How to create a dressing room

funkyartOctober 5, 2012

I am hoping to convert a small bedroom in my new house to a dressing room. I'd love to do a wall of cabinets but there's a lot to do in the house and that's not in the budget in the near future.

I'd like the room to be feminine and cozy but not too girly. Originally, I was looking for an armoire on CL to refinish/repurpose but I am concerned that the size I want will be too imposing in the small room. I found a bedroom set that includes these dressers. They arent my normal style but I like the max drawer space and clean lines. I am thinking I'd paint them and add pretty hardware (maybe crystal knobs?)

I am not sure about the pieces yet but, if not this set, I think this is the direction to go. I have a vanity but I am thinking of getting the metal parson table from west elm to use as a vanity with a large mirror. I still have to find a great solution for hanging clothes.

What do you all think? How would you go about creating a budget dressing room? Will you share your photos of your dressing room?

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My last house had a dressing room that was a former bedroom. The PO had put closets on both sides of the room. There were three big windows and three doorways, one to our office, one to the MBA, and one to a sort of master suite vestibule (we took over about 5 feet at the end of a long hallway and put in a wall, with a door, in order to make the MBA and three former bedrooms all one suite.

Anyway, the PO had put in an 8 foot long marble topped vanity with a sink at one end. When we first saw the house, I thought ... why the heck is there a sink in one of the bedrooms. But boy was it nice to have an 8 foot long counter with a kneehole and sink when we had babies to change!

Anyway, the dressing room went through a few iterations, including a nursery at one point.

The last version had a double sink and vanity (we took the sink out of the adjoining bathroom when we did that), an oversized ottoman in the middle of the room as a place to sit, and a big oversized mirror I made when I repurposed a mirrored door. I highly recommend those two items --- oversized ottoman and mirror.

I love the set you show, and id like it even better painted with crystal knobs. Perfect. If you can add a sink, id consider it. It is so handy when you are getting dressed!

I will look for some pics. In my new house, I have an oversized closet with a mirror and a place to sit ... but it's not like having a big room.

I say go for it --- it's a great way to use an extra room. I've come to think it is a real drag to have to store clothes and get dressed in the same place you sleep ... much prefer MBR with minimal furniture!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 10:10PM
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I forgot to add, I think a plain old rack from costco is fine to hang your clothes, if you use nice hangers and arrange them by color. Make sure nothing will be in sunlight. You could also buy/make a fabric screen to hide the rack ...

Found photos. This is a shot of the dressing room from the listing.

This someone took while I was packing, but it shows the mirror.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 10:24PM
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Mtnrdx--your dressing room was lovely and absolutely captures the spirit I am looking for. It's very pretty-- but not frilly. I'd love to add cabinets/closets and a sink but that will definitely be a phase 2.

So glad you think the dressers will work. You know, I added this post and then went off to start a pot of soup. When I returned and saw (my own) photos again, I decided they'd be perfect! The set comes with night tables which I can use.. and a full size bed which I won't likely (unless I reupholster it). For $140, I don't think I can go wrong!

I hear you on an ottoman and a large mirror! I was considering a settee or an antique daybed but as I looked at your room, I realize the ottoman is perfect--especially because it doesnt take up the precious wall space.

I could KICK myself because I fell in love with a very large silver mirror at a local consignment shop. It was new-- not consigned-- and $400 less than the very same mirror was selling on Horchow. I stalled on it because it was pricey.. and then it was gone. Argh. We've all done that and kicked ourselves. Back to the search!

I will likely paint my walls a color very similar to yours-- it's a great color for my complexion and I am told light golds and apricots are good for women "of a certain age" -- which I am fast approaching. What color would you paint the dressers? I love aqua or pale blue but I think it is way too overdone.. cream? gray? black?

I use rolling racks in my basement now-- I love them and had thought about using them but was concerned it would look "unfinished". You've given me the confidence to go ahead and order more-- if it looks too sloppy, I can line a wall with curtains to hide them.

Thank you so much for your input!! I am excited to downsize and transform this small house-- but clothes storage was my greatest fear. I'll be starting a new job (soon, hopefully) so having a dressing room ready to go is key! Your encouragement and suggestions are just what I needed!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 11:01PM
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Funkyart, I started my dressing room a few months ago by ordering wallpaper.I didn't want just 'plain' walls, but something a bit more dressy/ornate. I also purchased two identical mirrored dressers from Pier One during their 20% off sale several months ago. I already have a top shelf on all four sides, but plan on adding shelves above the dressers for sweaters(will wallpaper them first), as well as constructing a floor to ceiling shoe rack. I'll also have a mirror on the back wall with wall lamps, (as well as a crystal chandelier!)but haven't decided if I want an extra large mirror or an antique 3-way mirror. I have the 3-way but it needs quite a lot of restoring.

Originally the closet had racks on 2 sides, upper and lower. I scaled down on my wardrobe, and the side where I removed the racks is where the dressers will be. The opposite side is where the 2 racks of clothing still are, and I'm considering using 6 tall thin doors(probably sliders from years ago)that are wicker on the top portion with a panel on the bottom to 'hide' the clothing.

I have the wallpaper, dressers, doors, and wood for shelving, so hopefully this will be my winter project.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 11:55PM
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I am curious about lighting and artwork.. I notice Mtnrdredux has sconces but I dont see an overhead (perhaps it is out of range). I've seen chandies in dressing rooms but I don't know that I want to go that route. Is there a type of lighting that is best for makeup/dressing?

I am not too concerned about artwork--I have some sketches and paintings that would work well but I am thinking this might be a good place to hang photos of my grandmothers. Or.. how horrible would it be to hang images like the one below (I have three on stretched canvas)? Is it too rude? Too cheesy? Could I combine this with vintage photos of my grandmothers, great grandmother in silver frames?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 12:44AM
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I've looked at a lot of rooms with painted furniture and for the size of the room and the style I am seeking, I think I need to stick with a light cream or a light gray. I was planning to paint the room sw ivoire but I am wondering if a wispy "just breath of" gray walls wouldnt work better. Will that throw my makeup off?

I dont really know if I am being silly or not-- but I have odd coloring. I mean, I look normal lol.. but there's a lot of red and green in my skin. It's hard to match my color in foundations (since chanel discontinued the color I'd worn for 20 yr!!) but yellows definitely tone down my skin color-- which is why I was leaning towards a pale, buttery wall color. Am I taking this stuff too far?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 9:15AM
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I can't help with color advice but I love your funky art, funkyart, and it seems like a perfect thing for a private space. Especially with pictures of your Grands. Can't wait to see the completed project.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 9:34AM
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Funky, I hope you buy that furniture.

Mountain, Wow, that is a terrific space

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:22AM
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Funky, I love your artwork. Since I'm a single woman, anything feminine works for me since I won't be sharing the space, although I never considered artwork. With shelves/dressers taking up completely one side, hanging clothing on the opposite, mirror/wall lamps on one end, that only leaves the entrance wall into the closet.

Funny you should mention ivory, that was my first thought too, and included furniture also. LOL, I don't know about the gray 'casting shadows' on your skin, sounds sort of ghoulish. LOL. I have sallow skin, and w/o blush, look like walking death. Are you planning to have a vanity that you'll use for applying make-up, or are you just concerned about color of clothing against the wall color and it reflecting badly? I'm not planning a sit-down vanity space since I prefer brighter lighting when putting on the 'war paint'.

Have you started your project yet, or purchased anything? How large is your space? I recently decided I want a leopard print rug to add even more pizzazz! Am I going too far?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 2:51PM
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Still waiting to hear from the seller of the bedroom set blah. I know there will be other options if this doesnt work out but I am pretty set on these!

Pattycakes - my situation is a little odd. I am moving into (and then buying) my grandmother's house. I am not in there yet as we need to clear out (distribute, sell, donate) her furniture and the "stuff" she hasnt taken with her to her new assisted living apt. We also need to finalize the legal stuff. I was originally going to paint the whole house before moving in but I am likely going to paint just the main space and this room and then paint the others once moved in. Not ideal--but I also need to remove carpeting and refinish floors and I'd like to move within 2 months.

I have the artwork, mirrored wall sconces, two hanging racks (which I'll likely replace with something more substantial). I have the rug below that I could use short term but I'd like something a little nicer eventually. Still waiting to hear from the seller of the dressers and I'll have to find/buy an ottoman and a floor mirror. I have about 8 yards of Bosporus Flax fabric which I could use to recover an ottoman or make curtains.

I am not currently using anything I'll move into this room so I can work on/finish the room before moving in. That's really important to me. I am deep into final interviews for two different jobs so finishing the dressing room is important to a smooth move and transition while I am (hopefully) adjusting to a new job. If I dont get either job, well.. I'll have a lot of time for the budget projects ;)

I am going to make a project board to help me keep everything straight. I'll share when done.

Here is a link that might be useful: I have this rug and could use temporarily

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 3:32PM
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I take that back. I am looking at the rug above and it's just not what I want.

I love the idea of your zebra rug. I saw a gray/cream one a few years ago that I think would be awesome in my room-- mind if I steal your idea??

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 3:42PM
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