What is a repliKater to do when she has a large and beautiful collection of Kate inspired clothing spilling out of every closet in the house and an underutilised guest bedroom. The answer was simple and obvious- create a beautiful walk in dressing room where my collection could be displayed and enjoyed every day, not just on the day I happened to be wearing that item. The application was a bit more difficult. It took about 6 months of research and planning to come up with a practical solution that suited my needs and lifestyle but in the end, I created the perfect space that suited all my needs and come in at well under $500. Read on to see my dressing room and hear my tips on how to create your own……
The idea for my dressing room was planted about 12 months ago when I had a team from Australian Womans Day magazine come to my home for a photo shoot to accompany an article on repliKating. At the time, we had emptied out the spare room temporarily and 2 stylists created a walk-in wardrobe.
About 6 months later I began to take the idea a bit more seriously and had two IKEA systems recommended to me. The first was the stolmen system. This system offered mix and match shelving and racks you could piece together to suit your needs using a tension-mounted pole system that you install inside a closet or against a blank wall. This system was quite budget friendly and left all your clothing displayed which I loved but seemed quite labour intensive to get up initially and would put a lot of holes in the walls which we couldn’t do as renters, who need to move interstate every 3 years for my husband’s work.
The second Ikea system I considered was the Pax system. Again, you could mix and match to suit your needs, but this system pieces together traditional wardrobes which would leave my clothes hidden away (out of sight, out of mind) and would be difficult to move and we are due to move at the end of the year.
Finally, I settled on using simple clothing and shoe racks, with a bed side table for hosiery, a full length portable mirror and a feature piece which is my stunning dressing table, given to me as a 5th year wedding anniversary gift in December last year (5 years is the traditional wood for gift anniversary). If you can create a permanent space though I would highly recommend considering either IKEA system.
Below are my tips for creating your own walk in wardrobe space;
- Do your research so you can pick the perfect solution for your needs. Know exactly how many shoes, bags etc. you need to store and are you likely to add more in the future so need a system you can add to. With my simple shoe racks, I can just keep adding them on top as needed. Select your budget. What are your living circumstances? Is it possible you will need to move in the next 6-12 months or can you make your room a bit more permanent and solid
- Matching coat hangers go a long way towards making everything look prettier and neater and saves a lot of room.
- If using portable racks such as mine you will need to come up with an alternative option for heavier items like winter coats. The bedroom I used had a small built in robe where I have my coats and gowns hanging.
- Pick one feature item. If you are using a smaller space, a large vintage full body mirror or a large fashion illustration would be perfect. If you have the room you might want to think about adding a small lounge or day bed near a window so you can also use it as a sanctuary to hide away, drink tea and read. I love my room so much I will use any excuse to be in there for 5 minutes. The inclusion of my dressing table also means I have a little desk space so I also like to use the room to blog and study. I feel really inspired to write about Kate and repliKating when I am surrounded by her clothing.
- Decorate according to your tastes. This room is 100% yours so whatever your obsession is, go for it, no need to worry about upset partners/flatmates is your tastes are wildly different. Paint the walls pink, put up your pictures of Audrey Hepburn or Paris or, like me, fill it with little collectables and trinkets associated with Kate Middleton.
- Even if you can’t create a full room wardrobe like mine, you could probably use a little extra space. You could look at adding a portable rack or two, or some shoe racks to your existing bedroom where you can have a few of your favourite things out on display.