The rise of the $100,000-plus closet
Closets are growing and adding such features as wine bars, breakfast areas, acres of shoe racks and, in a few cases, even an escalator.
Add this to the list of trends among the very rich: closets as big as your house.
And about as expensive, too. Wealthy homeowners are adding custom closets that cost $100,000 or more to outfit, The Wall Street Journal reports.
"We don't call them closets anymore," Gary Drake, a Los Angeles contractor, told The WSJ. The preferred term, just in case you need it for your next social outing, is "dressing room."
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If you think $100,000 or more sounds like a lot for a custom closet, know that the costs can go higher – much higher. Clos-ette, a high-end New York closet company, built a $2.5 million, three-story closet with an escalator for a client in Mississippi. The company’s usual closet jobs range from $50,000 to $250,000.
"It's a becoming somewhat of a trophy room," Melanie Charlton, the company’s CEO, told The WSJ. "[Clients] care about having a nice kitchen, too, but that's old hat at this point."
We found reports of a $5 million closet in a Texas megamansion. That closet, inspired by Coco Chanel, included a $30,000 custom chandelier and a $10,000 area rug.
The shopping website Racked recently ran a series on over-the-top celebrity closets. We like Mariah Carey’s space, which has an adjoining room that houses some of her 1,000 pairs of shoes. (She is quoted as saying: "It's not really a traditional closet, but I worked hard for this mess.") No word on exact size or cost.
The Wall Street Journal writes of this trend:
Once a secondary space designed primarily for storage, the humble closet is taking center stage. The latest in high-end master closets go well beyond the typical walk-in and are created to look more like plush lounges or designer stores. Clothing and handbags in glass display cases are lighted like sculptures; custom-designed couches are arranged near Baccarat crystal bars or dedicated breakfast areas.
Some closets also have flat-screen TVs or wine bars, in case you want to invite friends over to look at your clothes. And I thought I was getting a fancy closet when I added drawers, shelves and double hanging racks.
Once they have built these fancy closets, homeowners are using them not just as a place to store clothes but a place to hang out – though you have to wonder why you’d want to hang out in your closet if you lived in a 6,000-square-foot house.
High-end condos are also offering bigger and more tricked-out closets, although a 300-square-foot closet is sounding modest at the moment.
In Boston, Nancy Selldorff’s renovations included the addition of more closet space to her 850-square-foot master suite. Her custom space includes Wenge cabinets, a center island and lighted glass racks for shoes and purses.
"I really wanted a place that felt special and was a personal retreat," Selldorff told The WSJ. "When I get dressed every day, it makes it feel like a special event."
This really makes me sick.
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.