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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.

Yelp page1 resized 600

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.

Lakeview pantry resized 600

 

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.



Lifestyle Change resized 600

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.

 

describe the image

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.

describe the image

 

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.

leather fashion resized 600

 

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.

lip color resized 600

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!

describe the image

 

Closets Are The Amenity People Can't Live Without

 

And we're not just saying that because we're "in the business".

According to The Business Insider, an online news publication, "Luxury home buyers say this (closets) is the amenity they can't live without." And that comes as a result of a survey conducted on Homes.com.describe the image

Of course, we love that!

It makes us very happy to have our clients fall in love with their closets and never be able to live without a custom closet system again.

According to The Business Insider, "Among the 250 people surveyed, a whopping 75.9 percent chose a luxury closet and suite as their #1 desired amenity."

So in a celebration of summer and the joy that an organized closet brings - we just want to share a few personal faves from our own client collection of closet amenities people can't live without.describe the image

 describe the image

 

And if you want to check out a link to the article, here you go:

http://www.businessinsider.com/luxury-home-buyers-say-this-is-the-amenity-they-cant-live-without-2012-7

http://www.homes.com/

Keep It Simple

 

Do we stay or do we go?

A surprising question that a lot of home owners are finding that they are asking themselves right now. 

Do you truly need to move right now or are you looking for a change?

If change is the answer, here are a couple of small change suggestions that make a huge impact:

Change the colors - We all spend most of our time in our kitchen and bath areas so it makes sense to focus on those areas first. Small changes in the kitchen and bath can make a dramatic impact. By simply applying a new paint color and updating hardware, you, the homeowner can transform the look and feel of a room. Consider adding a touch of warmth by using a soft finish with an elegant appearance such as brushed bronze.

kolacz kitchen

Change the hardware - When selecting new hardware find a finish that adds a contrast to your current cabinets. The hardware is the jewelry for your cabinets so it should stand out. 

Swap out the backsplash - For the kitchen it may also be a good time to add the backsplash that you have always wanted. Drama does not need to cost a ton. Find a texture that really compliments your personal taste. Try something new. How about weathered barn wood for an old world feel.

describe the imageStainless steel can be a real industrial show stopper for a more modern feel. No matter your taste simple changes can satisfy your hunger change.

 

 

 

 

Erik Kolacz is an interior designer with Contrast Design Group and has designed a closet line for Closet Works - http://www.closetworks.com/erikkolaczcollection/

headshot erik

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