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Closet Works Organizational Tips & Tricks

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Conceal Clutter With Savvy Storage Solutions

 

It's the time of year most people set goals and get organized. So, we're here to help with some suggestions and ideas for helping you succeed.

Think small. And by that we mean take it one step, or one drawer, or one closet at a time. Thinking that you're going to go through your entire house like a whirling dirvish and come out the other side with a house that looks like it belongs to Martha Stewart is too big of a stretch for anyone except, maybe, Martha Stewart.

Then see what kinds of solutions will work to meet your needs and hide and organize your stuff.

Here are some ideas:

BHG Bed side shelves resized 600

This basic shelving is a terrific way to keep your reading materials close by and still have room for any other personal, nightime necessities. And if you're able to have a wall outlet close by, that makes it all the better since most of us now have things that need to be plugged in while we try to unplug.

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Alcoves make excellent hiding places, as demonstrated by this project we saw on Better Homes and Gardens. If you're lucky enough to be able to do a little construction, you can have a contractor carve out the space between two studs and build it out as shelving.

 

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Another great idea captured from the people at Better Homes and Gardens is this idea of a little ladder for storing accessories that matter. Using vertical space always increase capacity and gives you more options. Using something as simple as a small ladder that you can paint and customize is easy and portable.

 

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This example of storage at the end of the bed is a great example of something we found on Houzz by Johnson + McLeod Designs in British Columbia. It's a simple concept that makes sense, can be done in a budget friendly manner and can really add capacity to your space.

 

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And there's always the option of built-ins to hide your clutter. Think about the wall space that's in your bedroom. Can that be utilized more effectively? This project was designed by team member Tim Higbee and is an excellent aesthetic storage solution.

A Closet Designed To Fulfill Your Fantasies!

 

Much like a car that has all the bells and whistles, people crave a closet that has them too.

What are the coolest features a closet can have these days? In truth, the sky is the limit. You can add a coffee bar or a wine refrigerator, furniture for your friends to lounge in and television screens so you don't miss a minute of the latest trends on "E" or the score on ESPN.

Yet the time honored popular features that truly make things more organized for you are:

1. Space Saving Ironing Boards - a great feature to have in a Walk In Closet. It only takes up a few inches. You need access to electric to plug in your iron, but it's easy access for quick touch ups right where you need them. And it frees up other closet space that would normally be taken up by that freestanding one you've been using since the dawn of time.ironing board folding resized 600

 

2. Safety First - Wall safes are terrific for being able to lock away your valued jewels or some key documents. They can be behind a door or in open space. They hide quite well behind clothing and can be digital or keyed or both. And they can be installed at a height in the wall that's comfortable for you to see what's inside, so no bending or reaching.  All good.wall safe resized 600

 

3. Displayed Jewelry - jewels sparkle even brighter when they are easy to see and organized, with each piece having it's own place.describe the image

4. Three-Way Mirrors - because people see you coming and going, having a three-way mirror with storage behind it is a feature every woman loves.describe the image

 

And if you look closely at the above photo, you can also see a safe that is resting on the floor, so the location and style are up to you. And so are the design elements that can be incorporated to create your dream closet. Just give us a call and we'll schedule a time for you to spend with one of our design experts to come up with storage solutions that you'll love and features that will make you feel like you're living the dream!

Downsized Homes - But NOT Downsized Closets

 

When you hear the word "downsize" you often get a negative vibe.

It feels like there's suddenly less of things - be it space or furniture.

Think again.

Downsizing is a positive trend that's gaining real traction as people realize they don't need all the space they thought they did. And this often happens after they take a serious look around their homes and realize how much of the space is filled with unnecessary "stuff".McMansion resized 600

And there are other upsides to the "downsize". You're using less resources to build and maintain that space. There's more energy effeciency and even more effective design because you're getting more bang for your buck.  It's not just about big open spaces of yesteryear's McMansions. It's about living together - humans and technology - and doing it with peace and joy.

I mean really, who amongst us wants more floor to vacuum or more toilets to clean?

And younger generations are not as fond of "shelf-sitting souvenirs" and mementos as their parents and grandparents. They've been raised in a time of sleek and smaller design and they take that in to their lives with comfort.

And if you live in an existing large home, there's a chance you're considering a remodel and reallocation of space because it's not just you and your hubby. You might also be housing your children and your parents.

And what frequently happens during this remodel is that "living" space is opened up and made more accessible, while "storage" space is enlarged. You'll see lots of walk in pantries to keep all the different food and kitchen items. You'll also see walk in closets in as many rooms as possible.

Walk in closets allow people to organize their items. They also allow for maximizing the space because the vertical (wall) space is used to the max for either hanging or shelving. Face it, you get alot more bang out of an eight foot tall section of shelving in your closet than you do an end table next to the recliner.

walk in closet

So the key to any successful remodel like this is to make sure you have the right amount of storage for the items you decide to keep. Ask yourself how you live and really evaluate what you use ON A REGULAR BASIS (not once every few years). Then purchase or build storage systems and furniture that meet the criteria required to store those items so they are easily accessible when you need them.

Nothing feels better than opening a door or drawer, seeing what you need and NOT having to move anything out of the way to get at what you need.

Simple luxury rocks - and it's usually well planned, well designed and well worth the effort.

Clients Love Closet Works

 

We understand how it can be nerve racking to need to hire someone to do work in your home. 

You're not sure who to trust, if they will do the work correctly and to your satisfaction or if they can be trusted enough to care for the things in your home that are precious to you. And that's something we love about "Yelp" (http://www.yelp.com/biz/closet-works-chicago-3).

In case you're not familiar with Yelp - it's a free platform where you can search for services and companies that are in your market. You can learn about which companies provide the services you're looking to hire done. You can also see what other people think about these companies via "reviews". The site is pretty savvy - so it's difficult to have "fake" reviews - which is a big plus for the consumer looking for a great source to hire.

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So when we recently got news that "People on Yelp Really Love Us" - we were ecstatic. Achieving status in that category means that we had over 15 recent reviews with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Our team is doing the happy dance because we love knowing that others can have the same peace of mind that we do about the great service and products we offer. And we're happy to be recognized for our dedication, commitment to quality and expert level of design.

So, if you're in need of some home organization solutions - some custom closets or a pantry or home office - check out our great reviews on Yelp and give us a call to schedule your complimentary consultation. We'd appreciate the opportunity to do some wonderful work for you and add you to our list of raving fans.

 

Color Trends Beyond Closets

 

Is Tangerine totally tasteful?

Is turquoise a required "must have" for the upcoming season? And how do you tie that in to home decor?

color trends 2012 resized 600

And who comes up with these "hot color trends" anyway?

Join us, along with interior designer Erik Kolacz, Contrast Design Group, for an informal and informational afternoon at our Clybourn Showroom - Saturday, November 3rd from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Kolacz will share the latest insights on color trends and give you some terrific inspiration on ways to incorporate these trends in to your decor.

And this event serves double duty as we kick off our "Pack The Pantry" seasonal giving event.

We've teamed with the Lakeview Food Pantry (http://www.lakeviewpantry.org) and are asking everyone to bring non-perishable food items to help "pack our pantry" that we can then give to the Lakeview Food Pantry to help residents of Lakeview who are in need.

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For a Closet of Keepers - Answer These Questions Truthfully

 


Everyone benefits from a well-edited closet.

How do you get one?

You try clothes on,stand in front of a full-length mirror and if you’re unsure about whether something should stay or go, you ask yourself some clarifying questions. By telling the truth, you’ll be able to move past mistakes, has-beens and clutter and end up with a wardrobe that suits you perfectly. Ready? Here are your questions for qualifying keepers.

Was this made for me or someone else?
When you try an item on, does it look like it’s just right for you? Some of your clothes may be better suited to your sister, your cousin, or your best friend. Recognize the distinction between “just right” and “just okay” and pass those items along.

Has it lost its luster?
It might be your favorite but too worn out to wear in public. Time to discard that one and
search for a replacement.

Lost its Luster resized 600



Does it fit, NOW?
Tell the truth, will it take a six-month exercise diet plan before you fit into it? It may not
be in style by the time you lose the weight. Move out the things that don’t fit and free up
space.


Does it flatter my figure?
Has your figure gone through some changes? Skirt lengths or jacket shapes that were
flattering ten years ago may be less than flattering now. Your body will look better in
new shapes and silhouettes. Donate the things that aren’t working.

Does it make me feel sexy, attractive or confident?
If yes, you’ve got a winner on your hands. Make sure it gets into constant rotation. If not
it’s time to get rid of it. Your clothes should enhance your image.



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Does it bring out my favorite qualities?
A ruffled blouse can bring out your femininity. An architecturally designed dress can say, “I’m edgy and modern.” If clothes in your closet represent an outdated image of you,they should go.

Is this the right piece for my current lifestyle?
Do you look at your clothes and see lots of choices for the type of events you used to go
to but don’t anymore? Recognize the past but plan your outfits for present time. Recycle
anything that doesn’t have a place in your lifestyle.

Would I buy it again?
If the answer is no, let it go. If the answer is yes and you love this piece but don’t
know how to wear it, it’s time to register for Marion Gellatly’s virtual style course
starting October 15. See what others have to say about Virtual Style School http://
www.powerful-presence.com/vss
. Now is the perfect time to gain control of your closet and feel great about working with your wardrobe every day.

Marion Gellatly, a certified image master, deals with these problems all the time in herwork with clients. She is the Style specialist that will help you see what is too hard todiscover on your own. Is the problem with your style, your clothes, your shopping habits,or your closet organization? The solutions are waiting for you in Virtual Style School.Marion headshot

Color In Closets

 

As a designer you could guess that I am all about color.

Thoughtful color, but color none the less.  kolacz closet 5 resized 600

With that said, you might also be surprised to find that I do not support painted or wall papered colors in closet areas where clothing is kept and selected.

I’m not surprised that most people think just the opposite.

Most people feel that it’s a closet, paint it a bold color.  It’s fun. And they often forget to consider that the paint color chosen for the walls of the closet will be reflected in the room and cast shades and shadows on your clothing. That can make it a little difficult to match your perfect whites and select your Sunday best. 

What I always recommend to my clients is keep the walls and ceiling light and bright. Save the impact for the closet system itself. Use the closet system as the focal point and select a great wood grain or striking combination of finishes. I personally love the Closet Works Cocoa finish with Cream accents. It’s a great transitional look.

Then consider adding stylish storage baskets and accessories to make your closet more personal and special. It will also help a little down the road when you realize that the avocado green that you loved last fall is no longer the color of choice this fall.

 

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Find Fall Fashion In Your Closet

 

The fall season brings on not only the excitement of new television programming - but - for many - the excitement of new fall fashion.

But what if a new wardrobe isn't in the budget right now? Or what if you just don't have the time to go scouting for the perfect pointy shoes or the latest, edgy "harness" belt (I don't even like the sound of that accessory!).

Then try "finding fall fashion" inside your own closet with these tips that tie in to the latest trends:

1. Earth tones - the colors of nature are big this fall and harmonious with the season. So, if you've got some favorite khaki pants or a camel hair blazer - bring them front and center and use them as anchor pieces for your fall ensembles.

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2.Leather - I'm guessing most of us come up short when searching our closets for leather garments like pants or blazers and shirts. But many of us have a leather coat stashed somewhere in the hall closet along with a belt or two that could fit the bill. Go get that coat and start wearing it again - it will update your look without spending a penny.

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3. Bright Red and Bright Orange Lip Color - for the ladies - this is an easy, inexpensive update that can be garnered from a discount store for under ten bucks. It allows you to be "on trend" without being too out of pocket. Take a stroll down the cosmetics aisle and find a bright shade that works for you.

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Closet Double Hang - Bottoms Up!

 

Adding Double Hang to your closet literally doubles your storage capacity.

It's one of the best return on investments you can ever buy.

So designer Sue Tinker takes this one step further with a great tip about how to make Double Hang work even better.

 

Walk In Closet

Check out this quick video to see what she has to say:

 

Closet Storage, Of Course!

 

My clients often ask what I think is a great way to start with design. Naturally I would talk about storage. I obviously have a little of a passion for it.

kolacz closet 1

Most are surprised when I suggest starting with closet and storage solutions. Let me tell you why I think starting in the closet is a great choice -  because it helps to omit the clutter right from step one. It will often force a client to think about what is really necessary.

I frequently walk into homes where, because of a lack of thoughtful storage, clients have many items on “display” (for lack of a better word). When I ask about the clutter the first response is “we just don’t have enough space”.  After assessment of the coat closet, pantry and master closet, I find most reveal only a single row of hanging and piles of items artfully “arranged” below. 

There is a reason why custom closets are a big deal, especially to me. Simply speaking, they give you thoughtful spaces to store the items that you need to store, plus give the added bonus of using all the wasted space that is not taken advantage of with just a simple single row of hanging with one shelf.

So I say "storage, of course" because I believe in it so much. And wouldn't your home function better if it had organized storage solutions? I"m certain it would!

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