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It’s not too much of a stretch to proclaim makeovers –closet makeovers, wardrobe makeovers, and home makeovers of any type –our raison d’être. What’s better than turning a ho-hum space into something divinely chic? Interior designer Libby Langdon, the queen bee of TV home makeovers, is a like-minded comrade. The native North Carolinian has transformed countless rooms on shows like The View and The Rachel Ray Show, and HGTV’s Small Spaces, Big Style. Her secret weapon: an easy, elegant aesthetic that never feels forced or fussy. Here, Langdon opens up her closet doors to chat with us about her love of the color black, her stylish mother, and how she'd give her own storage space a jaw-dropping makeover (yes, she's already thought out every detail).
How would you describe your personal style?
I think it’s an updated traditional look with a fun twist. I’m drawn to classic shapes and very clean silhouettes, and above all, short skirts!
What’s your daily uniform?
When I’m doing a makeover show, I always wear a pair of skinny jeans, my favorite black Stuart Weitzman boots, and usually some sort of loose, comfortable top that I can work in. During the workweek, it’s black on black. I love Theory, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren. The only time I am not the princess of darkness is in the summer. Then, I go color-crazy.
What’s your favorite fashion advice?
Make sure you are wearing your clothes, and your clothes aren’t wearing you. When I walk in somewhere, I like to feel like I’m the one out there, not some piece of outlandish clothing.
How does your fashion sense reflect your interiors?
I just launched my first line of upholstery furniture and we labeled that collection ‘easy, elegant, everyday style’. And I think that that is very much what my fashion sense is. It’s also how I design homes for people. I want them to have easy, elegant, clean lines, sleek silhouettes, but be very comfortable. I don’t like anything too fussy. I like things to be a little sleeker, and a little more elegant.
What’s the most cherished item in your closet?
That is really a toughie. One of the pieces that I love the most is a Valentino black lace bustier top. Every time I put it on, I feel like a million bucks. My most recent cherished piece is my wedding ring – I just got married in November. That’s probably what means the most to me right now.
What are your best tips for closet organization?
When it comes to working with my closet, I definitely use the same tactic that I use in makeover television: the very first thing we do is take everything out of the room, and we only bring back in the pieces that we think are going to work and that are relevant. I find that when it comes time for me to purge things out of my closet, the best thing I can possibly do is to take every single piece out of the closet and drawers. It gives you perspective on how much you have, and it helps you to categorize the things that you’re not wearing. I think there are so many amazing charities and great place to donate clothes that it’s a lot easier to part with pieces, even if they’re a little pricier, because you know they were going to a good cause.
How would you design your dream closet?
I know exactly what it would look like! It would be this huge rectangle with black wrought-iron windows at one whole end of the closet. There would be a white Carrera marble island in the middle, with a big beautiful chandelier above. And then the walls would be a pale grey, with a high-gloss black lacquer crown molding and baseboard. And then I would just have open shelving, with the inside back painted a teal or marine blue. I wouldn’t have doors on anything, so I could see everything. [Our chic baby-blue hangers would be the perfect accent!]
Who is your fashion icon?
My most important fashion icon in my mom. Growing up in North Carolina, she was always so stylish, and loved getting dressed up and hosting beautiful parties. And even though she had her own elegant style, she also encouraged me to try out different looks –even if she probably thought I looked completely ridiculous (it was the 80s!). She was definitely my biggest influence because I learned great style from her, but she also gave me the encouragement to find my own.