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Closet Organizing Systems Blog

Bookworm Storage Ideas

Embrace your inner bookworm and incorporate your favorite books into organizational spaces around your home or office. Classic books and novels on display create a timeless feel. Art, Nature, Design and Hobby books can inspire masterpieces in design or crafting areas. Cocktail recipe books are fun to have on hand to whip up some drinks while entertaining guests.

Impress your guests with a custom entryway cabinet and put some of your bookworm materials out to show. This contemporary entry locker cabinetry includes a lift up bench top that provides storage under the seating bench for additional reading materials. The accent lighted display shelving showcases your prized titles. Add a few of your favorite nick-knacks or photo frames to the shelves to make your bookworm area more inviting.

custom entryway book storage

Place Cocktail, Mock tail, Coffee or drink recipe books out for viewing in a bar or beverage area. Books will serve as motivation for you to take your refreshments to the next level. Forget serving boring drinks at your next get together, try something fancy and wow your guests. A wet bar incorporates a beverage center, sink area, and ice maker making an ideal area for serving drinks away from a typically congested kitchen area. The counter also gives plenty of space to open up those recipe books and start crafting some brews.

Art, Hobby and Crafting books add playful color into this kids white melamine craft room. The peninsula work surface and cabinet counter tops are made with a birch wood veneer and a light brown stain that contrast nicely with the colors form the book shelves and artwork. The table makes as an ideal area to dig into your book and still have additional space to sketch or craft next to it.

craftroom book storage

We hope you are inspired to dust off your favorite books and get them back into your life. Or, get the desire to add some new titles into your home or office spaces . There are so many ways to incorporate them into existing areas in your spaces. Feel free to stack them horizontally, vertically, or both. Whatever your personal bookworm preference may be, there is always room somewhere and time to be inspired.



Snow White Master Closet

A white closet is a classic, timeless closet. It can still express personality. It can definitely keep you organized and looking stylish.

We had a great opportunity to design one of these timeless, white closets that was part of an expanded bonus space above an existing garage and located right off the master bedroom.

The layout before we were brought in had two reach in closets that really did not provide much in terms of storage and they took away space from the bedroom.

The original version of the newly proposed plan was to have flat 8 foot ceilings. We convinced them that leaving the pitched ceilings and actually dry walling the joists would give them more space to work with and bring them closer to their desired goal. By incorporating the idea of dry walling the joists on the angled roof lines, we were able to make this space look more like like a luxurious closet suite and less like a crawl space.

The client wanted to display her personally prized collection of shoes and handbags. She also wanted a make-up counter (which we up-lit). And then, a more unusual request for a bedroom closet, she wanted a wrapping station incorporated into the design.

We used a frosty white melamine with a charcoal glazed raised panel for the doors and drawers. We also incorporated large crown moulding. All of this worked in harmony with the the existing wall color and millwork to create a clean, snow white look.

The special features on the makeup area include a light box tray with a frosted glass insert routed into the counter top, in counter lighting, large framed viewing mirror , side make-up storage drawers, blow dryer holster and upper storage cabinets with LED down lighting.

It's a closet space that works well for the client. Why not give us a call so we can design a closet space that works well for you?



Game On

Take a look around any public space, whether it’s a grocery store or a mall and you’ll see just about everyone walking around with a phone in their hand.

We’re very attached to our electronic devices.

Then many go home and fire up the gaming devices for an even deeper digital experience.

And some don’t even wait that long. Their gaming on their phones all day long.

And that rolls into “Gaming Spaces”.

gaming space with blue led lighting

What’s a Gaming Space?

In basic terms, it’s a space in your home where things like WII and XBox can be plugged in and played. Oftentimes, this ends up in the same room as your main television space.

So if you’re lucky enough to be able to designate a specific room or area to the “gaming” aspect of life, here are some suggestions for getting the most out of the space:

You’re going to need to incorporate AV and surround sound and this takes planning. A tip on this is that your base speaker needs to be supported on the floor and not connected to the surrounding cabinets in any way. The reason for this is because of the vibration from the bass. It can cause distortion to other electronic devices and can also distort the games you’re playing.

av gaming room with projection screen

If you’re using a projection screen, we would need all of your specs on that to make sure the cabinetry is built to fit within those parameters. These days the bigger the better and so is the quality of the gaming experience.

You’ll need some glass. And by that, we mean that you’ll need either open cabinets or cabinets with glass doors that allow your infrared remote controls to work smoothly with easy signal connection. Infrared (IR) remote controls have limited range and generally only work in the same room as the AV component it controls.

Lighting is another important issue to address. If your gaming space incorporates other things like pool tables or card tables, that light needs to be bright enough for you to see what you’re doing. But if you’re playing XBox, one of the simplest solutions is dimmable, recessed lighting. And include plenty of table lamps. They can easily change mood and lighting levels (key for people approaching the bifocal stage of life).

traditional wood gaming av media center

Soundproofing is another issue to discuss with your contractor. We already mentioned the bass. But if you’re upstairs trying to prepare dinner while the kids are downstairs gaming, you don’t really want it to be “all about that bass”. Have this conversation and decide on your solution very early in the planning stages of your project because some inexpensive insulation materials can employed before dry walling. There are also options which can include using surface mounted decorative acoustical panels.

Cover your wiring needs at this point as well. Who wants to see big fat black cables everywhere?

Cabinetry can be industrial or traditional. We can develop this in any style you prefer, as long as we have all the technical and specification information up front so it’s all designed to create a win for everyone at the gaming table.



Closet Organizing Systems Earns Top Shelf Awards for 2016

Over the past five years Closet Organizing Systems has won a total of 13 Top Shelf Design Awards and 5 runner up nominations from CLOSETS magazine. For the year of 2016, in the Home Office Over 150 square feet category, Dan Gagnon received the award for his AAA Walnut Office Wall Unit project. Also awarded, in the Closet Laminate Over 18 linear feet category, Donna Siben received an award for her Glamorous Double Master Closet Retreat project. We would like to thank everyone for all of their amazing work and dedication!

AAA Walnut Office Wall Unit

The AAA Walnut Office Wall Unit was designed to achieve a modern high end look using AAA grade plain sliced sequenced matched walnut veneer. The cabinetry was lightly stained to more closely match the existing wood work in the home. Slotted upper fascia sections were used for ventilation openings and rebound style touch latches were used to eliminate the need for visible hardware. LED light strips and puck lighting aid in showcasing display areas.

Glamorous Double Master Closet Retreat

The Glamorous Double Master Closet Retreat project was part of a major renovation with the closet being one of the largest square footage spaces in the design. The closet was designed from floor to ceiling with cabinets spanning the top and wrapping around the corners to connect the three sections of this closet. The narrow island is used to house ‘His’ shoes while ‘Her’ shoes are showcased on a wall of open shelving. Seventy-one drawers were needed to accomplish enough storage for personal items. The closet was constructed of White Melamine and traditional raised panel faces along with Extra-large crown molding and fascia buildup span and wrap around the entire closet. This closet is also graced with an ironing center cabinet, safe, tilt out hamper and pull out narrow tall cabinets to house necklaces and scarves, pull out mirror, belt racks, tie & belt butlers and valet rods. The island counter-tops are made with High Pressure Laminate to match the hardwood floor.

CLOSETS magazine founded the Top Shelf Design Awards program to honor the best residential closet and garage designs across the United States. Judges include leading industry peers who evaluate the entries in terms of their overall appearance, ingenuity, functionality of design and creativity. All winning entries will be featured in CLOSETS magazine.



Visit the ClosetOS Top Shelf gallery page to see more of Closet Organizing Systems award winning designs.




Ways To Use Contrasting Colors In Your Designs

Contrast has boldness to it in any interpretation, so using contrasting colors in design reflects the more adventurous side of your personality.

Yet this approach can go wrong very quickly. Like an open bag of Lays potato chips, some people keep “having another” until the color combination is too busy or overdone. We know, it's hard to have “just one.”

Here are some ideas on the most effective ways to use color and contrast in your custom storage design solutions:

His Color and Her Color
This is a terrific way to divide a walk in closet. The area of the space that is “his” might be a dark wood tone; something masculine. The area of space that is “hers” could be white or a light tone. Then you've clearly defined the spaces and done so with style.

Closet divided by Wood Tone Colors

Function Leads The Way
Selecting colors for specific cabinetry based upon how it will be used defines things quite well.  Toys could be one color, books another and clothing something else. Your color choices could be “tone-on-tone”, meaning they are close to each other on the color wheel. Three or more contrasting colors is difficult to pull off and takes a very well trained eye to execute.

Contrasting Kitchen Cabinetry

Accentuate the Positive
Another really great option is to choose one different color for an area to highlight. Perhaps it's the TV cabinetry or the dresser drawers in a closet. Some would call this a “P.O.C.” (pop of color).

pop-of-color-room-design

The Back End
Consider doing the backing in your cabinetry a different color as a terrific way to bring in some personality. You can also achieve this look with paint if you don't have backing on your cabinetry or want a less permanent option.

Contrasting Garage Cabinets


Angies List and Houzz Awards for 2015-2016

Closet Organizing Systems is pleased to receive ongoing recognition from both Houzz and Angie’s List community once again this year. “It continues to support our mission of offering our clients personalized design followed by outstanding customer service” Owner Bill Curran said.

Accumulating 15 awards in total over the past 5 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 Angie's List Super Service Award for 2015. This award is given to companies that have achieved and maintained a superior service record on Angie's List. Approximately 5% of companies on Angie's List meet the minimum eligibility requirements to be considered. We have had proudly earned this award 8 years running from the Angie's List community from 2008 -2015.

The Houzz community awarded Closet OS the Best of Houzz Award for both Design and Client Satisfaction on January 11, 2016. 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 Closet OS 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 2013-2016, the Best of Houzz Award for Client Satisfaction from 2014-2016, Star Houzzer, Houzz Influencer, and Recommended on Houzz acknowledgements.

Angie's List 2015 Super Service Award Best of Houzz 2015-2016 Design and Service Awards



Geometry Puzzle

Angles of any sort present multiple challenges in a closet deign. Depending upon where the angles are and how “angled” they are impacts storage capacity. What looks like reasonable storage space on empty walls suddenly either becomes excessively deep storage or barely any storage capacity at all.

And building to accommodate the angles and still make sure everything is beautiful quickly becomes complicated.

So this project was a very large new construction space with lots of angled ceiling space. The client wanted to use the ceiling height for both efficiency and visual appeal.

So from a design perspective, we took the height of the center of the room and created a full height island that was 108”.

We also wanted to balance doors on upper storage cabinets with the overall look for a more consistent eye appeal without compromising any storage.

angled closet space Geometry Puzzle Closet

Most of the lower storage areas were open for hanging garments and we didn't want all upper cabinets with doors to overpower the lower, open areas.

We also needed to incorporate a large number of ties that needed to be easily seen and accessible as well as a high shoe count.

The client was also insistent on having drawers below hanging (which is something we recommend against because hanging over shadows any items below and makes them difficult to access).

Once we got the design elements worked out and approved, we had to figure out the engineering and installation. And engineering every panel to the pitch of the varied ceiling heights was a definite skill on its' own.

This closet was built with glazed ivory melamine, extra large, glazed crown and base moldings with raised panel fronts. It included oil rubbed bronze rods and accessories and Venetian Bronze hardware.



Making A Home Office Divine

Divine Home OfficeMany of us work at least part of the time from a home office. That could be the dining room table or it could be a specific desk in an room designated as the home office in our house.

We had the design challenge of working with someone who has a home office used to run their business, but the location was in a high traffic area and had become a dumping ground for things not at all related to the business.

MISSION:

Transform a cluttered dumping ground into a beautiful, efficient space that allows the homeowner to manage a home based business. This particular business involves lots of shipping, so horizontal surfaces for wrapping and concealed storage for supplies and files were paramount.

CHALLENGES:

There were lots of items “living” in this space that didn't belong there. Things like a piano that their children had outgrown, toys for the grandchildren and pets that were strewn all over and extra kitchen supplies like dishes and serving platters.

This space is located next to the kitchen, so it literally became a catch all. It has lovely french doors and a huge window overlooking the home's entrance. But these beautiful architectural features made it difficult to “hide” the mess that had accumulated.

Built-in Storage around large home office windowSo the design challenge for this space was driven by the need for a large amount of storage and a way to incorporate the space underneath the beautiful window so that it became functional.

Originally, the client had a dark wood finish in mind. After discussing things with the designer, they decided that glazed ivory melamine with raised panel fronts was the perfect choice, as it balanced with all of the other stronger wood features already existing in the home.

Logistically, we put lateral file storage in cabinets under the window. The two tall cabinets to the left of the window now became home for toys. The cabinets on the right side of the window now store shipping supplies, forms and office supplies.  Moving to the right, there's a horizontal work space for getting the shipping jobs done efficiently. The desk does double duty when the granddaughter is around and wants to “play office” with grandma.

Tall, shallow cabinets to the right of the shipping counter house a multitude of items including dishes used for holidays. The main workstation area is equipped with a long counter for really spreading out the daily tasks and allowing space for equipment like printers and fax machines.

There are tack boards above each work station to keep notes visible and organized.

And one of the best features, under counter LED lighting in a glazed light box allows for proper lighting even on the gloomiest of days and, in the evening when work is done, that lighting gives the space a beautiful glow.

With upper cabinets enhanced by an extra large glazed crown molding to the ceiling, a cheerful paint color definitely brought out the feeling of a happy place to spend so many hours of each day.

Pictured below are a few more Elegant Home Office designs from Closet Organizing Systems:

Luxurious Home Office SpaceCustom Home Office Media Center


Most Demanding Entryway Ever

Long Narrow Entryway Storage

If you live in a rural setting, odds are that you enter your house via the garage.

And that's how this family lives. Before we consulted with them, the space was cluttered, unorganized and not well engineered to be “storage friendly”.So we did a thorough assessment, listened to their wish list, moved some things around and created one of the most effective and aesthetically pleasing spaces yet.

The Top 10 Items On Their Wish List:

  1. Shoe Storage
  2. Coat Hanging
  3. Charging/Storing Electronic Devices
  4. Mail Station
  5. Laundry including a laundry shoot from upstairs and a sink
  6. Cleaning Supply Storage
  7. Hide Clutter
  8. Store Vacuum Cleaner, Drying Racks and Laundry Baskets
  9. Locker Storage for Adults and Children
  10. Briefcase Storage

vertical charging station

The space is long and narrow, which is always a challenge in terms of balancing how things work, how things look and how things feel.

Cabinetry had to line up with the second floor laundry shoot, yet not waste precious inches.

And after designer Donna Siben spent significant time measuring and space planning, we ended up removing a closet in order to make the space work better (shocking, right?)

In terms of material selections, Siben chose Raised-panel, Ivory melamine with a walnut glaze. She also took the cabinets to the ceiling for maximum storage and added crown and base moldings.  She mixed up the coat storage between closed and open to add more interest to the design. But the most popular part of this project is the vertical charging station space that really provides for the ability of lots of electronics to be charged without taking up a lot of space (so 21stcentury!).

The project also involves very detailed planning for removal of the closet we mentioned, the building of a new false wall that had to be insulated in order to house the plumbing for the new washer and dryer location and the allocation of space for a “slop sink” that had to be smaller than standard size in order to make the design work.

stacked washer and dryer storage

In this case, pictures truly do paint a thousand words, so take a look at the images from the project. Perhaps it will start your own wheels turning on ways to maximize the storage in your home.

As with most Designers, my goal is always quite simple…Turn the Client’s Dream into a Reality.

hallway vacuum cleaning supply storage

All cabinets on that rear wall were made 28” Deep for the Stackables and to house more laundry. Detergents and Laundry Items are stored on Pull Outs below. The sink cabinet had to be narrower than most drop sink requirements but the clients were able to find the perfect smaller version to enhance the decor (“Gotta love the Internet!”) and provide the ability for the occasional hand washables with a rod above for drip drying. The addition of a beautiful piece of Granite and upper LED Light Box further enhanced the appeal of that wall. A glass tile backsplash will be installed above the sink but not available at the time of the photographs.

Covering the clutter was another achieved goal. Custom Lucite shoe inserts were used in some of the lower extra large drawers on the long wall. Shoes are stored perpendicular and the custom slots were engineered to meet this family’s needs. Vacuum cleaners, Laundry Baskets and Drying Racks were carefully measured to find their home in their own cabinet. Lockers for the Children and for the Adults (including briefcase storage) are concealed with doors allowing one Open Locker with Glazed Beadboard backing for Guests and to break up the monotony. A matching Granite Top and LED Lighting adds to the appeal of the Open Locker and provide an additional texture to this wall. Working closely with the Contractor (her Dad), new electricals were carefully marked and drawn to the room.

hallway pull-out shoe storage

What is the most unusual aspect or outstanding characteristic of this project? There were so many extremely specific details that needed to be engineered perfectly and most are mentioned above, but I believe the addition of a perpendicular Charging Station with mail/paperwork slots, plenty of room for cell phones, I-Pods, I-Pads plus the children’s electronic gadgets, bins for paraphernalia and related attachments is a sure sign of this Century.

This project was a “Team Effort” of everyone involved (including the receptive clients) and definitely my Engineering Department and Installer! The Clients are thrilled with the outcome!



“'10 Inspiring Closet Designs', our closet design has been featured on Zillow

“Our closet has been featured on Zillow Blog's '10 Inspiring Closet Designs'! Check it out here: http://www.zillow.com/blog/10-inspiring-closet-designs-185431/

ClosetOS Zillow Digs - Inspiring Contemporary Closet Design for HerClosetOS Zillow Digs - Inspiring Contemporary Closet Design

... this closet is like the she-shed most women only imagine in their dreams. The contemporary space includes a vanity, cubbies for every purse, racks for shoes, rods and cupboards. The millwork takes full advantage of the vaulted ceiling and caps with classic crown molding.




closetos best of houzz design award 2015
closetos best of houzz service award 2015
closetos angies list award
closetos top shelf awards
ClosetOS Zillow Digs