The well designed dressing room is a glossy home magazine favourite but no matter your budget, there’s a dressing room design out there for you to replicate.
Most dressing rooms are converted spare rooms next to master bedrooms. They’re easy to access and you can save the hassle of walking from room to room by installing a door between the two rooms to create a walk-through passage.
Before you convert, you need to decide what you need the dressing room to do. If you’re working with a tight budget, you might not need to pay close attention to measurements, whereas if you’re wanting to fill the room with a dressing table, wardrobes, stand alone cabinets with shelving or chest of drawers, you’ll need to start with measurements before you begin making any plans for your furniture.
Measure the width, length and height of the room. If you can, put pen to paper and make a floor plan complete with measurements. Drawing the room will help you to bring out your inner interior designer and create flow in the area, as you make note of the location of the door, the direction that you would tend to walk around the room and any quirky features such as fireplaces which aren’t quite central!
The best dressing rooms are well organised and neat. Aside from giving you extra space to store your clothes, shoes and bags, the main reason for creating a dressing room is to be able to easily find and retrieve what you have. You might like the idea of fitting in as many different items of furniture as you can but be wary of the items that you own. If the majority of your clothes need to be hung straight, fitting in one short rail to accommodate for floor to ceiling shelving isn’t logical – especially if you could squeeze all of your folded clothes onto one or two shelves!
Keep the space open
The more furniture that you place in a room, the more careful you need to be to stop the space from becoming overpowering. Many of us have a misconception that large furniture will make a room feel smaller but according to interior designer Laura Kirar, this isn’t actually the case. If you’re lucky enough to have a tall ceiling, she suggests making the most of tall furniture as it “has the effect of drawing one’s eye upward and away from the small footprint of the room”. Your main goal is to create as much natural light as you can – keeping furniture away from windows – and using a combination of task and accent lighting to balance out the levels where it falls short.
Dark colours absorb light, whereas light colours reflect it, so always keep your lighting budget in mind when you plan your decorating scheme. If your heart is set on that darker wall, be prepared to install more lights!
Uplighters tucked in corners do a great job of opening up a space, while spotlights angled towards a ceiling or wall will make the room look brighter as light bounces off the surfaces. Another handy hint is to keep your full-length mirror on show, so that light can reflect off of its surface. If you’re lacking in space, you’re not limited to a stand-alone mirror. Consider attaching a mirrored plate to the front of your wardrobe doors.
Table lamps make great dressing table task lights and you can use spotlights to focus attention towards your room’s best features to really show them off. I’m a big fan of alcoves so I would always opt to highlight them should a room be fortunate enough to have them. The best rooms have a healthy mixture of the different lighting types.
The 10 minute dressing room
Of course, on a truly limited budget, you won’t need to think about things such as the size and position of your furniture. Design Director Anduin Havens has the following tips for creating an instant dressing room:
1) Hang a bracket on the wall to hang up your clothes
2) Drill three holes with a standard 8 inch bit into the side of a chunky framed mirror
3) Attach hanger bolts onto three screws and insert them into the holes
The result? An instant, mini dressing room with brackets to hang your clothes and side of the mirror pegs to hang up your accessories!