25 May2011

A Friend’s Closet…

by Marketman

This is a potential fish pan post. So skip it if posts on the finer (luxurious) things in life are not your thing. SKIP IT.

We were recently in Hong Kong visiting friends, using free tickets on frequent flier mileage that was about to expire on Philippine Airlines. They had just finished renovating their enormous apartment/home on Hong Kong Island and we were invited to see it. I just had to take photos of the dressing room/closet of the lady of the house, as it was pretty impressive, particularly in a country where this space is larger than the average bedroom. The friend is a purveyor of luxury fabrics for interior decorating, and has a weakness for clothing and accessories. The Teen, up top, was the first to draw the sliding doors into this private and intensely organized space.

There were two levels of racks for everything and clothes were organized by color, season, formality, etc. I didn’t spend much time closely inspecting the place, but the Teen was in absolute awe of the possibilities. Mrs. MM was impressed as well. If you saw Mrs. MM’s and my closets, you would be shocked by how cramped and stuffed they are… This one looked like a very upscale kind of clothing boutique, albeit with more stock on offer!

The hangers were all the same, the pants organized by type and color, and the long dresses (gowns?) hung in their special place…

This is only a glimpse of the dozens of shoes (or was it hundreds) that the lady of the house had on special stands, and then the rest in their original boxes, labelled for easy identification. What is it with women and their shoes? Remember this other friend’s shoe organization system?

Jackets and handbags were on another wall of the large space, and accessories and other doodads in a center island with a glass top. Amazing. I was impressed. Even if I had something similar in our own home, I would have to buy new underwear to display just in case these friends came over to see the dressing area. Wouldn’t want old “bacony” like garter straps anywhere near visible. Hahaha. Thanks P and family for the tour of the new digs. The Teen is now thinking about how many decades of hard work it will take before she can do something equally stunning…



  1. millet says:

    wooow! we’ve currently renovating our house, and everytime i check the site, i always say there’s not enough space -and now you show me this! Aaarrgh! That center island and shoe cabinet would make me the happiest camper ;-)

    May 25, 2011 | 6:56 am


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  3. millet says:

    i like the Teen’s pose – tentative, awestruck, amazed!

    May 25, 2011 | 6:59 am

  4. chreylle says:

    when it will be future here ur own closet MM? :D it sumthing more interesting

    May 25, 2011 | 8:24 am

  5. present tense says:

    Wonder how her kitchen looks like though…

    May 25, 2011 | 8:32 am

  6. cathyeresera says:

    Amazing Closet!

    May 25, 2011 | 8:38 am

  7. Marketman says:

    present tense, the kitchen, a work in progress, was pretty spectacular too… chreylle, no, you don’t want to see my two fairly small closets that are packed to the gills and totally smushed and unappealing… :) millet, change those plans, change those plans! :)

    May 25, 2011 | 9:11 am

  8. junb says:

    Now I have to block this post from my wife ;)

    May 25, 2011 | 9:25 am

  9. tamale8888 says:

    Wow, I’m in awe.*:)

    May 25, 2011 | 10:22 am

  10. fried-neurons says:

    Those hangers look familiar. Ikea, I think. I myself have about 100 of them. lol

    May 25, 2011 | 10:35 am

  11. ami says:

    If IKEA or something similar were to open up in Manila then I’m sure a lot of us would get into this level of organization.

    I’m amused that your friend also has the same contraption that vendors in tiangges use to reach for items that are high out of their reach.

    May 25, 2011 | 10:38 am

  12. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    ‘What is it with women and their shoes?’

    Hey you know (or at least the Teen should know) that shoes are not only a lady thing but a teenage guy thing too! I know of many teen/young adult males who habitually buy athletic shoes (basketball) for collecting. Sometimes the box itself is a collectors item. There’s even an televison program produced by ABS-CBN here in the states that is dedicated to shoes and their collectors. LOL!

    May 25, 2011 | 11:30 am

  13. Pam says:

    Oh wow. Thanks for this, MM! There is hope in organizing our closet!!! Does your friend have more space for future clothes or will she create another closet for those?

    May 25, 2011 | 11:44 am

  14. Lex says:

    How the they packed storage from the floor to the ceiling is impressive, but… Ergonometrically, the height of the hangers are way to high. The cabinets should have been above for the less accessed stuff in the closet. If you have to use a hook to access the hangers, that is not very practical. There are mechanisms whereby the high hangers like these swing down to accessible level.

    May 25, 2011 | 11:48 am

  15. RobKSA says:

    i have to show this to my wife, our walk-in closet is a bodega, i can’t even go in there anymore. thanks for sharing mm!

    May 25, 2011 | 12:14 pm

  16. Sands says:

    Inggit ako!

    May 25, 2011 | 12:38 pm

  17. ariel nievera says:

    Watch “Urban Zone” they have some fancy walk in dress rooms.
    Don’t know if anybody watches the Show “Extreme Couponing” in TLC, some of them really neat pantries.

    May 25, 2011 | 12:46 pm

  18. Cris Jose says:

    Very timely post, MM. I am planning the closet for my soon to be renovated bedroom.

    May 25, 2011 | 2:45 pm

  19. jon says:

    Why is it called a potential fish pan post? I tried googling fish pan post but I couldn’t find anything.

    May 25, 2011 | 3:16 pm

  20. Ana5678 says:

    MM, Howard’s at the Shang mall and the newly refurbished truValue next door have some great finds for storage and organization needs!

    May 25, 2011 | 4:34 pm

  21. Tricia says:

    I’m curious at the bags she has in her closet…hmmmm… :))

    May 25, 2011 | 4:46 pm

  22. atbnorge says:

    Ouch! Tinamaan ako ng fish pan, LOLZ.
    Oh my, this post reminds me of my ten pairs of shoes lined up in the hallway and those are only the whites! How I wish I am this organized. I would have had nearly the same quantity of clothes to hang but my taste in storage is leaning on the old style—boxes in the basement :))

    May 25, 2011 | 4:54 pm

  23. Ellen says:

    Dream closet….and contents!

    It reminds me of Carrie’s closet in the first SATC movie.

    May 25, 2011 | 4:56 pm

  24. Mom-Friday says:

    Impressive! To think this is in a home in HK!!! :)

    May 25, 2011 | 5:13 pm

  25. Connie C says:

    Here is my closet confession:

    Years ago when we moved to a new home, we had to deal with so much stuff we had accumulated over the years. The hoarder in me makes it difficult to discard anything that might be donated or given away. In addition, being busy while employed did not help to let go of stuff that had not been used in the last two years , the likelihood things will not be used ever again. My husband took pictures of the front lawn full of discards that was refused by the usual garbage collection and took special hauling to cart away. He said if I did not know what hell was like, that would serve as a reminder.

    After smoke and water damage of possessions from a recent fire we had to go thru another hell again and making inventory for insurance replacement is even a bigger pain. Never learn. Today, I wake up telling myself to simplify, simplify, simplify. How much do I really need? And imagine those I leave behind who will have to deal with my earthly goods. Not proud to be caught up in consumerism big time myself and my contribution to carbon footprint, never mind that the financial gurus tell you to consume, consume, consume to rev up the economy. Composting, buying local, etc. are not enough.

    I am not proud of it, but hopefully this confession will get me on the right track. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

    May 25, 2011 | 6:16 pm

  26. Footloose says:

    @Jon, The fish pan reference is a Market Manila inside joke. Earlier in the life of the blog, Marketman posted about frying a whole fish in a specialized oval shaped frying pan. This triggered an accurate though unhinged accusation of elitism from a reader who coached her comment in a manner that provoked the loyal followers of the blog to in turn take umbrage on Marketman’s behalf. Being a collector of well-designed cooking vessels myself and also being not one who regards elitist as an entirely negative epithet, I thought the flame-out was amusing. A wretched soul getting worked up by a blog post when she could have just as easily clicked off as soon as she found the entry offensive.

    May 25, 2011 | 8:00 pm

  27. Footloose says:

    And lookie here, Connie C, specially the graph:


    May 25, 2011 | 8:15 pm

  28. EbbaBlue says:

    Geeze… this put me to shame… sa hangers na lang.. ay sus! My daughter gave me designer all maple wood hangers and there it is, mingling with the hangers from the cleaners.. and with others from Walmart (iba’t ibang kulay pa).

    I have a whole room (the biggest in the house), that supposedly my “sewing & crafts” room. My hubby though calls it “craps” room instead, dahil hindi siya halos maka-pasok sa loob. Clothes, fabrics, shoes… sama-sama…meron namang shelves, ewan kung bakit naka-tambak siya sa floor.

    May 25, 2011 | 8:28 pm

  29. Matilda says:

    That closet was amazing! I’m so jealous. Hubby will amuck (hehehe) just by the thought of spending thousands of pesos in hangers alone. Though he cannot stop me with my addiction to shoes! Oh and yes, there is always a special relationship between women and shoes that even Einstein cannot explain. =)

    And I can’t help but notice the Teen is skinny and fit. If my folks were like MM, Mrs. MM and Sister, I’ll be a fat kid. If all those jams were in our fridge, hayayay! Care to share your secret, kiddo?

    May 25, 2011 | 8:29 pm

  30. Lannie says:

    SKIP a post about the finer things in life? No way! :)
    I’m currently changing our attic into something half laundry room, half walk in closet; or at least a decent place where we can store seasonal clothes. Those winter jackets are thick and consume tons of space and I just so hate folding them into teeny, tiny bundles.

    May 25, 2011 | 8:34 pm

  31. anna says:

    this is my ultimate dream. how i love wooden hangers. and yes ellen, this reminds me of carrie’s closet in satc 1.

    May 25, 2011 | 10:41 pm

  32. Raven says:

    I wonder how she keeps the dust out? Or is there no dust in HK? That has always been my biggest problem with my walk in closets. Somehow the dust enters and no amount of cleaning could prevent this. So irritating!

    May 25, 2011 | 11:04 pm

  33. Elodie Jane Amora says:

    I am so jealous! what i would give to have a huge walk-in closet where I can put all my bags and shoes too!

    May 26, 2011 | 1:32 am

  34. kim says:

    what i wish for is a huge closet & pantry !!! me/hubby & the 2 kids also share and i just hate to organize clothes every spring & fall :( we set-up a portable one in the garage just for winter jackets but still isnt big enough as our family is growing … same thing with the pantry, too much stuffs for such a small space… can’t even use my oven as it is also full of crap !

    and don’t even ask about shoes … that’s a womans thing :)

    btw, i googled ms fishpan … after all these years, she’s now a certified MD !!! yeah, just like her initials but of course married na …she really does look like a b-s-g- as one commented… i know im bad,too … sorry :)

    May 26, 2011 | 1:56 am

  35. marilen says:

    What makes a person open to confession after looking at this fabulously organized closet – the anonymity, I guess, of the internet. A decade ago, I discovered in my little midwestern town, a consignment shop, where wealthy ladies brought in their cast-offs. I have dressed myself since, shoes to bags to scarves to shades to clothing (for pennies practically)- Ferragamo. Pollini, Gucci, LV, Longchamps, Magli, the list endless. With the recession, the secret is out – everyone has been shopping there and the sweet ‘finds’ are scarce. This manner of outfitting oneself’s might be a turn-off for some people, but on the other hand, one can call it ‘recycling’.

    May 26, 2011 | 2:10 am

  36. Connie C says:

    Footloose: So true! and thanks for the link.

    May 26, 2011 | 4:21 am

  37. millet says:

    MM, l wish!

    May 26, 2011 | 4:54 am

  38. Peach says:

    Ok that does it, I’m throwing away my plastic hangers!!! For those who reside in Manila, Japan Home stores sell wooden hangers for cheap cheap. Don’t know though if their hanger size is standard.

    May 26, 2011 | 9:55 am

  39. joyce says:

    wow, this closet is nothing sort of impressive! i love the center island with the accessories. although now i am wary of accumulating a lot of clothes, bags and shoes after moving houses in manila and moving back here from abroad. i just had to much stuff! stuff i haven’t even seen in years. i’ve resolved to make this year my year of purging and buy only stuff i love and are of high quality.

    May 26, 2011 | 2:04 pm

  40. ariel nievera says:

    Costco offers a service in the U.S. for a custom built walk in(about 3k). It’s a lot nicer than what is posted here. There are cheaper options at Home Depot or Lowes. There are also custom cabinets on the web, you measure the space, pick a design and then you install yourself. Installing is easy, you just mark and align. Then install with screws using an electric drill. For throwing stuff, have 3 balikbayan boxes labeled (keep) (may keep) (give away)…then sort … then rethink the pile may keep or demote them to the shed.

    May 26, 2011 | 3:44 pm

  41. moni says:

    My son’s condo unit is also now being renovated and we had to discard many things that, I as mother, has hoarded for him. Can you imagine, stacks of towels and linens and stuff bought in Costco, which I had to let go. To make it easy to simplify, my son bought balikbayan boxes and dumped there all the stuff that he declared he didn’t need and presented them to me. I had three options: give away, put in the condo building’s refuse room, and bring some to the province.

    May 26, 2011 | 4:16 pm

  42. lily says:

    love it..wish i cud have one too..

    May 27, 2011 | 2:29 pm

  43. tintin says:

    Totally in awe! Very organized…
    I am with the Teen… thinking how long will it take for me to have such impressive “collection”.. kahit 1/4 lang… hahaha

    May 28, 2011 | 4:21 pm

  44. consol says:

    ‘Wouldn’t want old “bacony” like garter straps anywhere near visible.’ Hahahaha!!!

    I love your way with words, dear MM.

    Organized closets = Utopia

    May 29, 2011 | 2:47 pm

  45. Ana Moring Busch says:

    Hi Marketman, one look i knew that the walking closet is from IKEA, a Swedish furniture company (http://www.ikea.com/us) IKEA also has a branch in HK. It is really inspiring to visit their showroom, they have catalogues as well for Kitchen, Living Room and home accessories. Sayang it has yet to open a branch in Manila (maybe due to competition with SM?)

    May 31, 2011 | 7:17 am

  46. Marketman says:

    Ana Moring Busch, I think IKEA would be great in Manila. Retail laws and conditions in the Philippines are less than totally conducive to real competition and many NON-LAW conditions like supply lines, customs, etc. must all play a big role in a company’s decision to set up locally. IKEA owns all their stores (they don’t sell franchises or take partners I think) so they must not think local conditions are good enough to enter… which says a lot in their absence as they have managed to do rather well in neighboring countries including Indonesia, where there are some similar concerns.

    Personally, I think Filipinos shoot ourselves in the foot more often than not. When you figure out the ridiculous freight and shipping costs, the customs/handling costs, the local transport inefficiencies, the myriad of taxes and regulations, etc. then butt heads against oligopolies or monopolies… it’s a wonder anyone wants to really do business here, if they want to do it on a straighter and narrower path…

    I rail on this a bit as I once did a study of the retail industry here, and it is more than curious that there are no international drugstore chains operating here (Watson’s is brought in by SM), there are no real competitors in the bookstore business, there is a lack of competition in the grocery sector (in my opinion), home depot style stores, etc… :(

    May 31, 2011 | 8:42 am

  47. Ana says:

    I very much agree on your opinion on the absence of competition and variety on the market and the complicated ways opening business in the Philippines. I notice the same problem in the neighbor country Saipan where many businesses are closed. We know it is not because there is no market but due to corrupt and bureaucratic practices that makes potential investors to opt for more welcoming countries. Hope that there will be IKEA and Home Depot inspired Filipino businesses soon. The ideas (by IKEA & co) are really very practical and innovative, but some are mere revivals remarketed with a modern twist but produced and sourced from Asia.

    Jun 6, 2011 | 10:36 am

  48. TheLux says:

    Maybe it’s just me… but it doesnt look luxurious at all. Well organized, yes. Luxurious? Nah.

    Jun 12, 2011 | 3:25 pm

  49. Marketman says:

    TheLux, in Hong Kong, where this space is bigger than the average bedroom, it qualifies as luxurious, in my opinion. Not screaming gaudy like a Versace print on shirts I used to see so sought after by the nouveau riche in Jakarta in the 1990’s, but luxurious in that not many folks in Hong Kong would be able to have such a space…

    Jun 12, 2011 | 7:29 pm


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