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Closet Organizing Systems Blog

Just for Shoes


While making sure you have a place to hang your garments is the top priority (logically) for most closet designers, having a place to put shoes is the top priority for most clients.

These treasured wardrobe staples are often the most near and dear to clients hearts and they want a dedicated space to assure they can store them and access them easily.

Here are the top five options for shoe storage:

Shoe Fences:

These decorative items are the equivalent of a nice frame around a photograph. Their functional purpose is that they go across the front of angled shoe shelves to keep them from sliding off the shelves. You can get them in different metal finishes so they match the rest of your closet (like chrome or oil rubbed bronze).

Cubbies:

Cubbies are probably the most requested thing in a closet design. They seem to lend themselves to easy organization and display because there is specific, allocated space. The size of the opening can be for shoes or for boots. The downside is that there isn't much else you can use this storage space for except shoes because it's such a specific solution.

shoe fence shoe cubbies

Shoe Carousels:

These high end devices go into the corner of a walk in closet and they spin. This means you can “twirl” your shoes around to decide which pair you'd like to wear. It's a fun way to display your shoe collection, with the exception of your flip flops.

The Carrie Bradshaw Effect:

This shoe storage solution came into consciousness with the original “Sex and City” movie during the final scenes of the beautiful closet Big had designed for Carrie. It consists of specific horizontal rods that span the width of a section. There are two. The back of the shoe heel goes on the back rod and the front of the shoe rests on the front rod. These look really great but function much better for heels than for flat shoes.

shoe carousel Carrie Bradshaw Style Shoe Closet

Open Shelving:

This seemingly boring solution is actually the most functional and easiest to access when putting on and taking off shoes. It's basically flat shelving that is adjustable. So if you have lots of boots, you space the shelves further apart. If you have lots of flat shoes, they can go closer together. And they can be adjusted at at time, so if your shoe collection changes, so can your shoe storage solution.

Open Shelving Shoe Closet

Big Storage Ideas For Small Home Offices


2 sided work surface

We're hard working Americans. And the more mobile we become with options to be connected via our “devices”, the more we tend to be “on the clock”.

And the higher the expectation of productivity from our bosses (whether our boss is someone else or ourselves).

So setting up your workspace so it's effective can save you lots of time and make you more productive.

Here are some great tips to help you do that:

Go Vertical – Lots of professionals prefer “horizontal” organization (you know, the stacks of paper that are piled up according to projects that are laying all over the desk). We're suggesting you think about going vertical, meaning utilizing wall space as part of your organization system. Think about shelving, hooks, bulletin boards, dry erase board or chalk boards to help you “see” what you're working on and making it easy to access. You can also attach light fixtures with movable arms to wall space so you don't give up any desk surface by having a lamp sitting on your desk top. 

Pull-Out Shelves – Pull-Out shelves can be built into desks or wall units. The beauty of these is that they can be pulled out when you need additional work space and pushed back when you don't need them, so they don't occupy permanent space in your room.

Dual-Sided Work Surfaces – If you're not the only family member who works a lot, then designing your space so that you have a horizontal surface that's deep enough for two people to work opposite each other works great. If space allows, then a counter or desk top surface that is 30” or more allows for the space of two laptops, files and room to work. Just be sure you have enough space for a good office chair and maneuverability when doing the layout and design of the room.

Shelves Below –  When designing closet space, we don't recommend putting shelving below hanging because the hanging is typically deeper than the items you put on the shelves, so access becomes a challenge and things get lost. However, in a desk scenario, where most office supplies are small, we love the idea of having some shelving below your desk surface (as long as you still have space for your knees). You can keep extra supplies or books that you don't need on a daily basis in this hidden storage area.

Have Some Fun With Your Tools – There are more colors and styles and options on the market than ever before, so we did some searching and curated a few top options that we consider the coolest desk accessories available. And not only are they cool, but they're functional. We're always thinking double duty.

usb fishtank and desk traffic light rotary style cellphone holders and thunder bolt power strip

And if you need some double duty design help, please give us a call to book your own personalized consultation to see how we can help improve the functionality and design of your work life (or your homework life).

Closetos Launches New Website Design


Closet Organizing Systems Website Re-design SceenshotCloset Organizing Systems is excited to announce the launch of our newly designed website. Closetos.com now features an updated layout which is compatible with all electronic devices. One of the most noticeable changes on our refreshed site is its navigation and newly designed homepage, which boasts a new slideshow and thumbnail graphics that highlight our gallery pages. Our revamped gallery pages also feature an easy to use format that showcase our latest designs.

The ClosetOS team has worked collaboratively to update our website to be used as a valuable resource just for you. We look forward to hearing any feedback from you.

If you have any questions or comments about the new site, please contact us at info@closetos.com.

 

Under The Stairs


under the stairs unused space staircase space ideas

Any multi-level house has stairs. And most people want to utilize this ready-made storage space as well as they can. As closet and storage designers, we discuss this space with our clients frequently.

Sometimes they want to put a desk in the space. Another really popular request is to add as much shelving as possible so they can store treasured “stuff”, because, let's face it, if you're storing it underneath stairs, you're likely not using the items very often.

If you're open to going beyond expected storage solutions for this space, here are some additional ideas:

-Bike storage. You can get hooks to hold the bikes that can be installed either on the angled upper area or on the side wall. It makes for very easy access for people who ride bikes frequently but don't want them blocking the path to the door.

desk under staircase-Bookshelves. This build out can be a bit more complicated if you're really going for a “built-in” look. A simple approach is to buy some bookshelves or, better yet, be open to your designers perspective in conjunction with your budget. Don't try filling in all of the space.

-Bar cart. This is a great nook space to stash something on wheels that you don't use on a daily basis, and a bar cart often fits that bill. You entertaining tools will be at the ready for when you're entertaining, but out of the way otherwise.

-Bathroom. This takes a contractor and things like plumbing and electrical, but it's a really good use of this space.

-Guest sleeping nook. With the right build out and an abundance of cushions and pillows, a sleeping (or nap taking) nook can be a really awesome way to utilize this space.

But you want to know the EASIEST use of this space?

Keep it open or put in one or two shelves (max) and store things like holiday decorations. These are often in big boxes, they're only accessed once a year and can be stacked and blocked because you don't need to get at them on a daily basis.

desk built into side of staircase staircase cabinetry

Top Shelf Awards 2015 Closet OS Winners


This year Closet Organizing Systems earned 3 honorable mentions in the Closets and Home Office categories and 1 Top Shelf Award in the Garage category. We now have 11 Top Shelf Awards and 8 honorable mentions on our record which is quite an accomplishment in a period of 7 years since these events started.

In the Garage over 600 square feet category, Bill Curran Jr. of Closet Organizing Systems took the win with his "Garage Bunker" design.

Garage Bunker

In the Closet: Laminate more than 18 linear feet category, two Honorable Mention awards went to Closet Organizing Systems. Donna Siben, for her “Master Closet Geometry Puzzle,” and Bill Curran, Jr. for his "Snow White Master" design.

Master Closet Geometry Puzzle Snow White Master Closet

In the Home Office: under150 square feet category, Donna Siben earned another Honorable Mention award, for her “Making a Home Office Devine,” design.

Making a Home Office Devine 

Top closet and storage designers and custom woodworkers were celebrated at the 2015 Cabinets & Closets Gala Awards reception, held April 15 at the Schaumburg Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center.

Top Shelf and Design Portfolio awards are given to honor designers for their creative organizational solutions and for their outstanding design, craftsmanship and execution. Each category is intended to highlight functionality and originality, as well as design.

5 in 1 Mudroom


Located right inside the garage door this 5 in 1 mudroom wears many hats to support busy professionals and their growing family. The space was needed to manage a mountain of shoes/coats, technical devices, paperwork and mail, housecleaning supplies and equipment in addition to the inevitable daily pile of dirty laundry.

angled mudroom cabinetscomputer, tablet, mobile phone custom charging station

The long and narrow existing Laundry Room/Mudroom space included a standard washer and dryer on the long wall and a reach-in closet that did nothing to organize the clutter. Making matters worse, this space is off the garage and the first view after a hectic day. They wanted their first glimpse of “home” to be a sigh of relief along with the traditional feel of the décor of the rest of their home.

Keeping the narrow space open drove us to the use of lighter materials (Glazed Ivory Melamine with Raised Panel Faces) and using the height to our advantage (9’ Ceilings).  We chose Upper Cabinets to the Ceiling with Glazed Extra Large Crown Molding and Extra Large Continuous Base Trim to provide a visual balance. Venetian Bronze Hardware and Oil Rubbed Bronze rods, hooks, etc. complement the Walnut Glazing.

vacuum storage mudroomlaundry room with hidden laundry chute in cabinets

Removing the closet to enlarge the space and moving the Washer and Dryer to the back wall were approved by the clients.  Since the laundry originates primarily on the second floor and the area above this space was acceptable to a Laundry Shoot, careful placement of the cabinets allows the flow of laundry into a center cabinet on the back wall with a stationary top door and special clasp on the operable door to avoid stray unmentionables from escaping.

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 provided the ability for the occasional hand washables with a rod above for drip drying.

cabinet drawer shoe storage

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 to break up the monotony.

A family charging Station with mail/paperwork slots, plenty of room for cell phones, I-Pods, I-Pads plus the children’s electronic gadgets was added to as an end cabinet.

The Clients are thrilled with the outcome!

Closet OS Earns Angie’s List Super Service Award for 4th Year


Angies List 2014 Super Serivce AwardAward reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

Closet Organizing Systems has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2014.

"We are pleased to receive our 2014 Super Service award from the Angie’s List community a fourth year running for the company," said Bill Curran President of Closet Organizing Systems. "We place high value on customer reviews and recognize consumers are doing their due diligence before selecting just any closet company. Other customer testimonials and experiences help the consumer validate their selection and purchasing process," Bill Curran added.

“Only about 5 percent of the Custom Closets, Design, and Organizing Systems for Home and Office companies in the Chicagoland Area have performed consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a really high standard.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2014 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Members can find the 2014 Super Service Certification logo next to company names in search results on AngiesList.com.

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To learn more about Closet Organizing Systems visit us on the web at www.ClosetOS.com
or to speak to one of our design professionals, please call toll free 1-800-521-4267.

Closet OS Receives Best Of Houzz 2015 Awards


Best of Houzz Awards 2015 Closet Organizing Systems has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” for Design & Customer Satisfaction by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. Closet OS was chosen by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Design and Customer Satisfaction. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers.” Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2014. Winners will receive a “Best Of Houzz 2015” badge on their profiles, helping Houzz users around the world who discover and love a professional’s work to learn even more about that business’ popularity and satisfaction rating among their peers in the Houzz community. 

“Houzz provides homeowners with a 360 degree view of home building, remodeling and design industry professionals, empowering them to engage the right people and products for their project,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing for Houzz. “We’re delighted to recognize Closet Organizing Systems among our “Best Of” professionals as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

Follow Closet Organizing Systems on Houzz 

About Houzz
Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish - online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin and Sydney. For more information, visit www.houzz.com

Accessorizing Your Closet Space


When we hear the word “accessories” we typically think of the things that we add  on to what we're wearing; going beyond our clothing garments to include items like earrings and necklaces for women and ties and cufflinks for men.

But there's so much more you can add to your closet system.

So we put together the latest and greatest “must have” items for tricking out your closet in style.

Lighting

Hafele Drawer Lighting

Lighting options have expanded greatly since LED lighting has become widely available in the marketplace. A couple of the top benefits of LED lighting are that it is very energy efficient and it does not get hot like Halogen bulbs, so it's safer.

So the advances in technology have enabled the creation of some really great options. One of the ones we love the most are rechargeable LED lights (from Hafele) that can be installed in your drawers (so you can tell your blue socks from your black socks). And these lighting devices work either automatically (as the drawers open and close) or can be turned off manually and have an exceptionally long battery life.

There are also some accent lighting options that really add to the beauty (and function) of your space. We can incorporate this Light Integrated Trim (LIT from Keeler) into crown molding or at countertop/drawer stack height to add real panache.

LIT Keeler

Ironing Board

There aren't many people who love to iron, but making it easy and convenient certainly helps. So if you've got a walk in closet, allocating a small amount of space for this awesome fold-out ironing board really makes touch ups easier.

Ironing Board Revashelf

Mirrormax  Sidelines

Mirrors

We all need to take a good look in the mirror before we walk out the door. Or even just put on our earrings. Of course, you can have a small mirror on a stand on your dresser drawers, but you can also get something fun and fancy in the mirror category. This one allows you to not only see yourself, but store some of your stuff behind it, so it works double duty.

If you'd like to learn more about how these wonderful closet accessories can be incorporated into your closet space, give us a call. We'd be delighted to meet with you and see what we can come up with as a solution for your space.

Award Winning Old World Charm In A Walk In Closet


Top Shelf Award Winner - Old World CharmSometimes architects and homeowners have different views on how much closet space is really needed, and this project was a great example of that. The originally proposed closet space was about half the size of what we ended up with.  The client wanted separate His/Her areas, so plans had to be adjusted. 

What we did was extend the closet space into a loft area for “Her” closet space and converted some additional space in the master suite into “His” closet.

The new space for her was now much bigger, but it was narrow. She wanted to create a dramatic, elegant environment in harmony with the “old world” style of the home,  which included existing crown molding at the ceiling and Brazilian cherry flooring.

She also wanted the entire closet space to have doors and drawers, so that nothing was visible except the beautiful structure of the closet. But remember, the closet space was very narrow, so we advised against enclosing everything because it would be very difficult to access.

In our design plans, we wanted to visually “widen” the space so it didn't feel so narrow, so we utilized a mirror and columns with strategic placement.

Old World Charm - Summer Flame Melamine with Rubbed Bronze Accents

As you can see in the photos, we located the mirror on the back wall and flanked it by two columns. This served the important function that full length mirrors fulfill (allowing you to see yourself and your entire outfit – head-to-toe) and it gave us the illusion of more space.

Another strategic design decision we made was to lower the system height so you could still see the crown molding located at the ceiling.

We met her other storage needs by incorporating hampers and jewelry drawers. We also created separate wardrobe areas. One for casual items she wears frequently near the front of the closet and one for seasonal and formal items in the back areas of the closet.

And what materials did we use to create this beautiful space? A melamine called Summer Flame (along with thicker, 3mm edgebanding), glazed, raised-panel fronts and oil rubbed bronze accessories.  The client added her own black marble top and chandeliers to really put the fashionable finishing touches on her space.

This closet was so well designed and came out so beautifully that it actually won a Top Shelf Design Award, which we're very proud of. Carey Eckstrom designed this beauty and we're quite proud of her as well.


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