They’re the must-have room for buyers, but dressing rooms aren’t just fashionable: they’re a practical addition to a home, too. Here’s how to design yours in 10 easy steps
1 Find the right space
You don’t need a dedicated dressing room – you can fit it into a large bedroom, perhaps hiding it behind a stud partition wall to one side of the room or behind the head of your bed. The best space for a dressing room is a box room is next to the master bedroom, but if you have a bedroom in another part of the house that’s rarely used, it can make a good spot for the whole family to store their clothes – and dirty laundry.
2 Choose between fitted or freestanding furniture
Fitted furniture costs more than freestanding wardrobes and drawers but it has big advantages: it looks smart and streamlined and it allows you to use every awkward inch of space – say, around a chimney breast or beneath sloping ceilings. If you’re on a tight budget, bear in mind that shelves are cheaper than drawers.
3 Work out what you need
When considering what to buy, make a list of what you have now in terms of storage and what you think you need – that way you can perfectly tailor your new furniture to your needs. Don’t forget to include hanging space for long garments, such as dresses; plenty of room for shoes; space for out-of-season clothes; and somewhere for jewellery, make-up and a hairdryer. Think, too, about adding some open display space, even if only on a dressing table, for anything from handsome handbags to slinky sling backs.
4 Add seating
It’s handy to have a place to sit down while you put on make-up and shoes, so a small chair is a must-have. If you have more room, an ottoman with a lift up lid and storage beneath is a good addition.
5 Hang a mirror (or two)
Floor-to-ceiling mirrors will create the feeling of space, make the room brighter, add a touch of glamour and allow you to see what you really look like in those bell bottoms you’ve been persisting with. If there’s no wall space, mirrored wardrobe doors are the perfect solution, although a mirror on the back of a door will work too. If you’ve gone for a dressing table – or narrow console to save space – a table top mirror is a good buy, as is a magnifying mirror.
Pic: Illuminated Mirrors
6 Fit the right lighting
Ideally, your dressing table needs to be in front of a window, so start by working your layout around that. If that doesn’t work, introduce halogen spot lighting. Otherwise, the room itself needs to be well-lit, either with ceiling spotlights or a bright pendant. Include a table lamp or some low level lighting, too, to make the room feel cosy at night, and if you have the budget, have lights fitted within your wardrobes so that even your clothes are illuminated. And while we think about it – make sure your sockets are well-placed so that you can dry your hair easily.
7 Get the perfect window dressing
What do you need in a dressing room? Privacy + light + draught-proofing + dust-free material + space-saving option. All that maths = shutters
. Seriously, you can’t go wrong, whether you choose full-height, tier-on-tier
. If the room is within an en suite bathroom, make sure yours are waterproof-vinyl
Pic: California Shutters
8 Up the glamour with decor
As long as your room is well-lit, you can choose a colour scheme to suit your taste. That might mean creating a focal wall with a bold wallpaper print; choosing high gloss wardrobe doors; or simply picking out a deep paint colour you’d shy away from elsewhere. In other words, go to town.
9 Find fab flooring
Bearing in mind you’ll spend a lot of time in this room barefoot and half naked, you’ll want carpet or at least a plush rug over floorboards. Just make sure it’s wipeable for when you inevitably up-end your foundation or aftershave over it.
10 Finish off with accessories
If you’ve made space for display on open shelves or a dressing table, decorate it with pretty glassware or china. Add cushions to a chair, small sofa or bench for a feeling of comfort. Hang a beautiful item of clothing – maybe a vintage dress or a wedding outfit – so that it’s always on show (just make sure it’s not right in front of the window or it will fade over time).
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