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Designer Andrea Birkerts Turned This Drab Walk-in into an Elegant Closet

How one Newton couple turned a lackluster walk-in into their dream dressing room.


Photo by Jared Kuzia Photography / Architect: D. Michael Collins Architects. Contractor: Youngblood Builders. Interior Designer: Andra Birkerts Design. Millwork: Tradern Fine Woodworking

The Problem

After years of rummaging through their uninspired walk-in closet—a 200-square-foot space with a wall partitioning his-and-hers areas—for work attire, athletic clothing, and casual wear, a pair of married homeowners craved a more organized dressing room.

The Solution

Collaborating with D. Michael Collins Architects and Youngblood Builders, interior designer Andra Birkerts devised a plan to gut the closet, removing the awkward partition and creating two doorways to allow easier access from the couple’s bedroom. Next, she tapped Tradern Fine Woodworking to fabricate a series of custom built-ins and a quartzite-topped peninsula, which—in addition to housing shoes, jewelry, and watches—comes in handy when the clients want to lay out shirts, pants, and accessories the night before a busy day.

With the structural changes complete, Birkerts worked on selecting finishes and décor to match the tranquil feel of the clients’ sleeping quarters. Soft, peach-colored paint, applied to both the closet and bedroom ceilings, lends a calming vibe, while an Emanuel Morez pendant light adds a dose of romance without feeling overtly feminine. The finishing touch? A print of a serene Giorgio Morandi painting, chosen by the wife. “He’s known for peaceful and elegant still lifes. So it made perfect sense to hang it there,” Birkerts says. “The dressing room just feels good.”