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Closet Organizing Systems Blog

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.



How To Make Kid's Space Rock

bright white and colored playroomDesigning and building storage space for kid's can be a challenge.  On one hand, you want to have everything “uber organized”, with a specific place for every toy and clothing item.

On the other, you know things change and evolve and you want your storage solutions to do the same.

And let's not forget that you want to love the look. 

Here are some suggestions on getting the most out of your storage solutions so that everyone is excited to use the new space organization.

textured drawer fronts with led lighting

Color is one of your best tools. You can incorporate it into the designed systems, or you can add it through things like paint and carpeting or baskets and bins.

Mix materials – another way to incorporate color into your design is to mix colors for a more personalized affect. For example, door and drawer fronts could be done in a bright or textured melamine with the bulk of the system being in white.

Paint is another great tool for personalization. If you want to use paint, consider painting the back wall a color you really love. It has a dramatic impact on the look of a simple system and saves you on the resources required for painting an entire room. Chalkboard paint is a fun option that kids love and perhaps you'll get lucky enough to incorporate some organization on the chalkboard.

kids blue and white craft room

Flooring can be another way to really spice up your design. Consider carpeting floor tiles from a place like FLOR. You can make different patterns and they are easily changed. And they can be cut to size, which is another great feature.

Wheels on bins and benches serve another great purpose. You can move things around with ease. Benches serve as storage, seating and step stools to access out of reach items.

So put on your thinking cap, take a look at photos online of things you like and consult with a good design pro who can guide you through the process of creating functional and beautiful storage space for your kid's.



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.




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ClosetOS Zillow Digs