Delightful Dressing Rooms

Delightful Dressing Rooms

Delightful Dressing Rooms

Elevate clothes storage to the next level with either a walk-in wardrobe or a dedicated dressing room.


If you yearn for a tranquil, well-organised and spacious bedroom, the solution may be radical: create an entirely different space for storing clothes. Without wardrobes and chests of drawers cluttering up the room, it leaves a calm and attractive environment – essential for relaxation and healthy sleep.

If your home’s floorplan allows, you could opt for the ultimate luxury: a large, separate dressing room, containing conventional clothes storage with hanging space and drawers plus a dressing table and mirror, and perhaps island storage, display shelves and comfortable seating. However, even when space is restricted it may be possible to convert a small bedroom, part of a large landing or one end of a bathroom or the master bedroom into a walk-in wardrobe packed with efficiently designed storage.


Planning the space

The best place to site a dressing room or walk-in wardrobe is adjoining the bedroom or bathroom; perhaps leading conveniently from one to the other (provided your clothes storage is protected from steam and damp). Size-wise, one convention says that each person needs a 60cm-deep hanging space that’s 2m high and at least 1.1m wide, plus a 55cm run of drawers – and adjacent floor space of at least 1.2m in which to get dressed. This does depends on what clothes you own and how you wish to store them, and whether or not you’d like to keep things like bedlinens, coats, suitcases, hats and blankets here, too. It’s best to measure everything that you’re planning to put in the dressing room, then draw up plans and elevations on squared paper of where and how it could be built, allowing for doors, windows and radiators.

In terms of fitting the room out, it’s mainly a case of hanging versus folding. Most people opt for a combination of the two. There is a plethora of options, including rails for full-, half- and three-quarter-length hanging, deep, shallow and compartmentalised drawers, and useful fittings such as tie holders, pull-out shelves, boxes, trouser hangers and laundry bins. The hard-to-reach top parts of the space can be employed for items that you don’t use frequently, and shoes can be kept in racks or on trees at the bottom. If you own any particularly valuable jewellery, consider also installing a small safe, perhaps in the floor or behind a false back section of the hanging space.


Consider lighting

Good lighting is vital, especially where there is no window, or the fittings are dark in colour. Wall lights, pendants and floor lamps may intrude into a compact space, so inset ceiling spotlights are a good option, perhaps fitted with a dimmer switch so you can control the atmosphere. If you decide to screen off your clothes with doors (not always necessary in a separate room), it may be wise to illuminate the insides of the wardrobes, preferably with sensor-operated lights that switch on when you open the doors.


Where to buy

There are various ways to achieve your dream: commission a company or individual tradesperson to make you an utterly bespoke room; use a specialist fitted-furniture firm and choose one of their pre-designed, adaptable ranges; or use off-the-shelf elements, readily available from DIY sheds or storage specialists, and make it up yourself. The latter option, though undeniably the cheapest, has the disadvantage of being less flexible, because all the parts will have been made to standard measurements. A hybrid method that can work well is to buy ready-made interior elements and add more expensive doors, either from a replacement-door specialist or made for you by a local joiner.


Beautiful finishes

While the organisation of storage is essentially utilitarian, there is always an element of aesthetics. Even plain, open-fronted storage comes in a choice of finishes, while bespoke versions with luxury doors could incorporate exotic woods, leather, antique mirror, lacquer or rattan. In an ideal world, you would match the style of the dressing room to that of your bedroom, picking out colours, finishes and details such as knobs, handles and light switches to blend seamlessly from one room to the other.




  1. This Italian range offers an extensive range of options, including shelves, pull out rails, shoe cupboards, drawers, tie racks and LED lights, with different finishes and accessories, in a multitude of sizes. Novamobili Ben walk-in wardrobe, Go Modern Furniture.
  2. These luxury bespoke wardrobes, dressing rooms and studies are designed and crafted in London by are a family-run business. Shadow oak dressing room with Castille Luna hinged doors in mink, and an island unit with Nouvel handles, Neatsmith. Castille Luna doors cost from £2,600 per linear metre.
  3. This his-and-hers dressing room by Martin Moore was hand-built in the roof space of a fourteenth-century home using American walnut. Each unit is backlit and the central island unit has glass insets that look down into accessory bays, sectioned to store and display watches, cufflinks, earrings and other small treasures.



  • Go Modern Furniture: 020 773 19540;
  • Martin Moore: 0845 180 0015;
  • Neatsmith: 0800 195 6595;
Kevin Spowart
Author: Kevin Spowart

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