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Beautifully Organized Closets and Dressing Rooms

Configure space in a way that is chic as well as storage savvy

Written and produced by Debra Steilen
  • Design: Louise Brooks

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  • In this master bath, a wall of custom-designed closets and drawers eliminates the need for a separate dressing room. Space for the homeowners’ hanging clothes balances with sleek drawers holding folded ones. Design details add a sense of calm. The soft blue finish is accented with cream-color details that complement the Turkish marble floor and countertops. For added elegance, the X-shape details in the handcrafted cabinetry reflect a French motif.

    Design: Ken Kelly

  • If there is any room that needs to be well organized, it’s the kitchen. But here, it was a kitchen’s arched cabinets—the style, not the way contents were arranged—that influenced the closet design. Open storage makes it easy to find what you need. A neutral palette and the repetition of arched openings add a soothing sense of order. A pretty chandelier softens the room’s masculine energy. The doorway is framed with stately shutters found in France. A practical touch: A stepladder makes it easy to reach accessories found on high shelves.

    Design: Kay Douglass

  • This homeowner’s closet includes showcase-quality space for his Louis Vuitton luggage—front and center amidst a carefully organized collection of shoes. Below the luggage, a tower of drawers offers convenient storage for socks, ties, and maybe even a travel brochure or two.

    Design: Christopher Coffin

  • Once this small room had the worst view in the apartment; then it was transformed into a glamorous dressing room. Now an oversize mirror shows how beautiful life can be when a customized closet system accommodates rods for hanging clothes, a room-spanning shelf for accessories, and cabinets with glass-front doors so you can keep tabs on what’s stored inside. The bench is important, too:  not just because it’s beautiful, but because it’s practical if you need a spot to sit when packing for a trip or slipping on a pair of Jimmy Choos.

    Design: Julia Wong and Angelina Briggs

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  • For the ultimate in shoe storage, try yards of angled shelves that keep footwear displayed so the owner can see everything but their soles. This walk-in closet also includes storage for handbags, shelves for sweaters, and a full-length mirror to make sure the shoes and bag look just right with the outfit. A statement-making light fixture adds drama.

    Architect: Linda MacArthur

  • “It’s a small but glamorous sanctuary for the lady of the house to relax and admire her collection of shoes, hats, and handbags,” says interior designer Tinsley Hutson-Wiley about this shoe closet. High-fashion shoes perch on lacquered chinoiserie shelving whose curved ends accommodate traffic in and out of the confined space. The room’s pink-and-black color scheme (especially the black polka-dot wallpaper, fuchsia Art Deco chair, and black-and-white door drapery) was inspired by the fanciful rug.

    Design: Tinsley Hutson-Wiley

  • “It’s all about detail,” says decorator Charles Faudree. “Don’t forget that the French invented couture.” With that in mind, he says, think of your dressing room’s curtains, upholstery and pillows as finely tailored garments; finish off seams with welting or gimp braid and add tassels to curtain tie-backs. Treat your walk-in closet as a room by substituting an armoire for built-in shelves, adding a chair, and replacing the ceiling fixture with a chandelier. And elevate the ordinary. If you can’t afford to line your drawers with silk, use beautiful and fragrant paper instead. See more details from the mirror-lined dressing room that inspired his advice on the next two slides.

    Design:  Charles Faudree and April Faudree Moore

  • The homeowner wanted a closet large enough to hold her entire wardrobe, including shoes and accessories. In response, the designers created a well-organized French-inspired space that concealed her entire wardrobe behind closed doors—including a special closet just for shoes. A large center island and glass-front shelves and drawers keep handbags and accessories organized.

    Design:  Charles Faudree and April Faudree Moore

  • Because the homeowner loves detail, the designers covered every inch of her dressing suite with luxurious fabrics and finishes. As a result, accessories stored in this space enjoy the ultimate indulgence: drawers are lined with silk and trimmed with gimp braid. In fact, it’s the same silk the designers used for the room’s window treatments.

    Design: Charles Faudree and April Faudree Moore

  • Mix lavender panels, fuchsia silk backing, and lit-from-above glass shelves and you’ve got a dressing room that dares to be different. But despite its artistic temperament, this space is serious about providing an organized environment for storing fashion. Clothes rods are installed at just the right heights for dresses and separates. Cubbies keep handbags in dust-free order. Glass shelves make shoes a fashion focal point. And drawers keep more intimate fashions, jewelry, and other accessories organized in style. A polka-dot bench offers a whimsical landing spot.

    Design: Jamie Drake

  • Stacks of drawers and seemingly acres of mirror-door cabinets create a dressing room that’s primed for grooming. With its pleated skirt, a pink linen-upholstered bench offers a cushy, feminine spot for lounging, trying on shoes, or perhaps even grabbing towels from upper cabinets. The floor features polished marble tiles in a basket-weave pattern.

    Design:  Berkley Vallone

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  • Every detail of this dressing area was designed to correlate with the refined, neoclassical look of other rooms in the 1913 Beaux Arts-style home. Bifurcated cabinet doors wear muntin-embellished antiqued mirrors. Wood floors match those on lower levels. A gracious area rug offers a cushy place to stand when deciding what to wear. See the next slide for a view inside the closet doors.

    Design: Antonio Martins

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  • Before this space was created, the homeowner’s shoes and accessories were scattered in closets throughout the house. Now, she enjoys a master closet/dressing room where clothes, shoes, and accessories stay neatly tucked out of view. A practical touch: Overhead lighting within the closets makes it easier to see and choose just the right garment.

    Design: Antonio Martins

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  • This dressing room is light, bright, and well-organized; the creamy-white cabinetry keeps everything out in the open. The homeowner calls it her sanctuary; she likes to change out clothes by season and organize them by color. A custom central island with mirrored top and towers of drawers offers convenient storage as well as a great landing spot for evaluating accessories. See another detail on the next slide.

    Design: Megan Perry Yorgancioglu

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  • Room-spanning shelves are installed at different heights in order to accommodate a vast collection of boots, high heels, and flats. A practical touch: The homeowner (also the designer) stuffs the toes of her shoes with tissue paper to protect their shapes.

    Design: Megan Perry Yorgancioglu

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  • An antique chandelier and crystal knobs sparkle within a soft gray-painted dressed room whose mirrored doors add an air of infinity to the space. Along with the hanging storage behind closed doors, a large stainless-steel-topped island includes multiple drawers on each long side for folded garments, lingerie, and accessories.  A practical touch: Wall hooks offer convenient spots for admiring hanging garments from afar.

    Design: Gail Plechaty

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  • While you’re thinking about storage, take a look at 30+ great ideas for keeping a kitchen in order while enhancing efficiency. Take a look at some of our favorite kitchen storage ideas.

    See top kitchen storage ideas.

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