with it quickly and efficiently. Some of the things that would make me recommend them are:
- The designer spent a lot of time with us during the design process and really listened to us and looked out for our needs.
- The ability to work on a 3D rendering/CAD plan with them to keep playing with the closet configuration.
- Fast and clear communication throughout the entire process.
- Our designer didn’t just do the design. She checked in on the progress during and after the install and has been great with follow ups.
If you get the chance to work with Kariann Sinko at California Closets, I highly recommend it. She’s thorough and genuinely seems to care and love her job.
How much does California Closets cost
The price is based upon your custom closet design. There are so many factors that change the price from the materials and size, to accessories and number of cupboards and shelves, etc.
Is California Closets worth it
California Closets were worth it to me as I use this space to much and appreciate the difference it made. Now I actually enjoy rather than dread going into the closet and everything’s so much easier to find.
Pricing wise they are about industry average compared to the other 2 companies we got quotes from. You get what you pay for in both the service and materials.
Where is California Closets located
California Closets has over 2000 locations in North America. You can find the closest showroom to you using their store locator.