Walk in Closet Design-Sketchup/Podium Renders

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Project by Brad_Nailor posted 02-13-2011 05:06 PM 14635 views 9 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A friend of mine recently remodeled an in-law apartment above his house into a master bedroom suite. Part of the plan was to turn the former bedroom into a walk in closet. He got a bunch of quotes from some closet companies, and after looking at those he asked me if I could come up with a couple ideas, and what they would cost. He gave me some pictures and sketches of the room, and one of the quotes form California Closet Company. The quote was for some really basic, vinyl covered MDF boxes, no backs, hanging on the wall..and the price was expensive..relative for what they were getting. I thought we could do it better and I brainstormed a bit and came up with this first design…These all are renders of a Sketchup 3D model of the room. The cabinets in the model are almost all complete with full parts (backs, bottoms, dado’s, rabbits) except for the guts on the low drawers. That was a last minute addition by the client and I didn’t want to re model that cabinet completely if they didn’t want the draws..

This version featured maple ply boxes with Cherry face frames. The corner cabinets feature adjustable shoe/storage shelves that can be mixed. Its all trimmed in maple crown and maple colonial base going around the whole room to give it a true built in feel. The shelves are all adjustable except for the main ones dividing the larger cabinets. The draws have maple fronts with full extension self closers. There was also going to be a large dresser/storage island in the middle of the room that I hadn’t yet designed. They really loved this design, except they weren’t so hot on the cherry accents, they preferred all maple. OK, that will be nice too, and a little cheaper. So I asked my friend that owns Morris Woodworking to help me quote the job based on the prices he can get the materiel’s for since he buys in bulk from commercial distributors. Well I wont say how much the quote was but lets just say that there’s a reason you see nice closets like this in RICH peoples houses! Not to mention I am not a professional trim carpenter and cabinet installer so the curve on that would have been a bit steep. Even with the friend factor it would have been way more than they wanted to spend and I would have been working for free for a few weeks!
So, I looked at the California closets bid, and I basically mirrored it, changing the construction details to ply instead of MDF, added backs and real maple face frames and shelf edge, and dropped the trim and base molding. This is what I came up with..


They liked this design, but they wanted the low cabinet below the large window to be for shoe storage, so I made the modification and finished with this…




They really liked this version. It doesn’t look as built in as the other, but it’s still a great deal of storage and with the center island would have made a great walk in closet. Unfortunately, the project got stalled out over the Christmas holidays, and some of the budget money was depleted as well! So for now it’s on hold, but soon we might be able to make some sawdust fly on this one!


9 comments so far

View TheBossQ's profile


100 posts in 3577 days

#1 posted 02-13-2011 06:05 PM

Very nice work in Sketchup. While it’s obviously more economical than the built in look, I don’t like the look of the floating cabinets.

And what’s NOT to like about the cherry accents? That rendering just looks awesome.

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 4657 days

#2 posted 02-13-2011 07:50 PM

Beautifully done. I never had a closet as big as my bedroom. LOL Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View ProutyBoy's profile


33 posts in 4641 days

#3 posted 02-13-2011 09:27 PM

Incredible SU work. Closet reno is on my project list for my own house. You provided some great ideas!

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 3875 days

#4 posted 02-13-2011 10:02 PM

If I’m allowed to ask, what would you typically charge a client for this type of work? I’ve never priced anything like this before and you’ve got my curiosity piqued…

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4187 days

#5 posted 02-13-2011 10:23 PM

those are some really nice drawings and i could be interested in several of those ideas, i hope that your friend can get you going onn one of these soon,,,looks like a lot of fun and with which ever one he chooses…they will look good….

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4556 days

#6 posted 02-14-2011 12:20 AM

Those are some nice drawings.

View PflugervilleSteve's profile


99 posts in 3926 days

#7 posted 02-14-2011 05:49 AM

Ballpark, how much time do you think you spent creating the sketchup models?

I think I’m pretty good with Sketchup, but the thought of trying to pull some drawings like these off is daunting at least in terms of time…

#8 posted 02-14-2011 05:53 AM

REALLY NICE SKETCHUP Brad Nailor!!!!! I am baffled by it all though. I just posted a sketch up drawing and got an email a short time later saying “Projects page is only for completed projects!” and in a breif moment my sketch up was gone! It was a complete drawing (images above), I think Lumber Jock founder and representitives should rethink this. You can clearly see that there is a lot of time and love that go into these drawings. In some cases these drawings take more time then the project itself. Any input would be appeciated.


View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 4841 days

#9 posted 02-14-2011 08:21 PM

Thanks for the great comments everyone! As far as what to charge..that is a tough one to figure out. I have a side business doing AutoCAD drafting and Sketchup work and I usually charge around $25.00 and hour. Sometimes I will do a set price arrangement, if I am going to be building what I am designing..I will work the renders into the price if they want to see what it’s going to look like before we start building. I make it clear before I start that the design work isn’t free. I have gotten myself into situations before where I will do a render so they can see what there getting, and they start making all these changes, and I end up doing three or four re designs…and the clients all think that it’s for free. They have no idea the work and time involved in modeling, texturing, setting up lighting, doing the renders, and the post production Photoshop work. Allot of times, the price is a problem, because it’s hard to estimate how long it’s going to take you to do a render, and if you low ball your working for free, if you price it more realistically, you scare away customers…it’s a slippery slope!

As far as time invested in this particular project, I think I spent around 15-20 hours on the initial design model, mostly due to the fact that I was planning on cut listing my cabinets from the model so I built everything exactly as it will be, with all parts and machining. The revision, was a little quicker…I already had the room, cabinets, and lighting worked out..I just had to modify the cabinets. I think I have about 10 more hours into the re design. I wish I used dynamic components when I was building the cabinets, so I could have just stretched everything to the sizes I needed. Hindsight is always 20/20!

Greg..I saw your original post..I believe i commented on it as well…I wasn’t aware they deleted it. Great work with your Sketchup deck design…at first I didn’t think it was Sketchup! I hope they don’t delete my post…I will move it to a blog if that’s the case…


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