Step in­side the wardrobe depart­ment

With the right fix­tures, the dress­ing room of your dreams will be­come an ev­ery­day lux­ury, writes Robyn Wil­lis

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - TREND - robyn.wil­ More home­op­tion­; greg­na­

Walk-in wardrobes used to be the do­main of the wealthy who could af­ford, not just the room, but the join­ery to fit the space out prop­erly. Th­ese glam­orous rooms, of­ten the size of a small bed­room, of­fered hang­ing spa­ces at dif­fer­ent heights for shirts, trousers and dresses, plus easy ac­cess to shoes, bags and even a well-lit area for ap­ply­ing make-up.

But what was once re­served for a se­lect few has be­come more ac­ces­si­ble with most dis­play homes now of­fer­ing space for a walk-in robe as part of the main bed­room suite.

Man­ager of Home Op­tion Gallery, Alan Phillips, says would-be home builders are be­gin­ning to re­alise that, with a lit­tle plan­ning, there’s a real op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate a lux­u­ri­ous dress­ing room with all the bells and whis­tles.

“Buy­ers know they want them but they don’t re­alise there is an op­por­tu­nity to get the wardrobe com­pletely fit­ted out un­til we go through it with them,” he says.

“There are trouser rails that you can pull in and out and ad­justable shelv­ing — the op­tions are ex­ten­sive.”

Alan’s busi­ness works closely with builders such as Eden Brae Homes to walk buy­ers through the pos­si­bil­i­ties. At the mo­ment, he says, too many peo­ple leave fin­ish­ing off the walk-in robe un­til af­ter the builder has given them the keys to their new home.

“We talk to them about what they want in their wardrobe early on and peo­ple of­ten think that they will sort it out af­ter the han­dover,” he says. “But it’s re­ally more cost ef­fec­tive to do it be­fore­hand.”

The right stuff

Whether you are plan­ning a walk-in robe as part of a larger build­ing project, or you have the lux­ury of con­vert­ing a spare room, good walk-in robes have some com­mon el­e­ments.

Start by tak­ing an in­ven­tory of your cloth­ing, shoes and ac­ces­sories. Not sur­pris­ingly, women tend to need more hang­ing space than men. Plan for hang­ing rails for shirts and trousers at ac­ces­si­ble heights, ideally one on top of the other to make the best use of the avail­able space.

For shoes and bags, a com­bi­na­tion of open shelv­ing and pull-out draw­ers works well. Re­tail­ers from low-cost Ikea to high-end com­pa­nies such as Po­liform of­fer off-the-shelf wardrobe stor­age sys­tems.

The key is be­ing re­al­is­tic about what your cloth­ing needs are and stick­ing to it. Alan says it can be a good dis­ci­pline for shopa­holics.

“It en­ables you to cull your wardrobe be­cause you only have so much room for your clothes,” he says.

A full length, well-lit mir­ror is a must in the space and, if there’s room, a dress­ing ta­ble for ap­ply­ing make-up.

Add some real style with the Black Pearl rug by Cather­ine Martin for De­signer Rugs.

An ot­toman pro­vides a handy spot for putting on shoes in the Har­ring­ton 28 by Raw­son Homes.

High shelves make the best use of space in the walk-in robe of The Lan­caster 28 by Eden Brae Homes.

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