Hot Property

Lavish closets invite you to walk in — then have an espresso or a massage

A boutique-style layout is a common request.

 A boutique-style layout is a common request.

(Details Organizing)

A walk-in closet would be luxury enough for many people, but wait until you hear about the latest in over-the-top closet design.

Hidden safes that can be accessed only by thumbprint. Lounging areas with a minibar and espresso machine. A space for a massage table, or a special sink to get your hair washed.

Such features are showing up in closets around Los Angeles, as designers are asked to provide increasingly lavish amenities.

Mahogany panelling in the men’s closet of a Bel-Air home.

Mahogany panelling in the men's closet of a Bel-Air home.

(KNA Design)

“When I see what clients are asking for, and paying for, it blows my mind,” said Lisa Adams, CEO of LA Closet Design. “They’re spending $1,000 on a Lalique knob for a drawer.”

It’s not just about indulging in extravagant little touches, though. Homeowners are even sacrificing bedroom space if it means having a larger walk-in.

Houzz, the online platform for home remodeling and design, did a study last year on bedroom design trends. A key finding: More than half of master bedroom renovations involved closet revamps, and the majority of those renovations led to larger closet spaces.


“They want to make themselves at home in there,” said Kirk Nix, founder of KNA Design. “They’ve become lounges to hang out in. Everybody is more focused on the closet, and it’s no longer vain to do so. It’s a way to organize their lives better.”

Here’s an idea of what top designers are doing with closets:

Jennifer Dynof and Mary Astadourian, partners of Details Organizing, which has worked with Rob Lowe, Cindy Crawford and the Kardashians, say their clients want specifically tailored cubbies for their clothing items.

For one male client, they built cubbyholes arranged by designer and color. Also popular: slide-out slots to carry jewelry, cuff links, belt buckles, pocket squares, scarves. And Dynof and Astadourian have also installed valet rods that pull out to hold clothing pieces that are being pre-selected for packing.

An ‘island’ is a popular feature in upscale closets.

An 'island' is a popular feature in upscale closets.

(LA Closet Design)

Nix of KNA Design says a home he’s working on in Sunset Plaza will have a closet specifically designed for the owner’s 1,000-plus Chanel handbags. He’s also installing a safe that can be accessed only with her fingerprint, to store her crocodile-skin Hermes Birkin bags.

“And we are working with a lighting designer to develop different lighting settings so she can see herself in natural and incandescent light when she’s doing her makeup,” he said.  

Lisa Adams of LA Closet Design says having a chandelier or refrigerator in the closet is “the baseline.” Beyond that, she’s installed breakfast bars, flat-screen TVs and even a cooler to hold perishable cosmetics. She says her high-end clients want their closets to feel like a retail environment.


“It’s become something that’s so customized,” she said. “And people also revamp that space when thinking about resale. It’s one of the places in your home that can really add value to the property, outside of the emotional value it brings to the owner.”

Details Organizing says many clients want specifically tailored cubbies for their clothing items.

Details Organizing says many clients want specifically tailored cubbies for their clothing items.

(Courtesy photo)

Jerry Egner, president at Closets by Design, said that the emphasis on closets has moved from organization to decorative details. He has added crown moldings, paneled doors and drawers, and textured surfaces to clients’ closets and gives them a choice of 50 different handles.

“Previously, the materials used were insignificant,” said Egner. “But now, the discriminating buyer wants more features in their closet, and a more substantial look.”

His clients have converted spare bedrooms into spacious walk-in wardrobes, installing glittering chandeliers, vanities and dressing areas. Other details include separate racks for ties and belts — although Egner says “it’s more about the aesthetics than the function.”

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