Spare bedrooms often become a bit of a dumping ground and this one was no exception. But using Carrie Bradshaw’s wardrobe as inspiration, the homeowner set about transforming it into a glamorous walk-in dressing room - and the results speak for themselves.
Costing around £5000 to complete, making over the bedroom was a big investment, but by doing plenty of research and seeking expert advice at the planning stage, has helped create a super stylish and practical space that looks great and solves all the homeowner’s storage issues too.
‘Our spare room had never really been used as a bedroom, but it also didn’t do its job as a dressing room particularly well,’ explains the homeowner.
‘We’d put in a wall-hung open rail system which I’d hoped was going to look lovely and sophisticated – but in reality, it looked messy and the middle of the room was empty – so not the best use of space.’
Coming up with a plan was the first step in the transformation process. ‘After doing lots of research on Pinterest (and being inspired by Carrie Bradshaw’s wardrobe) I knew I wanted something smarter, where my clothes were hidden away but easily accessible.’
‘That’s where My Fitted Bedroom came in… they sent a designer round who gave us lots of advice on how we could best use the space and the best bit was he had lots of different door samples, so we could see the styles and colours close up and in situ.’
‘Usually, I go for a neutral colour palette, but as soon as we saw the Luna door fronts in Clover, a gorgeous deep green shade, we were really keen to use them. I loved the look of the wardrobes, too, with their clean, Scandi style.’
‘Prior to the consultation, I thought I knew what I wanted, but the designer was great and gave us so many suggestions. He even suggested an island unit to make the most of the middle of the room, which I loved the idea of, as it gave it a glamorous touch – plus even more storage!’
‘After measuring up, the designer created a proposed design on his ipad, with rails, drawers and pull-out sections – it really helped bring it to life, as we could see it from every angle and could be sure we were happy with the finished design.’
‘What I really liked was that all the wasted areas we’d had before, like the corners of the room, would now be utilised, so we gained lots of extra storage. We were asked if we wanted the wardrobes taken up to the full height of the room, but I decided to leave a little bit of space above for LED strip lighting and a few plants.’
‘With the wardrobes on order, I turned my attention to picking out the rest of the décor and flooring. Originally the room had carpet, but it was old and I found that because this was the room where I'd do my makeup and hair, it got marked quite quickly.’
‘Instead I went for hard flooring and my biggest dilemma was what colour to go for. I wanted a light wood, but our flooring downstairs is grey and I wanted the two to work together – so in the end I went for a greige to make sure it flowed throughout.’
Get the look: Oak laminate flooring, £17.95sq m, Flooring Mountain
‘I also wanted to add some pattern into the room to give it some interest, which I did by introducing a bold wallpaper on one wall – it’s a tropical bird print from 1838 Wallcoverings and it has small pops of green to tie it in with the wardrobes. It was a brave choice, but the toucan print makes me smile and it went up like a dream.’
'We have one large window in the dressing room, which looks out into our garden, and although we’re only overlooked on one side, I wanted to make sure I could get the privacy we needed when changing in here. I went for a gorgeous blind from Scion Living, which is made to measure and the print I chose is in a putty shade. Then I went for curtains on top to add another layer and keep the scheme feeling indulgent.'
‘Lastly, I chose a new dressing table – a wood and rattan design that sits in the alcove and gives me a spot to put on make-up. I’ve added a lamp for days when I need a bit more light – although being next to the window it’s never really a dark area.’
‘The wardrobes were fitted in just two days and the room was transformed the instant they went in. I can’t tell you how much I love them and the whole space feels super glamorous – I wish I’d done it years ago!’
Focus on planning a dressing room
Before you begin, consider if your walk-in wardrobe will be for clothes only, or if you’ll need a dressing table to do make-up and hair. Will you be sharing the space with your partner? Do you want it to look glamorous or minimalist and modern?
- Think about the space you have – you may be lucky enough to have a whole room to dedicate to your dressing area, but if not, do you have extra floor space in your bedroom that you could allocate, or even an alcove where you could add a stud partition wall or a curtain?
- Fitted wardrobe ideas will make the best use of space. Choose your rails and drawers depending on how you usually prefer to store your clothes – hanging, folded, or a good mix of both. Don’t forget to factor in shoe storage, handbags and other accessories, with internal fittings like pull-out shelves and hidden drawers.
- Lastly, get the lighting right. Place a dressing table next to a window if possible, so you get natural light, or opt for spot lighting to highlight a mirror. Frame your wardrobes with LED strip lighting and use internal spot lights to brighten your storage space.
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Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at lauriedavidson.co.uk
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