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Tips and Tricks for an Organized Closet


Professional closet organizers and designers know that one of the secrets of a great looking closet is matching hangers.  
Even all white plastic hangers make the closet look cohesive and organized. Using the proper hanger will often save space and be better for the garments. My favorite hanger is an open end slack hanger for pants folded in half. It saves space lengthwise and makes it easy to take the pants off and on the hanger.

Store like items together. Hang blouses in one section, pants and skirts in another section, and jackets in another. It's easier to "shop" your closet when the clothes are grouped together. You can also groups colors together—it looks good and makes it easier to find a certain item.

Get shoes up off the floor. A row of shelves that is wide enough for two or three pairs of shoes across is the best way to store shoes. It takes more space, but slanted shelves are great to display and really see your shoes. Keep off-season and dressy shoes in clear plastic boxes on the top shelf of the closet. Take a photo of the shoe and tape it to the box to easily identify what's in the box. 

Organize your jewelry drawer. There are several styles that fit a lot of jewelry in an organized way without taking up much space—so much easier than a lot of little boxes to search through to find your jewelry. A lock can be added for peace of mind. 

Utilize space with hooks. Hooks are great to take advantage of space behind a door or on a wall that can't be used for shelves or hanging. They can be used for clothing, purses, belts, necklaces and hats. They come in different sizes and finishes to match any closet. 

Ask yourself, 'Does it fit? Does it flatter? Will I ever wear it again?' Let that be your mantra for deciding what to get rid of. Weed out your closet of clothes that don't belong at least twice a year. Don't let something you know you'll never wear again clog up your organized closet!

May I Please Have A Bigger Closet?


While we're no longer living in the time when consumer consumption was cool and adding toys to our toy boxes was the goal, we still want more closet space.

At least according to New York Times reporter Elissa Gootman and her recently published article -

In fact, in urban markets like Chicago and New York, closet space can mean as much as a $30,000 difference in the selling price of a condo (that's priced in the $400,000-$500,000 range).

Say what???????


Walk In Closet 3-Way Mirror

Yes. According to the example used in the article where a homeowner removed the permanent closets and put in IKEA wardrobes. People seem to have an insatiable desire for storage space and the idea of living an organized life.

"It's a comment I hear almost everyday from my clients," says Designer Tim Higbee. "We are discussing what kind of things they need to store in their existing closet space when they look at me with a somewhat sad face and lament that they wish that they had more and bigger closets."

And, according to Stephen G. Kliegerman, president of Terra Development Marketing, "closets are something that developers have overlooked in the past." He goes on to say that while kitchens and bathrooms are extremely important, "you cannot overlook closets".

So just why is that? And why are we coming to realize that now?

Image consultants have known for decades the importance of the clothing we wear - and the clothing we hold on to. And those issues are much bigger than our closets.

"Clothing defines us" says Patty Buccellato, AICI, CIP, and president of Refined Images ( "Not only is clothing the first message you send in your interaction with others, it holds other power associated with memories, past relationships, jobs and life events. It also keeps a hold on us because we invest financial resources into our clothing that we don't want to waste by just getting rid of things too quickly."

So we hold on to things. And then we need more space to store those things. It's a circle we are challenged to break free from.

But in the world of closet design, we help people make peace with that.

Closets and Wall Beds increase storage space

"I promise them that we are going to do our very best to maximize every inch of space that they do have so it works for them in as many ways as possible. The wise utilization of space and the flexibility for the future is key because if you're not using your space correctly or wisely, then I haven't done my job."

"you don't just build something because you can. You build something because it's smart." says Higbee.

So gives us a call if you'd like a little more "wardrobe peace" in your life........or even the illusion of bigger closets!

Hip, Happenin' Hooks For Hanging In & Out of Your Closet


Hooks are one of the most accessible sources of storage and organization you can utilize.

Having a quick, easy, open place to hang anything (inside or outside of your closets) from keys to coats really helps minimize piles and clutter. And getting in the habit of putting items on hooks is an easy one to develop and keep over the long term.

So why not incorporate some hooks with style that make you smile? (I know, it's a rhyme, but these cool hooks can do both - so take a look).

Clamp Hooks for clothes hanging

These industrial looking C-Clamp Hooks can be found on Etsy and were created by Urban Wood and Steel (

Another really cool option in case you also want to keep things like your cell phone stored safely out of reach are these Hand Wall Scuptures and Hooks made by Iron Accents (

Hooks for hanging cothing accessories

Another great twist that would work really well in a mudroom or garage are these faucet hooks by Home Decorators Collection(

hooks closets hangingAnd if you're more of a do-it-yourselfer and happen to have some old knobs sitting around somewhere, you can add them to a painted or distressed or even stained piece of wood and turn the entire thing into a functional work of art. And if you're not such a DIY person, you can purchase something already created for you that looks like this:

knobs closet hooks, hanging, closet works, closets

These can be accessed by visitng Rustic Originals -

How To Get A $100,000 Closet For Alot Less


The Wall Street Journal recently featured an article about a dream closet that landed in the $100,000 price range.

Walk In Closet

We know only too well how much people dream of having an awesome closet. We hear the word "boutique" on a nearly daily basis. And that's a very exciting thing for professional closet designers to hear - that they have an opportunity to work with a client to make their dreams come true. Who wouldn't find that appealing?

But $100,000 is far from the average spend and far from the average budget.

Here's the good news - you don't have to spend any where near that much in order to get a great closet.

So, just what do you have to do to create a closet with a much smaller budget?

"You need to color within the lines" says Closet Works Designer Tim Higbee.

Walk In closet


"There are quite a few approaches that one can take when creating a closet" says Higbee. "There are aesthic give and takes like backing, connecting shelves versus separate stand alone units and the choice of material - exotic wood veneers versus a laminate versus a textured wood grained laminate."

All affect the price.

Additional guidelines that Higbee offers that will help you stick within your budget are "staying within standards as much as possible. 18"-24"-30" widths make production costs more effecient and impact the price."

"So does the height of the unit. If the panels only come in 96" lengths, then maybe 96" is acceptable both aesthetically and functionally versus having to go to the ceiling with 120". We can go to the ceiling, but it costs more money."

Walk in closet

Higbee also suggest thinking of ways to personalize and customize the closet so it reflects your style and personality without maxing out your bank account. Think about painting the walls of the closet a color that is close to the color of the material you use to construct it.  If you're thinking chocolate brown, then paint the wall color within that same color family. Or be bold and go the opposite direction in order to spice things up (in case you have a more spicey personality!) or use wall paper to get a similar dramatic effect.

"It's all about the choices you make and what is the alternative to having a million dollar closet versus one that just looks like one. It can still be a Picasso when you color within the lines" says Higbee.

Walk in closet

And how do you know when you're coloring within the lines? Great question. Your conscientious, well-trained, design-loving closet designer will guide you through it.

Give us a call so we can schedule a time to help make your dreams come true!



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.

bhg bed alcove shelves resized 600

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.


bhg ladder jewelry resized 600

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.


Houzz bench at end of bed resized 600

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.


wall surround 1024 resized 600

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" (

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 ( 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

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://
. 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

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