Short cut to clutter control

A wardrobe with storage space for shoes, trousers and bags is a surefire way to crinkle-free clothing. Nicole Swengley looks at options for every budget
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The Independent Online

The inhabitants of Magazineville, Planet Glossy, live in homes with walk-in wardrobes where cashmere sweaters lie folded in cubby-holes, crisply ironed, colour- sorted shirts hang on rails, and shoes are stacked on dedicated shelves. The rest of us - well, let's just close the door on that.

The inhabitants of Magazineville, Planet Glossy, live in homes with walk-in wardrobes where cashmere sweaters lie folded in cubby-holes, crisply ironed, colour- sorted shirts hang on rails, and shoes are stacked on dedicated shelves. The rest of us - well, let's just close the door on that.

Historically, we Brits lag way behind our US or European cousins in closet control. Explore the well-designed wardrobe systems offered by Italian manufacturers, for example, and you'll realise why Italians look so chic. Lacquered or frosted glass doors at Poliform's UK showroom conceal bespoke wardrobe interiors with pull-out trouser racks, pull-down clothes bars, revolving trays and similarly clever devices that help you dress fast and smart.

None of this comes cheap. If you want to dress your storage as handsomely as your body, think in terms of at least £1,460 per metre. It's the same story at B&B Italia. Gleaming, fully fitted wardrobes with lacquered or frosted glass doors start from £1,500 per metre.

If this seems like a breathtaking amount to spend on, er, empty space, then it's worth considering how much airy nothing is actually needed. This is where California Closets comes in. A company rep will arrive on your doorstep to delve into your innermost wardrobe secrets before designing a bespoke system from £550 per metre.

Alternatively, you could assess your own needs, nip along to Habitat and buy a wardrobe frame with two sliding doors (£999), then kit out the interior with drawers, shelves, partitions, rails and racks (priced individually from £39 to £85).

Budget solutions do exist. The Verona corner wardrobe at Debenhams, for example, is a clever idea that maximises space while linking in with a flat run of matching units (from £175 per unit). Marks & Spencer sells pine self-assembly wardrobes from £499 and a clever revolving unit (£350) with four cubby-holes on one side and a full-length mirror on the other.

Of course, you may not want a conventional wardrobe at all. Emmebi's Rollerbox, a steel cabinet on castors with an interior rail, comes in 20 colours. It costs £1,224 at Geoffrey Drayton, which also sells Emmebi's Citybox, from £985, a sports club-style locker with metal doors and interior rail, shelving and drawers.

Chrome clothes rails on castors (£39) with linen canvas hanging storage for shoes or jumpers (£21.50) can be bought at John Lewis. A pine unit (£59) with calico cover that rolls up to reveal a rail, wooden shelves and shoe pockets is also available.

You'll find similar concepts at the Holding Company. This is a great place to stock up on stacking see-through Perspex boxes for shoes (£9.45), shirts (£21.95) and sweaters (£26.95). In-drawer organisers are also available for socks, bras and knickers.

Creating order out of chaos can be achieved at all budget levels. It just takes some dedicated storage.

B& B Italia, 020-7591 8111; www.bebitalia.it

California Closets, 020-8208 4544; www.calclosets.co.uk

Debenhams Direct, 0845 099099; www.debenhams.com

Geoffrey Drayton, 020-7387 5840; www.geoffrey-drayton.co.uk

Habitat, 0845 6010740; www.habitat.net

John Lewis Direct, 08456 049049; www.johnlewis.com

Marks & Spencer, 0845 603 1603; www.marksandspencer.com

Poliform UK, 020-7368 7600; www.poliform.it

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