Smart & Chic Closets
Walk right in to these boutique-like, dreamy dressing rooms. You'll want to stay awhile.
Organically Souful, Ann Arbor
Getting organized: When designer Krista Nye Schwartz created this master closet, she did it with an accent on texture, soulfulness, and comfort. Schwartz is co-owner of Ann Arbor- and Georgia-based CLOTH & KIND, an interior design firm. This 1905 English cottage-style Ann Arbor home had been completely renovated, top to bottom, and this closet, between the master bath and master bedroom, is now spacious and “nicely hidden away,”Schwartz says.“The room is a little jewel box.”
UNDERNEATH IT ALL: THIS ANN ARBOR DRESSING ROOM HAS AN OLD FEEL THANKS TO ACCENTS LIKE A VINTAGE OUSHAK RUG, WHICH ADDS A SENSE OF DEPTH, CHARACTER, AND HISTORY, SAYS DESIGNER KRISTA NYE SCHWARTZ, “ALL CRITICAL FOR ADDING WARMTH.”
Island dreaming: The island top is constructed of walnut wood.
Jewelry storage: Beyond the island, the dresser below the window also has drawer space, with built-in features for jewelry and watches.
On personal space: “The closet is often an afterthought,” Schwartz says, “but you’re in it every day, so you need easy access to your items, whether the closet is small or large.”
Think first: “Every closet needs well-thought-out storage. As an example, people often end up with one rod, and it could be that double-hung rods are better for them; another example is that having one or two extra shelves works better for many people.”
Wonderful walls: Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue paint adorns walls.
Pull it: All handles are horn, in varied natural-honey tones.
Window treatments: Katie Leede & Company’s Papyrus evokes an organic feel, adding warmth and pattern intrigue.
Light lowdown: The Granada lantern is from l’aviva home. “The owner works with artisans to create new spins on classic designs,” Schwartz explains. “This lantern’s shadows play well on the ceiling.”
Stunning stain: The floor, original to the house, was stained with a custom blend, "like a walnut and ebony."
Make it your own: Schwartz likes to use storied decorative pieces. The runner on this island is a unique Shibori dye that is especially complementary to the rest of the space. The Japanese-style water vessel adds another international touch.
Gorgeous Retreat, Grosse Pointe
Designer: Kristin Ross, FINISH by red décor, 313-319-0919, finishbyreddecor.com
Getting organized: Four years ago, interior designer Kristin Ross, owner of Grosse Pointe-based FINISH by red décor, fashioned a room-turned-master-closet for herself and her husband, K.C., in their 1918 New England Colonial-style home. When the home was built, the room was used as a nursery. Today, the “master retreat” features a connected walk-in closet, master bath, and master bedroom.
ARTFUL HOME: A BUILT-IN CABINET, LIT FROM ABOVE AND MIRROR-BACKED, ALLOWS JEWELRY TO BECOME "ART," ROSS SAYS. THE CORNER CHAIR BELONGED TO HER HUSBAND'S GRANDFATHER."
Island retreat: An island with custom built-ins anchors the room. Its limestone top has a decorative edge for folding and/or laying out clothes for the next day. “I love the organic stone, mixed with the wood floors and built-ins against the shimmer of the glass and mirrored elements in the room,” Ross says.
Let there be unique light: Recent updates include the lighting. “I replaced an oversized drum-shade chandelier with a vintage Maria Theresa crystal chandelier,” discovered at Pointe Lamp & Lighting in St. Clair Shores. The chandelier “needed to be turned on its ear,” so she deconstructed it and then added blue rock crystals.
Curtain call: The bedroom has a seafoam color, as do the toile drapes (Braemore “Garden Toile,” from Calico Corners, Grosse Pointe).
On personal space: “It’s calming and organized. After getting dressed, we leave with a clear head rather than a rushed attitude.”
Historic details: Ross’ vintage trunk is a family piece, while the Moroccan top on the box is a shoe shining kit that was K.C.’s grandfather’s. “Every room should have history in it.”
Paint lowdown: Walls — a version of Softer Tan by Sherwin-Williams. The color was altered to complement the wheat tone in the drapery fabric. It also reappears in the welting on the reupholstered chair. Trim — Navajo White, by Sherwin-Williams.
Floral design and styling by Kristin Ross
Special Details: The island features gorgeous Carrera marble. An acrylic tray with an antique bowl (for placing jewelry when undressing), a candle, and fashion books — along with flowers — add personality.
Boutique-Style Beauty, Birmingham
Designer: Lauren Combs, Neat Method, 313-910-6343, neatmethod.com
Getting organized: A young Birmingham couple moved into a home with a fantastic master-suite closet, created by Royal Oak-based Perspectives Cabinetry. The challenge? How to best use the space. Enter Birmingham’s Lauren Combs, of Neat Method, a national luxury residential organizer company.
SPECIAL DETAILS: THE ISLAND FEATURES GORGEOUS CARRERA MARBLE. AN ACRYLIC TRAY WITH AN ANTIQUE BOWL (FOR PLACING JEWELRY WHEN UNDRESSING), A CANDLE, AND FASHION BOOKS — ALONG WITH FLOWERS — ADD PERSONALITY.
Closet philosophy: The Neat walk-in closet method makes the client feel as if he or she is shopping in a nice boutique, Combs explains. “We want our clients to feel as if they’re in their favorite clothing store, so they can see everything.”
Rainbow-smart: Combs uses a category concept based on ROY-G-BIV color-coding. Everything is separated based on item and color — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Blacks, grays, and browns follow. As for pink, she suggests placing the pieces right before red. “It makes for a nice gradation of color.”
Hang five — or 500: “Our favorite hangers are the black ones with the velvet-like covering,” Combs says. “It’s important that no matter what hanger you use, they should all be the same so all the items fit well and hang the exact same way.” Ship-shape shoes: Neat arranges shoes with the toes facing out and showing. “People truly identify with shoes, toes out — not from the side, back, or heel.”
True to form: Showcase purses by filling them with wadded paper.
Housekeeping tips: “The clear acrylic organizers, separators, and trays we use are easy to wipe down and clean, versus a drawer lined with black velvet, which collects dust that’s hard to get rid of.”
On personal space: “You should feel good about being in your closet space. This client enjoys fresh flowers; the vase in the photo is the perfect size for the island.”
Floral design and styling by Lauren Combs