54 February 17, 2016

The Closet is Finished!

Maybe I should start calling it a dressing room? Sounds way fancier.

Making it Lovely's Master Closet

I reached out to Ballard Designs and they provided several pieces from their Sarah storage collection. The 14″ depth works well for our closet, I love the details along the top and bottom, and the three units I chose fit perfectly along the wall. Tops go on the top, bottoms go along the bottom. Pretty straight-forward, though I did have to get new hangers so that my skirts wouldn’t hang too low.

Ballard Designs - Sarah Storage | Making it Lovely's Closet

Hanging Skirts | Making it Lovely's Closet

We started here, remember. Wall-to-wall carpet concealing some major floor damage and subfloor structural issues.


This is a long post. Brace yourselves, let’s keep going!

The carpet was ripped out and replaced with hardwood flooring, and then I figured, hey let’s just go all out on this and totally redo everything. I made a 3D model when I was planning the layout. It’s an odd space with two doors, a curved wall, a window, a radiator, and a sink.

Closet Layout 3Closet Layout 2

My photos are showing a lot of details and angles that make it look like I’ve taken over the entire closet, but it is a shared space. Maybe a 60/40 split? As far as main clothing storage goes, I need more hanging space and Brandon needed more space for t-shirts, so the shelves behind the mirrored door are all his.

Making it Lovely's Closet Layout Sketch

The mirror opens toward the closet doorway so that we can angle it to see ourselves from farther back, rather than having to stand right in front of it, and inside are the shelves with Brandon’s shirts, shoes, and ties. He’s got a really good collection of ties.

Brandon's Ties

My purses go along the top, next to a couple of linen boxes that are gloriously empty. I’m sure we will fill them in due time.

Purses Above the Closet's Hanging Storage

On the opposite wall, I have a garment rack with all of my dresses and long skirts. It was a local find from Yearbook a while back. It tipped over and I had considered replacing it, but I was able to fix it (hooray!). I went with a garment rack because I can pull it forward slightly to make room for the curve of the wall behind it. I have room to put my boots behind it, and I can put shoes on and below its wooden base, too.

Dresses Hanging on an Industrial Garment Rack, Shoes Below | Making it Lovely's Closet

The prettiest shoes get prime placement even if I don’t wear them as often as my more practical footwear, just because I like seeing them there.

Sparkly Shoes in the Closet | Making it Lovely

To keep the rack from tipping again, I’ve anchored it to a wall stud with heavy-duty mirror hanging hardware. You can’t even see the wire unless you are specifically looking for it.

Wire Anchor to Secure a Garment Rack

Next to the garment rack, I have shoe storage. My shoes used to hang on the back of the closet door before, on a rack like this that left indentations on each pair and that would occasionally fall of the wall. I hated that thing! This is far better, and nicer to look at too.

Garment Rack and Shoe Cubby Organizer | Making it Lovely's Closet

I have a brass tray, also from Ballard, above. I cut a piece of felt with pinking shears to prevent the tray from scratching the top of the shoe cabinet, and inside I keep a few girly things. Perfume, barrettes in a pretty container, a magnifying mirror, and flowers. Fake flowers, because I like seeing them there, but realistically I’m not about to buy a fresh bunch every week for my closet. These silk peonies are expensive, but I rationalized the purchase, figuring it’s about five weeks’ worth of real ones before the price equals out.

Brass Tray

I joke about how fancy a “dressing room” sounds as opposed to a closet, but I do get dressed in there and there is a sink. So it is more than your average coset — maybe that actually would be a more accurate term? We have a bathroom on the second floor for all of us to share, but this sink is mine all mine. Brandon is more than welcome to use it, but he doesn’t so have indeed taken over this section.

Closet Sink

It looked like this while I was fixing it all up, so I’m feeling good about this little nook. Those corners were not easy to repair!

Closet Sink Nook

I hung a tall, narrow mirror, small glass and brass shelf, and a new brass sconce in the sink nook. My toothbrush and toothpaste are in a pretty tumbler, I decanted mouthwash and transferred face wash into amber apothecary bottles, and I added a ridiculous soap dish. My makeup and brushes are out, split between a gold polka dot tray and another tumbler.

Sink Details

Below the sink, I have a trash can and an under-cabinet organizer to hold things like a hair dryer, hair products, a lint brush, and other things I may need for getting ready but that don’t look nice sitting out — all hidden behind a sink skirt that I made. I was going to add a hook for a hand towel above the sink, but the little nook is so narrow that it started to feel crowded. There are two doors in the closet (such an odd layout), and on one of them, Brandon and I hang our bath towels. I would set things up differently if this was a sink that guests (or even the kids) used, but it’s not a big deal for me to just use my bath towel that’s hanging right there when I’m washing up.

Pale Pink Towels

The last wall, between the two entrances to the closet, got a couple of new shelves. I used brass and iron brackets that reference the metal finishes elsewhere in the space, paired with white shelves. They hold another tray with makeup (I have a thing for lipstick), pretty brass and glass jars holding not so pretty things like cotton swabs, and a small lamp. Gifts from the kids are on display, too.


Lipstick, Blush


* Someone in the comments wondered why I keep a dictionary in the closet. It’s not, it’s a clutch! *

Making it Lovely's Closet

Laundry goes in a Steele canvas truck that fits perfectly next to the radiator. The wheels make it easy to scoot out of the way if we want to open that second door, but we don’t use that entrance often.

Rolling Laundry Truck and Victorian Radiator Details

We had an antique/vintage Tibetan rug in the hallway that works well in here, and the blue tufted ottoman next to it gives us a place to sit, to throw clothes, or to stand on when reaching above the closet units.

Vintage/Antique Tibetan Rug, New Stool

Vintage Rug and Tufted Stool

The stool sits in front of the window, and most of the time the curtains are drawn. I can’t imagine all that light would be good for clothes — especially since ours have a lot of color to them. When I’m in the closet (dressing room?) though, I do pull the silk curtain to the side by the tie-back to let the daylight in. The sheers give just enough privacy, and they have sequins and embroidery — they’re the same ones from the living room in our old house! The only curtains we took with us when we moved.

Embroidered Sheer Curtains with Sequins

And finally, the light. I had the junction box moved over 8″ which left us with a plate where the old one was. The electricians suggested a ceiling medallion as a solution and while I wouldn’t have put one here otherwise, I do like it a lot. I hung a fixture that had come from elsewhere in the house before swapping out for a bell jar lantern that’s a much better fit for the space.

Bell Jar Lantern with Ceiling Medallion | Making it Lovely's Closet

Want to know where something came from? Ta da, sources!

Making it Lovely's Closet

  1. Sarah Storage Master Closet System • c/o Ballard Designs

  2. Carleton Brass Sconce with Milk Glass Shade • Rejuvenation

  3. 3-Light Medium Bell Jar Foyer Pendant • Wayfair

  4. Edinburgh Ceiling Medallion • Wayfair

  5. Dupioni Silk Curtain • Pottery Barn

  6. Threshold Lidded Milk Crates • Target

  7. Antique Brass Hooks • Similar, House of Antique Hardware

  8. B&W Wall Hook • Anthropologie

  9. Gilded Loops Brackets • Anthropologie

  10. Linen White Paint • Benjamin Moore

  11. Petite Sarah Storage Shoes Towers • c/o Ballard Designs

  12. Bardot Mirror • c/o Ballard Designs

  13. Glass Jars • Anthropologie

  14. Brass Circlet Glass Shelf • Anthropologie

  15. Reclaimed Wood Garment Rack • Yearbook

  16. Blush Pink Towels • CB2

  17. Vintage Tibetan Rug • Other Options

  18. Threshold Small Tufted Turned Leg Ottoman • Target

  19. Harlow Brass Tray • c/o Ballard Designs

  20. Silk Peonies • One Kings Lane

  21. Canvas Laundry Cart/Truck • Steele

And there you go. The closet with the odd sink dressing room.


Making it Lovely's Closet

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  • Reply
    February 17, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    This is so beautiful! I really appreciate how you shared progress along the way too. Great post!

  • Reply
    February 17, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    wow! my favorite post yet :)

  • Reply
    Barbara Shirkie
    February 17, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Gorgeous! Loved seeing what you did!

  • Reply
    February 17, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    “Dressing Room” indeed! You are in a Victorian, after all, and such niceties have proper names ;) Major closet envy!

  • Reply
    February 17, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    I agree, definitely one of my favorite posts! So very lovely!! I love all the pink, but that it doesn’t really feel too overwhelming. I like the thought about how much real flowers will cost in the end. Something to keep in mind for sure. Also, I have loved Ballard Designs since I was 14 (I moved in with my step-mom and Dad, and she had a BD catalog and from that moment, I knew I loved her and BD…ha ha), so I am happy to see a blogger working with them. They do carry lovely products! Also, your wedding picture above the tray is a beautiful touch. Hope you are loving your dressing room! (You have a beautiful Victorian! Might as well go with dressing room!)

  • Reply
    Jess @ Fashion By Committee
    February 17, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    BEAUTIFUL! That space definitely deserves the Dressing Room moniker – you can sit, dress, choose shoes, and do makeup all in one place. You’re living the dream!

    Jess | FashionByCommittee.com

  • Reply
    February 17, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Love this space! And love how transparent you are about sponsors and recieving items from brands/stores. I wish more bloggers were so upfront about it! Thank you!

  • Reply
    February 17, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    soo beautiful!

  • Reply
    February 17, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Stunning. Be honest, do you hang out in here all day? Your shoes! I really love how the sink area turned out. What an ideal makeup/primping setup. Divine ❤️

  • Reply
    Joelene Diana
    February 17, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Absolutely stunning! What a labor of love – and the color scheme is beautiful. Question – is your window fitted with curved glass? Your floor plan seems to indicate that!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      February 18, 2016 at 9:11 am

      Yes! The house has four curved windows — the one in here, and three on the main floor.

  • Reply
    Amanda Katherine
    February 17, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    So dreamy!!! I dream for a closet that looks this good :)


  • Reply
    Ari Baker
    February 18, 2016 at 12:01 am

    Your dressing room is lovely!

  • Reply
    Lauren B
    February 18, 2016 at 2:14 am

    This is AMAZING! I’m sure it had it’s challenges, but what a great space.

  • Reply
    February 18, 2016 at 3:11 am

    Wonderful post, Nicole! Back on track. However, why would you keep a dictionary in your closet? Just wondering.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      February 18, 2016 at 9:04 am

      It’s a clutch! Maybe I should make note of that in the post — it would be strange to keep a dictionary in the closet. :)

      • Reply
        February 21, 2016 at 3:35 pm


  • Reply
    February 18, 2016 at 4:56 am

    Can I just say “Oh my.”
    This makes me all kinds of happy!
    Thanks for sharing. The brass tray – sigh!
    Lovely….. Really lovely!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2016 at 5:35 am

    Smashing! Everything looks lovely and organized. I particularly like those storage pieces from Ballard; would not have thought to look there for a closet system! Well done.

  • Reply
    February 18, 2016 at 10:03 am

    It is GLORIOUS!

    Does hubby have his own closet?


    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      March 4, 2016 at 9:53 am

      We share! He has half of the double hanging space (I have the left unit, he has the one on the right), and the entire mirrored section is his (there are shelves inside). The garment rack is mine, but then in the bedroom we have two dressers and he has the larger one. It all works out!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2016 at 10:06 am

    One of my favorite posts ever. I poured over every lovely detail. Well done.

  • Reply
    February 18, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    I love your dressing room, then I saw your shoes…….do you have podiatrist- and orthopedic- insurance for when you get past 50 and your feet and back give out on you—unless you are very very lucky.

    Meantime, enjoy your dressing room and that delightful sink space…..and I do admit to a twinge of jealousy. My closet wouldn’t hold your shoes, much less all those clothes. And your dressing room is bigger than my bathroom…..oh, golly, my eyes are turning green!!!!! Enough, I’m going back down to reality and clean the oven and wipe spaghetti sauce splash off the side of the refridge……LOL MJ

  • Reply
    February 18, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    The best dressing room I’ve seen. It has character!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Beautiful job. You’re so good.

  • Reply
    February 18, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    Where did you get the soap dish? I love it!

    • Reply
      March 3, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      I second this, would love to know where you got it!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      March 4, 2016 at 9:51 am

      The soap dish was from Anthropologie, but it’s no longer available. I bought it when I led a necklace-making workshop in one of the stores last year.

  • Reply
    February 18, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Sink in the dressing room…so very Victorian. The space is perfect in every way; attention to detail in the form and function…WoW! Making It Lovely, for sure!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    love the makeup vanity in the closet pretty epic. I also love that you put some of the shelving on wheels so if need be you could wheel it out and really get a good look at pieces. great idea. fabulous execution!!!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Love everything about it!
    Speechless here :)

  • Reply
    February 19, 2016 at 3:06 am

    Love the fact that your clothes are colour coordinated.. You usually see these closets with dresses and jackets organized by colour. Yours looks fun and spontaneous – you just want to go through all the clothes! :)

  • Reply
    February 19, 2016 at 3:07 am

    I mean NOT colour coordinated :)

  • Reply
    Jordana @WhiteCabana
    February 19, 2016 at 6:46 am

    What a magical transformation! The space is perfectly organized, and the sink is such a bonus. I had no idea Ballard had so many options for organization and decor. The mirror is beautiful!

  • Reply
    Jabeen Waheed
    February 19, 2016 at 10:07 am

    wow looks so neat and organised!
    Jabeen x

  • Reply
    February 19, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I really loved seeing the whole planning process you made. Thanks for sharing it. You don’t know how lucky you are to have such a lot of storage space!!

  • Reply
    February 19, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Dreamy and so well thought out. Love the details–those brackets from Anthropologie a case in point. Maybe I “need” those for a glass shelf in our bathroom. I would hide in this closet! Bring in a small writing desk and chair, some music . . . .

  • Reply
    February 19, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    looks beautiful, Nicole!

  • Reply
    Christina W.
    February 19, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    This is gorgeous! I will be looking at Ballard when we move in the spring for sure. I didn’t see a source for the little gold polkadot trays, mind sharing where they’re from?

    • Reply
      February 21, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      I second the request for the gold poka dot tray source! The room looks gorgeous!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      March 4, 2016 at 9:56 am

      The little white/gold polka dot trays were from Target’s Threshold line, but it looks like they don’t have that pattern anymore.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    This is not only a stunning dressing room but a bonafide hideaway when you need a little P & Q! Enjoy all the facets and thanks for sharing your closet story…great job.

  • Reply
    February 20, 2016 at 5:48 am

    Beautiful ! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Kate M
    February 20, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Love your closet! I too live in a Victorian house and am wondering how you refinished the cast iron radiator. Did you paint it yourself? If so, what paint did you use? I love the golden color.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      March 4, 2016 at 9:57 am

      They were already that color when we bought the house, but I think they used spray paint. If you get up close and examine them, you can see that the inner portions are different colors, depending on which room you’re in. Some are white, some are a crazy green, and one was red!

  • Reply
    February 21, 2016 at 4:15 am

    This is a simply gorgeous space, Nicole. You really spent the time — and you have the talent! — to do it right. Congratulations on creating this for your lovely home!

  • Reply
    This Week's Links - 702 Park Project
    February 21, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    […] Nicole’s closet is finished and I’m in love! That old house has so much charm, and a sink in the closet is genius. […]

  • Reply
    Melissa MacGregor
    February 21, 2016 at 4:55 pm


  • Reply
    Meg | Hello Farmhouse
    February 21, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    This is incredible!! We’re converting a tiny third bedroom into a dressing room, and the hardest part is finding an efficient way to organize everything. You’ve done such an amazing job!!

  • Reply
    February 21, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    So pretty Nicole! Love it!

  • Reply
    February 22, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Dazzling! Re-doing a walk-in closet seems like such a huge project. It’s definitely not one I want to tackle, but yours makes me realize I ought to at least tidy up mine! Now that the mystery of the dictionary is solved, I noticed the new Burt’s Bees lipstick. Care to share a review? (I hate wasting money on new lipsticks that I end up never using!)

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      March 4, 2016 at 9:59 am

      The lipstick is OK, but not a favorite. It’s a tad more on the sheer side than I was expecting, but it does feel nice and moisturizing.

  • Reply
    May 9, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    This is better than walking into Narnia!

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