The 5 Must-Have Characteristics of a Perfect Wardrobe

  • Dec 5, 2022

Wardrobes are by no means an insignificant aspect of a home renovation. They tend to take up a bulk of your expense and are a pain to plan and build—I mean, are drawers, open shelves or hanging space the better choice? Get it wrong and you’ll spend the next decade struggling with clothes storage and wondering where you stowed away your favourite pair of jeans. So what truly makes the perfect wardrobe? We narrow down the 5 must-have characteristics of one:

1. Durable material

Because wardrobes are meant to last a long time, you will want one that is made of a good, long-lasting material. Most wardrobes are made of wood but when it comes to durability, consider metal, particularly stainless steel which comes with in-built rust- and corrosion-resistant properties so it doesn't require a lot of maintenance to keep it in its pristine condition.

Is wood or stainless steel a better choice for wardrobes?

Images: Unsplash While both wood and stainless steel have their pros and cons, stainless steel is stronger than wood by nature of the material and properties of the metal. It can hold its shape well, so even if you have weak hinges that are unable to support the weight of your closet doors, the ones made from stainless steel are unlikely to sag, unlike wooden doors.

Stainless steel wardrobes can hold their shape better.

Compared to stainless steel, wood is also much more susceptible to issues caused by high moisture and humidity such as mildew or warping. Wooden closets are particularly susceptive to mildew since we can’t always ensure our clothes are 100% dry before we store them. Compound that with Singapore’s constantly humid weather, and you have the perfect recipe for a mould outbreak. Because there is a lesser need to concern yourself about mildew problems with stainless steel wardrobes, there is also a lesser chance of your designer bags and clothes getting mouldy.

Stainless steel wardrobes reduce the chance of mildew and mould growth.

With stainless steel, there's no need to worry about the pesky termite problem or formaldehyde, a common toxin found in the adhesives and materials used in the treatment of the wood used for wooden wardrobes or carpentry. For those looking for a durable wardrobe option, Song-Cho—you will know them for their 304 stainless steel kitchens—has recently introduced bespoke wardrobes that are wholly stainless steel. So yes, we are talking about the main body, inner shelves and drawers and the wardrobe door, all made from 304 stainless steel, which has a pretty high chromium content (approximately 18 - 20%) so that it's less susceptible to rust. The really great thing though, for folks who have misgivings about that raw, industrial look, is that they don't look anything at all like they are made from that metal since they can be covered in a wide variety of finishes and colours—more on that later on.

Song-Cho's 304 stainless steel wardrobes don't actually look like they are made of stainless steel!

One of the drawbacks to stainless steel is that it tends to get really heavy, and you may be worried about the pressure on the hinges and about moveability if you decide to move house. But there's really no need to worry as Song-Cho's 304 stainless steel body is actually partially made with an internal honeycomb structure so it's lighter in weight than you would expect but it still retains all that tensile strength of stainless steel so durability is 100% guaranteed.

2. Robust hardware

Besides the material of the main body, pay attention to the inner hardware and systems e.g. hinges, slides etc. when going for the perfect wardrobe. They don’t receive a lot of attention, but they are one of the most hardworking aspects of a wardrobe—every time you close a door or open a drawer, they get to work!

Blum hinges on Song-Cho's 304 stainless wardrobes.

As we mentioned earlier, weak hinges can cause wardrobe doors to sag. This is especially the case with floor-to-ceiling closet doors, which can get really heavy. For drawer slides, a poor one will mean an uneven glide and a constantly sticking drawer, which is definitely frustrating if you are looking to beat the morning rush.

Good drawer slides will make it easier to open and close your drawers.

Song-Cho's 304 stainless steel wardrobes work exclusively with Blum for their hinges and slides. For the uninitiated, this brand's one of the top ones in the market and they are known for reliability and stability. But hey, don't just take our word for it; Blum reports that their hinges are tested to withstand 200,000 opening and closing cycles. Now that is what you call robust.

Robust.

Image: Blum

3. Dedicated compartments for organisation

Professional organisers we spoke to report that wardrobes are the #1 clutter zone in a home. So what’s the best way to keep that zone organised? Having dedicated inner compartments. The first step is to go for a variety of storage options like drawers, shelves and hanging rails. Because not all clothes are supposed to be stored equally. Hanging rails are great for long dressers, formal wear and clothes made from linen or delicate materials since they tend to wrinkle or damage easily. Shelves are better for towels and chunky knits since they tend to take up a lot of space, while drawers are great for underwear, pyjamas, and thin t-shirts since those can stretch out in hangers and tend to get lost on shelves.

The type of wardrobe compartment to go for will depend on the type of clothes you are storing.

Baskets and boxes also do well on the top- or bottom-most shelves since it will make reaching for the things stored in those areas easier. Consider also inner drawer organisers so that you can reach for the clothes you want without upsetting the entire closet ecosystem. If you want to take your organisation to the next level, go with specialised compartments like pants hangers or accessories racks if you are inclined to store your embellishments in the wardrobe as well. These are purpose-designed compartments so they are made with the stored item in mind.

Specialised compartments offer a tidier wardrobe.

With pants hangers, one of the clear benefits is that it’s incredibly space-saving—each one allows you to hang several pairs of trousers at once so there’s no need to squeeze them inside your wardrobe, wrinkling up everything.

A dedicated pants hanger by Basistem.

Fashionistas will benefit from an accessories rack, which can keep anything from shades and cufflinks to watches and jewellery organised. Think about not having to rustle through your entire wardrobe just to find that particular pair of turquoise earrings to match your dress. And if you don't usually accessorise, the rack can also double up as storage for ties, skinny belts or even your unmentionables.

Basistem's dedicated accessories racks can be used to store jewellery, ties or even watches.

For this, Song-Cho has chosen to go with Basistem’s dedicated compartments. While they have a wide range of compartments, the ones available for see and touch in Song-Cho's showroom are the pants hanger and accessories rack, both of which come with a luxurious leather body for a little something extra. These are optional add-ons and are very customisable, so you can tailor them to fit your space and needs.

4. User-friendly design

The perfect wardrobe is also about being easy to use. Adding features like soft-close systems, pull-down rails and lighting can help add to that convenience. A soft-close mechanism is great for keeping fingers from getting hurt, which is additional safety, particularly for households with younger children. A soft-close drawer also prevents slam-shutting, thereby extending the longevity of those drawers and the closet itself and it makes for a much more restful environment for the bedroom. As Song-Cho's 304 stainless steel wardrobes use Blum hinges and slides, all their doors and drawers are soft close too, so you don't have to pay extra for that fancy feature!

The doors and drawers for Song-Cho's 304 stainless steel wardrobes all come with a soft-close mechanism.

For folks looking to go for taller wardrobes (good for storing long dresses!), pull-down rails are super helpful in helping you reach for those hung-up clothes without having to rope in the help of a step stool or to stand on your tiptoes. These are also available with Song-Cho's 304 stainless steel wardrobes as well if you wish to include them.

You can have the option of including a pull-down rail if you are going for a taller wardrobe.

Wardrobe lighting is always a nice touch at the end since it really adds to the ambience of your space. Definitely a must-have in any walk-in wardrobe! Functionally, wardrobe lighting also assists in illuminating the dark recesses of your closet so you can easily see where everything is, much like Song-Cho's 304 stainless steel wardrobes that come with the option to include hidden LED strips. The lighting only comes on when you open the doors though, so that should go some way in helping save on your utilities.

5. High customisability

When it comes to the perfect wardrobe, what's perfect for someone else may not be perfect for you. So having the option to custom-fit it to your exact specifications is always a big bonus. This is beneficial on two fronts—you can maximise your space usage and you will also be able to meet your storage needs more effectively. As we talked about at the beginning of the article, Song-Cho's 304 stainless steel wardrobes are fully customisable. You can tweak the configurations (L-shaped, one-side, galley style), go doorless, get more drawers than hanging rods, and include all the available add-ons as you so need... the design possibilities are virtually limitless.

Consider open shelves at the corners if you are looking to maximise storage.

Close-up of the corner storage. No doors mean you won't have to deal with awkward door openings!

The true benefit to all this is that it can also be built on in the future should your needs change. For instance, you may need an additional full-height open-shelf module for a growing designer bags collection or you may have someone moving in to live with you down the road and you want additional hanging space. As long as you have the space, it can all be added later on and fitted right in since the add-ons can also be custom-made to the same finish as your existing piece. There are a wide variety of colour and finishing options available as well, including ones that look like wood or marble (minus the upkeep!) and ones that will have your wardrobe looking all sophisticated and shiny or modern with a matte touch.

A few of the colour and finishing options available for Song-Cho's 304 stainless steel wardrobes.

Wardrobe doors, if you wish to include them, come either in stainless steel or glass. The former can be clad in your chosen finish or colour just like the rest of the wardrobe, while the latter can also be tweaked to be opaque, semi-transparent or even embossed.

A couple of glass door options.

The lead time is around three months since it's a completely bespoke piece, so you may want to head down to their showrooms (see the various locations here) or drop them an enquiry to get your wardrobe design down pat early.
For additional information on Song-Cho's bespoke 304 stainless steel wardrobes, visit their website at https://www.songcho.com.sg
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