Thursday, January 26, 2017

Dressing Room on a Budget

The room I'm currently focusing on is my workroom (where I hung the patchwork curtains). I just have one project left to complete the room, and then it's on to the next - my walk-in closet. In a case of fortuitous timing, Arhaus contacted me to see if I wanted to write a post about what I'd have in my dream dressing room.

Though I certainly like to dream big on occasion, I can't help looking at things from a practical perspective. And with GIY’s emphasis on thrifty décor and DIY projects, it makes sense to post about creating a nice dressing room on a reasonable budget.

So what does one need for a nice dressing room/area? I think the basic requirements are storage, lighting, and a mirror.

If you include hairstyling as part of dressing, you may also need an electrical outlet for hair dryer and/or styling tools. Many people dry and style their hair in the bathroom; however, that’s not a good option for me because my bathroom is tiny, has no counter space, and has only one electrical outlet in a horribly inconvenient place. Trying to do my hair there would be a challenge. I set up a hair (and makeup) area in the spare bedroom instead.

Thus, I actually have two dressing rooms/areas: one for clothes and one for hair and makeup. Both areas have been/are being set up on a low budget.

For hair and makeup, a chest of drawers functions as both work surface and storage. I chose a chest of drawers because I’m tall, and the height is more convenient than a dresser or table. The chest was a secondhand find that I painted.

I use a large glass cutting board to protect the top of the chest. It withstands the heat from my curling and straightening irons.

My hair accessories fit nicely into the drawers, organized into some inexpensive bins/drawer dividers I found at Jo-Ann and Big Lots.

The mirror was purchased for 90% off because it was damaged - the bottom fleur-de-lis was slightly bent. But it's made of metal, so all I had to do was bend it back. So I got a perfectly good, new $60 mirror for $6. :) I planned to paint it black (of course), but I found that I liked the bronze color when it was paired with the wallpaper and faux tin ceiling in the room.

Light is provided by two tall lamps on either side of the chest of drawers. Though they function well, they are rather plain. I want to replace them with nicer, more decorative lamps. I've picked out a few candidates (shown below). I like the one on the left, but I'm not sure if the 3-light style would work well. I'll probably go with the one in the middle; it's a dark bronze finish that matches the mirror.



For clothes, I am fortunate to have a walk-in closet that is large enough to function as a dressing room. (Mirror is covered to avoid flash reflection.) It's a bit incongruous in my small house but was certainly a selling point for me!

It has two long bars which provide plenty of space for hanging clothes. Good thing, too, because my sewing habit hobby has generated many space-hogging fluffy skirts. ;)

I added an IKEA chest of drawers for tights, leggings, and the like. It's one of the few items I purchased at retail, but of course, IKEA is very reasonably priced. It provides three enormous drawers while still being short enough to sit under the hanging clothes. It’s plain white; I think I will add some decals as I did with my bathroom vanity.

For shoes and boots, I have stacking shelves. I got the brown one (which coincidentally matches the flooring) as a leftover after an office move. I got the white ones free as well – they were being placed on the curb by a neighbor as I happened to walk by. "Hi, neighbor! Do you mind if I take your trash home with me?" :D (They're pristine and really should have been donated, not thrown out... but as I'm a frequent thrift shopper, I might have ended up with them either way.)

For storing and organizing smaller items such as fabric refresher and lint roller, I use baskets from the dollar store. I also have an awesome coffin-shaped box that a coworker gave me. His children had received it at Halloween; after they ate the cookies/goodies, he brought me the box. :D

The standing mirror is from a thrift shop. It fits perfectly at the end of the closet, but it needs some GIYing. I’ll at least paint the frame black.

Light is provided by the least glamorous light fixture one could have – a socket with a bare bulb. The plastic shade which clips directly on the bulb reduces the glare but does little to improve the aesthetic.

I will definitely be replacing the light fixture. I’d love a black crystal chandelier to match the one in my bedroom, but it would hang down too low. I’ll need to get a semi-flushmount fixture instead. I haven't seen many at thrift stores, so I'll likely have to wade through the enormous variety of retail options (some shown below). I like the drum shade on the top left, but the fabric is beige, which would make the light too warm for my taste. The fixture on the top right is what I have in my dining room.



The finish up the décor in the closet, I want to replace the plain black rug with a patterned rug. A few years ago, I struggled to find an oriental type rug that wasn't beige. But gray is now in style, and I was happy to find several options in black and gray. :D


I appreciate Arhaus providing the inspiration to write about this topic. It gave me a good reason to try some project planning “out loud” instead of planning everything in my head and then later posting the final result.

Are you interested in mood board/idea type posts where I write about what I'm considering and show what I might do (and welcome feedback, as always)? Or do you prefer to simply see the completed project?

26 comments:

  1. I dream of a closet like that! Also love the idea of a gray oriental rug. Fancy!

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    1. I have to admit, I love my closet! Normally, the selling points for a house are location, location, and kitchen. For me, it was location, location, and closet. ;)

      I'm excited to get a pretty rug.

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  2. I like reading idea posts. Especially if pictures are included. They provide inspiration.

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    1. Great! Yes, gotta have pictures. :)

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  3. OOO, I'm jealous of that walk in wardrobe it's an amazing space. I like your accessories, and I would love to see some mood boards, that would be interesting.

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  4. Wow, love it! Such a great source of inspiration.

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  5. So much space for your clothes - that's great! I like your ideas for the lamps and rugs. A mood board would be really interesting.

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  6. Your walk in closet looks a bit like paradise!You have bunches of New Rocks, right? You put a lot of thought into planning your walk in wardrobe, I love the many mirrors. A beautiful light fixture and a carpet would make it even better.

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    1. Thank you! I have five pairs of New Rocks. They are my favorites. :)

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  7. Love how you organized your hair accessories. Need some drawer dividers, it's such a good idea!
    And I absolutely love that grey oriental rug, though the Russian in me will never NOT go for a red/brown/beige oriental rug :P

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    1. Thanks! I love the drawer dividers; they make it easy to keep all the like items together.
      Oriental rugs in warm colors are gorgeous.

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  8. I really love seeing all your ideas!

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  9. Ooo...look at all the black and purple! It looks lovely!

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    1. My two favorite colors. :D Thank you!

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  10. So when I move again in a few years I need to look for a 3-room flat to have a dressing room as well *lol* amaaaaazing <3

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    1. Indeed. Dressing is something we do every day... why not have a room for it? ;)

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  11. That glass cutting board idea is brilliant! I may have to borrow that :)

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    1. I like that it's nearly clear and less obvious than something like a silicone mat would be.

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  12. Such a wonderful space! Over the years I've had many a walk in closet.. until now. 200 year old house and from what I can tell most of the ones this age didn't have closets to begin with. 😓 At some point when we get around to doing some remodeling closets are defiantly going in!

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    1. My apartment in DC had only one tiny closet. I bought three wardrobes from IKEA and lined them all up in my bedroom. At first, it felt a bit odd to hang my clothes in a piece of furniture... but I guess that's how things were done for many years.

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