April 30, 2018 9 min read

A walk-in wardrobe is one of those luxuries in life most always dream about, but few ever have the fortune of experiencing them in our own homes. If you are one of the lucky ones to have the opportunity to have a walk in wardrobe it may be challenging to know how to best design your closet and make the best use of the space.

Hollywood Vanity Mirrors spoke to some of the best interior designers in the UK to get their top tips and advice for walk-in wardrobe styles that will look great and provide you with the most effective use of space whatever the size of your walk-in wardrobe.

To discover our walk in wardrobe ideas that are sure to inspire you to make sure you reach the end of this article.  


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When designing a bespoke walk-in wardrobe, I always try to include an array of mirrors that allow a 360-degree view. No more looking over your shoulder to see if everything is as it should be instead, move around and watch your clothes move with you.

Yasmin Chopin, Interior Designer

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Consider mirror positions which allow you to see your back without creating infinite reflections of yourself which can be distracting and disconcerting. The best way to do this is to have more than one mirror but not parallel facing each other, where the second mirror is at an angle to the first. Using a combination of wall-mounted static and hinged mirrors, or hinged mirrored doors on wardrobes which can be angled as required. 

Consider the choice between open clothes storage and closets with doors, as there are pros and cons to each. Having your season clothes and accessories displayed on open rails and shelves in a separate dressing room can create the effect of a high-end clothing boutique, especially if beautifully lit and colour coordinated. Items easier to find than having everything behind closed doors, and can be more space-efficient as you don't have to worry about space for door swings.

However, if you are not good at keeping your clothes tidy, this can look cluttered. Dust settling on clothes and shelves can be an issue in open cabinet dressing rooms, although putting shelves just above clothing rails means only needing to hoover underneath and dust on top of the rack. Past clients of mine have opted for a combination of open and enclosed cabinet and some glass doors allowing prized items to be displayed. 

Good light is crucial in dressing rooms, especially if it is where you dress as well as store your clothes. Black and navy can get confused in poor lighting, and selecting clothes and accessories with complementary colours are far more comfortable when storage is well lit. Where you try outfits on or apply makeup consider eliminating shadow through up-lighting from below, down-lights from above and even sidelights too.

Concealed lights washing across surfaces are easier on the eye than visible bulbs, especially where lots of vanity mirrors can create glare. LED tape lights are relatively inexpensive and are easily fitted inside cabinet, allowing clothes to light upon opening the doors. Hanging rails with LED lights on the underside can light the hanging clothes underneath more effectively than those mounted in front or behind the rail. 

Consider keeping wall and storage colours neutral, allowing the various colours of clothes and accessories to be displayed against a neutral backdrop. Lighter wall colours will help the room feel more substantial if you are tight on space.

If you would like to introduce stronger colours I usually suggest using chair upholstery, rugs or curtains to do this. For example, adding a bold coloured upholstered ottoman for laying clothes out on can add an injection of style and glamour to a neutral space without the colour being overbearing in a small area.

Kate Thomas, Director of Space: craft Design

Open Walk in Closet Ideas for storage

We, at Slightly Quirky, have recently designed a walk-in wardrobe for our clients in Spitalfields, Central London, so understand what is essential when it comes to storing your suits to your stilettos.

One of the critical aspects is good lighting. As well as layers of light, to ensure all areas are well lit, the colour temperature is crucial; this is the difference between a warm or blue light.

Here a clean, white light is best, this ensures you can see the true colours of your items... and won't run the risk of leaving the house with one blue sock and one black one! Know what you want to store.

Do you have a lot of long dresses or coats?

How many pairs of shoes do you have? The internal configuration will depend on how much long hanging space is required, how much shelving or drawer space you need. A top tip for shoe storage is to keep them in their boxes with photos of the shoes on the outside or clear shoe racks and boxes so you can easily find that pair of pumps in a hurry.

It's also good to consider accessories, handbags, belts, hats, scarves all need their own space too. It's good to allow room for these items so you can find the pieces you want and they don't get lost at the bottom of a drawer.

Consider future-proofing your walk-in wardrobe: don't just consider what you have now but what you may have more of in the future- you can never have too many shoes!

 Caroline Nicholls & Deborah Moor, Slightly Quirky - Interior Design

Walk-in wardrobes ideas for shoes and bootsluxury walk-in wardrobe ideas

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When one thinks of walk-in wardrobes, one thinks luxury. Often a small bedroom or a box room is sacrificed to create one, so it’s imperative that the design works and that you don’t just end up with a clothes rail in a glorified corridor.

My first tip would be to maximise the space you have. Try and cut down the amount of full-length wardrobe space you have as this is only suitable for long dresses and coats. Instead divide your wardrobe space horizontally to allow for two rails (and possibly even a third on a pulldown rod if you have the ceiling height).

My second tip is to make the space somewhere that you want to spend time. A dressing table with a hollywood dressing table mirror and good overhead light is a must if you lack an abundance of natural light, plus it will add a feeling of luxury.

My third tip would be to try and fit in a piece of furniture such as a chaise or armchair where you can lay out your outfits and through ideas together.

My fourth and final tip is to create an island of drawers in the middle for items that can be folded and to lay out your accessories in a glass-topped drawer so that you can view them all easily. Not only will this look gorgeous, but it will also maximise your space and give you that luxurious feeling that all walk in wardrobes should have.

Hannah WoodleyInterior Designer

walk-in wardrobe storage solutionbig white walk-in closet

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As with any room scheme, I would always think about the practicalities of a walk-in wardrobe design first. Start by asking yourself how you dress and then make a plan for how the clothes you wear most often are best stored.

Most women need a combination of long and short hanging space, some drawers for lingerie and sports kit, plus the right amount of storage for shoes and bags! Planning correctly at this stage will pay dividends every time you walk into your wardrobe, and most people are surprised at how much space for shoes and bags (for most women)!

Plan your room correctly, I recommend that good lighting is next on your list. The most important place for this is around your dressing mirror. Nothing can substitute natural light, but if your dressing area is short on this, then choose a light source that will offer a flat, daylight tone. Avoid spotlights.

Finally, this is an area where all your clothes will be on display, so there can be no hiding your style and personality. And why should you? I would recommend making a walk-in closet one of the most personalised places in your home. Be whimsical and find something you love. In this scheme, we chose wallpaper for around the closets. There’s only a touch of it, but it makes all the difference here. 

Bess Sturman, Sturman & Co

best wardrobes

 Credit: Bess Sturman of Sturman & Co. Interior Design. Photo credit: @photokathryn.

Walk-in dressing room has to be one of life’s necessary luxuries. If you have space, then a walk-in closet that is appropriately designed, with you in mind, will enhance your everyday life. No longer will you will scrabbling around for that one particular blouse. Instead, it will be in its place and easy to find. Managing a walk in when you have not had one before does require some self-discipline.

Putting things away in a specially designed place is essential. As with any storage solution, the ability to retrieve the item stored easily is the ultimate goal. One key design feature that can be overlooked when designing a walk-in is lighting. The art of retrieval only works if you can see everything. Multi-directional spotlights and accent lights within drawers will all help. Allow room for a full-length mirror that is well lit.

Julie StevensInterior Designer


best walk in wardrobes

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  • Measure your floor space accurately, noting the position and size of doors and windows, ceiling heights including any sloped ceilings or eaves areas; and note any obstructions such as radiators or boxed in plumbing.  Use this to draw up a simple scale plan as your starting point.
  • Plan how much of each type of storage you’re going to need.  Physically measure how many metres of hanging rail you’re going to need, both half-height and full length.  How many metres of shelf space for folded clothes, how many pairs of shoes etc.  Do you have any more specific items to house such as a massive hat collection or too many sports kit bags?


  • Having open-fronted shelving and hanging rails makes it easier to see what you’ve got, takes up less space and improves air circulation.  Adding cupboard doors and drawer fronts, while adding dust protection, does bump up the cost as well as eating into your space (imagine standing in the room with all the doors and drawers open, will there still be space for you?!)
  • Plan to fill your spaces every nook and cranny with essentials.  Odd shaped areas may be ideal for storing accessories, tall boots, sports equipment, handbags or jewellery.  And use the vertical space, plan storage right up to the ceiling.
  • One of my favourite must-haves is a row of gorgeous wall hooks.  They take up hardly any space and will be useful for everything from hangers to bags, belts and scarves. 

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  • Boxes and baskets are essential in a walk in wardrobe – they keep similar items together and provide structure for softer or smaller pieces.  There are masses of containers available from pretty woven baskets and fabric-covered boxes, to more functional plastic or card containers. 
  • Boxes and containers with lids can be stacked, but high piles of boxes are a problem, making it harder to access the things you need.  Rows of open boxes on shelves are one of the simplest ways to keep things both tidy and accessible.


  • Don’t forget to consider the smell – keeping a walk in wardrobe smelling laundry fresh is essential, especially if there’s no window or vent for fresh air.  There are all sorts of tricks from essential oils to cedar shoe trees.
  • Think about how tidy you are when choosing an outfit.  Do you like to pull out lots of options to try on and swap around?  Will that row of wall hooks be enough or would an ottoman or even just a chair prove invaluable for all those hastily discarded items?


  • Buy new hangers – there’s nothing guaranteed to make a gorgeous new wardrobe space look untidy and cheap than a motley, mismatched selection of hangers.
  • A large mirror is vital – both for scrutinising your look and for increasing the feeling of space in what is often a relatively small room.
  • Think about your lighting – yes you need to see all your clothes in storage, but you also need to know what you look like in them – so additional lighting around the mirror is always a good idea.

Wendy NewmanInterior Designer

shoe wardrobe storage solutions

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Walk-in wardrobes add a fabulous feature to a bedroom, which should look equally as good on the inside, as they do on the outside. The character of walk-ins very much depends on personal choice, so - you may want plenty of display shelving, with the addition of glass tops and draws, for things like lingerie, ties and socks.

For the less so, concealed compartments that are mirror-fronted add a somewhat more spacious look. Lighting is also vital, as you want to be able to see everything correctly. Include backlighting for shelves, spot-lights in the ceiling or, a pendant statement light centrally positioned can do wonders. Over-sized mirrors and a chaise long can add even more glamour and practical purpose.

Laura Basham and Alex Moxham Jones, Interior Designers at Stella Mannering and Company

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Some incredible tips there from the expert interior designers! If you are now ready to start furnishing your walk in wardrobe, then make sure you check out our dressing table mirrors with lights.

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