Sarah's Real Life
09. 21. 2015

real dressing room, how to turn spare bedroom into walk in closet, dream closet, elfa closet system, dressing room table

If you’re a friend, family member, or dedicated stalker, you already know we bought a house this summer after living in the same 2-bedroom apartment for almost 6 years. We looked specifically for a 3-bedroom place so I could turn one of them into a special space for the most important part of our family: my clothes. My goal was to get this post up by the end of June, so we’re obviously right on schedule. I finally have almost everything how I want it, with the exception of curtains. (I’m in an epic snark battle with an Etsy seller over them. It’s a whole thing. You don’t even want to know.)

But for all intents and purposes I can now say: MY DRESSING ROOM IS DONE! Not surprisingly, it’s my favorite room in the house and I’m super excited to share it with you. Now, don’t expect this to be anything like the Pink Peonies closet reveal. But on the bright side, my closet is a lot more…shall we say…attainable? Of course, you do need an extra room and probably a few hundred bucks, two things I did not have until recently. But you get the point.

So here’s how this is going to go: the photo above is what the room looks like from the door. Now we’re going to turn to the right, go around the room, and I’ll give you the low-down on all the details of the space! My goal was to make my dressing room as pretty as possible while keeping it as functional as possible. I wanted to feel happy to walk in there, but I also wanted it to make my life easier.

real dressing room, how to turn spare bedroom into walk in closet, dream closet, elfa closet system, dressing room table

This basket holds all my non-winter scarves. Back at the apartment, I had my scarves in a canvas storage bin, which meant I could never see what was below the top layer. This way I actually remember all my options. Conveniently, this basket also has hooks, so I use them for my belts. I leave this bag hanging here just because it’s awesome and I like to see it everyday.

dressingroom3

Most of my flats live in over-the-door storage. The ones here are worn most often, so I like to keep them easy to see and access.

dressingroom3b

I put another hanging shoe holder on the opposite side of the closet door (yes, my closet has a closet…it’s awesome). These are flats that I don’t wear as often. Inside the closet I keep my winter coats, a small set of plastic drawers for pajamas and workout clothes, and a laundry basket. I’m not showing you the floor where the basket is because then I would be literally airing my dirty laundry on the Internet.

real dressing room, how to turn spare bedroom into walk in closet, dream closet, elfa closet system, dressing room table

I took advantage of wall space by storing my sunglasses in this display shelf. The dried flowers on top are my wedding bouquet! I have to keep them up high or my cat will eat them and that won’t turn out well for anyone.

dressingroom5

In this little corner I have a mirrored cabinet with baskets inside to hold socks and unmentionables. I keep my perfumes on top so I remember to spray before I put my clothes on (I’m always worried about spraying right onto fabric). And because I’m a total nerd, I have notebooks that I use sometimes to write down outfit ideas, and they live on the panty cabinet too.

dressingroom6

real dressing room, how to turn spare bedroom into walk in closet, dream closet, elfa closet system, dressing room table

OK, now things are getting serious! A good chunk of my budget for my dressing room went to a personalized Elfa closet system from the Container Store. It’s not cheap, but I didn’t want to put all this work into the room and then have everything come crumbling down a month later.

On this wall I have 3 feet of single-level hanging for my dresses, and shorts and pants are folded on the shelf above. More shoes (mostly wedges and casual shoes) are on shoe racks below.

real dressing room, how to turn spare bedroom into walk in closet, dream closet, elfa closet system, dressing room table

I know, I know, it’s not stacked very neatly anymore. But it’s the end of the season. Cut me some slacks. (Just a little pants humor for you.)

real dressing room, how to turn spare bedroom into walk in closet, dream closet, elfa closet system, dressing room table

This is where I set out my outfit for the next day. It’s also where I hopefully get to admire my excellent taste when I get dressed in the morning.

P.S. If you love the rug, it’s available at Target!

real dressing room, how to turn spare bedroom into walk in closet, dream closet, elfa closet system, dressing room table

Next up: the dressing table! This serves many purposes, including being a catchall for receipts and random crap. The stool comes in handy when I need to one-two-buckle-my-complicated-shoe, or if I want to set down a stack of laundry to put away. But mainly, this corner is all about jewelry storage! At my apartment, I had about 1 square foot of space to keep my jewelry, and some of it lived in an old jewelry box on the floor. THE FLOOR! What am I, an animal? I got rid of my jewelry box because it’s much more fun to see all your sparkly things out in the open.

real dressing room, how to turn spare bedroom into walk in closet, dream closet, elfa closet system, dressing room table, jewelry storage

A jewelry tree holds most of my bangles, and my dangly earrings are easy to see (and don’t get tangled) on a  clear plastic earring stand. (I also keep a lint roller handy! Remember that cat I was talking about? Yeah.)

real dressing room, how to turn spare bedroom into walk in closet, dream closet, elfa closet system, dressing room table, jewelry storage and display

My stud earrings live in the base of a makeup mirror, and that cute little bowl holds my daintier rings. Since I have so much going on on this desk, I wanted to create levels to keep the surface from looking to cluttered and to make it easier to see things. I stacked up my old Vogue magazines (I save March and September issues) in a couple spots, and I really like how it turned out!

real dressing room, how to turn spare bedroom into walk in closet, dream closet, elfa closet system, dressing room table, jewelry display

If you haven’t figured it out yet, fun and varied jewelry displays are the name of the game. Here’s a similar ring stand and velvet bracelet display.

real dressing room, how to turn spare bedroom into walk in closet, dream closet, elfa closet system, dressing room table, jewelry display

This little jewelry plate holds my really thin bracelets that might get lost/tangled on the other stands. I also got some lipstick storage and decided to keep it here instead of in my bathroom with the rest of my makeup. For one thing, I have so many lip products, they take up half my sink. For another thing, I realized I usually like to pick my lipstick after I’ve put on the rest of my outfit.

real dressing room, how to turn spare bedroom into walk in closet, dream closet, elfa closet system, dressing room table

It took some trial and error, but I hung my bigger necklaces on clear Command hooks. I made the mistake of hanging too many on one hook, but I finally got them secure. You might have seen them in a previous photo, but the rest of my smaller/shorter necklaces are on hooks that I nailed into the windowsill (my house is made of concrete so they wouldn’t go in the wall).

real dressing room, how to turn spare bedroom into walk in closet, dream closet, elfa closet system, dressing room table

Once upon a time, this desk held office supplies and law school casebooks. Now it holds more fun things. :) That gray box holds stuff like sunglasses cases, a sweater shaver, and other little odds and ends that I like to keep on hand.

dressingroom16

The white tray was part of a set of bathroom storage piece, but I didn’t need this one on my sink so I used it in here to hold scissors (for cutting off tags and stray strings), along with suede, leather, and rubber boot treatments.

dressingroom17

Clutches live in a storage basket below (the 2 on the right are too big to fit).

dressingroom17b

And underneath are tights, rolled up and stored in a drawer organizer. See, everything isn’t flawless, but I think I’ve done a good job of reworking things for different purposes and giving them good hiding places!

real dressing room, how to turn spare bedroom into walk in closet, dream closet, elfa closet system, dressing room table, shoe racks

*Cue the swelling orchestral music* SHOES! This rack holds 50 pairs, so I actually have room to put a few new pairs. Not that I buy shoes often or anything. I used more Command hooks on the wall above (gotta take advantage of that vertical space!) to hang hats.

real dressing room, how to turn spare bedroom into walk in closet, dream closet, elfa closet system, dressing room table, hat storage, shoe storage

There’s a trash can hiding in the corner so I don’t have to leave the room every time I need to throw away a tag or clean out my purse. Because let’s be honest…I’m too lazy to leave the room, so trash would just pile up on my pretty little desk. And that would be tragic.

real dressing room, how to turn spare bedroom into walk in closet, dream closet, elfa closet system, dressing room table

LAST WALL! If you’ve made it this far, kudos. You must love closets as much as I do. This wall has 6 feet of double-level hanging space (so 12 feet all together). All my tanks, tees, blouses, and lighter sweaters hang on the upper rod, and most of my handbags are lined up all pretty on the shelf above.

dressingroom21

Skirts and jackets hang on the bottom, although once I bring out my fall/winter clothes, I might change up the organization.

dressingroom22

There’s a shelf above the bottom rod too, so I hide more of my magazine and fashion book collection there.

dressingroom23

These cubes are mostly empty now, but soon they’ll be full of sweaters! I don’t like to hang most of my heavier sweaters because the shoulders get stretched out. The set of round boxes (from Ikea) let me store random stuff (extra buttons and swimsuits) out in the open, but they look neat so it’s OK.

real dressing room, how to turn spare bedroom into walk in closet, dream closet, elfa closet system, dressing room table

Finally, I have a hat rack for – appropriately – a few more hats, and crossbody bags. That last hook on the wall is where I put my bathrobe. That way I can come in here first thing in the morning, throw my PJs in the laundry, then turn right around and grab my bathrobe. I’m going to thank myself endlessly for this setup on cold winter mornings!

PHEW! WE MADE IT! Thanks for humoring me while I show off my dressing room. I’m pretty proud of it. If you enjoy my usual outfit posts, now you know where the magic happens. If you have any questions at all, please don’t be afraid to ask! Leave me a comment below, and I’ll either answer you directly or just update the post with FAQs. And if you want more peeks at my new house, just search for #sarahsrealhome on Instagram.

19 responses to “Sarah’s Real Home: Dressing Room Reveal!”

  1. Irina says:

    This is a dream! One day…one day…for now I am still a graduate student. I was wondering where you got that shoe rack from – looks sturdy and nice. Thanks!

    Irina

  2. Irina says:

    Aaaaand it is hyperlinked. :/ Sorry.

  3. Sue says:

    Your closet has its own closet! I make obeisance to you, closet goddess!

  4. Annie says:

    This. Is. Gorgeous. Well done!! A place for everything and it’s all clean, and color coordinated and fancy and pretty and I just love it. I wish we could all play closet and be fancy

    Annie
    sweetbananie.blogspot.com

  5. Xat says:

    Delightful, thanks for the tour! I was surprised that your hangers aren’t all the same color. Even though I didn’t like the part where I felt wasteful throwing out “perfectly good” hangers, I really like the consistent all-white hanger look in my closet now.

    • Sarah H. says:

      Yeah, that would be nice eventually. But (as you can see), I have a lot of clothes, and good hangers aren’t cheap, so that would be a good chunk of $$$ to replace them all at once! Maybe one day. Then again, I like having the non-slip hangers for tank tops, and wide wooden ones for jackets, and “kid size” ones for tops that have small necklines. So I’m OK with my hodge podge of hangers for now! Thanks for the comment.

  6. Kyle says:

    What a gorgeous space!! I love all of the organization ideas. Such a great idea

  7. crys says:

    LOVE your dressing room…just curious does your fashionable wife have her own dressing room too?

    Thanks,
    Distressed Closet Sharer

    • Sarah H. says:

      No, I make her keep all her clothes in a cardboard box under the bed. Juuuust kidding. She doesn’t have a dressing room, but she gets the bedroom closet, dresser, and the guest bedroom closet all to herself. At our apartment, our 2nd bedroom was my “closet” and her music room AND the guest room. Needless to say, it was overwhelming. Now I have my dressing room, and we have a real guest room, and our finished basement has an awesome space for the wife’s instrument collection. Everyone wins!

  8. Ayelet says:

    Oh my! The shoes! Congrats on getting your own dressing room. You’re so fancy! :)

  9. Dabney says:

    There is absolutely nothing about this post that I don’t absolutely love!! I’m obsessed with the container store!! Elfa closets rock!! Great use of space!!!

  10. Jessica says:

    Wow! I love how strategic you were with the storage! It is a thing of beauty!
    xx

    Here&Now

  11. Jessica says:

    That’s it. I need a dressing room. 😉

    Seriously, this is amazing! What a wonderful way to use an extra bedroom. I’m both inspired and ultra jealous!

    http://bedknobsandbaubles.com/

  12. All I can say is wow. This is a dream dressing room for sure. I like the idea of putting all your jewelry, shoes, clothes, and accessories in one place. I have stuff all over the place. I wonder if my husband would let me turn our 3rd bedroom into a dressing room…:)

  13. Lydia Lois says:

    Well this is a dream! I told my husband when we move from an apartment to a house I’m going to make sure there is room for our family members too. 😉 Hey! A girl has needs!