Dressing Room On A Budget

Before starting at House & Home, I was working on a two-year masters program in Toronto. With all the late nights spent reading and writing, I really benefitted from having an office in my apartment. It wasn’t pretty, but it definitely provided enough work and storage space.

The spare room is a decent size, but once I had finally graduated it became wasted space. The room with great storage continued to be just that — a room to house all of my junk. That’s when I had the brilliant — although admittedly self-indulgent — idea to transform the office/junk room into a walk-in closet. I wanted to create a lighthearted and unique room that allowed me to hang and see my clothes and shoes. The main difficulty of course, would be fitting it within my very limited budget.

Here are some of my inspiration shots of gorgeous walk-in closets:

Taking inspiration from these feminine, high-end dressing rooms, I attempted to translate the look of built-ins with a very skimpy budget.

I repurposed a shelf and desktop from Ikea into an island for the centre of the room by painting the shelf and wrapping the stainless steel tabletop in fabric.

To create hanging areas, I used four tall Expedit bookcases from Ikea with rods attached between. I secured each shelf to the wall with heavy-duty plugs, since the rods would be weighted down significantly. For the rods, I picked up some sturdy, non-extendable curtain rods in 1-1/8″ widths from Designer Fabrics in Toronto.

I used side-mount brackets — also from Designer Fabrics — to secure the rods to the sides of the shelving units, and metal plugs specifically designed for hollow-core doors and walls — important considering the amount of weight distributed along the rods.

Here are some in-process shots for the project that was only supposed to take me two weeks, but ended up taking the whole summer.

Inexpensive Ikea shelves are sturdy enough for shoes, and keep the sightlines open.

And with a few more ingredients and finessing, here is the final product:

Now onto the next project — actually organizing my clothes!

For more ideas, see our Closets & Dressing Rooms photo gallery.

Photo credits:
1, 8-12. Lauren Petroff
2. Reasons to Breathe blog
3. Reasons to Breathe blog
4. Reasons to Breathe blog
5. Expedit shelving unit, Ikea
6a. Expedit tall shelving unit, Ikea
6b, 7. Rod and bracket, Designer Fabrics

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