Where do you keep your shoes? In a heap under the kitchen table? In a pile by the front door? Perhaps it’s time you explored the fascinating world of shoe closets. That’s right – a closet for your shoes. And shopping for the right one is almost as much fun as shopping for the shoes that go in them.
Unlike closet organizers, a shoe closet is more than just a bunch of boxes glued together to make a shoe cubby. I have nothing against shoe cubbies, mind you. They can be a practical, inexpensive and functional addition for closet or bedroom. But nothing beats a nice piece of furniture. I’m not talking custom cabinets, here – that can be a very expensive proposition. However, there are alternatives that can stills be attractive amenities to your home.
Shoe closets are available in a plethora of styles, types, and finishes. There’s sure to be one that appeals to you and that coordinates with your existing decor.
The bench types are functional and attractively upholstered with a shoe cubby in the base. They come in a variety of cushion patterns and colors, and materials including leather. I love their versatility. Because they come in a range of widths, they can easily be incorporated at the foot of just about any bed without taking up precious wall space. They’re just as functional in a walk-in closet as they are in an entryway. Some even have sock drawers located just below the bench cushion.
There are also bench styles with drawers that pivot forward, just like the freestanding types with the same style drawer. (Those come in single to triple high units in various furniture styles and finishes. Most are “assembly required”, so have a handyman ready if you’re not good at following directions or handling a screwdriver.)
If you can’t deal with neatly placing matching pairs of shoes on a shelf that folds into the bench, perhaps a basket type unit would suit you better. Multiple baskets that slide in and out of the base under the cushion(s) seem to work well for reforming slobs and training children, (ie. husbands and kids – sometimes indistinguishable from one another.) Each one gets their own basket and all they have to do is toss in their shoes. It may take a bit longer to find a pair, and you can’t be picky about the bottoms of shoes touching the tops of others, but it’s better than tripping over them as you walk through the front door.
For those with extra wall space, the double door type cabinets with built-in shoe cubby are a beautiful addition to your bedroom ensemble. You can get these in single door widths, too, but obviously, those don’t hold as many shoes. Both widths are available with sock drawers above the shoe cabinet. For an organization junky, this is the coup de’tat: shoes and socks in the same place!
Of the myriad of choices in shoe closets, there is sure to be one that will turn out to be the best buy you’ve made since those purple Prada’s were on sale at Neiman Marcus. Okay, so you get your shoes at Payless – you’ll still wonder how you ever got along without this awesomely practical and totally cool looking piece of furniture.