Walk-in wardrobes have become a sought-after addition to the home, partly because they help to turn the
hassle of getting ready in the morning into a pleasant experience.
So, how do you design a personal dressing room that does not compromise on function, comfort and aesthetics?
The initial step is to ask if you want the wardrobe open or closed, says Ms Susan Knof, founder of London-based design company Knof Design.
“It is a completely personal preference. Some people like to see all their clothes at once, while others like them neatly tucked away.
“For me, a healthy balance of both is best. Then, it is time to consider every last detail – from coats and long dresses to shoes and jewellery.”
Keep in mind these elements: Choose finishes you love, organise clothes and accessories by colour or size and make the most of vertical storage space.
Ms Anna Kroesser and Ms Amelia Strat of New York interior design firm Homepolish, who have a combined 10 years of interior design experience, recommend illuminating the wardrobe.
There is a plethora of closet lighting options, they say, “from lighted LED closet rods for more custom closets to motion-activated LED lights you can pop on the wall or the underside of shelving for less custom situations”.
Here are 12 ideas on how you can get your perfect wardrobe.
1. DO NOT BE AFRAID OF COLOUR
When creating a walk-in wardrobe, do not 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 it from time to time to make it feel like a new space.
All colours work when it comes to a wardrobe.
2. CREATE A BOUTIQUE-STYLE CLOSET
The young couple who live in this 76 sq m apartment asked Taiwan-based interior design company Ganna Design to 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.
3. 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 various sizes and shapes.
Clothes, shoes, bags and accessories occupy specific areas according to their volume.
Interior designer Jesse Turek of New York-based interior design company Homepolish recommends taking inventory of what you have to determine the number of shelves and hanging spaces.
4. USE BEAUTIFUL LIGHT FIXTURES
In their Hong Kong apartment that doubles as a showroom, the founders of design studio 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 Ms 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.
5. 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.
Finding a way to hang your clothes strategically is key to orderliness.
6. STORE YOUR MOST-USED CLOTHES AT EYE LEVEL
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 garments you wear occasionally, such as evening dresses, swimsuits or clothes for holidays.
7. INSTALL SLIDING DOORS
In this 165 sq m 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," says the team.
The colour of the walls is in a darker tone than the rest of the bedroom, to create visual contrast between the areas.
8. ENSURE STORAGE FOR FOOTWEAR
Ms Susan Knof, founder of London-based design company Knof Design, says: "Often, 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."
9. 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 bespoke rug maker 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.
10. GIVE ENOUGH SPACE FOR ACCESSORIES
Influenced by Milanese design, this Toronto home by design company 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.
11. MAXIMISE EVERY CENTIMETRE
Today, and especially in big cities, people are used to living in small spaces. That does not 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 Monacoheadquartered design firm 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.
12. 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 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 architect India Mahdavi, which are used as side tables.
• This article first appeared in the March issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines.
• Get the September and latest issue of Home & Decor now at all newsstands or download the digital edition of Home & Decor from the App Store, Magzter or Google Play.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2019, with the headline 'Walk in to a wow wardrobe'. Print Edition | Subscribe
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