Downsizing can have all kinds of interpretations, but for Closet Works clients Sue and Marty, it means the very exciting "re-allocation of space" from their big, suburban house to a condo on the north shore of Chicago.
And re-allocating space usually means organizing to the max.
Using every inch possible to allow for storing and hiding as many personal items as possible.
So that was designer Tim Higbee's "assignment" when he met with Sue and Marty and their interior designer, Deb Reinhart
They didn't want to overwhelm the bedroom space with too much furniture so they created a wall surround for the bed that really makes wonderfully effecient use of the wall space and floor space on the sides.
There are lots of drawers, easy access to the night stands and gorgeous marble tops,which Tim highlights in the video.
In addition, lighting for easy night time reading that was discovered by the client during an online search, and it's lighting we really think makes the entire project look even better. It telescopes out when you need it or folds flat, (as shown in photo) when you don't.
Also incorporated into this design was the headboard, lighting and stone tops. The clients are more than 100% satisfied - which makes us all sleep better every night!
A Walk-In closet space is fun for any closet designer to design. It's also fun for any client to have as a place to call "home" for their wardrobe.
And when the space is square or rectangle with a standard eight or nine foot ceiling and few or no obstacles - all the better.
But angles make things more complicated because angles typically equal more difficult accessibility.
Think about the attic in your grandparents home. You know, the one you used to love to sneak up to and play hide and seek in? They probably had lots of boxes shoved in to the corners that you could hide behind. Which is fun.
But having to access items on a daily basis in a location like that can be "back-aching" and frustrating. You wouldn't want to have to go looking for wardrobe favorites on a daily basis that were stored like that.
So what to do if you have a closet space that has angled ceilings?
Closet Works designer Zena Hallman created a great solution for a Chicago area client by properly designing shelves and hanging into the space while allowing proper access. She used her excellent space planning skills and years of experience to really maximize the space for her client. And she'd be happy to do the same for yours!
It's common for people to work from both their work office and their home office.....and just about anywhere else they can get a cup of coffee and an internet connection.
And with more and more homes being equipped with space to allow at least one person to work, we thought we'd share some insights on home office space.
It's space that needs to be effectively designed and effeciently utilized. Doing a great job at your job is more than just making sure your files are organized. There are proven psychological benefits that lead to productivity increases when your work space works for you.
So if you'll allow us the privilege of working with you on your work space - we promise you'll get more done and be all the happier for it.
It takes a great deal of thought to figure out what your work pattern is and how things can flow, as well as what options you have for making that work. Our team has lots of experience helping people make those kinds of decisions, and we'd love to help you too!
At Closet Works, we've got a commitment to quality and customer experience that runs deep.
We take our design work seriously, our installations methodically and our client relationships with a smile and "can do" attitude.
And in recent weeks, we've received some industry recognition that supports our efforts and commitment.
The Association of Closet and Storage Profesionals (ACSP) recently initiated a certification program to recognize designers in our industry who have years of experience designing custom storage solutions. And we had two team members receive their first level certification. Designer Teri Magee and president Mike Carson are now officially "Registered Storage Designers". We're so proud!
We're also rather proud of our awards from The Better Business Bureau and Angie's List.
We've had "zero" complaints on one end and "super star service" on the other. What that means for our clients is that you're covered from beginning to end and beyond. Basically, for the life of your closet system. Nothing like peace of mind to go along with your newly organized life.
And there's even more!
Closet Works designers Tim Higbee, Sue Tinker and Lynn Casanova won the equivalent of our industries' Oscar's by bringing home Top Shelf Design Awards for projects they designed for clients in the past year.
The picture to the left is for a first place win by Sue Tinker of a "Dream Closet" that Sue, herself, said she wouldn't mind calling home.
Tim Higbee created an effective workspace in a clients condo that not only utilized space effectively and beautifully, but allowed for space for the clients bobble head collection (see - we cover all the bases!).
And designer Lynn Casanova created maximum storage in a basement that had lots of difficult design parameters and client demands in order to make it all work well together.
It's not only the inside of your closets that need to be organized.
It creates tremendous peace of mind to look around your space and NOT see messy spaces - to not see piles of paper or "to do" lists or post it notes.
And sometimes a trip to an organizing mecca like The Container Store or Office Max can yield tremendous benefits.
Benefits that add to the wonderfulness of your custom closets. Heck, at Closet Works , we don't just love organization inside a closet - we love organization anywhere we can find it!
What about you? Do you have some personal tricks or devices you use to keep yourself organized and on track? We'd love to hear about them!
At least that's what we're hoping to repeat again this year.
Three members of our stellar design team have been named as finalists in the closet industry "Top Shelf" design competition.
This first project was submitted by Lynn Casanova. The storge solution was built in to a 125 year old Chicago home in desperate need of storage. The basement is U-shaped with the larger space for TV and guests and the smaller portion for a bedroom and powder room. The biggest issue is that the powder room is located with the bedroom area. The issue then is that the bedroom can not be separated from the TV room by doors because if were, a guest would have to go through a bedroom to get to the bathroom.
The solution is to leave the space as an open area and keep everything behind closed doors. The space needed to store TV equipment like receivers and routers, as well as clothes for the son. Also the client is a cycle enthusiast. Storage for extra bicycle wheels, helmets, cycling suits all needed to be accommodated in the space and hidden from the TV area.
Our second finalist, Tim Higbee, designed a space in a Chicago high rise apartment offers very little storage space. In this instance the client needed a home office that could also accommodate storage for linens and pantry items as well as office equipment, space for an extensive record album collection, and his prized bobble head collection.
The space available was a hallway leading from the living room to the bedroom; one side being floor to ceiling windows with a view of the magnificent Chicago skyline, the other side with angled walls that was a five sided bay. The need for an unobstructed circulation path dictated that the work surface would need to be a peninsula. The client's modern aesthetic directed us to the use of Wenge as a finish, solid and glass insert doors, and a contrasting solid surface for the work surface.
The single brushed chrome leg allowed us to continue an open feeling on what could have been a heavy, overpowering system. The result is a rich, modern, multifunctional space that does not inhibit the intended architectural design or flow of the apartment, and compliments the design elements in the adjoining rooms, while capitalizing on the large windows, creating a workspace environment appropriate for a Chicago high rise.
Our third finalist, Sue Tinker, shares that "this space was unfinished above a 4 car garage. The ceilings are all angled and there are built-ins under each of the 3 window alcoves. The focal point is a large island with a beautiful chandelier and a small desk are at one end. The hanging was left open except for 3 way mirror doors that cover up the shoe shelves. The materials are laminate with solid wood front doors and drawers. I don't usually envy the closets I design, but I think I could be happy with this awesome space!"
There are a million and one different ways to get life organized. And closets are a great place to start.
One item that works really well for people of all shapes and sizes (particularly those of us who are vertically challenged) is this clear basket that has a handle. It's easy to grab, easy to see through, it's venitlated for breathability and can be added to any custom organization system.
We also offer a variety of other baskets that can be installed within your system that help keep things in order. What most people like about baskets is the ability to see through them, so whether it's several bags of chips and crackers all smooshed together or your workout clothing all tossed in a basket,, baskets allow you to see what's at the top and the bottom and even what's in between so you can grab it and go.
As design consultants, we work closely with our clients to do our best to make sure their custom closets work for them in the best possible way.
So when design consultant Lynn Casanova met with this client, there was lots to strategize about as she wanted to be sure absolutely everything in her wardrobe had a home.
The client wanted purses organized so she could grab and change them out easily, she wanted to be able to see her shoes and have an appropriate place for her boots.
Divders for sweaters and shirts was important, as was the location and amount of hanging.
So together the designer and the client worked through the revisions and the math as well as the aesthetic to create a custom storage solutions that qualifies as a "dream closet" for this happy client.
Working in an urban setting where space is quite the commodity, most rooms do double duty in terms of function.
And one of the most popular "double duty" purposes is putting in a wall bed so a room can be used as an office or den - but then accomodate guests when they visit.
Award winning team member Sue Trainor worked on a really special one.
"My goal on this project was to design a queen wall bed for a small townhouse in Chicago. The home did not have an extra guest bedroom so we needed to create this space in their family room for overnite guests" says Trainor.
With that in mind, the colors needed to work with the decor in the room- light maple floor with dark brown contemporary furniture.
"My client wanted a mix of four color combinations; cocoa, maple, alloy silver and white" says Trainor. She also designed space for some hanging, drawers and a light bridge across the top.
And additonal design element that adds alot of interest is that the unit has three depths. The far left cabinet is 25 inches deep to accommodate hanging, the center wall bed is 21 inches deep and the far right section needed to be 12 inches deep so as not to block the window.
We hid the electrical chords with a back panel that was set forward. There are flip up doors above the bed and 1 1/2 inch thick floating shelves on the right - all of which give this highly functional piece a really high level of beauty.
As Trainor puts it, "The unit looks great in the room and my client was really happy with the end result. It's not always easy to pick color combinations that work well together but this was perfect."
Don't you agree?
Any chance those extra "piles to be organized" laying around your house are actually contributing to your weight gain?
According to several experts on the Dr. Oz Show, those extra items inside your closet - and inside your refrigerator - can actually be contributing to the extra inches on your waistline.
Ask yourself the following questions and check out their solutions for ways to help you move towards a more fit and organized life:
1)Are there UFO's (Unidentified Food Objects) in your refrigerator? Perhaps some holiday casseroles chinese takeout?
The solution for getting rid of all kinds of stuff in your frig' whose contents or "use by" dates are unknown is to put all leftovers in clear containers with labels.
And if you can't quite get yourself to the uber organized state of easily being able to label all your leftovers, at least get the clear containers. They make life so much easier in any storage area of your home and garage because you stand a much better chance of at guessing correctly about what's inside the container.
2)Are there any clothing items laying on the floor in either your bedroom or closet? Experts feel that clutter leads to people having a more difficult time sleeping.
People who have a difficult time sleeping are often tired.
When we're tired we tend to just 'grab and go" - not taking the time or energy to make sure what we're putting in our mouths is actually good for our bodies.
Solutions to help with this include taking a serious look at all the clothes you're saving for the "one day I'll fit in to this" celebration to arrive. If you have five pair of jeans that are hanging around (literally) waiting for you to lose ten pounds, that's serving no purpose except defeating yourself. Keep one pair for inspiration and donate the rest to someone who can make use them NOW!
3)Are the colors of your dining room or dishes red? Studies suggest that the color red actually stimulates the appetitie. Think about it - the logos of eateries like McDonald's and Wendy's often involve the color red. And Christmas holidays filled with red and green often lead us to overindulge "in the spirit of the season" with no regard to the colors of the tablecloths, napkins or dishes.
The solution is to tone it down. Think blue. This color is believed to relax people. And while there aren't many foods that are actually blue (with the obvious exception of blueberries), you can incorporate these soothing colors into linens, dishes, even the wall or seat coloring. Personally, I love the timelessness and flexibility of white dishes. You can change the look easily without making a big new investment. But if you are thinking about making such a change - use smaller plates. Studies also show that the larger the plate, the larger the portion.