By Susan Koeppen

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – They used to be reserved for houses of the rich and famous, but customized closets are one of the hot-ticket items for remodelers this year.

Experts say these high-end spaces do more than keep you fashion forward, they may even pay you back.

We’ve all thought about what our “dream home” would look like, but what about your “dream closet?” If you haven’t thought about it, maybe you should.

“For 2015, luxury closets are becoming one of the hot topics, so if you can put some money into your closet, as far as some upgrades, even basic ones, you’re probably going to see that come back in a return on investment down the road when you’re selling your house,” Angie Hicks, of Angie’s List’ said.

A tricked-out custom closet could cost you $3,500 or more, but there are less expensive alternatives – even some do-it-yourself options – to give your closet a magical make-over.

“Design is really what’s going to drive price, and the client has control of all of that. A lot of times I’ll do a good/better/best option where I’ll design the same space three different ways and let them navigate and figure out which one fits them the best,” Jennifer Phelan, of California Closets, said.

If you work with an experienced professional, expect to pay an hourly rate of $55 to $85. If you choose the D-I-Y route, do your research and know what you want to accomplish. The time and effort can produce amazing results!

“You’re in your closet a lot. On average, probably 50 times a week, and better organized closets are going to make things much [easier] to find, and closet companies can do things on any level of budget, so be creative,” Hicks said.

Experts say one common upgrade is to place hanging rods at two different levels to maximize your hanging space. Adding cubbies and shelves will help organize your shoes and accessories.

“If you have double-hanging, you want to hang your pants at the top and your shirts at the bottom. It’s kind of the reverse of the way you dress. Another feature would be to put your shoes at eye level. Don’t put them on the floor or underneath things, kick them around. They’re going to get damaged that way,” Phelan said.

At the far end of the spectrum, custom closets can include furniture and fixtures, mirrors, benches and other features that mimic an upscale boutique.

But, for most of us, a better arrangement that gives us more space will make our closet make-over a huge success.

Hicks said if you’re upgrading on your own, don’t forget about the lighting, which can add a whole new feel to the room and help you fully appreciate your newly remodeled space.

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