Thelma Golden's 16-feet of closet space


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By that, she definitely means chairs and sofas, not clothes and shoes. Of the $25,000 she spent on the renovation, several thousand went to new closets. She and contractor Ingrid Baptista designed them for fast fashion access on any occasion—essential for someone who's always flying off to cities as different as Los Angeles and London. "When I was packing for warm destinations in the winter, I'd go insane looking for my one white tank top," she says. "Sometimes I'd end up buying more clothes just for the trip."

Thelma and Baptista's brainchild—16 feet of running closets—required the sacrifice of two and a half feet of floor space, but no matter. Behind closet door number one hang shirts and pants, with some serious shoes on shelves above and below (at least 50 pairs, mainly Prada and Sigerson Morrison). Closet number two holds suits, dresses, sweaters, and knit shirts. Number three follows with evening wear, a bridesmaid's dress saved from her best friend's wedding, six years ago, and other "sentimental stuff," such as her christening gown and the plain white dress she wore at her graduation from Smith. "If I were to make an exhibition about my life," Thelma says, "almost all my clothes would be in it."

"Tailor your space to your needs. In one closet, I have upper and lower rods for skirts, pants, and tops. The second is all shelves for bags and linens. In the third, there's just one rod for suits and dresses. To hang evening gowns, I use hooks on the ceiling."