Closet chic

Nancy Gansky says her spacious, Y-shaped room holds 'things that are precious to me'

The fabulosity in Nancy Gansky's 300-square-foot closet is in its precision.

Hanging rods in the honey-wood and translucent-glass cabinets are 55 inches from the floor - that means the entire wardrobe of the 5-foot-1-inch stay-at-home mom is at eye level. It also means Gansky doesn't have to stand on her tiptoes to stack sunkist-orange Hermés boxes or steal glances at the captain-of-the-cheerleaders trophy she earned at Merion Mercy Academy.

"My closet houses things that are precious to me," said Gansky, 43. "It was designed by me and for me . . . for my lifestyle. For the way I live."

Three gleaming expandable valet bars are attached to the cabinets in the far side of the room, which marks Gansky's packing station. There, a swiveling chocolate-brown ottoman sits beneath a sparkling chandelier.

This is the spot where Gansky determines how her Tory Burch cardigans look with her AG (Adriano Goldschmied) corduroys.

It took Gansky more than a year to get the cream-colored closet of her Fort Washington home just right. At first, the area was earmarked for a smaller closet for her husband, David. But when Gansky saw the 18-foot ceilings, she seized it. It could be entered from her bedroom or her 150-square-foot sitting room, complete with fireplace, flat-screen television and desk.

The Ganskys asked Keith Robson, who specializes in in-home architectural features such as fireplaces and built-in cabinetry, to come up with the best layout for the space. Closet Works, based in Horsham, installed the hardware. And the Ganskys' home builder, R.C. Legnini, completed the finishing touches.

The area is Y-shaped. At the top of the Y, there are two walls of built-in shelves on either side of the aisle. One is filled with shoes; the other, with pocketbooks. Each wall is separated into smaller shelves and cubbyholes. The Jimmy Choos, Ferragamos, Manolo Blahniks, Hermés and Birkins live here. This part of the room also houses two pullout hampers: one for dry cleaning, the other for laundry. (Nothing ever gets thrown on the floor.)

The center of the closet is dedicated to Gansky's workout and casual clothing, as well as a 16-drawer dresser that holds accessories, delicates and unmentionables. On top of the dresser is a Susan Beard portrait of the raven-haired mother with her two then-toddler daughters, now 14 and 12. Also in the picture mix are Gansky with Gov. Rendell and Gansky with Donald Trump.

The tail of the Y is dedicated to designer jeans and pants. Cocktail dresses hang in cabinets that are 70 inches from the floor - after all, Badgley Mischka gowns can be long.

"When people see my closet, they usually say, 'This is your closet? It's the size of a bedroom,' " Gansky said. "But I've always loved fashion. And this space is important to me. It's my haven."

What is the oldest thing in your closet?

There is a little bag my aunt gave me. It's small and brown with solid black stitching with my initials, N.C. (Her maiden name is Calabrese.) And there is also my First Communion dress. I also have a dresser filled with antique linens that have been in my family for more than 100 years.

What's the newest thing in your closet?

My Nancy Gonzalez handbag. And a gorgeous pair of Taryn Rose black boots I just bought.

What's your favorite thing in your closet?

My ottoman. All the pets sit on it. (The Ganskys have two cats and a dog.) My kids come in here and sit on it, too. (She has three children: Jacqueline, 14, Danielle, 12, and Harrison, 6.) I also love my chandelier.

How many times do you clean out your closet?

Probably about three or four times a year. I donate most of it to organizations like Career Wardrobe and Cradle to Crayon. Not to mention I have two young teenage daughters who love to shop in my closet.

The most expensive thing in your closet?

My Birkin bags.

Any closet regrets?

I wish I had a big, beautiful stained-glass window in here. But I was worried that the light would damage my clothes. Still, I wish I had one built in.

 

Contact fashion writer Elizabeth Wellington at 215-854-2704 or ewellington@phillynews.com.