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Angie's List and Houzz Awards for 2017-2018

Closet Organizing Systems is proud to announce that it has maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews in both the Angie’s List and Houzz communities for 2017-2018 among our customers.

Accumulating 18 awards in total over the past 6 years in the categories of Closet and Organization and Home and Garage, along with being so highly valued for our industry knowledge and consumer recommended by these communities is a testament of our cumulative efforts.

Closet Organizing Systems has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award (SSA) for 2017. We have been listed on Angie’s list since 2008 and have proudly earned this award 10 years running from the Angie's List community.

The Houzz community awarded Closet OS the Best of Houzz Award for both Design and Client Satisfaction for 2018. The Houzz Design Award is earned when a professional's portfolio is voted most popular by the Houzz community. The Houzz Client Satisfaction award is earned when a professional is rated at the highest level for client satisfaction. Since ClosetOS has joined the Houzz community in 2013 we have received several awards and recognition's throughout their community. This includes consecutive Best of Houzz Awards for Design from 2013-2018, the Best of Houzz Award for Client Satisfaction from 2014-2018, Star Houzzer, Houzz Influencer, and Recommended on Houzz acknowledgements.

A Walk Through Closet With Amazing Storage

walk-in closet leading to bathroomIt’s not uncommon to have a “walk through” closet that leads to a bathroom. This floor plan shows up in both city and suburban housing.

And this closet project was exactly that, with a client that had definite ideas and knew exactly what they wanted, says designer Marcia Spinosa and I prefer that. They’re decisive. They provide guidance. They were specific about what their needs were and what they like. They were familiar with their space and how they wanted to do this - how they wanted it to look. They knew how they used the space so it’s very efficient and maximizes the space.

So Marcia was in charge of translating their needs and visions into an actual closet space in good working order.

Their priorities included:

  • • Having enough space for their boot collection
  • • Glass display area for her shoes and purses
  • • Bench seating for putting on their shoes
  • • Mirror to help make the space look bigger
  • • Good overall lighting
  • • Vanity space for jewelry and perfume

This long, narrow space has a window that we needed to work with. The clients wanted one side of the closet system to go to the ceiling and other side they wanted at 84” high so they could add their own storage boxes on the top shelf.

On the side of the closet that they wanted to take all the way to the ceiling, we only did that with three areas - the bench area at the end - the left side above drawers and right side where the glass shoe/purse cabinet is.

We put the shelves for the cowboy boots in front of this window. They’re extra long and reinforced. They’re also stationary, while most of our closet systems are adjustable. We made it work with cleats supporting the back of the shelves so there won’t be any warping or bowing.

For a smaller size space, we made this one work both efficiently and beautifully and we can help you do the same with your closet space. Just give us a call.

A Home Office That Works

A Home Office That WorksIn our current “work from everywhere” world, it’s even more important to have a home office that is set up to really work FOR you.

Determining things like what you easily need access to, what kind of lighting will allow you to best see your documents, how much storage you need for files or equipment, and what ergonomic and functional use layout works best for the space are all important factors.

And our design team loves working with people to help determine those things and then designing a working space around those needs.

In this home office, some of the project parameters included:

  • • Horizontal work surface space for two people

  • • Closed Storage to hide things. Client’s previous system was open shelving and she felt it always looked messy.

  • • Lots of space to spread out items while working on multiple projects at the same time.

  • • All wires hidden and out of sight

  • • Task and ambient lighting

  • • Space for a very large printer

  • • Tack board for pinning calendars and reminders

  • • Lots of file storage, with two of the drawers having key locks so personal items could be secured

  • • A desk orientation that allowed for a view out the window

  • • And last, but certainly not least, the client wanted this home office to be beautiful.

home office corner desk

And while these project photos demonstrate visually how we accomplished that, here are some additional elements:

  • • Textured melamine - chosen for the interest that a textured material conveys as well as for the mid-tone wood color that harmonizes with the rest of the house.

  • • Five Piece Shaker Style doors because adding a 5-piece, profile door to a project amps up the style factor.

  • • Lighting that worked via a touch sensor for ease of use and connect-ability

  • • Cubbies in the corner because that space is typically difficult to access so by putting the cubbies there, it gave the client a “vertical” way to stay organized and keep her files within reach.

  • • Granite counter-tops for a high end finished look

  • • Framed Tack Board for posting key notes and reminders

  • • Base and Crown Molding trim to further customize the cabinetry.

And the end result - both stunning and organized. It’s a project we love that was designed by team member Jamie Wilson.

If you’re inspired to organize your office space - give us a call. We’d be delighted to schedule a complimentary in home consultation to see how we can help.





Designing Around Columns and Walls

designing around walls and columnsNot all walk-in closets are simple.

And it’s often true that the larger the space, the more demanding it can be with the clients often wanting more customized features.

In this project, the client wanted two islands and was willing to tear down a wall that divided this large walk in closet to achieve this goal. An additional reason for wanting to tear down the wall was because she wanted to be able to see everything she had without going into two separate areas of the space.

We then consulted with the customer's contractor who felt that it was not a load bearing wall and the interior wall could be removed.

At this point, because the project was starting to get involved, we secured a retainer to keep the project moving forward and the contractor began the process of tearing down the wall only to find a support column and some other piping to further complicate matters.

The client then found the original house blueprints and consulted with the architect. He felt the column should stay because it was supporting the second floor even though the contractor thought we might be okay to tear it down..

So we’re back to the starting gate with designing the closet. And now, there was really no way to incorporate two separate islands with a post in the center of the room.

Luckily, that’s where my design inspiration angels showed up and I came up with the idea that we built” says designer Donna Siben.

“My design dilemma was that I now had to redesign the entire thing and incorporate this post. Yuck. Talk about imbalanced.Then I had an epiphany. I came to the conclusion that I could balance this out with another false post and build a back to back island in between the two posts” says Siben.

walk-in closet designed around columns“We then opened a whole can of worms once everything was out of there and we could see all these other obstacles. The floor was uneven. There was duct work in areas we didn’t anticipate. Electrical feeds and outlets showed up that we had no idea would be there.

“My epiphany was to make the existing post deeper than it was and then I mirrored it on the other side. They wanted it deep enough to get a wall safe hidden inside. A safe that’s deeper than what we use in this industry. They didn't want it exposed so we created a decorative door to cover that and then made a balancing decorative door on the other post that was just that - decorative. But now they matched and symmetry was achieved.”

“The design elements of all of this are that there are three different tall vertical pull-outs.  One for robes, one for belts and one for scarves. One of them she converted to shelves and folded the scarves on it as opposed to hanging them. It was versatile enough to do this after the design” says Siben.

The placement of the 3-way mirror helped too because the mirror is across from the entrance so you see the back to back island. So we were able to achieve her goal of seeing all of her clothing at the same time.

At this point she became much more flexible and agreeable to my whole new approach to this design which was now required.

Another design element that was important was the window wall. It was perfect for boots and purses in columns with doors. Framing this window was important to make it look like the rest of the closet” says Siben.

“We also put lighting everywhere, which looks fantastic. Unfortunately, the client has yet to install the stone tops, but we wanted to share this amazing puzzle of a project to highlight the work we do and the length we’re willing to go for happy, satisfied clients and great, functional design results”.

three way mirror master walk-in closet 

How to Make the Best Selections for Your Custom Storage Solutions

White and Woodtone Melamine Closet MaterialsDeciding to have custom work done in your home is a big step.. There can be lots of variables that contribute to the decisions you make. And those decisions drive look, function and price. So let’s take a look at what’s involved.

If your main goals are maximum function at the most efficient cost, then white melamine is your best material choice. It’s availability is widespread, as it’s been out in the market for decades. It’s a simple, straight forward, effective solution for closet storage solutions.

It’s the material most closet companies started with and still offer today.

If you’re interested in just “amping it up a bit”, then a wood tone melamine works beautifully. It’s the next level up in pricing, so you could expect your project to cost about 20% more.

Woodtone melamines add a level of warmth and customization to the look of project that white melamine does not. They also provide more a sense of style, because you can select a color that reflects your own.

Another thing you can do to enhance the look and feel of your project is to add profile doors and drawers; something like a raised panel or shaker style are popular. This does add to the cost, but it also adds to the look. We think it’s absolutely worth the additional investment.

A couple of additional benefits of building your closet in melamine is that the material is extremely durable. You just wipe it clean. And it won’t fade or change from sunlight the way real wood does.

So what if you really want to give yourself the best of the best? Then real wood veneer may be your material of choice. Veneers vary in price based upon lots of different factors, with the main ones being the species of wood and the way the veneers are cut.

You can use veneer at a more reasonable price point if you go with a clear finish in something like cherry or maple or oak. Once you add in staining, you’re adding in cost, as there are additional steps in the preparation and manufacturing of the product.

At Closet Organizing Systems, we offer a series of veneers in oak, cherry, maple and birch with a nice selection of stain colors. These choices are a terrific way to get real wood at a price that’s lower than a custom finish.

From a design perspective, if you’re going to do real wood, your project should have doors and drawers so you can see more of the material you’ve invested in. Most people don’t use veneer for reach in closets. We see it more in walk in closets or storage solutions that are stand alone (meaning they’re built units within the bedroom or other room in your home).

If you’re not sure what material works best for your style (and your budget), we’d love to have a conversation with you about your project. We’ll ask further questions to help define your goals and come up with a solution that works in both areas - style and investment.

Wood Veneer Closet Material

Color Trends and Your Closet

Design drives may of our decisions, whether we realize it or not.  The things we surround ourselves with in our homes are all, at some level, design decisions. Here's what's trending now that you can either incorporate into your personal style statements or into your home:

We've Got The Blues

Blue is a strong color in design right now, trending towards deeper shades. Pairing it with warm golds is a terrific look. But if you're not quite ready to paint out your closet in all blue, how about a blue velvet jewelry tray?


Metallics are a fun fashion neutral and they're fantastic to use to amp up home design.  Copper tones and antiques bronze are really making strong statements. We're seeing them paired with a wide variety of colors, that believe it or not, include mauves. Against white, they always look fresh.


Texture not only adds visual interest, but by the nature of what it is, adds its own textural context. As you put your hand on it each time, you get to "experience" things and not just "see" them. The same holds true for the popularity of "super mattes". The smoothness that these convey makes you want to just keep on running your hand over the surface.

A Resurgence of Black

While black never really goes away, it hasn't been a dominant trend lately. But keep your eyes peeled because it's on its way back. And it will show up in new combinations that renew this stayed staple. Look for mixing it up with warm toned brass and copper.

So if you're ready for some new custom storage solutions, pick up the phone and give us a call. We'll get right back to you and set up a time for one of our fabulous, on trend designers to come meet with you and solve your storage challenges.

Balancing Storage needs with Modern Decor

How Do You Balance Modern Decor With Your Need to Store and Hide Things?

Clean and simple design is trending.

So is tiny living. That means  many are getting the urge to lessen the burdens of keeping track of all their stuff, and all of their overhead, and wanting to get rid of the excess.

Sometimes a solution involves giving the grown children all of their own “kid stuff” from growing up (the awards, the artwork, the favorite toys). That can clean out a lot.

But what if they’re not ready for it? Or don’t want it? But you’re sentimentally attached to it. And attached to all of your own stuff as well.

How do you bring new design and storage into your space without having to give away or sell  all the stuff you love?

Photo by Paul Nicol | NP Marketing

Here are some ideas:

  • 1) Create a “wall” of closed cabinet storage that allows you to ide pounds and pounds of stuff. If you take a look around some of your rooms, maybe one or two of the walls are large enough that they could accommodate a built in wall of storage while still feeling spacious in the room.

    This is a terrific solution that’s great for you while you’re still living there and adds value to the home for whoever lives there later. People are always happy to have extra storage, especially if it hides things.

  • 2) We’re seeing lots of open shelves in kitchens now. Instead of having upper cabinets with doors, people are eliminating those and bringing in floating shelving that’s open. We love the look empty. We like the look when it’s organized with pretty dishes and glassware. We don’t like the look when the shelves are a catch all for all kinds of kitchen items.

    So, if it’s balance you’re trying to achieve, be leary of this open shelf concept. Maybe pick on small area to do it so you can get the look, but having it in your entire kitchen is going to force you to organize and purge. We’re not opposed to that. We just want to make sure you’re aware and ready.

    Floating shelves in a wall unit are much easier to take on because it’s likely you’re going to put photos and heirlooms and even books. All things that are “contained” and don’t get messed up from greasy fingers grabbing them to “add a bit more salt to the recipe”.

  • 3) If you’re building a home and considering your storage options, consider incorporating a couple of “utility” closets - spaces that are behind a closed door but have lots of shelves and drawers for you to stash all of your stuff. This allows for a clean living space and places for you to stash all of your stuff. That’s a definite win.

    If you’re interested in a personal space consultation to help figure out what to do in your home, one of our design consultants will be happy to meet with you and see what can be created to clean up and organize your home with style.

What Makes A Laundry Space Work As Hard As You Do

laundry space for folding and hanging clothesIf you’ve got kids who play sports, I’ll bet there are days when you feel like “laundry is my life”. There are always dirty uniforms to wash.


Add teenage girls to the mix who try on twenty seven outfits (that all end up on the floor) and you’re really spending lots of time in the laundry room.

So, how do you design and organize things so they’re not only more efficient, but more aesthetically pleasing?


Here are some ideas for you:


One of the most functional things to include in a laundry room is a closet rod that can serve as a space to hang clothing as you’re taking it out of the dryer. It can also serve as a place to air dry items you don’t want to put in the dryer.


The best location for this hanging rod is a section above either the washer or dryer. If you have enough room, building out a section next to the appliances also works well. It allows more vertical space for longer garments and can be easier for shorter people to reach.


The second most important element is a space to fold things. Think about how laundromats are designed. There are plenty of horizontal spaces that allow for folding and then stacking the clothing items. It makes a huge difference in being able to be efficient and organized with your laundry (all while getting the kids to come help by putting away their own clothing).


Of course, easily accessible shelves for cleaning products and stain treatment are integral. They can be behind a door or open. Shallow shelving works best so smaller bottles don’t get lost. And even most Costco-size containers of laundry detergent will fit on a 14” deep shelf.


Perhaps you also like to iron in the laundry room. If so, either hang your ironing board on an organizer so it’s easy to get at or leave several inches next to your appliances so you can easily slide it in and out for easy ironing.


Hooks are a simple solution that pack a powerful punch. You can use them for laundry bags or mops and brooms or even to help with hanging space for garments on hangers. Put them on the walls anywhere you’ve got a few available inches of space.


And if you’re lucky enough to have more than a few inches of space for your laundry room, it’s a great place to “trick things out” like we’ve done for some home owners in the area. Take a look and see for yourself.

laundy room with shallow shelving and storage

Dress Up Your Closet With Upgrades

Function is always a top priority when designing effective closet space. Your garments need to be visible and accessible. And any closet designer worth their chops knows that.

So, once we’ve established a terrific, functional design for you, it’s time to personalize the space so it reflects your own personal style.

valet rodHere’s some of our favorite closet upgrades that we’re sure you’re going to not only love, but want to add to your own closet:

  1. 1) The always dependable, always functional valet rail. Once you’ve experienced using a valet rail in your closet, you’ll not only never want to live without one, you’ll want to put as many in your closet as possible. Valet rails are terrific for hanging dry cleaning as your bring it home, planning outfits for your work day or outing and preparing to pack for upcoming trips.

  1. 2) Beautiful, easy to grab doors and drawer pulls. Honestly. If there’s one place you should exceed your budget, it’s here. Nothing changes the look and style of a closet more than beautiful hardware. In fact, we suggest you select your hardware early on in the process and make sure it fits within your budget so it’s not a painful, last minute add on. When thinking about hardware, another important variable is how easy it is to grab. You want to be able to easily see it and grab it so your doors and drawers open easily, and, of course, stylishly! We have a nice selection of hardware on our site, but can work with you on getting hardware from any source where you find something that catches your eye.

  2. 3) Stylized door and drawer fronts. Instead of going with standard, flat panel door and drawer fronts, add pizzazz and style with a drawer profile that you find appealing. Whether that’s a traditional, raised panel front or a more transitional, squared shaker style front, it will elevate the look of your closet into something grand.

  3. Drawer Dividers4) Dividers. Closet dividers can be added to shelves to keep things like shirts and sweaters from looking piled up. Dividers can also be added to drawers so you always know that your black socks are on the left and your brown socks are on the right. And last, but not least, dividers can be added for your jewelry and watches.  These can be velvet or acrylic and are an excellent way to help you see all you’ve got, select what you want to wear and then return it to its’ organized “home”.

  4. 5) Mouldings - whether crown moulding at the top or base molding at the bottom, mouldings are a wonderful finishing touch. They make a standard closet look more like built in furniture for a look you’re sure to love.

So these are some of our favorite closet upgrades. However, if you’ve seen something you like but we haven’t listed it, that doesn’t mean we can’t help you get it. Save your photos and ideas and share them with your design consultant and we’ll be sure to help you find and create the look, feel and function that you dream of for your closets.


The Most Important Questions to Ask Your Closet Designer

Important Questions To Ask Your Closet DesignerCloset storage space is some of the most valuable space in your home.

It’s also the space where you can hide things from view, whether you don’t like seeing the clutter or you want to keep others from seeing it.

If  you’re investing in organizing this space so you get the most from it, you’re sure to want a terrific experience with an experienced designer. In order to help you achieve that goal, we took it upon ourselves to share some of the best questions you can ask your closet designer to be assured you’ll be happy with the results.

Here are those questions:

- How much experience does the designer have and has she/he worked on projects like yours before?

- What are the best elements of the company they work with? What differentiates their design solutions and products from those of other local closet companies?

- Do they have a favorite “go to” solution that they’ve seen work effectively time and again?

- Do they specialize in a certain style?

- Can they deliver what you want within your budget and timeline (this means that, as the client, you need to know both of these pieces of information and communicate about them with your designer early on).

- What’s their customer service/satisfaction process?

- Have they worked in your neighborhood (perhaps you know a neighbor and could see the work completed and ask the neighbor about their experience working with the company).

- Have them tell you about their installation team. Ours is awesome, loves their jobs and take great care in making sure home items are protected while we install your project.

- If you have a specific design/storage challenge - can they solve the problem as their normal scope of work. Sometimes the storage solution you want is more involved than a simple closet system with panels and shelves.

Having a discussion about specifics early on can save the issues that arise from miscommunication later on.

And just to ease your mind for a moment and tout the wonders of our own team - we are among the best in the country. Our design team has won more Top Shelf Design Awards than any other company. We’ve got extensive, excellent shop capabilities and love combining the two to get awesome results for your projects.