An island provides extra storage

A storage-challenged Victorian gets a dream dressing room

Irene Edwards  – August 3, 2016

Never did I picture myself as the kind of person who would need a walk-in wardrobe. But when my family and I purchased an 1878 fixer-upper in Alameda, California, we realized that, like many Victorian-era homes, it lacked storage space. What it did have, however, was an 11- by 11-foot antechamber off the master bedroom—just the right size for a small office, a sitting area, or … why not? An entire room devoted to getting dressed.

Inspired by an image I’d saved to my secret Pinterest board, I scheduled an appointment at The Container Store to learn more about TCS Closets, a customizable system designed from the floor up. After my husband demolished the room’s tiny existing closet, the brand’s in-house design team suggested a layout that wrapped around a central island and a finish, Aspen, that complemented the room’s pale blush walls and dark trim. A few finishing touches later—a streamlined light fixture, a vintage chair, a privacy shade that can be lowered from across the room—and I now have the closet I didn’t even dare to dream about.

3 tips for a luxe closet

Even if you don’t have a dedicated dressing room, these details make a difference.

1. Smart storage accessories

Acrylic shelf dividers and slim, nonslip hangers reduce clutter and maximize space. “Velvet-lined jewelry drawers allow you to see all your pieces at once,” says Erin Hogue, senior merchandising director of The Container Store.

2. Windows in closet areas create the need for privacy.

Somfy’s motorized roller shades have a battery-operated option (so they don’t have to be hardwired) and can be programmed to access a preferred position at the touch of a button.

3. Style extras

Lighting—as anyone who’s ever tried on a bathing suit in a department store knows—is everything. Choose a flattering overhead source and add task lighting if possible. Swap out ho-hum knobs and drawer pulls for those with a decorative flourish. “Customers are also loving our pullout mirrors that rotate 190 degrees,” says Hogue.


Prop styling: Bianca Sotelo. Cabana Melon (SW 2439) and Sealskin (SW 7675) paints; Currey & Company Dawlish chandelier and Interlude Ritz side table; Vintage rug; Textured brass tray; Straw hat; For information on TCS Closets, which include features such as tempered glass doors and integrated lighting, go to containerstore.comMotorized shade; Huggable hangers; Jewelry;,, and


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