Designer Willa Ford knows how to make her clients very happy. Case in point, this closet/office combo in Southern California — or as we’d call it, every girl’s absolute dream room. She had worked with the clients before on the rest of their home. “We knew at some point we wanted to do an addition,” Willa recalls. “It had to be off the master and we had a tricky roof line to deal with but our builders Hartman and Baldwin did an incredible job engineering it seamlessly.”
The addition could only be 500 square feet, so the initial concept of joining the two spaces into a beautiful retreat was mostly practical, but ended up being a lot of fun. Willa and her team displayed the client’s beautiful handbag collection in a floating wall to divide the space. “Instead of using glass in floating wall for the purse area, I used a marbled acrylic that looks like agate. It allows enough light to flow to the closet but is such an interesting material that’s lightweight and easier to clean,” she explains.
In the closet area is a custom built-in white oak credenza. This is one of Willa’s favorite pieces. She says, “I wanted it to look organic and book end the wood grains so it felt more like art rather than storage. Once again, doing something more original takes patience but it came out so beautiful and special.”
As for the neon in the mirror? “The idea came to me that I wanted something from her husband to personalize the space. He’s a musician and artist and he chose the lyrics he wrote about her — I don’t want to go anywhere without you. I thought it was so fitting that everyday as she got dressed, she could see that sweet reminder from him.” An installation like this can be tricky, however! Installing it on the mirror took a few attempts, but they eventually made it so wire reflection would be minimal and the focus could be on the quote itself. “It was an ambitious idea but I love doing challenging things and working with vendors to make it come to life,” Willa says.
Of course, we had to ask about keeping a space like this organized and functional, yet still visually stunning. “Less is more,” Willa laughs. “I know it’s hard but keep it to a minimum. If you aren’t using it, stop storing it. I always tell myself somebody else needs it and to let it go. Then it’s easier to organize and see everything you have.” And for the pieces that you do have, the designer suggests color coordination and getting creative. “No matter what size your closet is, you can find fun ways to display things like hats, scarves, and shoes so that they look more like wall art and less like stuff!”
Take a tour in the slideshow!