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Fashion designer Clare Vivier knows how to negotiate. When her husband Thierry wanted to turn her small dressing room of their Echo Park Craftsman home into a bathroom, she made him an offer. "I said ‘Sure, I'll give it up—as long as I can turn our spare bedroom into my closet." He considered it a win-win, but she clearly came out on top.
Over the years, the room had become a bit of a hodgepodge of Ikea hanging racks, a dresser, and a big vintage armoire. "It was pretty chaotic," she admits. "My friend and I had just been talking about the fact it needed a makeover. It needed to grow up a bit. So it was perfect timing when California Closets came my way."
The room has been home to the designer's extensive, ever-evolving wardrobe. "I truly love fashion. I love wearing many different styles of clothing; I’m not limited to one style. But this results in a lot of clothing," says Vivier. "When shopping, I generally just try to ask myself, 'Do I have anything really similar?' If the answer is no, and I love it—and can afford it—I'm probably bringing it home with me."
The best things about the space were the amount of natural light and the size. But the biggest issue was keeping such a roomy closet clean. "It was too messy all the time," says Vivier. "Because I spend a lot of time in there, I wanted more of a zen feeling. I wanted a space that was easier to keep neat."
California Closets designer Nicole Caswell outfitted the space to do just that. “Our goal was to create a boutique style closet that would display Clare’s eclectic style of clothing along with her personal handbag and clothing designs,” says Caswell.
“Immediately on entering the room, two large windows that look out onto big trees give the room a cozy feel,” Caswell adds. “Clare and I wanted to complement the windows and the classic moldings by making the closet system finishes in a simple white to let the clothing, artwork, and outside elements give the room its colored accents.”
There's a space for everything, including Vivier's (unsurprisingly) massive collection of accessories. They kept all the hanging at the same height and added 20 drawers for storage underneath. Shelves of varying sizes and strategically placed hooks hold her dozens of handbags, and a multi-level drawer organizer keeps her jewelry in place, while another holds her scarves. And let’s not forget shoes: Vivier’s envy-inducing collection of colorful pumps and boots now has its own closet, with angled shelves so the designer can easily survey her wares and find what she needs
"I love how uniform and clean everything is," she says of the newly organized space. "It is functional while not feeling stuffy. It still feels like me.”
While organization was the main priority, Vivier also saw the makeover as an opportunity to highlight the Lotus stripe wallpaper that she designed for Wallshoppe, which is the backdrop for the entire room—it even peeks out from behind her rows of shoes and hanging clothes. Vivier also wanted to have the ability to show off certain clothing pieces when she felt like it, so Caswell installed a custom cabinet with a forward-facing garment rod to do just that.
"For me," Vivier says,"It's like appreciating art."