Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Closet Crush - A Stunning Girl Cave


One of the things I love most about Instagram - hands down my favorite form of social media - is how quickly, yet intimately I can connect with complete strangers. 
This is exactly what happened when I came across designer Saudah Saleem. She'd "liked" a lot of my work so as I often do, I decided to check out her profile to see who she was. 
That's when I stumbled on that insanely fabulous photo you see above. 
That my lovelies, is the space where this lady displays her mammoth shoe/clothing collection (140 pairs to be exact but who's counting?). It's also the space in which she whips up designs, usually late at night once her four kids have gone to bed. You read right. Four. Did I mention that like moi, she juggles design projects and a regular 9 to 5 job? Lordy. Only furthers my argument that women are a force to be reckoned with.
Anywho, let's take a look at this room in all it's glory.

Saudah calls this space a labor of love: "The room actually used to be my master bedroom.  I live in an older home with almost no closet space. That combined with the fact that I'm a bit of a shopaholic (clothes and shoes were always everywhere) was what prompted my need for major storage. "

Sick of the chaos of her ever expanding shoe and clothing collection, her husband agreed to do the unthinkable: they've move into the guestroom and make the master bedroom Saudah's sanctuary. I think this is where I hear women everywhere asking if her husband has a twin or a few like-minded cousins they could meet?
Campaign nightstand houses Saudah's jewelry collection

The space was pulled together with DIY projects and loads of thrift store shopping.  For starters, Saudah found the black/brown IKEA PAX wardrobe units on Craigslist.  She then rented a UHAUL truck and drove from Baltimore to DC to pick them up. "Once we arrived, I saw that they had been disassembled so they had to be reassembled when we got back to Baltimore." The shoes are stored on IKEA Billy bookcases.  She added an extension unit on top of each bookcases since her ceilings are so tall: "I thought it would give it a more built-in feel,'' she said. 

Two of the most stunning items in the space are the settee/matching chair which she scored at a local thrift store, years before even envisioning that they would be used in this space. The chair is soft and cozy and also doubles as her work chair. The second stunner, is that graphic rug from designer Nate Berkus' HSN line.  It's insanely bold, but it breaks up the softer yellow fabrics and wood tones of the furniture.

A bit of an organizer, she then lined the drawers of the campaign nightstand (also scored at a thrift shop) with houndstooth paper and used pinch bowls (the kind chefs use to prep their ingredrients) which she sourced at her local Odd Lot (similar bowls can be found at Walmart and Bed Bath and Beyond). 
Why bowls? "I just like the way the jewelry pops against the clean white ceramic bowls,'' she says.

Fabric remnants and trim are scattered throughout the office. The yellow Greek Key trim was used on the lamp shade below.

One of the most beautiful things about this space is that is layered with pieces that are unique to her. A key element of good design is that a room should reflect your personality, and here we of course know that this is a woman who loves fashion, appreciates the details of classic furniture, embraces bold/rich colors, with just a hint of modern sprinkled in to the mix.

I also love that clutch used as an accessory on the sofa. Kinda genius especially since it's clustered with pillows of varied textures. 

Some of her favorite reads/inspiration. All photos were taken by  Antar Hanif of Iamshooter

Saudah does see clients in this space, but only when the rest of the house is clean, she says. "Converting a bedroom into a dressing room/lounge/office is definitely a bold move.  The reaction is always complete amazement.  After seeing the room, clients know, that as a designer, I'm totally capable of seeing the potential of a space and making it work to fulfill a given need." Client faves?  "Everyone loves the settee!" 
To read even more details on this transformation see Saudah's four page feature over at House of Fifty. You can also visit her blog, which she knows is in need of some major updating! And her give a shout-out on Instagram
So happy to have "met" her and to be inspired.


  1. wow!!! Looks amazing!!! I want it too :D

  2. I am pinning this on Pinterest! What a fabulous display of shoes. I love the decor. Gorgeous colors!

  3. Love it all!! Especially the rug and colour of chair and seetee!!
    And can I have the shoes??:)


  4. What a dream! Reminds me of how much I need a closet make-over too!!! Love it!

  5. Holy Mother of Closets! What a great stumble you found. I adore black on trim.

  6. Closet? c'mon that's a little slice of style heaven! GREAT find!!

  7. I only saw a snippet on her IG feed and tha alone had me drooling, but this right here has me green with envy! Stunning! I want the closet and the contents! Love, love, love! xx

  8. You always find the best things! This is amazing! Whaaat???!! Its like every woman's dream!! SO interesting too with the back story. Love it. This is the journalist in you!!

  9. Ok, such a dream space! What a lucky lady.

  10. Wow! Thanks ladies for all of the love! You guys are too kind.

    Thank you again Nikki for featuring my space! Such a joy to have "met" you. Your blog is definitely an inspiration to me. I'm working on dusting my blog off now. Will keep you updated :-)

  11. Oh my goodness! I could never convince the hubs to make our master bed a closet... but at least we have a walk in closet! I am just drooling and soaking in every bit of this closet! I love instagram... and blogs! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Holy cow, I could live in that room! So fab!!

    The Glam Pad

  13. Wow! Wow! Wow! In my dreams my closet would look like this and i'd have over 100 pairs of shoes...

  14. This is like an image out of a magazine! Kudos to her and her husband! "A happy wife makes a happy life!" He understands lol


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