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I have a part of a wall in a room that is deeper than the rest of that wall and measures exactly 77.5 inches across and 9.4 inches deep (196.9 cm x 23.9 cm).

I would like to make that space a built in closet so that that "dead space" is made use of and the entire wall is perfectly flat rather than having a part that sticks in.

Realistically, is it feasible to build a built in closet in such a space? If so, how should I build it to ensure it has a similar proportion of shelves, drawers, and hangers as a regular closet?

For example, I know I would not be able to hang clothing perpendicular to the wall as is customary with most closets, but couldn't I have a rod protruding from the back to hang clothing parallel to the wall?

This would be a closet for 2 people in our guest room.

Is this feasible or not recommended?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

That is a very shallow space. I think you'd need at least a couple of inches for your doors / front wall, so you're looking at less than 8" deep for the final closet.

You might be better off just installing built-in shelving and/or hooks on that part of the wall to serve as storage space. You could make the shelves 8" deep and then put a sheer curtain over it, if you want to avoid looking at it.

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Thanks for your reply, Henry! Your idea of installing built-in shelves and hooks directly on the wall and covering it all with a curtain is interesting. I probably wouldn't mind using the full 9.4in in depth for shelves and hooks and then covering it with a nice, white curtain. The curtain would obviously stick out if I did it that way, but I think it might give the room a nice, rustic touch (i.imgur.com/fKCNtbp.jpg). But do you think 8in - 9.4in of depth is "enough" for a functional closet (with 77.5in in width)? Or do you think the shallowness would annoy guests staying for 3-7 days? – ProgrammerGirl Jul 18 '13 at 16:44
I think you're going to have enough shelf space. Personally I would do full-width shelves up to about waist level, and then leave the top portion of the space for hooks. You can even get some flip-out clothes hangers like this: amazon.com/dp/B000KFVKVS (just an example, of course). You probably have enough width for 2 of those side by size, or 1 plus some additional shelving. – Henry Jackson Jul 18 '13 at 19:29

Not really. To frame it out you would need to use 2x4 or 2x3. Add in the sheetrock thickness on top and now it is only 5 to 6 inches deep at most. That's not a lot of depth. It sounds like a good area to put shelves or a built in with shelving. I know if I saw a closet in a house like that I would wonder why it is there.

I think @Henry's idea is the best. A curtain and hooks on the wall are temporary and could easily be removed.

Another idea is to reclaim some of the room and built a full size closet using the extra depth that is already there.

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gain another couple inches of depth by re-framing in place the back wall of the recess.


move the back wall farther back (which is quiet reasonable since the main issues (flooring and ceiling) would not be an issue at all because the 'transitions' would be within the closet.


purchase a wide, freestanding armoire that fits within the recess, or have one custom built


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