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Easy Ways to Add Personal Style to Your Home


Educated, savvy buyers are now looking for unique elements to reflect their own personal style.

Your home should be as personal to you as your wardrobe.

And it should be a reflection of your style and your way of life.

The days of purchasing your bedroom suite right off the furniture store floor are over.  Many manufacturers are offering options that allow an individual to make choices and to step away from the cookie cutter mentality. A good way to do this is to consider pairing a different size chest as a creative solution for night stands.

Looking to make a big change but the budget won’t allow?

Even small steps can make a big difference in staking personality claim on your domain. Take risks with items such as hardware and don’t be afraid to blend different eras to make a statement.  

kolacz handle resized 600Consider a modern pull with a knob from a more transitional era. Think of decorative hardware as the jewelry of your home. Switching hardware on your existing pieces is not only easy but very cost effective for an instant look. This simple design idea can reflect your own personal style and bring a new life to your kitchen, bath and even custom closet.

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Seven Smart Solutions for Organizing Electronics

If you just love terrific tips that are easy to implement - here are seven super ideas for organizing your electronics:

1. TOILET PAPER ROLLS - it seems a little crazy at first, but saving your toilet paper rolls and then tucking your chords inside them is a recycling idea of the highest caliber.describe the image Stand them up inside an area of a drawer so they fit nicely and don't move around - then stuff a chord inside each one.

2. PLASTIC BREAD TIES - Save the plastic bread tie closures from your bread loaves, use a sharpie marker to label with the devices you own, then slide over the chord near where you plug it in and you'll have an easy identifier.  Much easier than using tape and writing on that.


plastic bread ties

 3. ZIPLOC BAGS - I love using ziploc bags for storing things. And my favorite part? They are clear so you can easily, quickly see what's stored inside them.  No having to count on your memory about what you put in each one. Wonderfully effecient.

4. STACKABLE PAPER TRAYS - Available at any office supply store - repurpose the paper trays to stack your electronics and small items.  The storage is shallow which makes it perfect for small items like cell phones, digital cameras and keys.

stack paper trays

5. FOAM PIPE INSULATION - Sold at home improvement stores, you can cut different lengths and then stuff your chords inside. Easy in, easy out and protective.  You could put labels on the outside and color with some markers for easier identification.chords pipe foam






6. BINDER CLIPS - get some larger ones, attach one end onto your desk top or other counter top and then use the silver clippy handle part to slide your electronics through and keep easily accessible.binder clips

7.SILVERWARE DIVIDERS - found at places like The Container Store or Bed, Bath and Beyond and available in many different styles, from wicker to metal to plastic, these pre-organized organizers are great, simple solutions that can be matched to your decor and kept visible, or stashedi inside a drawer or cabinet.describe the image

So which one is your favorite? Or what secret closet organizer tips do you have for keeping life easier to manage?



Walls, Beds, Closets and So Much More!

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.
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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!

How Many Shoes Do Most Women Have?


What a question!

And just how would you answer?  Honestly?

Would you need to go and do a count? Does the thought of doing that make you a little nervous?

Because it seems to when we meet with clients and assess their storage needs...even though we're sworn to secrecy regarding what that actual number is.

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Still, one of the questions we're asked most frequently is "well - how many pair of shoes do most people have?"

So with that in mind, we know that people love their shoes - and really, really, really want to keep all of their shoes - so we came up with a few tips to help you increase the shelf life of your shoe collection.

You can download it for free -


How To "Get Away From It All" When You're In Your Own Home


Ever had one of those days when your phone is ringing, the TV is blairing, your son is (loudly) listening to music, your daughter is chatting while listening to You Tube, the dog is barking and your husband wants to know what's for dinner - and you just want a moment of peace?

I'm guessing that you have.

So, how do you "get away from it all" without leaving home (or going to your car and locking yourself inside)?  There's an answer.

away room 1


It's called an "Away Room" and it's a concept pioneered by architect Sarah Susanka in her "Not So Big House" book/lecture series.

An "Away Room" is a term Susanka and her team use that refers to the function of this space because it provides a place to escape from everything else going on in your house and it can have several functions.  It can be a cozy, slightly more formal space for adults to converse or it can be a quiet space where you can work or read and not be bothered by everything else that's going on.

This space is typically separated (physically and accoustically) from the rest of your house by something like French doors, Pocket doors or by distance from other rooms. It's also smaller in scale. 

Scale is an important element. Something that's 11 ft. by 12 ft. or smaller works best. And if you use formal furniture, it will be feel formal.  Casual furniture and it will feel cozy.  And if you "furnish it with soft, easy chairs, wicker rockers and old family photos, it will offer a more comfortable place for living" according to Susanka.

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If you'd like to get a first hand look at a great example of an Away Room - visit Susanka's latest design project (in conjunction with School Street Development in Libertyville, IL) and see and feel what the space is like.

The home is open from November 19, 2011 through May, 2011 on the weekends.  You can find more info at:

Five Ways to Get More Storage in Your Bathroom


Bathrooms are a highly trafficked space in every home.

Not only are they essential, but they are often the permanent storage spot for lots of life's essentials - from soap to shampoo to shaving cream.

So how do you get the most return from what is often a very small space?

Here are some ideas:

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1. Borrow Space - look at the walls in your bathroom and see if the space allows for some really narrow shelves or something like a magazine rack that could hold reading materials or towels.  When you're looking for ideas - look at options for other rooms in the house - like kitchens or offices - and see if you can't repurpose the item for your own storage solution.


2.Think Portable. Bins with handles make for easy mobility so you can bring what you need into the bathroom and then put it back into another space.  This is great for when guests visit or when you group things like mani-pedi items  or makeup items together.

3. Don't forget the doors - add hooks on the back side or add an "over the door" towel or hanging device to increase your capacity.

4. Pull Out Drawers can sometimes be added to underneath an existing vanity cabinet, which really increase storage options.  If you're thinking of a bathroom renovation, a vanity with doors and drawers is a much better choice long term than a pedestal sink if you need places to store things.

5. Think Tiered storage options - like a cupcake stand - that could hold lots of toiletries that can be easily accessible.

Organize Your Electronics


 Gadgets and electronics are a way of life these days.  In fact, AT&T's latest tag line is "mobilize everything".

I totally get that.

So, how do you keep unsightly chords out of sight?  How do you manage all those wires when you've now gone beyond just needing to plug in your computer and desk lamp?

There are many devices available that you can buy.  Professional Organizer Monica Frield from Chaos to Order in the Chicago area shares a few tips on how to keep on top of your electronic beasts.


The Biggest Closet in your Home - Your Garage!


After a long and cold Chicago winter, the temGarage Organizational Solutionperatures are rising and the snow is finally melting. Now is an excellent time to begin planning your next spring cleaning project. Why not start with the  largest closet in your house - your garage? If your family is like mine, your garage serves as the catch-all for anything out of place. As the piles grow, your available space shrinks. Your dreams of having an organized garage are slowly overshadowed by feelings of overwhelming discouragement and doubt about where to even begin.

We at Closet Works are experts at relieving your organizational stress by designing functional storage solutions including custom garage organization systems. Although garage organization seems complicated, there are four basic categories of items that must be stored.The following outlines these categories and offers easy storage solutions:

  • Items that require floor space: Your garbage cans, lawn mowers, snow blowers, tricycles, and wagons are examples of this category. With a custom garage design, we can find the perfect place for all of your equipment while optimizing your storage capacity.
  • Items that can be stored up high: Bicycles and storage tubs are the most common examples from this category, and can be easily hung on hooks or racks from the garage ceiling.
  • Items that fit onto shelving: Shelving may be completely exposed or it may feature doors, drawers, or baskets. Garage organization systems are a great way to store smaller items used on a more regular basis, such as cleaner, fertilizer, sunscreen, bugspray, car-wash supplies, and other similar-sized items.
  • Items that may be hung on walls: Storage racks, like slat wall or grid wall, combined with moveable hooks and racks to provide storage for rakes, shovels, brooms, leaf blowers, bicycle pumps, skis, extensions cords, etc. Wire baskets are another option for wall racks, and are perfect for storing sporting equipment. These racks allow for a practical storage solution on an otherwise unusable surface.

Whether your dream garage includes a workbench for your household projects, adequate storage for your gardening supplies, a defined place for your children's toys, or simply to have a clear path to park your cars, we at Closet Works have your garage organization system solution.


GCloset Works - Greg Ceterareg Cetera's favorite thing about being a designer for Closet Works is that he gets the chance to meet wonderful people, and visit beautiful homes throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. He embraces the challenge of creating functional and aesthetically pleasing solutions to address his clients’ storage needs. Greg is most gratified by providing clients with a sense of order and tranquility as they become organized. He firmly believes in the Closet Works philosophy of creating “Raving Fans,” and aspires to provide each client with premier customer service and precise attention to their needs and objectives. Greg is now the Sales Manager of the sales/design division.

The Drop Zone


Who amongst us doesn’t walk in the door and “dump” stuff?

Be it your keys, your coat, your cell, your blackberry or the grocery bags – most people walk into their house and set something down.

So a great tip for managing this activity and not ending up with a chaos-filled entrance to your home is to create what I like to call “The Dump Zone”.

Rockstar HookThis kind of space is really helpful in areas like mudrooms, entryways and master closets.  If you plan ahead in your closet design, you can incorporate things like hooks for keys and outlets to plug in electronics that need to be charged.

messy pursetidy purseLadies – if you change out your handbags frequently and store your purses in your closet – consider a drawer that allows you to “dump” current contents and easily put them back in to your next purse of choice.  A basket on a dresser or a top drawer that’s deep enough works great to serve this purpose.

And group some items together in smaller bags that fit inside your purse (combine things like personal grooming items in a zipper pouch and receipts in an envelope) to make it even easier.

www.cpdocks.comAnd consider organizing mobile devices like this portable shelf with key hook from As is often the case, the right tool for the job makes everything so much easier.  And should you need help with ideas to make your life easier, set up a design consultation with one of our expert design consultants, because at Closet Works, we’re extremely passionate about being extremely organized – and we love sharing our passion with people who want to make their lives easier to live.

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