Furnishing a dressing room: tips for planning and decoration

Jana Janssen

A dressing room: for many people, having an entire room for clothes, shoes and accessories that also elegantly provides space for dressing and styling is the epitome of luxury and splendor. Never again will you have insufficient storage space in the closet. Have you too always dreamed of having a dressing room? Our tips will help you to plan and design it.

A woman is standing buttoning her blouse in a room with large mirrored cabinets on two walls.
© Getty Images

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Walk-in closet or a whole dressing room?

The terms walk-in closet and dressing room are often used interchangeably. Small rooms or niches in the bedroom are especially appropriate as walk-in closets. If you have a slightly larger room free, you can create a complete dressing room. This provides not only storage space for your clothes, but also space for dressing or styling. The main difference is the size, but the design also distinguishes the two, since a dressing room should be particularly cozy and inviting.

Planning: what to consider

The best way to plan your dressing room depends mainly on the type of property you live in. Of course, you have the best options if you are building your own house and can plan a dressing room according to your wishes from the outset. But even when buying a ready-built house, you can still envisage a dressing room. If, on the other hand, you want to convert a rarely used study or a former child’s room in your home, the important thing is to make the most of the available space. Customized solutions can help you to take advantage of the space under sloping ceilings, for example.

The optimal size for a dressing room for two people is about six to eight square meters, so you can accommodate all your clothes and still have room for dressing and styling. It’s also convenient if the dressing room is directly adjacent to the bedroom or bathroom; in an ideal situation, it should be located between them and be accessible from both rooms. This ensures maximum convenience for your morning routine.

Another factor that is crucial for determining the ideal size of your dressing room: your wardrobe. When planning, take into account all your clothes, shoes and accessories like bags, scarves and jewelry. Don’t forget that underwear and socks also need their place. And plan in some extra space.

Blouses, t-shirts and skirts can be seen hanging in an open closet. There are handbags and shoes on a shelf.

When planning a dressing room, don’t just think in terms of clothes, but remember your shoes and handbags too.

Furnishings: how to design your room

Once you have finished planning your dressing room, it’s time to start designing it. A dressing room gives you much more space than a regular or walk-in closet, so you have much more room to play with. Since the aim isn’t just to quickly pick out clothes, but also to change and style, you should make it extra cozy. This will make you feel more comfortable while dressing. It’s not just a matter of having the right pieces of furniture to store your clothes, but incorporating seating, mirrors and the right decor.

You will need to decide on more than just the furniture you want to decorate your dressing room with. Other important questions include: what should the lighting be like? Which colors do you want in the room? How do you want to decorate it? The key here is to find your own style and meet your daily dressing needs. The following considerations will help you as you furnish.

The right furniture

Closed cabinet or open shelves? Hang or fold clothes? It all depends on the composition of your personal wardrobe. Generally speaking, cabinets that you can close look especially neat; shelves, on the other hand, present the clothes better. Some clothes like shirts and blouses or dresses are more suitable for hanging, while it’s best to fold heavy knitted sweaters. This overview will help you find the right storage for your clothes:

  • Knit sweaters: if you hang heavy knit sweaters on a hanger, they will get longer and longer over time due to their own weight. Therefore, always fold sweaters and put them on a shelf, at the bottom of a closed cabinet or in a drawer. To avoid wrinkles, it’s recommended to put tissue paper between them. Alternatively, you can use cotton bags for this purpose. These provide additional protection against moths.
  • Dresses: dresses are best hung on a clothes rail with a hanger. Be careful not to use wire hangers. These can distort the neckline and shoulder seams. If you have a lot of long dresses, the bar should hang high enough so that the hems fall freely and don’t wrinkle. The exception is beaded dresses, which can be very heavy. Hanging them up would place excess stress the shoulder seams. Here, too, it’s best to fold them and use tissue paper.
  • Pants: for pants, the optimal storage method depends entirely on the fabric. Jeans you can fold, but finer cloth pants – especially if they have pleats – should be hung on a special hanger made specifically for pants.
  • Blouses and shirts: for women’s blouses and men’s dress shirts, the same applies as for dresses. They shouldn’t get wrinkled. Therefore, they also belong on hangers.
  • Shoes and boots: shoes and boots need to be stored in the open after wearing so that they can air out. However, footwear that has not been worn for a longer period of time can also go into a closed closet in a cotton bag to protect it from dust. It’s also important to store tall boots with a boot shaper to prevent the shaft from bending over and wrinkles from forming. Newspaper is also suitable for this purpose.
  • T-shirts: t-shirts can be hung up as well as folded and placed in the closet or on a shelf. The more space-saving option is, of course, folding, especially if you have a lot of t-shirts.
  • Jackets: seasonal jackets are best hung on their own clothes rail. If you don’t have space for this, you can fold away winter jackets in the summer, or summer jackets in the winter. Again, it’s advisable to wrap them in tissue paper or cotton bags. This is especially true for leather jackets, which can otherwise get permanent wrinkles.
  • Underwear: underwear is something very private that people tend not to present in an open closet. Ideally, it belongs in a drawer. Dividers for drawers are also useful for keeping things organized.

When it comes to storage, opting for a combination of open and closed elements, clothes rails, shelves and chests with drawers is a good approach.

Open shelves with numerous boxes and baskets for storing clothes can be seen in a brightly decorated room. There are jackets hanging on a clothes rail in the center of the picture.

Open shelves present your clothes especially well. Boxes and baskets help keep everything looking neat.

Since a dressing room, even more than a walk-in closet, should be an inviting place to linger, a comfortable armchair or a cozy recamier is also a great addition. Here you can plan your next outfit in peace. A dressing table is also a popular element in your own dressing room. And, of course, a large mirror where you can look at your complete outfit is indispensable.

Another tip: set up several mirrors at a 45-degree angle. This will allow you to see yourself from all sides.

The best lighting

Lighting is also an important element in your dressing room. After all, you don’t want to pick out an outfit in the dark and suddenly realize in daylight that the colors clash.

It therefore makes sense to have lighting that covers as much of the area as possible. Ideally, the light should resemble daylight, especially in a room without windows. One or more large daylight lamps or full spectrum lamps with a color temperature of 5,500 Kelvin on the ceiling are ideal. Having many mirrored elements in the room reflects the light and also makes the room look brighter.

It is also recommended to put lights in the individual cabinets so that you can always see your clothes in the best possible way. The rest of the lighting should look natural, be rather warm, and flatter you so you feel comfortable while dressing.

: A woman is standing in a brightly lit dressing room. She is reflected in the large mirrored door of a cabinet.

Large mirrors reflect light, adding even more brightness to your dressing room.

Select colors and materials

But it’s not only the right furniture and lighting that are important for creating the feel-good factor in a dressing room. The choice of colors, the materials and how you decorate the room also play a role.

Interior design experts advise designing a dressing room in rather dark colors, such as dark blue for the walls and dark wood tones for the furniture. This makes the room look especially warm, calm and inviting. If you have a lot of colorful clothes and want to store them in the open, it will also make them appear more elegant. In any case, it is important that the room is well lit. Mirrors and reflective surfaces such as glass or metal fronts on furniture also provide more light.

In windowless rooms, you should go for lighter colors. Here, choose cabinets in light wood or white, and set an attractive contrast with a slightly darker floor. This distracts from the lack of windows. However, keep in mind that light colors like white tend to accentuate the colors of your clothes. Of course, this can be deliberate, but with a lot of colorful clothes in an open closet, it can look a little messy.

The size of the room can also be positively influenced by color. Here, cool shades like light blue make a room look bigger, while warm ones like beige make it look smaller. A clever combination of cool and warm tones can visually expand very narrow spaces and stretch square ones.

Since you will often walk barefoot in your dressing room, tiles aren’t a very suitable flooring material. If you insist on choosing tiles, then radiant floor heating is a must. A warm rug can also help – soft high pile is especially cozy, for example. If you have a choice, it’s best to choose a beautiful wooden or carpeted floor.

The decoration makes a real difference

Besides comfortable seating, it’s the decoration that makes the difference between a walk-in closet and a dressing room. After all, if you have already dedicated a whole room to dressing, why not enhance it with pictures, vases, pillows, curtains and rugs. Velvet curtains are ideal for a dressing room, for instance. These are opaque – especially important when you are changing clothes in a well-lit space – and create a cozy atmosphere.

You can also get creative with the choice of images. How about pictures of your favorite outfits on the wall? Or provide attractive storage for your jewelry with decorative jewelry trees. The important thing here is to consistently implement your color concept, since a uniform color scheme brings calm to the room.

Conclusion: a cozy dressing room for your home

A dressing room is a luxury, but for many fashionistas, it’s an absolute dream. An XXL dressing room at home should be not only functional and practical, but also cozy. Then changing, styling and outfit planning are especially fun.

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