Getting dressed in the morning can be a serious challenge, even for the most stylish, fashion-inclined people out there. The smallest of details can make the biggest differences in your daily routine and, ultimately, how you feel and look wherever you're going.
After fashion and lifestyle blogger Kimberly Lapides of Eat/Sleep/Wear redesigned her closet with the brilliant team over at California Closets, we spoke with her to find out how every design decision can actually serve a functional purpose as well. In fact, her space went from what she describes as a "dark little annex" to "her little fashion sanctuary." From display ideas to perfect lighting and clever storage solutions, her closet is the luxe but practical dressing room we've always wanted.
Scroll through below for a peek a Lapides's closet and several other drool-worthy spaces, plus 25 tips for transforming your closet into a luxe dressing room, no matter the size.
Think Outside the Box
Before this gorgeous closet was a closet, it was a bedroom. Lapides tells MyDomaine that she "used to have a 'cloffice' (closet-office combo)," which worked pretty well since her professional life was intimately connected to her fashionable wardrobe. But she was ready to turn things up a notch for a customized space that was easy to navigate as well as pretty to look at.
Create a Clean Canvas
Crisp white walls are the perfect canvas for a walk-in closet, and a fresh, modern look has always been a part of Lapides's vision. "I find my personal style really also dictates the style in my home décor. I wanted a fresh and clean space where my clothes and accessories could really be the star," she says. Stick to a neutral color palette to keep your closet feeling clean and functional.
Prioritize Getting Organized
Wardrobe organization (or lack thereof) has a lot to do with how painless or frustrating the process is. A well-organized, functionally designed space that also leaves a little room for décor statements will allow you to get ready much faster so you won't have to tell everyone you're "on the way" when you're really still in a towel staring at a pile of clothes. Sort your clothes into categories and utilize organizers to make your life easier.
If you love shopping or if clothes are literally your livelihood like Lapides, your wardrobe tends to grow quickly and can become unruly in the blink of an eye. This is why it's so important to be "picky and choosy about what I actually bring into my closet," she says. Her biggest piece of advice is to "shop and curate your closet each season."
Edit Your Wardrobe
If you regularly clean out and edit your wardrobe, then you'll be able to avoid a messy, difficult-to-navigate closet. Lapides's rule of thumb: If she hasn't worn something in a year, it's time to say goodbye to it.
"As a blogger who constantly is shopping each season as well as has clothing samples coming in on a daily basis, I take editing my closet very seriously, or I would be sitting in a sea of clothes," she says. In essence, to make sure that things don't get overcrowded and cluttered, you can't be too sentimental about what you keep.
Focus on Function
Make sure that however you lay out your closet is going to work for you and be functional in the long term. When Lapides was first brainstorming concepts before beginning her closet redesign, she actually considered going for a more boutique-style aesthetic that emphasized display. As gorgeous as it was, she decided that a functional, well-organized closet that also maximized space was her priority, as long as it also had a few décor accents.
Ditch the Doors
While Lapides's walk-in closet is completely doorless for practical reasons, like being able to scan her entire wardrobe in the blink of an eye, there are also a ton of cosmetic perks. Namely, she likes being able to see all of her gorgeous pieces instead of having them tucked away behind closed doors.
Having a system for organizing your clothes is key to keeping things in order. The easiest system? Color coding. Sort your wardrobe in Roy G. Biv (read: rainbow) order for simplicity, or come up with your own system that is appealing to your eyes and works for you.
Show Off the Shoes
Open shelves or a simple, stackable shoe cubby are great ways to stay organized as well as take care of your favorite pieces instead of having to toss them in a pile on the floor. Since Lapides's shoe collection is so incredible, she chose to give it the spotlight by opting for exposed shelves.
Divide and Conquer
If you look closely at Lapides's sweater and denim collections, you'll notice acrylic dividers that separate them. We think these clear divides were a smart choice, as colorful ones may have thrown off her color palette and been somewhat distracting. "It forces me to really fold things properly and makes it easier to really see what I have instead of piling through drawers," she adds. So if you dread folding, this is a great way to stay organized.
Maximize Vertical Storage
Utilize baskets, boxes, and bins for easy access to things stored up high and to hide unsightly clutter. A cute, sturdy stool can also help you reach up high and doubles as quick seating for putting your shoes on. Tip: shelves that are hard to reach are great for storing your out-of-season clothing that you won't need to access every day.
Add Accent Lighting
One of the most important parts of the process for Lapides was choosing lighting that's stylish and flattering. There are integrated LED lights installed right above the clothing because, as she jokes, "What's the point of having everything at your fingertips if you can't really see what you have?" Not only do these lights brighten up the entire space, but they also make it so much easier to get ready.
Display Your Wares
Most of us have a collection of trinkets and ornaments that are just too pretty to keep out of sight—perfume bottles, everyday jewelry, and keepsakes come to mind. Make sure you have a few surfaces for keeping those things out for an extra dose of elegance. "The most important thing about my closet was to have tiny moments of display opportunity," Lapides agrees.
Drawers and slide-outs should have a place in every functional closet. "Sliding shelves make it so easy to see everything, and I love how organized it looks," Lapides tells us. Drawers are the perfect way to protect things like jewelry, delicates, and even your favorite sunglasses without their cases, which can really slow you down when you need to run out the door.
One of Lapides's favorite things about her closet is the island in the center. First of all, it's on wheels, which means she can roll it around while packing and prepping for upcoming shoots. It also offers a ton of storage space for her accessories, from jewelry and sunglasses to mini purses and keepsakes. "I love having an easy place to scan my collection and grab and go," she says. Install sturdy castors on a small dresser or cabinet to replicate the idea.
Use Matching Hangers
Making the switch to all matching hangers is one of those small details that makes a huge impact. Everything will look and feel more streamlined, organized, and clean. Opt for extra thin velvet hangers to save space or classic wood hangers for a luxurious feel.
Keep Surfaces Tidy
If you've opted to have any surface space and intend on displaying perfume, jewelry, or knick-knacks (as you should, see step 13 above), use trays and baskets to corral these kinds of things. Grouping loose items together like this will keep your surfaces looking more intentional and less cluttered.
Set Up a Vanity
Whether your morning routine is applying a full face of makeup or swiping on a quick coat of mascara and dashing out the door, everyone needs a primping station. And if you've got the space, your closet is the perfect spot. It can be as simple as an old repurposed desk and mirror or a full-blown, built-in vanity—whatever works for you.
See Yourself Clearly
No closet area is complete without some sort of mirror. If you're short on space, opt for something skinny that you can tuck away easily, or invest in something decorative and make it a statement piece. Lapides has a full-length mirror "that stealthily tucks onto the side of the denim section of the closet," and she also has a stylish tabletop mirror for those essential close-ups.
Lay Down a Rug
A pretty but neutral rug like this one is a great way to spruce up a walk-in closet, holding its own without overshadowing your pretty wardrobe or distracting you from the task at hand: getting ready. Plus a little padding underfoot never hurts.
Glam It Up
Bringing in a few glamorous elements will go a long way towards making your closet feel more luxurious. Using fancy gold hardware on your cabinet pulls or door handles, choosing a chic light fixture, investing in decorative mirrors, and of course displaying your own favorite pieces will all add style to your space.
Take a Seat
Seating in your closet is a game changer once you have it. First of all, sitting on the floor or bending over uncomfortably to put your shoes on gets old, and a designated spot to sit solves that. And if that isn't convincing enough, it's also the perfect spot for folding laundry and propping your suitcase open while you pack.
Upgrade Your Overhead Light
A sophisticated light fixture can be just the décor addition you need to make your walk-in closet feel more like a glamorous dressing room. Don't forget to think about scale and ceiling height when choosing a pendant, since you don't want to overcrowd your space if it hangs too low.
Your closet presents the perfect opportunity for making bold design choices you might shy away from in more public rooms, which means it's an ideal spot to go all-in on a dramatic wallpaper. And since your closet probably a lot less square footage than any traditional room, it won't cost you an arm and a leg.
Add a Touch of Green
Is there any room that doesn't benefit from a touch of greenery? We can't think of one. Infuse a little life into your closet with a house plant or some fresh-cut blooms—they'll add a splash of color to your space and bring a smile to your face daily.