Let Your Wardrobe Do Double Duty

Some clothes are just too pretty to stay cooped up in a dark, cramped closet, waiting for us to wear them. Here are some ideas for bringing them out into the light of day, where they can add personality and beauty to your boho home.

Window shop

The Coveteur

These two black-and-white stunners work magic as window treatments against the white walls with that sharp black-and-white striped chair in between. In fact, the two actual dresses make it look as if those vintage fashion prints (one on the wall and one on the dressing table) were coming to life in a real department store window display. Even the mirror reflects a wardrobe rack in this New York loft owned by former Oscar de la Renta PR exec Erika Bearman.

You don’t need fancy hangers to make this work or even drapery rods (particularly with de la Renta labels at your disposal). But better start with a UV-filtering film over the windows. A couple bonuses: You can easily refresh the look of the room by changing the outfits in the windows, and your neighbors get to enjoy the show as well!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Or so all that turquoise might lead you to believe. The coat certainly looks just like something Holly Golightly might wear, but in this case it also belongs to Erika Bearman.

I do love the look of the coat hung in front of the framed beaded textile. And the gold in the frame, as well as in the framed fabric, glitz the scene up even more. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Audrey Hepburn walk in and plop down on the couch, sunglasses and cigarette lighter in hand.

Short on storage, tall on style

Blood and Champagne

The railing in this loft doubles as hanging space. Note the fur-trimmed coat and fringed purse on the way up the stairs, as well as the little black dress hanging front and center. The dress honestly seems like an extension of that gorgeous spiraling staircase. And the rustic, tall, bright-blue cupboard beneath acts as the perfect exclamation point in this minimalist vertical space. Stunning!

Little Miss Sunshine

Found on Lindsey Bee

A cute vintage sundress is the perfect third to a wall grouping in this white bedroom accented mostly with mustard yellow. Even the hanger is yellow, and a spare hanger makes it look like the dress just happened to be hung there and just happened to match.

I love the teensy bit of coral in the chevron bed pillows, which have a partner in the feathers of the flamingo in the Audubon print. The paler mustard ikat upholstery on the benches pairs well with the vibrant color of that to-die-for velvet-upholstered bed.

Left hanging

Planete Deco

A black fur-collared coat and black fedora work in tandem to bring some pizazz to the blank space between the two windows without detracting from the plaster crown moldings and herringbone hardwood floors. The rest of the room reinforces that “left hanging” feel with bare-bulb bedside lights, other items repurposed as bedside tables and the rumpled bedding. It’s a neutral color scheme with architecture as the accent.

‘Pack’ a wallop

Hard to tell whether this homeowner is packing or unpacking, but I like how the theme comes across subtly thanks to the stack of traveling cases at the foot of the bed. Coordinated hangers and matching decorative hooks keep everything “hanging” together. Even the bathrobe looks good!

This room also uses an accented neutral color scheme, with the only color focusing attention on the sleeping area. The hanging clothes, because they’re all black, white, and gray, sink into the background a bit, which makes them seem incidental, as if someone truly were packing or unpacking.

Wild thing

Found on Architecture Art Designs

A pair of printed mini dresses look cute draped over these two zebra print chairs. Chances are these two chairs are in perfect shape, but this would be a fun way to hide wear or damage. In the middle, acting as a bridge, is a third dress, which hangs from the mantel on a substantial black hanger.

Everything in this room says exotic, including the orchid-colored orchids flanked by equally orchid candles. I love the white urn, which almost seems like an extension of the fireplace embellishment. This one definitely makes my motor purr; how about you?

Touch of mink

Apartment Therapy

Mannequins make showing off fashion an easy feat, as you can see in this Montreal home of prop and set stylist Pierce Atkinson. I like the little bit of quirk that one mannequin wears only a hat while the other drips in mink. And yes, it’s the real thing, a gift from Atkinson’s father to his mother. I imagine it would come in pretty handy in those cold Canadian winters! See/read more about this home here.

Evening to remember

Emily Henson

This vintage beaded cocktail dress and cape hang on simple wire hangers. The arrangement as a whole reminds me of a shadowbox done up as a remembrance of a particular event. Only this vignette doesn’t need a box or frame becase of the stunning backdrop of the inky black wall.

The creamy frame of the French bed matches the dress in color and embellishment. The bed’s nubby black and white upholstery is elegantly textured and tailored and acts as a perfect foil for all those boho throw pillows. See/read more about designer Emily Henson on Abigail Ahern and Henson’s blog, Life Unstyled.

Perfect balance

Found on Loo, Boos and Shoes

Though the previous example didn’t use a shadowbox, that’s definitely the way to go to protect a vintage garment like this from dust, light and ultimate decay. Your best bet is to consult a professional; a textile curator at a museum should be able to point you in the right direction.

I love how the matching mirrors pick up the gold in the dress. The all-black shadowbox provides a dramatic mount, and the black iron beds give an additional pop.

Though we can’t see the entire wall length in this photo, it appears that everything but the dress and the chest of drawers beneath it is paired. The symmetry this creates is broken just a smidge by having both topiaries on the left and the books and bookends on the right. A lovely counterpoint that calls that much more attention to that gorgeous garment!

Little girl’s dream

What little girl doesn’t like to play dress up? If this had been MY room, complete with pint-size furniture, I would have insisted on NOT growing up. The frilly cocktail dresses flanking the bed seem to suggest this little girl has other ideas, though.
They remind me of a friend from childhood with a closet full of cocktail dress hand-me-downs we regularly donned on top of our overalls and pranced about the neighborhood in. I always wondered at the single life her mother must have lived to collect all those pretty gowns

Sweet boho suite

Jasna Janekovic

This gathered skirt anchored to a hanger with clothespins looks a bit like a cheery cafe curtain. Its border print reminds me of aprons my mother made and wore when I was a kid. They would also look beautiful displayed like this, if I only had some of them!!

The mix of prints is lovely, as is the simple peasant style of this corner of a room. Someone with a terrific eye for detail surely lives here, and it looks as if she just hung up her purse, slipped off her sandals, dropped her magazines and went in search of a glass of wine after a long day.

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