Project Description

The Gentleman’s Dressing Room in this circa 1800 stone house, is a private and functional retreat for the man who relates to personal grooming and stylish high-quality clothing as an art form. Choosing your surroundings is just as important as choosing a wardrobe, and style over fashion is preferable. For this 2014 Historic Ellicott City, Maryland decorator show house, I was asked to take a look at a bedroom on the upper floor that no one placed a bid on. Upon examination, I quickly said no to another bedroom and chose to create a unique design concept. In a home where one walks through the space (in this case to the rear staircase), a bedroom is not the best option without extensive renovation/reconstruction. The only major construction was relocating the ceiling junction box to facilitate the correct placement of the center table.


Design an interior space as a dressing room that appeals to a male occupant:

  • Ease of circulation
  • Wardrobe storage
  • Table to lay out clothing and accessories
  • Comfortable seating
  • Full-length mirror


  • Install new crown moulding
  • Relocate existing junction box to the center of the room
  • Repaint walls and ceiling
  • Install period-correct push-button single-pole wall switch

I began with a new crown moulding, installed by design/builder Wayne St. John, to add character and create a separation from the wall to ceiling color. A 19th-Century English rent table is the main focal point and creates an elegant way to contain small accessories, pocket squares, and bow ties, and cuff links, while a 19th-Century marble-topped mahogany chest of drawers holds the necessities. The third drawer in the chest also folds down to become a functional writing surface. A fabric-paneled screen hides storage behind its architectural facade, and ties into the architectural prints that line the walls. Window treatments are simple Roman shades, and a modern lounge chair and full-length “Hollywood” style looking glass balance the formality of the fine antiques. On a playful note, the animal leg stool made from cast cement stands at ease in front of the screen. The large closet is full of surprises, including framed photography of Italian Forum ruins, custom clothing from Different Regard Clothiers in Baltimore City, and a suite of vintage Louis Vuitton luggage to include a large steamer trunk. Who are those men strolling about? The elegant gentleman that you see in the foreground in the first image is bringing a group of friends over to see the work I have done for him. Gentlemen, contact me, and let’s talk about YOUR ultimate dressing room!


Sisal Rug, Animal Paw Cement Stool, 19th c. Brass Fireman Helmet, Convex Mirror, Louis Vuitton Luggage, Lounge Chair, Hollywood Mirror, Footed Ceramic Cashepots, Tree Stump Drinks Table, Crystal Vase, Small Picture Frame: Knightsbridge Charleston, SC; Mahogany Marble-Topped Chest of Drawers, Mahogany Column, Regency Rent Table, Regency Rosewood Cabinet, Small Bronze Monuments, Fine Art, Edwardian Chandelier: Spurgeon Lewis Antiques; Brass Pharmacy Lamp: Hines/DCDC ;Wall “Hand” Candle Holders: Duby’s Antiques; White Marble Urn: Rhonald Angelo Interiors; All Fabrics and Trim: Kravet; Upholstery: Agi’s Upholstery, Kensington Roman Shades: Davic Drapery Workroom

Photography © Todd A. Smith Architectural Photo & Video