Closet dressing rooms have become all the rage in high-end homes. But the truth is that virtually any type of home can incorporate this feature. If you don’t have a suitable walk-in closet in your bedroom, consider annexing an adjacent guestroom. Or replace the dedicated home office with a smaller cloffice and use the rest of the space as your private luxury dressing suite. Just don’t give up on your dream closet. Remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way. A luxury dressing room can be yours if you really want it. Here’s how to make it happen.
How to transform your closet from simple storage into a luxury dressing room.
Whenever you begin any type of closet remodel, it’s best to start with a clean slate. Especially when you’re trying to up the ante and move from an average closet to a spectacular dressing room suite. That means fully removing your old closet components and prepping the space by patching and painting. You will thank yourself for this in the end, as it is much more difficult to spackle and paint after the new dressing room is installed.
Next you will need to take inventory of your possessions. You’ll need an accurate idea of your true storage requirements. Everything needs to have a place to go because an essential rule of the luxury dressing room closet is that it must never feel cluttered or crowded. The proper closet organizers for your needs are critical in pulling this off. Whether you need hanging space for shirts, shelves for shoes, belt organizers, jewelry drawers, or more likely some of each — a well-designed closet will maximize the available storage leaving you with more open space. Once you know what you need, you can start on the basic layout of the closet dressing room.
10 Closet remodel ideas to turn an ordinary closet into a dressing room.
Add a closet vanity.
A closet vanity is basically a desk and chair inside the closet used as a place to style hair and put on makeup. Think of the dressing rooms used by actors before they go on stage/set. It’s an essential feature of this type of closet if you wear makeup or style hair. That being said, many closet dressing rooms for men skip this component, opting instead to perform grooming activities near the shaving station. (Usually in the bathroom). The rule of thumb is that if you prefer to sit when grooming, go for the closet vanity. It’s much more convenient than the bathroom and you’ll never regret adding this feature to your closet.
Incorporate an island or built-in closet dresser.
Whether or not you go with a vanity, you’ll need either a built-in dresser, closet hutch, or island for your new dressing room. Some people choose all three. The best choice for you will depend on the size and layout of your space. But you’ll need at least one of these because this is where the majority of the storage drawers will be located. It’s important to have drawers because a dressing room generally replaces other clothes storage furniture in the bedroom. The idea is that all your clothes and accessories will be stored in the new dressing area rather than the sleeping area.
Mirror, mirror on the wall…
If you have a vanity, you obviously need a mirror. How else will you see what you’re doing. A good size mirror over the vanity or closet dresser is important. But even if you don’t choose to add a vanity, you’ll need a closet mirror inside your dressing room. Possibly more than one. Add at least one full-length version so that you can check your clothes or shoes before heading out. Better yet, consider laying out your covered storage so that you have three full-length mirrored doors next to each other. Then make sure the hinges are positioned so that they can function as a 3-way mirror.
Cover your hanging areas and/or shelving.
Another key design feature of high-end dressing rooms is that a percentage of the clothes storage should be covered by cabinet doors. This lends a decluttered, open feeling to the space. It makes it seem more like a room rather than a closet. And that’s the sense you’re going for in this type of closet renovation. Therefore, be sure to cover at least some of your shelves and hanging areas with doors. This is also how you can achieve the three mirrored cabinet doors in a row needed for the three-way mirror effect.
Emphasize your shoe storage.
Don’t hide your shoe collection. One thing that most luxury closet and dressing rooms have in common is their penchant for displaying footwear. It’s kind of a “shoes as art” aesthetic. At least put your fancy dress shoes and boots on display with open shelves. The flip flops and shower shoes you bring to the gym can hide away in a drawer somewhere. If you prefer to enclose the shoe shelves for a cleaner look, use glass doors so the footwear remains visible. Try angled shelves with shoe fences if your design includes a lot of overhead shoe shelves. It will be much easier to see what is on the shelf. Or invest in a rotating shoe shelf system for the corner of the room if you have a lot of display worthy footwear.
Don’t forget the seating.
Your closet dressing room needs to offer some place to sit down. This can be in the form of a built-in bench, a comfy reading chair (even if you don’t plan to read in here), a central chaise or oversized ottoman in the middle of the room, or just a chair in front of your vanity or jewelry table. This seating is important in distinguishing your new dressing room suite from an ordinary closet. Closets don’t have chairs. Therefore, include some sort of seating in your dressing room closet renovation even if you only plan to use it when putting on shoes.
The little things matter— make sure you have plenty of divided drawers, cubbies, or baskets.
A well-designed dressing room storage system will replace the need for other furniture in the bedroom. It's where you'll keep your lingerie, perfume, wardrobe accessories, etc. in addition to clothes. But you need to keep the smaller items organized. That’s where drawer organizers, cubbies, divided baskets, and other closet accessories come in. Be sure to include this specialty storage in your plan so that everything has a place to go. This will help maintain the uncluttered look and keep you organized to boot. If you have a lot of eyeglasses, include velvet-lined eyeglass organizers in one of your drawers. Drape your scarf collection on a scarf rack. Use cubbies to store your handbags. No matter what you have, there’s a closet accessory to keep it organized and safe.
Jewelry and watches require their own special storage. Part of the appeal of the dressing room over a standard closet is the opportunity to go beyond the standard countertop jewelry box to achieve a more boutique like experience. Consider a sit-down jewelry table if you have room. This is similar to a vanity table but is designed exclusively for jewelry and watches. It usually includes a lighted glass tabletop like those found in high-end jewelry stores. This type of storage is a great way to protect your finer jewelry and expensive watches. Alternately, a closet island can also feature a glass countertop with velvet jewelry drawers below. Even if you don’t have a large collection of jewelry and watches, try to include at least one velvet lined jewelry drawer in your design. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it fills up.
Closet lighting systems.
The final touch on your new dressing room closet should be the lighting. Make your new dressing room stand out with elegant illumination. You can add a chandelier in the middle of the ceiling or reading lamp if you need it. However, your cabinets and shelves should also be lighted for best effect. Choose an LED closet lighting system to light up your hanging, shoe shelves, jewelry storage, and more. The lights are practical, low voltage, use little electricity, and are easy to install.
An option that is becoming more and more popular in luxury dressing rooms is the integrated coffee bar. If you can’t start your day without your cup of joe, this renovation idea may right up your alley. The only caveat is that you’ll need access to water. Coffee bars are a practical addition to your closet remodel only if your dressing room wall abuts a bathroom or other area with plumbing. Otherwise, you’ll probably be stuck making the trek over to the kitchen for your morning caffeine fix.
Add the WOW factor to your closet when you convert it into a dressing room.
You too can have an upscale closet dressing room like those seen in luxury homes. And it doesn’t have to be as big as you think to get these features into your closet. It just takes a little planning, prioritizing, and an efficient use of the available space. An experienced closet designer can make it happen. And it’s worth the investment. High-end closets return most of the money back to the seller at resale. In the meantime, enjoy. After all, there’s no place like home.