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When to Use a Closet Hutch

large walk-in closet with built-in closet hutch

The closet hutch is a very practical and useful organizer. It adds an element of luxury in addition to the kind of storage most homeowners crave. It is similar in many ways to a closet dresser. But the hutch always includes shelves or cabinets above the lower section of drawers. Use it in both walk-in and reach-in closets for lingerie, jewelry, handbags, and more. It can provide just as much storage as a closet island but requires a fraction of the floor space.

A closet island is one of the most sought after features in high-end closet design. Unfortunately, the majority of closets simply don't have room for an island. You need a large, central open floor space to install one plus three-feet of empty space on all sides. What most people don't realize, however, is that you can get just as much storage with a closet hutch. A hutch contains all the drawers and countertop space you need with the addition of upper cabinets or shelves. It's the perfect closet organizer for small walk-ins or large reach-in closets. Equip the upper cabinets with glass doors and/or an LED lighting system and you've got a show-stopping centerpiece to your whole closet organization system!

Six Ways to Use a Closet Hutch

  1. To Save Space in Your Walk-In Closet

    Closet Hutch for a long, narrow walk-in closet.
    This closet hutch for a long, narrow walk-in closet provides as much storage as a closet island.

    A closet hutch can create just as much organized storage as its better-known cousin, the closet island. The advantage of the closet hutch, however, is that is sits against the wall. This means it doesn't require an enormous amount of floor space in the center of the closet. Drawers are only on one side as opposed to an island with two sides of storage. But the overhead shelves and/or cabinets on the hutch more than make up for the loss of a second side of storage on an island — and not all islands offer two sides of storage anyway. Unless your closet is as big as a bedroom, you are probably better off going with a hutch. You can run your upper cabinets all the way up to the ceiling, ensuring plenty of storage for your purses, folded sweaters, and more.

  2. As the Crown Jewel of Your Reach-In Closet

    Closet with small hutch.
    Reach-in closet with a small hutch.

    Reach-in closets are often overlooked when it comes to adding hutches. But this type of closet can accept a hutch just as easily as the tower of shelves or drawers that are more typically included. Use the lower section of a hutch to add jewelry organizers, lingerie drawers, and a built-in hamper. The countertop can hold an earring tree, phone chargers, a small tabletop mirror, or anything you need out in the open for grab and go access. The upper cabinet works well for folded items, accessories like purses, or even shoes. It's really the same as what you'd put in a walk-in closet, but usually on a smaller scale. The only thing to watch out for is location inside the closet. The position of the hutch inside a reach-in will depend on the type of closet doors. You don't want drawer or cabinet access blocked by a set of sliding doors. You would need to move the hutch to one side or the other with this style of door. With other closet door types, like bifolds, the hutch can stay in the center of the closet.

  3. To Hold the TV in a Wardrobe Closet

    Wardrobe with center hutch where the countertop is used to hold the TV.
    Wardrobe with center hutch where the countertop is used to hold the TV.

    The combination wardrobe and entertainment center are a favorite type of all-in-one built-in for bedrooms. This type of built-in typically includes clothing storage with hanging space on both sides of a central hutch unit. Like all closet hutches, the wardrobe hutch has the usual drawers for jewelry, accessories and small folded clothing with cabinets or shelves above. The difference is in the amount of space between the countertop and the bottom of the upper cabinets/shelves. In order to accommodate a TV for the bedroom, you need to leave more open space above the countertop. The amount will depend on the size of the television.

  4. A Closet Hutch Can Organize Your Pantry

    Hutch used as a baking station and pantry.
    Hutch used as a baking station and pantry. This one fills space once occupied by a standard reach-in closet.

    A built-in closet hutch can be used for pantry storage and even food preparation! You may never have considered working in your pantry, but the extra countertop provided by a closet hutch expands your available countertop space and work surface in the kitchen. It turns the typical storeroom into more of a butler's pantry with a functional work area. Additionally, the lower drawers and upper cabinets are a great place to organize all your knives, towels, serving dishes, and small canned or bagged foods.

  5. Built into Your Breakfast Nook

    Kitchen breakfast nook with built-in hutch and storage
    This kitchen breakfast nook with built-in hutch offers an L-shaped extension for additional storage. It takes advantage of all the extra unused space in front of the family's kitchen table and fills it with practical storage.

    The hutch is a mainstay of kitchen breakfast nook design. But did you know that a built-in hutch can provide more storage than its traditional furniture cousin? This is because a built-in is custom fitted to the exact measurements of the space. It can extend wall-to-wall, into any odd alcoves, or all the way up to the ceiling so that so that not a single square-inch is wasted. If you are tight on kitchen storage space, a built-in hutch for your breakfast nook may be the solution.

  6. As a Focal Point with LED Lighting

    Closet hutch with LED closet lighting.
    This closet hutch with integrated LED lighting creates a focal point in the center of this narrow, walk-in closet.

    A closet hutch can add drama to any storage space. This is especially true when it is equipped with an LED lighting system. Under-cabinet puck lights that illuminate the countertop add more than style. They create task lighting for this area. Upper cabinets can be outfitted with glass doors and LED closet lights to showcase a handbag collection or other accessories. Done well, the overall effect is breathtaking.

  7. Add a closet hutch to your storage areas.

    Transform your mundane storage areas into more refined spaces. Do this while also increasing your practical storage. All it takes is a closet hutch. The simple addition of this time-honored storage solution provides a grand and luxurious effect to all your closet spaces whether they are walk-in, reach-in, wardrobe, pantry, or breakfast nook. Try adding a closet hutch to your home and let us know how it went. We'd love to hear your comments on how it worked out.