For some they are no longer closets. They are ‘dressing rooms’.

Today the cost of a luxury closet can rival or surpass that of the kitchen. Unbelievably, master closets today are larger than ever before.  Some closets are as large as a living room or famly rooms.  High end closets are being built with vaulted ceilings, flat-screen televisions, lighting that is controlled with an iPad, a refrigerator for Champagne, wet bars and wine bars, custom cabinetry with silver and gold leaf etchings, sound systems as well as large crystal chandeliers. The cost of a luxury closet can go upward of $100K. For many of these homeowners, not only do they get dressed in their closet, but they also spend quite a bit of time resting and relaxing in this space.

Once a secondary space designed primarily for storage, the modest closet begun taking center stage and are looking more like trophy rooms than storage rooms. 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 retail 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.

Increasingly, developers and home builders aren’t only installing windows in closets, they are also configuring home layouts to make sure the closets capture some of the best views and natural light.

Some of the newest luxury closets are designed to function as rooms in their own right, often with living-room-style seating with couches and ottomans. Luxury closets are more of a social space and multi-functional living spaces. Friends want to hang out there and see what you have.  While some owners are building luxurious closets as a retreat, many are building them as trophy rooms to show off valuables to their friends. Some men are building these closets to look more like high-tech man caves. Deluxe closets have been built to include breakfast bars for yogurt, cereal and drinks and leather couches for watching TV. It definitely has become a space that is more than just for storing your clothes.

Glass sneaker displays with lighting from below and sunglass drawers are also popular features.

Showpiece closets are also an answer to a minimalist design aesthetic found in contemporary homes, becoming a practical space to house bulky furniture and other items.

Then there are the options now offered by new technologies that were once only viable in commercial spaces. LED lighting, once cost-prohibitive for home use, generates less heat and eliminates the fire hazard of having lighting very close to clothing. Lighted clothing rods and shoe racks, and automated lights that turn on when cabinet doors open, are popular features. Window coatings that block UV rays also give the option of natural light while minimizing its clothing-fading side effects.

Sinks for women to put on their makeup as well as small refrigerators for delicate cosmetics, are some recent trend requests.

Condo developers are also taking note of the growing demand. In South Florida some units have luxury closets that take up more than 10% of the total floor plan. These closets include ‘midnight bars’ with coffee machines, wet bars and a small refrigerator.  Buyers can also select from several different chandeliers. Units range in price from $900,000 to $3.1 million.

Closets have come a long way from their early 19th-century origins, when homes were built with small master closets, typically not much larger than the door leading into them. In the 1950s, sliding-door closets were introducing and the walk-in closet first emerged a decade or so later. Larger walk-in closets came into fashion in the 1980s.

Designers say the move toward more elaborate closets first about 5-10 years ago, and accelerated among wealthy homeowners with the debut of the 2008 film version of “Sex and the City,” when Sarah Jessica Parker’s character, Carrie Bradshaw, sees a home with a sprawling walk-in closet big enough for her large shoe collection.

Source: Wall Street Journal