Design — 05 February 2021
Luxury home buyers shopping for closet space

By Robyn A. Friedman

We’re spending more time at home today (thank you, COVID-19). That’s causing many homeowners to reevaluate their homes – to reexamine the features that were originally important when they purchased and to consider what’s important today, at a time when more Americans are working, studying and playing at home.

Closet space is one of those features. While large master closets have always been important to luxury homeowners, with college students returning home to study remotely, and aging parents moving in for their health and safety, today’s multi-generational households are competing even more for available storage space.

“With so much more time being spent in the home, luxury buyers are increasingly seeing the value of investing in their closets,” says Claudio Faria, director of Ornare USA, a luxury Brazilian interiors brand with a specialty in custom closets. “They are looking for impeccably designed and functional spaces to display and organize their most valuable possessions. In many cases, the closet serves as a sanctuary space where people start and end their day.”

Once used solely as a location to store clothing and shoes, closets today may include seating areas, so residents can enjoy their first espresso of the day, or incorporate custom spaces to show off designer handbags or shoes – or even a sneaker collection.

According to a report released last year by the National Association of Home Builders, the most likely feature in a typical new home in 2020 was a walk-in closet in the master bedroom. The closet topped the list of builder-included features based on consumer demand. And, according to a survey conducted by builder PulteGroup, home shoppers said they’d be willing to sacrifice another household feature in order to have his- and-hers closets in the master bedroom.

Based upon the number of to-die-for master closets in South Florida homes, it’s clear that these sanctuaries are must-have features for many buyers.

Here are three South Florida closets sure to please any luxury homeowner.

Designer Dressing Room

This Mediterranean-inspired mansion in Coral Gables is known as “Casa Arboles” because of the 88 majestic oak trees that greet visitors when they drive up to the 18,670-square-foot home, which sits on nearly three acres at 11501 Old Cutler Road. And with features such as 10 bedrooms, 14 baths, a gourmet kitchen, elevator, gym and movie theater, it should come as no surprise that the $14.9 million home – meticulously remodeled in 2020 by Miami architect Ramon Pacheco, with interiors by Coral Gables-based KLP Interiors – has not one, but two voluminous walk-in closets in the master bedroom.

“Her” closet is solid wood, with white lacquer paint and Italian knobs and drawer pulls made of matte glass and iron. Valet rods were installed at every divider intersection to assist with outfit selection, and there are two mirrors so the homeowners can get a view of the front and back simultaneously.

“I don’t really use the word closet as much as dressing room,” says Katrina Peebles, with KLP Interiors, who owns the property with her husband, real estate titan R. Donahue Peebles. “A dressing room serves multiple purposes, especially now with our lives more at home, and even smaller dressing areas can be made to incorporate a surface for coffee, laptop, etc.”

Peebles said that since many homeowners start their day while getting ready, the dressing room has also become an office of sorts. “Good lighting is important, not only for the selection and coordination of an outfit,” she says. “But also for that FaceTime or Zoom that suddenly pops up.”

Contact: Jill Eber or Judy Zeder, The Jills Zeder Group at Coldwell Banker Realty, 305-915-2556,

Lauderdale Luxury

Secluded in a park-like environment within Las Olas Isles, this $27.5 million peninsula estate at 524 Isle of Capri Drive in Fort Lauderdale has nine bedrooms, 14 baths, a separate 2,780-square-foot guest house and an enormous master bedroom with his-and-hers walk-in closets and spa-like bathrooms. Designed by Innovative Creations Interior Design, “his” closet resembles a boutique, with clothes hung by category. It has a coffered ceiling with a leather insert, a Murano glass chandelier and a seating area.

Contact: Howard Elfman, The Agency Florida, 954-568-1117, or James Bates, Distinctive Homes Realty, 954-646-8120.

Contemporary Elegance

Formerly owned by professional baseball player Sammy Sosa, this 9,522-square-foot oceanfront estate at 667 Ocean Blvd. in Golden Beach is available for $19.995 million. It has an open-concept contemporary floor plan, with seven bedrooms, nine baths, a massive chef’s kitchen, elevator, home theater and a pool overlooking the ocean. The custom closet resembles a high-end boutique, with ample storage for personal belongings and a perfect spot for showing off those designer handbags and shoes – complete with chandelier, of course.

Contact: Jared Ringel, Compass Florida, 917-572-6024, com

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