Around this time last year I was frantically pinning pictures of dressing rooms and searching hashtags on Instagram for inspiration for my own dream dressing room. A pretty momentous and exciting moment for any woman with a love of fashion. The thought of everything being organised, laid out and designed to your own personal preference with enough space to ensure you always know where everything is, OK so speaking from experience here the latter may not always be the case but possi-vibes and all that is pretty bloody fabulous so I wanted to ensure I had taken the time to ensure I got this right, I took 6 months, tried multiple layouts and pondered over the smallest detail and did I get it perfectly right? Of course I bloody didn't but luckily we are now almost there.
If you watch my Vlogs or follow @LydiaMillenHome you will know that there have already been some changes since these pictures which of course were for the better so I thought I'd jot down a couple considerations and lessons from the journey this room took from a pink little girls bedroom to the ultimate space to get myself ready for whatever life planned on throwing at me that day. So if your dressing room is a work in progress, a distant dream or a fast approaching project, read on for a little hindsight, a number of hard lessons and a sprinkle of dreams coming true.
Give yourself time
If theres one piece of advice that I can't stress enough, its not rushing into anything. I often think back to when we moved in and my dressing was the one place I wanted to get started on straight away. I'd set up one of the old full length mirrors from our bedroom at the old house and was doing my make up one morning and noticed how awfully unflattering the light was where I was sat. But I'd put the mirror in the position I thought would be the best for natural light, right under the velux. I couldn't have been more wrong and it took a good 6-7 re positions of that mirror to find the right spot over the course of a good few months. Over time I came to realise where the full length mirror needed to live and also where was best to do my make up because I knew I'd be filming and getting ready in the same space so it needed to be multi functional. Some other important things I needed to consider was the height of my dressing table/Island/chest of drawers as my dressing room is in the eaves the velux are high up so in order to get the light directly on my face I needed to be seated higher, a huge factor that didn't even cross my mind when we first moved in.
A Space Evolution
I knew that if I planned the storage right, the carcasses of the units wouldn't need to change over time, but fixtures, finishes, colours and tones could be switched out and remodelled as my style changes and evolves. I see this house as my forever home right now but I also can't imagine in 10years time it will still look the same way it does today. In the last year I've learnt so much about interior design and styling, half the fun is experimenting with that which is why I'm glad I designed a space that can be remodelled with a few changes from the colour of the cabinets, tones of the hardware to different floorings and chandeliers, heck I could even change the mirror inserts if I wanted to. This was important to me because I sure as hell don't want to be spending the kind of money I spent on this room again in this life time, so having the ability to change it up and keep the functionality of the room as it is was super important. Perhaps I'll be bolder with this room later on in life.
Do your research
As well as researching design, space and aesthetics of your dressing room, its also super important to research who is going to build it. This is where I think I let my heart lead my head and I simply had my heart set on this one particular company, had I known then what I know now I would have gone with an independent carpenter and joiner to build it all after seeing what our carpenter has done with two staircases that didn't even cost half of what my dressing room cost and is solid oak which my dressing room is mostly not. From what we've seen, when you find the right person for the job, incredible things happen but when you don't, it can be pretty upsetting. Trusting your gut is so important.
What I'd change now
I absolutely adore my dressing room, it's a joy to get ready and work in and almost a year since its completion I still find myself standing in the door way just taking it all in. But with my growing confidence in undertaking design projects myself, when the time comes maybe there are some details I would change. Starting with the fixtures such as the handles and the chandelier. I always assumed brass and warmer toned metals were too on trend for my style but the warming effect those metals have on a neutral toned room is incredible so perhaps some aged brass wouldn't go a miss in this space. I'd also like to look at dressing the sideboards to make the room feel more homely and lived in which also brings me to the floor which is something I think about more than I care to admit. I absolutely love the flooring I chose for the room, it is absolutely stunning and that is undeniable, however for a room that I film in, not having carpet has made the rooms acoustics quite problematic but it's all a bit of a catch 22 where by if I went for carpet you know it would be ruined with tan and foundation stains in no time at all, a rug would be a compromise but not being able to move the island doesn't make it an option so I'm torn at the moment, I would perhaps play with a slightly more dramatic colour for the wardrobes as well but that isn't something I'm looking to pursue until the room itself needs a spruce up which is absolutely doesn't need now. But I thought it might be helpful to let you know my thoughts and visions for the room as time goes by. But as it stands, I still can't believe this is mine, I wish I could show 13yr old Me who cut out pictures from vogue and blue tacked them to her bedroom wall, what she has to look forward to.