Creating a multi-purpose dressing room

Combining built-in and freestanding furniture helped Editor Laura Crombie to create a dressing room that doubles up as a home office, and can easily be reverted to a bedroom when needed

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I’ve always wanted my own dressing room, but dedicating an entire bedroom to clothes, shoes and accessories seemed like a luxury. Instead, I decided to create a multi-purpose space that functions as both dressing room and home office. Choosing a combination of built-in and freestanding furniture, means the room can also be easily used as a bedroom in the future – essential for when we come to sell.

The bedroom before

Our old box room had a weird assortment of furniture that had been fixed to the walls by the previous owner. As none of the wardrobes or cupboards were purpose built, they didn’t make the most of the space available. For instance, there was two feet of wasted space on top of the wardrobes. And the drawers that had been screwed to the opposite wall had broken castors, making them a nightmare to open and clothes. The wardrobes were also very dated in style, with an oak veneer finish that was cracked and peeling.

How to create a dressing room that can also be used as a home office

The finished look

I decided to employ a local carpenter to create Shaker-style fitted wardrobes to run along one wall of the room. These reach from floor to ceiling, maximising storage space, and making sure clutter can be hidden away. As the wardrobes are bespoke, I included a mixture of hanging rails and shelves, as well as hooks for bags and accessories.

Replacing the fitted drawers with a freestanding dressing table and stool from M&S means it can be also be used as a home office. And if we need to put a bed into the room in the future, then the dressing table could be moved into the master bedroom. Both the fitted wardrobes and dressing table are in stoney grey shades, which complement one another.

I wanted a sophisticated but feminine look, so chose a muted heather colour for the walls –Farrow & Balls’ Peignoir. This combines both pink and grey tones, which I’ve then picked out elsewhere in the room.

How to create a dressing room that can also be used as a home office

Here is my step-by-step guide to preparing and painting your walls

A plush carpet – Sensation Heathers from Cormar – in Alpline Stone adds a sense of luxury to the new dressing room, as does the large, shaggy Berber-style rug. This one isn’t sold anymore, but West Elm’s Souk wool rug is similar.

The tall leaner mirror from Wayfair is perfect for choosing outfits, while the large mirror on the dressing table is great for picking jewellery, and the illuminated make-up mirror from Boots is for applying make-up.

I chose a bespoke Roman blind in Elston Plum from Web Blinds to add a splash of colour and control light entering the room. A multi-point ceiling light from Homebase allows me to direct the individual spotlights into the wardrobes and onto the mirrors.

Coloured vases, neutral candles, potted plants, framed black and white travel photos, and a White Company reed diffuser are the perfect finishing touches.

How to create a dressing room that can also be used as a home office

The cost

  • Built-in wardrobes £1,800
  • Dressing table and stool £399
  • Mirrors £250
  • Carpet £200
  • Rug £120
  • Roman blinds £70
  • Accessories £70
  • Ceiling light £40
  • Plants £30