7 steps to a dream dressing room

Julia Thomson Julia Thomson
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A closet may seem like a simply utilitarian space, but with a bit of thought, it can become more than just a spot to store your clothes. It can become a dressing room.

A dressing room is the place to start your day. Corralling clothes, shoes, jewelry, makeup, laundry, accessories all in one space makes it easy to get ready every morning. From deciding what to wear, to styling your hair, to that all-important final check in the mirror before you head out the door, a dressing room can perform a number of functions.

Below we share some inspiration for must-haves to include in your dream dressing room.

Must-have 1: Style

classic Dressing room by Studio 29 Architects ltd
Studio 29 Architects ltd

Dressing room in master suite

Studio 29 Architects ltd

We begin with a dressing room that is a beautiful example of how to balance function and form.

The functionality comes from a variety of storage options, lighting inside the closet and the full-length mirror (the back side of the closet door is an ingenious spot).

But it's not just about how the space works. It's also important how the space feels and looks. Rather than a utilitarian dresser, the designer here chose a beautiful free-standing wood chest. Storage boxes on top corral jewelry and also serve as decorative objets. A favourite painting on the wall further personalizes and beautifies the space.

Must-have 2: Mirrors

modern Dressing room by Zodiac Design
Zodiac Design

The dressing room

Zodiac Design

Mirror, mirror, mirror on the wall. Aside from clothing storage, a mirror is the other must-have at the top of our dream dressing room list.

A full wall of mirrors like our example photo might be over the top, but one full-length mirror is absolutely essential. A dressing room is about taking care of yourself top-to-toe. You need to be able to examine your final look from top-to-toe too.

When it comes to mirrors, there are nearly endless style options from modern to traditional and free-standing to wall-mounted. Don't have the floor or wall space? Think about your closet doors – either the front side or the back--like these wood-framed beauties.

Must-have 3: Vanity

Adding a vanity area takes your space from a closet to a true dressing room. A vanity can be a free-standing desk or a seamless part of built-in cabinetry as in this stunning black and white dressing room.

You don't need a huge room to add a useful and beautiful vanity. Here the backless stool doesn't take up much space and tucks away under the counter area. A shallow drawer holds jewelry or makeup. Decorative trays and bowls give extra storage for frequently used pieces on the top of the vanity. The tri-fold mirrors are useful whether you're putting on makeup or styling your hair.

Accessories like a vase of flowers, lamp and framed picture personalize and prettify the space.

Like these suggestions? You might enjoy reading 7 tips to add seating in your bedroom.

Must-have 4: A variety of storage

classic Dressing room by Tim Wood Limited
Tim Wood Limited

Walk in Closet with storage for Shoes and Handbags designed and made by Tim Wood

Tim Wood Limited

Storage is a primary consideration in any dressing room. In this one, we see open shelves for shoes, racks for purses, small hooks for belts and closed cupboards up high for less frequently used items.

Hanging rods and drawers are essential for storing clothing and accessories. Remember that one size does not fit all. Consider a variety of hanging rods set at different heights for suits, jackets, dresses, skirts, pants and shirts. And when it comes to drawers, bigger isn't always better. Shallow drawers save you from searching through layers and layers of clothing. Adding dividers can help to organize everything from socks to jewelry.

When planning your storage, don't forget to include a laundry area. A pile of dirty laundry in the corner is not what you want to see after you've gone to the work to organize and style your dream dressing room.

Check out this ideabook on how to make laundry day stress-free.

Must-have 5: Island

modern Dressing room by Antoine de Castéras
Antoine de Castéras

Dressing chic et sobre

Antoine de Castéras

Our dream dressing room is big enough to have an island.

Not just for kitchens, islands offer great storage in a dressing room. Think about those extra categories of clothing like workout gear, lingerie, accessories like ties, or seasonal items. An island can give you a spot to tuck away all of these items.

The surface can be another extremely useful area for displaying decorative objects, sorting and folding laundry or planning your outfit by laying out clothes and accessories.

Islands are also a spot to have a bit of fun with style in your dressing room. In our example photo, the dark drawers of the island contrast with the light wood used elsewhere in the room. Don't get locked in to one style of cabinetry. Be creative.

Must-have 6: Use every available space

modern Dressing room by meine möbelmanufaktur GmbH
meine möbelmanufaktur GmbH

Begehbarer Kleiderschrank unter Schräge

meine möbelmanufaktur GmbH

Dedicating a whole room to a dressing room can seem like a luxury. But no matter how much space you have, you want to make sure you use every square centimetre.

In this dressing room tucked under the eaves, shelves and hanging areas step up gradually as the roofline rises. Shallow cubbies under the knee wall are just deep enough for shoes, hats and some extra linens. 

Overhead, a skylight floods the room with beautiful natural light. Keep in mind that if your space has a skylight or window, you might want to add a film to the glass to help protect your clothes from fading.

Must-have 7: Spot to sit

modern Dressing room by Studio Duggan
Studio Duggan

Master Dressing Room

Studio Duggan

Sure we're talking about a dressing room, not a sitting room, but a spot to sit is nonetheless part of our dream dressing room.

From taking a minute with your morning cup of coffee (or your evening glass of wine), to pulling on your socks or lacing up your shoes, a spot to sit can increase the comfort of your dressing room.

What's your dream dressing room?

modern Dressing room by ATELIER FB
ATELIER FB

Dressing

ATELIER FB

Our final dressing room is a great example of a space that ties it (almost) all together. A couple of must-haves are missing, but we couldn't resist sharing this fresh, feminine space.

Variety of storage, check. Seating, check ( a tufted purple chaise, natch). Vanity, check. Mirror, check. Sparkle and style, check and check.

Obviously, our dream is a standalone dressing room. However, the tips above can work equally well in a bathroom, bedroom or wherever you can find a little nook.

Do you have a dressing room of your own? What's your dream dressing room must-have?
modern Houses by Casas inHAUS

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