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Hollywood designer gives away closet secrets of the stars

Melissa Dunlap is a writer, editor and blogger specializing in lifestyle communications. Fueled by curiosity, and a tad too much coffee, Melissa enjoys dissecting current trends for the modern woman. When she's not having dance parties w...

Secret closet must-haves of the stars and how to steal the look for a lot less

Celebrities are known for their enviable, jaw-dropping closets. And we're not talking tiny closets either. These things are massively expansive — Mariah Carey's boutique-like closet in her Manhattan penthouse is bigger than most people's apartments (and houses over 1,000 pairs of shoes).

Obviously we don't expect celebs to do the grunt work of figuring out how to color code their Louboutins or keep track of which clothes they already wore (once!). Lisa Adams, owner of LA Closet Design, knows what it takes to create a killer closet. She's a luxury closet designer with a long roster of celebrity clients including Fergie, Jaime King, Kris Jenner, Kyle Richards, Whitney Port and Jillian Michaels. Adams keeps her style-savvy clients happy by creating a space that's fully functional, yet high style.

Secret closet must-haves of the stars and how to steal the look for a lot lessPhoto credit: Lisa Adams/LA Closet Design

Here are her secrets:

Celebrity closet must-haves

At first glance, some of the most popular celebrity closet requests don't seem that much different from a standard luxury closet — TV, seating space and refrigerator — but some requests are special for celeb status.

Vanity and makeup stations are a no-brainer, but Adams says even special cosmetic refrigerators are requested. 'Cause keeping your $300, two-ounce tub of La Mer on the counter just isn't an option.

A three-way mirror with a platform for tailoring is a must. After all, how else can you make sure your bum is paparazzi photo ready?

Seems ridiculous, but totally necessary

When asked which closet amenity seems ridiculous to have, Adams confessed, "I might be the wrong person to ask — I am all for closet amenities in a closet, as ridiculous as they might seem!"

"Celebrities love a purse prep station — a pull-out table and drawer to store your purse contents and make the process of changing out purses easier."

"It might seem like an over-the-top request in a closet, but one every woman and her closet can appreciate."

Celebrities have what in their closets?

Celebs are known for their eccentric demands. Here are a few crazy requests Adams has had to pull off:

  • Stripper poll
  • Temperature-controlled cabinets
  • A three-story closet
  • Storage for weapons
  • Creating custom 24-karat gold skull-and-crystal drawer knobs
  • Changing table for a dog (yes, you read that right)

Best perk of hiring a closet designer

No, it's not the rows of color-coordinated shoes or the ability to pop a bottle of champagne as you're putting on your undies (although that's a close second). The best part about hiring a pro is all the ways they help you stay organized.

Adams explains, "I have also cataloged each item in a closet and created an app for it, so my client can preset outfits for the week and in preparation for trips."

Um, that sounds pretty freaking fantastic, right?

Steal the look

Unfortunately, having a dressing room the size of a Manhattan apartment just isn't in the cards for most of us. But we can still create our own version of a killer closet.

Secret closet must-haves of the stars and how to steal the look for a lot less


Photo credit: Lisa Adams/LA Closet Design

Adams' playbook for creating a luxury closet for less

  1. Lose the wire and plastic hangers and get matching hangers for your closet.
  2. Add baseboards and crown molding to create a more finished look.
  3. Add a chandelier and ottoman.
  4. Update your knobs and handles.
  5. Install pull-out valet hooks.

If you dish out the big bucks for creating your dream closet, of course you'll want to keep it organized.

"My top tip for having an organized closet is to assign a place for every item in your closet — if everything has its place, then maintaining an organized closet becomes that much easier," Adams shares.

"Within drawers, use partitioned drawer inserts to keep contents within the drawers organized and in their place. Within shelves, use acrylic or glass dividers to keep purses and sweater stacks tidy."

More closet inspiration

17 Insanely organized closets to inspire you
3 Closets that will make you want to live at Ikea
The world's largest closet is sparking some controversy

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