Customized Closets Making a Difference in NYC Real Estate

Posted by Lee Kaufman on Dec 22, 2012 4:06:00 PM

In New York City, customized closets are a functional and aesthetic improvement that’s proving to add value to properties of any price.  In a hyper-competitive real estate marketplace, it’s the little things that make a big difference in a home’s value. In New York City, customized closets are a functional and aesthetic improvement that’s proving to add value to properties of any price.

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“Customized closets in NYC are a feature that transcends all income levels,” says Lee Kaufman, owner of Gotham Closets. “In urban areas, people have to make the most out of every square inch.”

Gotham Closets specializes in customized closets and storage spaces, with a focus on urban properties. Kaufman says today’s homeowner wants to create efficient and aesthetically pleasing customized spaces with multi-purpose uses. “In NYC,” she says, “customized closets are for more than just clothes.”

Nowhere is customization more prevalent than in higher-end homes. Kaufman said a recent post on Sotheby’s International Realty website indicates just how desirable customized closets have become in higher-priced homes. “The first pictures they showed were of the home’s customized closets,” she points out.

Customization can truly help distinguish an apartment or home, especially with the options now available. Kaufman says new popular choices include folding ironing boards that hide behind a drawer face; full length mirrors that rotate and store in a 3” wide space; built-in safes; locked jewelry drawers; and a wide range of surface finishes.

Customizing a closet also has infinite appeal for someone with expensive designer clothes. “These fabrics need space to breath,” Kaufman says. “For clients who spend a considerable amount of money on clothing and shoes and handbags, storage is very important.”

While customized closets are rapidly becoming a pre-requisite for luxury apartments, the pragmatic value is now apparent to property owners of any range. lists improved storage space as one of its 10 best home improvements for increasing property value.

Kaufman has seen a customized closet act as the tipping point in an apartment sale. “I had a client in Queens who was selling her apartment,” she recalls. “She redid her closets and replaced all the doorknobs. It sold. A year later, similar apartments were still on the market.”

The benefits of an organized space can result in more than just an increased home value, however. “It’s a stress reliever,” Kaufman says. “You start and end your day in the closet, and if it’s organized and efficient, you can quickly get on with your day. If your food pantry is neat and organized, your meal time is more efficient, and you won’t spend time searching for ingredients.” She notes that a customized closet can also help children stay organized and care for their toys and playthings more efficiently.

The key to customization is discovering the exact needs of a client, and then designing the space to meet those specifications. “When I visit with a client, I actually count the articles of clothing in their closet, and design accordingly,” Kaufman says. “Or I’ll take into account how tall the person is, and design the space to fit the length of their clothes.”

To learn more about how customization options can improve your living space, visit

Tags: special handles, specialty hardware, Return on investment, resale value, melamine, custom, built-in, Bedroom, Custom Closets