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  • Writer's pictureStreets & Avenues

35 Chic Walk-In Closet Ideas From the AD Archive

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

Originally published in Architectural Digest June 2, 2023. Read the original here

Whether you’ve recently Konmari-ed your wardrobe or are a professional designer searching for walk-in closet ideas, look no further than AD’s archive of aspirational home tours. These expertly curated dressing rooms from Manhattan to New Orleans will satisfy any fashion fanatic. With custom-made shelving and drawers (and even the occasional vintage shoe-display cabinet), every high heel, purse, and blazer has its proper place, making a striking visual impact in a small footprint. We did the heavy lifting and scoured past issues of AD for the ultimate walk-in closet design ideas. Take notes and prepare to add some glamour to your next home project.

Joyous storage

For the Napa Valley, California, home of two vintners and their children, Sally Breer and Jake Rodehuth-Harrison of etc, etera created a space that feels jubilant from top to bottom. This is as clear in the walk-in closet as anywhere else, with Missoni wallpaper lining the ceiling, pale pink closet shelving, and a handy countertop.

Scenic standout

For many, the promise of the walk-in closet joy comes hand in hand with the transformation joy. Why not channel that theme with a scenic wallpaper? As you can see in designer Isabel López-Quesada’s Madrid dressing room, which is lined with Zuber’s Isola Bella wallpaper, it’s a wonderful option if you’re not convinced that your closet system is visually compelling enough for a space that should serve as the ultimate fashion inspiration.

Rattan reigns

Nothing more satisfying for the type A’s among us than a completely cohesive space—and despite all that it may contain, a walk-in closet is no exception. Antiquaire Patrick Perrin’s Portugal vacation home is all about relaxation and this is fully reflected in the materials that designers Daniel Suduca and Thierry Mérillou chose for the home. Closet storage is concealed with custom braided rattan panels on the doors, which tie in nicely with the homeowners’ impressive hat collection.

A monochrome moment

At Norah and Norman Stone’s San Francisco abode (decorated by Tiffany Vassilakis), Norah’s dressing room—decked out in mirrors and silver wallpaper—is all original. The light fixture is Venetian glass.

Color palette clincher

A color palette needn’t be entirely neutral to work as a fine backdrop for a packed closet. Working with interior designer Louise Kugelberg, fashion designer Stacey Bendet created a two-tone dream closet that has a personality of its own without pulling focus from her glorious clothes.

Silk-lined walls for silk-filled closets

The walls of Fiona Kotur’s Hong Kong dressing room—revamped with architectural designer Alexander Stuart—are sheathed in panels of hand-painted silk from a Shanghai workshop. The ottoman is upholstered in a Lee Jofa velvet, and the shelves hold a selection of handbags by Kotur.

Color-blocked compartments

Building a closet space from scratch allows you to create as many cubbies, drawers, and other compartments as your heart desires. Though these compartments make closet organization a lot simpler, it’s wise to consider how they impact the vibe—especially in a closet, why put function fully over fashion? As seen here in artist Jorge Pardo’s Mexico home, color blocking your bevy of doors and drawers can make the space feel dynamic while still prioritizing storage space.

Earthy yet refined

Hunter Douglas blinds shield a window in the primary suite’s dressing room at the Nashville home of designer Ray Booth and TV executive John Shea. The ceiling pendant and the Thomas O’Brien–designed lamps are from Circa Lighting.

Sunny and symmetrical

A built-in wardrobe, flanked on either side by shoe shelves, makes for optimized storage that still feels fitting for the Georgian-style family home of designer Sophie Ashby.

Organization over everything

In a Manhattan penthouse by MR Architecture + Decor, the meticulously organized closet is crafted out of marine-grade plywood.

Neutral shelving, rainbow shoe collection

In a Manhattan apartment by Michael S. Smith and Peter Pennoyer Architects, the walk-in closet features custom-made shelving.

A dressing room with a view

The dressing room in the São Paulo home of architect and interior designer Sig Bergamin and his partner, architect Murilo Lomas, is outfitted with a comfortable built-in bench.

Bright but not sterile

An antique French chandelier hangs in the closet of a New Orleans house by Lee Ledbetter. A large window offers a glimpse of the home’s charming locale.

Full glitz

In a London home decorated by Francis Sultana, the primary bedroom’s closet—customized by Sultana—has palladium-leaf doors and a carpet by Fort Street Studio.

Uniformity at its finest

The walk-in closet design in a Beverly Hills home by Waldo Fernandez is particularly satisfying thanks to the uniformity of its contents. Pale pink wall-to-wall carpeting and a green footstool add a pop of color to the otherwise neutral look.

Illuminated in red

Farrow & Ball’s Rectory Red brightens the closet in designers Richard Lambertson and John Truex’s New York apartment. The 19th-century French apothecary cabinet was found in London.

Wood paneled glamour

The dressing room in a Florida home decorated by Furze Bard + Associates features an Ochre chandelier, a Boo Ritson photograph, and a Porta Romana sconce.

True London luxury

In the husband’s dressing room of a London mansion decorated by Haynes-Roberts, a 1950s Barovier & Toso chandelier complements a ’30s overmantel mirror. The custom-made packing table features nickel pulls and backplates by H. Theophile, and the silk carpet is by Beauvais.

Bright and boutique-like

In architect Dax Miller and designer Alexandra Von Furstenberg’s Los Angeles home, which Miller renovated, Von Furstenberg’s closet features lacquer cabinetry accented with glass, white leather, and chrome. The Milo Baughman chair is upholstered in a Romo velvet.

Shoes, shoes, and more shoes

When you’re a globe-trotting Christian Dior PR executive, you have a shoe collection to prove it. The dressing room in Mathilde Favier-Meyer’s Paris apartment contains more than 400 pairs.

A place for everything

In Western Colombia, the walk-in closet design found at the apartment of handbag designer Nancy Gonzalez includes floor-to-ceiling shelving for an extensive shoe collection. It was designed by Jean-Louis Deniot.

Sleek and symmetrical

Bedroom closet ideas abound in this serene dressing area in the Nashville home of philanthropists Jennifer and Billy Frist. The Ray Booth–designed space features light fixtures by Charles Edwards.

Tidy in Tribeca

A handblown glass chandelier by jGoodDesign accents a dressing area in the Manhattan residence of businessman Michael Hirtenstein and his wife, Christina. The island is made of rosewood and leather, and the shelves and closets are backed with gold mirror. Amy Lau was responsible for the furnishings, and Thomas Juul-Hansen oversaw the home’s architectural design.

A landing goes to good use

In the 19th-century Brooklyn brownstone of jewelry designer Ippolita Rostagno, a gut renovation of the third story made way for the landing’s expanse of closets.

Wallpaper wows

Designer Justina Blakeney opted to envelop her dressing room in Jungalow wallpaper, the back of the cabinetry by California Closets included. Her home decor style perfectly meshes with her clothing, so naturally she left most of the storage open rather than adding cabinet doors to her walk-in closet design.

Glossy and glamorous

Designer Mario Buatta went for “an open viewing arrangement” for the walk-in closet in Mariah Carey’s Manhattan home that AD toured back in 2001. The soft lighting and open rows of clothing give the space a refreshing vibe and the hooks for hangers on the end of each row provide space for displaying one’s favorite pieces.

Dusty rose dominates

For the Malibu home of legendary singer Barbra Streisand, which AD toured back in 1993, a sophisticated dusty rose color was on call for a walk-in closet. The space included clear drawers and open shelves to store miscellaneous accessories, along with a complementary ottoman.

All-American mahogany millwork

For Ralph Lauren’s own dressing room, a refined rugged look was naturally in order. As on display during AD’s 2004 visit to the Bedford, New York, home, an upholstered leather ottoman at the center tied in the plethora of riding boots Lauren keeps on hand.

Storage galore

Hanging rings provide a simple way to view one’s dress ties in this J. Randall Powers–designed walk-in closet (and we can picture those rings being similarly useful for one’s collection of scarves). The cabinet’s glass doors allow for a peek in at the wardrobe while still keeping tidy, and rather than using dividers in big drawers, smaller built-in drawers add yet another storage option.

Understated opulence

For iconic ballet dancer Misty Copeland’s Upper West Side apartment, the walk-in closet makeover was the top priority. “I was nervous about that space,” AD100 designer Brigette Romanek admitted during AD’s tour of the home. The finished product, a space both calm and undeniably chic, proves Romanek did indeed stick the landing even down to the details, including those storage boxes on the top shelves that perfectly match the white-gray tone of the rest of the closet.

Curtain call

Designer Veere Grenney tented Nina Flohr’s closet and added curtains around the perimeter, in front of shoe rack shelves and hanging storage, allowing all of that stuff to be disguised with a simple pull of the fabric. Though this may be a particularly intense custom closet, it’s a wonderful lesson in asserting a walk-in closet’s status as a standalone room while still offering plenty of extra storage space.

Full mirror mania

Why take up a wall with a full-length mirror if you can simply mirror your closet doors? The closet design at Gabriel Hendifar and Jeremy Anderson’s apartment is full-on glam with a wall of reflective doors and a decadent lounge chair.

Serene simplicity

An understated color scheme and layout can allow you to focus on what really matters: crafting the perfect look. Reimagined by decorating legend François Catroux, much of Princess Marie-Chantal’s historic Manhattan house is layered and ornate, but the walk-in closet was made quietly luxurious with a custom white sectional and white closet doors.

One-stop shop

At this Connecticut Virginia Tupker project, closed storage allows for breathing room around the vanity—no extra large glam space in the primary bathroom needed!


Satisfying small walk-in closet ideas can be hard to come by, but for confined walk-in spaces, the best move is often to conceal your storage. Especially in the case of a layout like this Martin Brudnizki project, where the closet connects the bedroom to the bathroom, hiding the inevitably varied collection of clothing behind doors or other compartments can help maintain a luxe tone while ensuring easy access to one’s belongings. Bonus points for those upper cabinets!



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