Walk-in wardrobes have become a sought-after addition for the home, partly because they help to turn the hassle of getting ready in the mornings into a pleasant experience. Here are some tips for designing a personal dressing room that doesn’t compromise on function, comfort and aesthetics.
DON’T BE AFRAID OF COLOUR: When creating your perfect walk-in wardrobe, don’t forget colour. It is a good way to shape a personal space and create a specific atmosphere, whether it is energising, chic, feminine or masculine. You can add colour in the form of a chair or by painting a wall, and change the former from time to time to make it feel like a new space. All colours work when it comes to a wardrobe.
CREATE A BOUTIQUE- STYLE CLOSET: The young couple who live in this 76 sqm apartment asked Ganna Design to help create a home that would feel like a boutique hotel. So, for the walk-in closet, the interior designers installed several functional clothes rails with pure lines and dark tones, creating an elegant atmosphere where every garment becomes part of the decor.
MAXIMISE EVERY CENTIMETRE: Though we are used to living in small spaces, it doesn’t mean you need to give up all your belongings; rather, it encourages making the most of every centimetre. A good example is what the duo behind Humbert & Poyet did for the rooms of boutique hotel The Hoxton, Paris. Every corner is a possible storage area and can be transformed into a customised drawer, shelf or box. Folding your clothes properly will also help to maximise any available space.
INSTALL SLIDING DOORS: In this 165 sqm apartment in Pingtung City, Taiwan, Hao Design placed the walk-in wardrobe behind sliding doors, allowing the owners to separate or connect the space to the bedroom, according to their preferences. “Usually, walk-in wardrobes are not big, so we decided to use materials that make people feel less oppressed in a small space,” explains the team. The colour of the walls is in a darker tone than the rest of the bedroom, in order to create visual contrast between the areas.
SHAPE A GLAMOROUS REFUGE: “Your personal closet should be made an extension of your bedroom – and given the attention it deserves!” says Kathryn Ivey, founder of Kathryn Ivey Interiors. “I designed the layout of the closet keeping the function of utmost importance, but we added beautiful wallpaper and plush carpet, and used Lucite rods, mirrors and crystal lighting to add a bit of glamour,” the designer says about this project located in Maryland, United States. “I wanted my client to feel like she was shopping in her own closet.”
INSTALL WALL RACKS AND HANGERS: To achieve efficiency, any walk-in wardrobe should have wall racks and hangers. Among the questions you have to ask is the number needed, and the height of the racks. You can group clothes of similar size or from the same season together. Try to evaluate beforehand the amount of space required. It doesn’t have to be big. Finding a way to hang your clothes strategically is key to orderliness. Seen in a home by Dawson Design Group.
STORE YOUR MOST USED CLOTHES AT EYE LEVEL: Like in this closet by SFA Design, your most-used items should be placed in your line of sight for easy access and more clarity. Put less-used items below and the least-used items up high. The front and middle of your closet should be dedicated to the clothes you wear the most, while other parts can be used to store out-of-season clothing or occasional garments such as evening dresses, swimsuits or clothes for holidays abroad.
INCLUDE A SEATING AREA: “I love allocating a ‘special area’ to store intimates and jewellery, and to put on all the final touches: perfume, makeup and accessories,” says Susan Knof of Knof Design. “In this penthouse in Sofia, Bulgaria, a small vanity area was integrated with the full-height grey oak-veneered wardrobe. It is neatly situated between a concealed wardrobe area and flush with the adjacent full-height shoe cupboard, allowing for a seamless final look, while making clever use of the entire space.”
ADD A MIRROR FOR A SENSE OF DEPTH: According to interior designer Jesse Turek of Homepolish, the ideal walk-in wardrobe includes “a large, full-length mirror, installed flat on the wall, and placed properly within the space so that you can see your full look, head to toe”. If you don’t have enough space for a large mirror, a smaller one works, too. It will reflect light and give a sense of depth, as seen in this New York project designed by Louisa Guy Roeder of Homepolish, and adorned with a Cedar and Moss light fixture.
ENSURE STORAGE FOR FOOTWEAR: Says Susan Knof of Knof Design: “Oftentimes, the shoes are the last to be considered when styling the perfect outfit… I believe having a clean, eye- level view of all your strappy heels and beautiful boots is key. In our recent Kensington Townhouse project, we created a floor-to-ceiling shoe storage area on pull-out rolling hinges, to allow for double-depth storage. Putting on a sexy pair of heels makes you feel amazing and choosing the right one should feel just as good.”
GET ORGANISED AND DECLUTTER: According to the Kroesser & Strat team from Homepolish, it is essential to plan ahead for specific storage – a short hanging space for shirts and folded pants; long hanging for dresses and coats; storage for folded garments; plus space for shoes and accessories. “And we always include a safe, hidden on an out-of- the-way shelf,” they say. In this Taiwan apartment, Ganna Design created an organised wardrobe to fit items in an effective way, creating an uncluttered bedroom.
USE BEAUTIFUL LIGHT FIXTURES: In their Hong Kong apartment that doubles as a showroom, the founders of Lim + Lu created a flexible space with a stylish chandelier. “We decided to use retail elements in a home setting, as shops have always been inspired by homes,” says Elaine Lu. “So we thought, ‘Why can’t we flip it the other way around?’” Fresh and sophisticated, this walk-in closet features rich pastels and dark jewel tones combined with patterned ceramic tiles.
COMBINE STORAGE UNITS FOR DIFFERENT NEEDS: In this Montreal home, the spacious walk-in closet – separated from the bedroom by an oak sliding door – includes made-to-measure furniture from floor to ceiling, with storage units of different sizes and shapes. Clothes, shoes, bags and accessories all occupy specific areas according to their volume. Jesse Turek of Homepolish recommends taking inventory of what you have, to determine the number
FOCUS ON LIGHT: “It is important to install the proper amount of lighting so that you can see all your clothing, especially in the evenings,” says Jesse Turek of Homepolish. “I recommend layering light. It’s ideal to have recessed lighting, a pendant or chandelier to add some drama and, if possible, lighting above the clothes hanging areas. Also, don’t forget drawers for jewellery and accessories, and perhaps a hamper. Another thing I would suggest is a large counter surface so that you can lay out outfits.”
STYLE THE SPACE: In her London home, renowned designer Kelly Hoppen designed a dream walk-in wardrobe – which also acts as a sanctuary – filled with vintage clothes that she has collected over the years. Decorated with black-and- white photographs, pendant lamps and a triple-sided mirror, the space is furnished with two warm taupe vintage chairs and two sculptural stools by India Mahdavi, which are used as side tables.
GIVE ENOUGH SPACE FOR ACCESSORIES: Influenced by Milanese design, this Toronto home designed by Audax includes a rich palette of materials. In the walk-in closet, which features an island for jewellery display, satin-finish brass handles add a touch of preciousness. It is always crucial to not only consider the amount of clothes and shoes you have, but also to take into account the space you need for accessories such as sunglasses, jewellery, belts and ties. Drawer dividers can help to keep things well organised.
SHOW OFF YOUR CLOTHES AND SHOES: In Paris, SC Edition (by Stephanie Coutas) designed this sumptuous closet structure with white ebony shelves and drawers in a high glossy finish, paired with gold rods in polished brass. The Eclat wallpaper by Elitis, bespoke mirrors and custom carpet designed by SC Edition in collaboration with Ferreira de Sa help to create a bright and glamorous walk-in wardrobe where every piece of clothing, bag and pair of shoes is elegantly on display.
KEEP IT MINIMALIST: In Galicia, Spain, stylist and interior designer Gaila Gonzales from Egue y Seta shaped her 85 sqm urban refuge. According to Gonzales, this home, “far from looking like a museum, is rather the result of a constant but playful ‘beauty hunting’ through bazaars, antique markets and vintage shops around the world”. However, for her walk-in closet, Gaila chose a minimalist look with soft colours and a few items, in order to provide a feeling of peace and relaxation.
COLOUR-CODE YOUR WARDROBE: Colour-coding your wardrobe will help save time every morning when choosing your clothes, shoes and accessories, as well as when returning home to store the items used during the day. In addition to being functional, this quick and easy system also adds a pleasant aesthetic. Several coding options exist, such as the rainbow and the light-to-dark methods. For multi-coloured items, just pick the dominant tone to determine where to place them. Seen here in a home by StyledbyPT.
TREAT YOUR WARDROBE LIKE A ROOM: “Our client wanted an oasis within her home, a space that was her own to relax in, and enjoy getting dressed,” says the Kroesser & Strat team from Homepolish. “We took a guest room and turned it into her dressing room. We played up the cosy factor with a textured, tufted area rug, layered in beautiful blush-tone sheepskins, and included a velvet ottoman to give it a feminine vibe… The brass Sarah Sherman Samuel half-moon pulls were the perfect pop against the rest of the calmer, more feminine tones.”