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Built-In Dressers for Closets

walk-in closet with built-in closet dresser

The built-in closet dresser is one of the hallmarks of a luxury closet system. It allows the owner to store small items in drawers within the closet, reducing the need for additional furniture in the bedroom. In its simplest form, a built-in closet dresser is a set of closet drawers with a countertop over them. However, many built-in closet dressers are quite elaborate. This custom feature can be incorporated into any type of closet, but is most commonly seen in larger walk-in closets. Built-in closet dressers can be floor-based or suspended from the wall so that they float above the floor. They function like a typical bedroom dresser but are built into the closet as one of the custom components. Many include extras like drawer organizers and a mirror. Check out the different types of built-in dressers for closets and get ideas for creating your own dream closet!

5 Types of Built-In Closet Dressers

There are all sorts of amazing walk-in closets. However, one feature most luxury closets share is that they include drawers somewhere in the design. Often, that means a built-in closet dresser. Closet dressers come in different forms depending on the design of the closet. Traditionally, they are set against a wall and include a mirror above the countertop. Some will have a set of upper cabinets or shelves for storage above the main dresser. These are known as a closet hutch. If the closet includes a slanted ceiling and a knee wall, the built-in dresser can sometimes be recessed into the closet wall. Closet dressers are often surrounded by other types of custom organizers designed to store just about anything you could imagine. As custom built-in storage, the dressers are constructed to be a permanent feature of the closet and are not removable. This is why when designed well, they usually add value to the home. Check out these five different types of built-in dressers for closets and get ideas for creating your own dream closet.

  1. Closet Dresser Surrounded by Closet Organizers

    Walk-in closet with built-in closet dresser
    This walk-in closet includes a built-in closet dresser. Located across from the entrance, it is the focal point of the room. The dresser has a mirror above the countertop to make it easy for the owner to put on accessories like necklaces and earrings.

    Mention a built-in dresser for closets and an image of a closet drawer unit surrounded by other storage comes to mind. Most built-ins like this also include a mirror above the countertop. This makes it easy to try on the jewelry or other accessories stored below. They can have just a few drawers or many depending on size. But the intent is to provide enough drawer storage so that a traditional clothes dresser is unnecessary in the bedroom. This provides a cleaner, less cluttered look in the sleeping area. They look great when surrounded by shelves, cabinets or hanging areas in the closet.

  2. Stand Alone Built-In

    Built-in closet dresser inside a combination master closet dressing room.
    "This built-in closet dresser is situated beneath a large window. It is part of a combination master closet dressing room. The rest of the closet includes shelves, hanging space and a small closet hutch with a jewelry drawer.

    Sometimes a built-in dresser for a closet is included against a wall without being surrounded by other storage components. This is likely when the wall isn't long enough to accommodate other types of storage and/or there is a window or other obstacle preventing the installation of other kinds of built-ins for the closet. Or perhaps the owner simply prefers the more traditional "furniture look" provided by this type of built-in closet dresser.

  3. Closet Hutch

    Large closet hutch with open shelves above the countertop
    This walk-in closet has a built-in closet dresser with shelves above the countertop, making it a type of closet hutch. The upper drawers include special velvet-lined jewelry organizers.

    The closet hutch is a closet dresser with a cabinet above, or sometimes open shelving. Similar to kitchen cabinet design, the upper cabinets/shelves are often not as deep as the lower base cabinet/dresser. A closet hutch provides similar functionality to a closet island. However, it has advantages over an island because it doesn't take up any space in the center of the floor. It is always built against a closet wall. This practical and efficient style of closet dresser can even be used in a reach-in or wardrobe closet. It is the most versatile type of built-in closet dresser and can offer a lot of storage.

    Small closet hutch inside walk-in closet
    A small closet hutch with glass doors over the upper shelves and plenty of drawers below adds practical and attractive storage to this walk-in closet.
  4. Knee Wall Closet Dresser

    Closet dresser recessed into the wall of an attic closet
    This built-in closet dresser is recessed into the short wall of an attic closet with a slanted ceiling.

    When a closet is constructed in an attic or over a garage, there is often a steeply slanted ceiling overhead that follows the slope of the roof and extends nearly down to the floor. As a result, the walls in the room can be very short. These short walls are called knee walls. Behind the knee wall is usually just empty space where the roof line continues its journey down to meet the floor. Occasionally there are pipes or HVAC components that run through the area behind the knee wall, but more often than not, there is space to recess a closet dresser. A recessed closet dresser can be helpful when the space is particularly small and every extra inch counts. It does, however, require a lot of carpentry skill to pull this off. Measure carefully and be prepared to cover gaps with some extra trim.

  5. Closet Island

    Closet island with drawers functions as a dresser for clothes
    This closet island with drawers functions as a dresser for clothes, underwear, and small accessories.

    A closet island is basically a type of closet dresser. The drawers and countertop function just like a traditional clothes dresser. If you have one of these in your closet, you probably won't need another dresser in the bedroom. Closet islands can be single-sided or double-sided. A single-sided island has drawers/cabinets/shelves on one side and a flat panel on the opposite side, just like a clothes dresser. A double-sided closet island is just two of the single-sided units pushed together so that there is storage on both sides. A countertop covers the seam. Use a closet island when you have a lot of open floor space in the center of your closet. They need 36-inches of empty space on all sides of the island in order to walk comfortably. You need a very large closet in order to include an island. If your space is on the smaller side, consider a hutch instead.

Built-in Closet Dresser Benefits

No doubt about it — built-in closet dressers eliminate clutter and open up space in the bedroom by moving all the storage to the closet. These custom built-ins can also take advantage of every odd inch of space in your closet, thereby providing even more storage than traditional furniture. Are you kind of short or extra tall? No problem, design your dresser to your specific height requirements. Like all well-designed and well-constructed built-ins, your closet dresser can even become a selling feature of your home. Everyone loves having the perfect place to put their things. After all, life is simply easier when you're organized!