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Old 24.06.2012, 15:45
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Built in closets...why is it so difficult?

Honestly, why is it so difficult to have built in closets in Europe? Can you imagine HOW MUCH money, wood, gas and TIME would be saved, if this tiny concept would exist? I just do not get it...

Can anyone explain it to me?
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Old 24.06.2012, 15:49
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Re: Built in closets...why is it so difficult?

We have 90cm thick walls and built-in closets everywhere- hurrah, as have most older places in CH. Every room in this house has at least one, often tow. Mind you, one of the closets in the wall between our bedroom and the guest bedroom is shared - door on both sides. Hello and good evening all

In the UK though, modern flats are a nightmare as there is NO cellar, NO attic, and only built-in closets in the main bedroom! If we ever go back to UK to live in our flat, we will have to rent separate storage to keep stuff!

Last edited by Odile; 24.06.2012 at 16:12.
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Old 24.06.2012, 15:59
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Re: Built in closets...why is it so difficult?

wouldn't that be great if they did have them? oh to dream...but then there would be no reason to buy those 'wardrobe' things and boost the economy.(haha) Also a pet peeve of mine is where they place the friggin electric sockets, and how few! One per room in the middle of the wall, or at the entry next to the light switch...are you kidding?? who is gonna put something at the door to use a plug?
I wouldn't compare it to UK anything cuz I wouldn't know - it's a euro thing perhaps. It's just us North Americans who are 'spoiled' and righteously practical...lol
Yes, hit me now all you wise guys...I know I'm in for it.
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Old 24.06.2012, 16:04
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Re: Built in closets...why is it so difficult?

I was positively surprised to find out in Spain that a lot of aparts have the build in closets!

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Old 24.06.2012, 16:15
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Re: Built in closets...why is it so difficult?

The Bauleiter talked us out of putting built-in closets in the bedrooms when we renovated because he said that we would then need to take the area out of the Nettowohnflache - which could hurt our resale value. As we never intended on staying in this house so long, resale was a consideration.

Although I'm sure I could have sold the house to a fellow American had I put in those closets.

(Instead, a guest room serves as dressing room/walk-in closet.)
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Old 24.06.2012, 16:24
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Re: Built in closets...why is it so difficult?

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The Bauleiter talked us out of putting built-in closets in the bedrooms when we renovated because he said that we would then need to take the area out of the Nettowohnflache - which could hurt our resale value. As we never intended on staying in this house so long, resale was a consideration.

Although I'm sure I could have sold the house to a fellow American had I put in those closets.

(Instead, a guest room serves as dressing room/walk-in closet.)
This is probably the main reason they are not popular in Europe generally. In the UK the obsession is the number of bedrooms. Thus a house with 4 bedrooms, however pocky these might be, would fetch more than one with 3 bedrooms and a built in closet...
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Old 24.06.2012, 16:47
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Re: Built in closets...why is it so difficult?

Yup, UK houses literally are just boxes now, no space in the rooms for anything other than a bed and a cupboard.

However, maybe the reason US residences have them is that most of the houses in the USA are built to the same standard as the average cupboard
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Old 24.06.2012, 17:06
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Re: Built in closets...why is it so difficult?

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Honestly, why is it so difficult to have built in closets in Europe? Can you imagine HOW MUCH money, wood, gas and TIME would be saved, if this tiny concept would exist? I just do not get it...

Can anyone explain it to me?
Lack of space, for one.

It complicates construction, for another.

Tom
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Old 24.06.2012, 17:20
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Re: Built in closets...why is it so difficult?

An English girlfriend of mine once said America is the land of obsolescence, which I prompty looked up in the dictionary! AGREED....(although I must say the UK doesn't appear to have Swiss standards, either..)

HOWEVER, the thread here is not about quality, it is about closets, or interior design, or interior allocation of space....just seems like we all must run around, hiring vans, or paying others to transport and set up, these wardrobes, when a simple built in closet would suffice. Then, we could add a nice piece of furniture, which would not look like an elephant in a china cupboard...


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Yup, UK houses literally are just boxes no space in the rooms for anything other than a bed and a cupboard.

However, maybe the reason US residences have them is that most of the houses in the USA are built to the same standard as the average cupboard
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Old 24.06.2012, 17:23
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Re: Built in closets...why is it so difficult?

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Lack of space, for one.

It complicates construction, for another.

Tom
Yes, and I guess at Swiss prices, one should not expect more than a box..??
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Old 24.06.2012, 17:26
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Re: Built in closets...why is it so difficult?

Not everywhere in Switzerland. Character, space and land is available, but probably not where you are looking

All the older houses here have plenty of built-in cupboards//closets, because the stone walls are so thick and it's so easy to put them on a regular basis. The room I'm sitting in now has one double cupboard and 1 single- and it is in the lounge. The corridor has 3 too. (mind you it dates from the 16th C).
Both houses I lived in as a child also had cupboards/closets everywhere- again as wall were so thick.

Last edited by Odile; 24.06.2012 at 17:43.
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Old 24.06.2012, 17:32
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Re: Built in closets...why is it so difficult?

We have them, and had them in our former apartments in Switzerland, too
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Old 24.06.2012, 17:35
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Re: Built in closets...why is it so difficult?

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Not everywhere in Switzerland. Character, space and land is available, but probably not where you are looking
Hell yeah to that! I'm trying to find a place near my new job in Murten, used to live near Solothurn...... prices about 700.- higher for the same 120 m2 modern, good condition and they are soooooo rare!!
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Old 24.06.2012, 17:38
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Re: Built in closets...why is it so difficult?

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Honestly, why is it so difficult to have built in closets in Europe?
Can anyone explain it to me?
I'll try the nice way:

In most European country, most places we live in have been build for over a century ago. I grew up in two cities: one is 2000 years old, the other one bombed to the ground in the part I lived and rebuild in the 50ies. Major differences. What irritates you does not come from the country, the continent, the culture... no, it only is the consequence of living a place with old buildings.

It is far easier to build in large cupboard or walk in closets or dressing cabinets when you start on a bare piece of land. In old houses and buildings, you inherit the previous living culture. Years after years and centuries after centuries, most Europeans try to make the best out of the buildings/flats of the past. You would be amazed how much better is has become since the last war! In most our flats today, you used to have two families living. Many places, they transformed a floor into two flats where there used to be four. Even the flat nightmare Amsterdam has profited a lot from modernization: there used to be one flat on the back of the house and one on the street side for each of those tiny Bovenwoningen (the brick houses in the centre).

In countries where there is little old to deal with, people build what they need when they want it. Luxuries unknown before the war like big inbuilt closets and so forth are a basic in Australia, America or some parts of Europe with huge expansion in the industrial wonder years 50ies/60ies.

It all comes down to how one deals with building heritage. What you see looks like a 19th century nightmare flat, but it was far worse in the real 19th century of even before. It is not rare in Europe to live in a place older than the older people you've ever encounter in your life. Built in closets and modern equipment alike are far too new in people's life style to be present in such old building heritage.

How much modernization took place depends on the individuals who ever lived there. Many people in Europe don't feel that a big walk in closet or a built in closet over a whole wall is a must, they are not used to it and are happy if they get one but don't expect it as a basics. What you don't see in your childhood is not as urgently necessary later on, so that you even end up with a situation that even in the newer buildings, people don't think of building them in as it is not the habit it. Strange, I know.

I hope that was said nicely enough. I can't be the devil's advocate, I have a big wall closet in my otherwise very Swiss flat. Didn't ask for it, just a nice surprise.
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Old 24.06.2012, 18:43
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Re: Built in closets...why is it so difficult?

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I'll try the nice way:

Thank you.

In most European country, most places we live in have been build for over a century ago. I grew up in two cities: one is 2000 years old, the other one bombed to the ground in the part I lived and rebuild in the 50ies. Major differences. What irritates you does not come from the country, the continent, the culture... no, it only is the consequence of living a place with old buildings.

If I had the choice, I would always choose old, over new. Old has history and character, which is even more important than walk in closets. However, our last two residences were built in the last decade. They obviously did not profit from culture, nor practical space design, which forces residents to purchase objects, which are truly built in obsolescence. I would personally rather spend my time and money, enjoying the great heritage of Europe.

It is far easier to build in large cupboard or walk in closets or dressing cabinets when you start on a bare piece of land. In old houses and buildings, you inherit the previous living culture. Years after years and centuries after centuries, most Europeans try to make the best out of the buildings/flats of the past. You would be amazed how much better is has become since the last war! In most our flats today, you used to have two families living. Many places, they transformed a floor into two flats where there used to be four. Even the flat nightmare Amsterdam has profited a lot from modernization: there used to be one flat on the back of the house and one on the street side for each of those tiny Bovenwoningen (the brick houses in the centre).

Please do not assume all Americans are licentious creatures, especially since they are no more Americans by heritage, than I am Swiss. True native Americans might have little comment on walk in closets or allocation of space. They actually might find fault with those Europeans who infringed upon their space.

In countries where there is little old to deal with, people build what they need when they want it. Luxuries unknown before the war like big inbuilt closets and so forth are a basic in Australia, America or some parts of Europe with huge expansion in the industrial wonder years 50ies/60ies.

It all comes down to how one deals with building heritage. What you see looks like a 19th century nightmare flat, but it was far worse in the real 19th century of even before. It is not rare in Europe to live in a place older than the older people you've ever encounter in your life. Built in closets and modern equipment alike are far too new in people's life style to be present in such old building heritage.

How much modernization took place depends on the individuals who ever lived there. Many people in Europe don't feel that a big walk in closet or a built in closet over a whole wall is a must, they are not used to it and are happy if they get one but don't expect it as a basics. What you don't see in your childhood is not as urgently necessary later on, so that you even end up with a situation that even in the newer buildings, people don't think of building them in as it is not the habit it. Strange, I know.

I appreciate the time you have taken, to explain your viewpoint.
Enjoy your closet.

I hope that was said nicely enough. I can't be the devil's advocate, I have a big wall closet in my otherwise very Swiss flat. Didn't ask for it, just a nice surprise.
Back to unpacking...
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Old 25.06.2012, 03:44
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Re: Built in closets...why is it so difficult?

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I'll try the nice way:

In most European country, most places we live in have been build for over a century ago. I grew up in two cities: one is 2000 years old, the other one bombed to the ground in the part I lived and rebuild in the 50ies. Major differences. What irritates you does not come from the country, the continent, the culture... no, it only is the consequence of living a place with old buildings.

It is far easier to build in large cupboard or walk in closets or dressing cabinets when you start on a bare piece of land. In old houses and buildings, you inherit the previous living culture. Years after years and centuries after centuries, most Europeans try to make the best out of the buildings/flats of the past. You would be amazed how much better is has become since the last war! In most our flats today, you used to have two families living. Many places, they transformed a floor into two flats where there used to be four. Even the flat nightmare Amsterdam has profited a lot from modernization: there used to be one flat on the back of the house and one on the street side for each of those tiny Bovenwoningen (the brick houses in the centre).

In countries where there is little old to deal with, people build what they need when they want it. Luxuries unknown before the war like big inbuilt closets and so forth are a basic in Australia, America or some parts of Europe with huge expansion in the industrial wonder years 50ies/60ies.

It all comes down to how one deals with building heritage. What you see looks like a 19th century nightmare flat, but it was far worse in the real 19th century of even before. It is not rare in Europe to live in a place older than the older people you've ever encounter in your life. Built in closets and modern equipment alike are far too new in people's life style to be present in such old building heritage.

How much modernization took place depends on the individuals who ever lived there. Many people in Europe don't feel that a big walk in closet or a built in closet over a whole wall is a must, they are not used to it and are happy if they get one but don't expect it as a basics. What you don't see in your childhood is not as urgently necessary later on, so that you even end up with a situation that even in the newer buildings, people don't think of building them in as it is not the habit it. Strange, I know.

I hope that was said nicely enough. I can't be the devil's advocate, I have a big wall closet in my otherwise very Swiss flat. Didn't ask for it, just a nice surprise.
Dang, your English is so bad.
Your signature is so lame when reading the test above it.
Please add yet more negative rep if you agree with my incredulity of your post script.

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Old 25.06.2012, 08:42
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Some friends of mine lived in a building in New York City, near Columbia univ, definitely built before World War II. No closets in their apartment at all. So I think it might have been the practice to build very simply in some cases, ignoring closets. They did have built in shelves in the living room, however.
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Old 25.06.2012, 08:52
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Re: Built in closets...why is it so difficult?

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We have them, and had them in our former apartments in Switzerland, too
Same here... In our former flat in Baden, we had a built-in closet in one room as well as a walk-in closet (and it wasn't a huge flat).

Our current apartment in Fribourg has built-in closets in both bedrooms.
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Old 25.06.2012, 09:53
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Re: Built in closets...why is it so difficult?

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Same here... In our former flat in Baden, we had a built-in closet in one room as well as a walk-in closet (and it wasn't a huge flat).

Our current apartment in Fribourg has built-in closets in both bedrooms.
If that's in the old town, then they're the adjoining childrens' and guest bedrooms.
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Old 25.06.2012, 10:04
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Re: Built in closets...why is it so difficult?

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If that's in the old town, then they're the adjoining childrens' and guest bedrooms.
It's not in the old town - it's in the Gambach/Guintzet area. I think that Odile's explanation of the presence of built-in cupboards and closets in older houses applies here
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