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Ever since her father made her choose between a big bathroom and a walk-in closet during a move when she was 15, interior designer Kassy Randazzo had clear priorities. “I’ll choose a wardrobe every time,” she says, laughing. So years later, when she and her husband put an offer on a 1980s Mississippi home, she was prepared to do some creative thinking to achieve her dream dressing room. 

Originally, the primary bedroom was technically rooms, plural—there were two random spaces between the sleeping quarters and the en suite bathroom. “There’s a glass sliding door at the end, so I think it used to be a carport,” Randazzo speculates. But whatever the original architect intended, the maze of rooms were left without intended uses. Randazzo’s plan: Combine those two middle spaces. Here’s what she did—and didn’t do—to make it happen.

Don’t: Tear Down Every Wall

One of the two back rooms, before.
The closet, after. Pigeon Paint Color, Farrow & Ball; Arched Standing Mirror by PexFix, The Home Depot.

Rather than line the four walls of the now combined spaces with IKEA Pax boxes and leave the middle as a wasted, open floor, Randazzo gave the space a much needed focal point. “My mom was baffled that I wanted to put up more walls,” she says. By installing half walls to house the main storage area, Randazzo cleverly hides her vanity. “That area is always a mess,” she says. “I didn’t want to constantly see it from the bedroom.” The shortened height also allows for natural light (and the lakefront view) from the windows to still reach every corner. 

Do: Take a Total Inventory First

What may seem like a random mix of drawers and open hanging space is actually a carefully inventoried storage system. “I mocked up each and every shelf with a label, down to the exact shoe or bag, so I could have the right amount of space,” says Randazzo. This way, her beloved summer dresses have room to hang in a full-length section, while her husband gets an extra drawer for workout clothes. 

Don’t: Leave Everything Builder-Grade White

Brass Cabinet Pulls by Worhe, Amazon.

Randazzo knew immediately that the shade in Chris Loves Julia’s North Carolina living room (Pigeon by Farrow & Ball) would add similar depth to her newly constructed sanctuary. “It’s such a chameleon color,” she says. In the mornings it reads as a deep green, but when the sun sets, it transforms into cloudy gray. “There’s always a temptation to paint everything white, but coziness is created by color just as much as texture,” she explains. 

Do: Streamline Your Flooring

Rewind Brick Tile in Corda, Ragno.

Although it’s an unusual material for a dressing room, the ceramic floor tile was a necessary choice due to the odd layout (the spot is sandwiched between the tiled primary bath and the dining room, which has hardwood flooring). Adding a third type felt too busy for Randazzo’s eye—“I couldn’t switch materials again,” she says. To give the same sense of warmth as the adjacent planks to the stone’s chilly nature, she opted for the same beige herringbone pattern that’s in the bathroom. Now even her two young kids love to be there. “They sit on the bench while I’m getting dressed,” she says. “It’s perfect quality time.”