What's Inside a $100,000 Closet?

Luxury closets are the newest trend in home design.

Gleaming new kitchens and home theaters on listings are nice, but there's a new wave of amenities that's catching the eye of buyers and remodelers: luxury closets, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Rochelle Maize tells WSJ that the closet was the masterstroke feature of the renovation of her 6,110-square-foot Beverly Hills home. She hired a designer to build a 400-square-foot closet complete with flat-screen TV, refrigerator for Champagne and delicate cosmetics, white cabinetry with silver-leaf etchings and a large crystal chandelier. You're curious about price now, right? We're talking $100,000 for a space that used to be considered embarrassing to show off, and not something people usually invested much in.
"I wanted to feel like I was walking into a very luxurious Beverly Hills boutique,"
And while this sounds extravagant, it is becoming the norm in luxury real estate. In a time when walk-ins are no longer enough, expensive cabinetry, sound systems, and office nooks are customary. Developers and home builders are taking the new trend in mind too, going beyond installing windows to ensuring the closets capture the home's best views and natural light. 
Spending on customized storage systems was up more than 10 percent in 2012 from 2011, reports California Closets. Ginny Snook Scott, the company's vice president of sales and marketing says things like wine bars, sinks for makeup application and dressing rooms are the new normal in closet furnishings. 
Features like LED lighting, lighted clothings rods and shoe racks, automatic lights, window coatings that block UV rays used to be reserved for commercial purposes, but now they're showing up in homes. Some even include computers and iPads set up to be "virtual styling tools" that allow customers to work remotely with a stylist who has a visual inventory of their clothes to scroll through.
At this point, it doesn't even seem like we're talking about closets anymore. Contractors are more aptly calling teem dressing rooms.
"The closet is becoming as large as a living-room or family-room area in some cases," says Martin Mitchell, of San Francisco-area Martin Perri Interiors. With couches and ottomans, they also are becoming somewhat of a social space. Instead of tea in the parlor, guests are being invited to take in a shoe collection in a closet space or dressing room. Additionally the trend fits recent, popular minimalist home design trends, allowing for bulky armoirs and drawers to be stored away from immediate view in a bedroom.
Women aren't the only clients asking for more shoe space. Dressing rooms for men have expanded to include things like breakfast bars, leather couches, glass and lighted sneaker displays and sunglass drawers. 
Typically these projects cost $50,000 to $250,000, but a three-story closet with an escalator in Mississippi went to the tune of $2.5 million.
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