How to create a dressing room

Create your dream dressing room or walk-in wardrobe with our expert advice

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Walk-in wardrobes and dressing rooms are on a growing number of bedroom renovation wish lists, and rightly so — their popularity means they can add value to your home. As well as making a luxurious addition to your bedroom, dressing rooms offer a number of practical advantages: a dressing room or walk-in wardrobe will help de-clutter your bedroom by providing extra bedroom storage; your clothes will look better and last longer; and – storing your clothes away from where you sleep will contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment. Follow our complete guide to creating a dressing room and enjoy a serene and stylish bedroom. 

1. Choosing dressing room storage

Carefully consider your clothes storage needs whether you prefer hanging or folding your garments, not forgetting shoe storage, handbags, swimwear and accessories, as these smaller items are often the most challenging to store neatly.

Shelves instead of drawers for your jumpers and jeans are a good idea, using dividers and designated compartments to keep your clothes in a neat pile. Hanging space is a must; make sure you have enough room for full-length garments, and try to double your storage by incorporating shorter hanging if you only need to hang trousers.

The Gliss Master-Window storage solution from Molteni&C transforms a dressing room into a glamorous display, with each pair of shoes given its own shelf. A great option if you like a minimalist, clutter-free approach to storage. 

Gliss Master Window by Molteni & C

(Image: © Molteni & C)

2. Get the most storage for your budget

Fitted options are more expensive than off-the-shelf wardrobes, but have the advantage of being fully customisable to your space, increasing your storage by, on average, 30 per cent. Remember that a fitted walk-in wardrobe is a selling point that, if done well, adds value to your home.

When it comes to choosing your storage, have a combination of types, but be mindful that drawers cost more than shelves or hanging space. If you are on a budget, use shelves and storage boxes in place of drawers. Also, choose an affordable, good quality carcass for your wardrobe and dress it up with investment doors, handles and soft-close hinges.

In this ingenious dressing room storage combination, the customisable Boiserie Range by Porro is used with suitcases for extra storage.  

Boiserie Storage by Porro

(Image: © Chaplins Furniture)

3. Position seating and dressing table strategically

You’ll need a place to sit; somewhere to try on shoes, sort out items or simply relax. A wooden bench with concealed storage under a window is a good option, whilst an ottoman placed in the centre of a dressing room is a great way to add grandeur to a space.

The dressing table is important to get right: if you are sharing with another person, consider a dressing table arrangement that will let both of you to use the space at the same time, as in this generous dressing table set-up by Hammonds. 

Double dressing table from Hammonds

4. Mix up your dressing room storage

An open display cabinet is perfect for showcasing treasured belongings, and will also allow easy access. Mix and match open and closed storage options to combine ease of access with tidiness. Foldable items and shoes do best on display, while smaller items, such as belts, scarves and jewellery, are best put away in container storage

Dressing room by Sharps

(Image: © Sharps)

5. Opt for fitted furniture in awkward spaces

A custom-made piece of furniture can be tailored to your needs and work harder — ultimately allowing you to make the best use of every inch of available space. For example, built-in drawers and cupboards in a dressing room between the rafters is a fantastic use of an attic area, as it does not eat into the floor space, so will make a room feel bigger. Corner spaces also yield readily to bespoke solutions – think plenty of shelving and drawers. 

Gliss Walk-in Wardrobe Molteni & C

(Image: © MOlteni & C)

6. Use mirrored doors to make the space look bigger

If you are cramming a small space with storage, you need to prevent it from feeling enclosed. Use cabinets that don’t go all the way to the ceiling as they feel less obtrusive, and use mirrored doors to enhance the light and create the illusion of space.

This sleek built-in mirrored wardrobe is part of the Gliss collection by Molteni &C.

Gliss Master Window fitted range by Molteni & C

(Image: © Molteni & C)

7. You don’t necessarily need a separate room

If you don’t have a dedicated room for dressing, there are clever ways to incorporate it into your bedroom. Use wardrobes or a stud partition wall behind the bed to make a dressing area that feels like a separate space — just ensure the lighting is adequate. You can also use a curtain to create the illusion of a separate space.

walk-in wardrobe with curtain to cover it

(Image: © Ikea)

8. Create a lighting scheme 

Lighting is key in your dressing room – thinking your lighting scheme through carefully will enable you to make the most of the space. Where possible, try to locate your dressing table in front of a natural light source. If this isn’t possible, make sure you add some spot lighting, even if the room is small. Aim for the magic number of at least five light sources, not only for practicality and visibility, but to create atmosphere and spotlight accents.

Don’t forget the sockets – the last thing you need is to create your perfect dressing area and then have to stand on the other side of the room to dry your hair!

This dressing room by Hammonds has a large window for natural light, but spotlights, a desk lamp and a well-lit mirror create perfect task lighting.

dressing room with hollywood style mirror lighting

9. Enhance the dressing room with mirrors

A mirror is a must in your dressing room, and floor-to-ceiling designs can really give the wow factor. If you don’t have wall space, consider mirrored wardrobe doors, or hanging a mirror on the inside of a door.

walk in wardrobe with mirrors

(Image: © NEJ Stevenson)

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