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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

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.


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


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.

Purge the Pantry

The pantry is an easy place to pile things in to. And pile things on top of each other. Think about it. Most items in your pantry have an individual cost of under ten dollars each. They are items you've purchased with the rationalization that they are in the “food and nutrition” budget. Individually, they don't cost a lot of money.

luxurious wood pantryLaundry room pantry

There's also the element that you purchased them with the intention of either:

  • using the item to create a meal
  • have someone in your family enjoy it as a snack
  • include it as party of the food festiveness of one of your social gatherings
  • save you in a pinch when you have to serve something quickly and don't know what to make
So how do you keep your finger on the pulse of what's in your pantry and keep everything fresh and easy to access?

neatly organized white pantrypantry grouping items together

Here are some suggestions that will make it easier:

Expiration Dates – if the date has passed – out it goes. It's a great, non-subjective filing system.

Gourmet Glut – you know you've done it. Purchased something that sounded great while you were shopping on an empty stomach, grabbed something off the shelf that looked tantalizing but the instructions seem overwhelming and too time consuming for you to ever actually make. Out it goes.

Now group like minded things together. Canned vegetables in one area, boxed side dishes in another. Snacks in a basket or container of some kind. Not only does this help you organize and get rid of things, it helps you save time on future shopping trips because you can easily see whether or not you have cream of mushroom soup for the casserole you're making for dinner.

Donate – It's a storage designers favorite word. If it's the gourmet goodies you're letting go of, put them in a box and drop them off at a food bank or food pantry so someone can benefit. If it is items past their expiration date, take them immediately to the trash, never to be seen again!

Time for Textures

textured melamine mahogany White has been “where it's at” when it comes to color selection for custom closet space.

Not only is white a traditional color in its' sense of style and timelessness, but it's what most of our customers over the years have chosen to have installed in their homes.

And it's great. Truly. We love the simplicity of white.

But we've got a new excitement for “texture”; as in textured melamine.

Texture is all the rage right now in the home furnishings and design markets. Technology has allowed for the creation of materials that look lifelike and dimensional. They're fun and exciting and can bring your own sense of personal style to the closet or home office that you're working with us on.

They also have been created in colors and hues that are nature-like, but either dramatic or elegant. The colorings can be subdued and simple or contrasting and vibrant.These textured materials have the look and feel of real wood products at a fraction of the cost. That's a plus for your budget.

bathroom with textured melamine entertainment area with textured melamine

textured melamine reception area textured melamine walk in closet

Take a close look at the pictures. They demonstrate what the product looks like. However, it's really best to be able to see them in person, because then you can also “touch” them to feel what the texture is like. Give us a call if we can show you some new, creative options for your custom storage or closet project. Perhaps a new work space in your home with one of these wonderful options?

textured melamine wine rack

Tricks To Make Small Spaces Feel Bigger

If you happen to live in a house that has a couple of bedrooms and a garage, perhaps even a basement and/or attic, then you have lots of places to put your “stuff”. And that makes it easy to buy “great deals” when you find them or add to your collection of holiday decorations on a whim.

But what if you don't have all that space? Where do you put not only the things you love, but your shoes and shirts? And how do you make the space “feel” spacious and comfortable without having stacks of items on every surface?

off white work play area work media space

Here are some great tips to achieve just that:

Create Zones

-Give some thought to the things you do and create space accordingly. Do you need space to work and if so, how much? Would you like a designated space for dining? There has to be a sleep zone, and a zone for relaxing is always nice.

-As you identify these, group your personal belongings accordingly and then incorporate visual cues like paint colors, floor rugs, even pieces of furniture spaced strategically to divide the zones in to their appropriate areas.

Trick Your Eye Into Seeing More Space

-Mirrors are a terrific and simple way to do this. They can be small or large. Wall mounted or sitting on tables. Singular or grouped together. You can place them on the wall at window height to create the illusion that there actually is a window in the spot. It expands the space. You can even put a large mirror on the wall next to the side of  your bed so it looks like an entrance to another room.

horizontally hung mirrors  multiple mirror wall grouping

-Hang curtain rods at ceiling height and hang curtains that are the full height regardless of where a window starts and stops. The vertical visual creates the illusion of bigger.

-Place your lighting strategically so your eye goes to different heights and locations in the space. You can do this by combining the use of floor lamps, table lamps and wall sconces.

Use Furniture That Multi-Functions

-A bench that also works as a table or tables that can be used as seating. Murphy (or Wall) beds are terrific space savers and the design options offered today are quite diverse. There's actually a Wall Bed that also serves as a desk. It's amazing. Here's a link to a video if you'd like to see it in action:

wall bed

Build In Storage At Every Opportunity

-Display space is nice, but not as important as storage when space is tight. Keep in mind that you can “go up”, meaning that you can use the walls as “vertical storage” with shelving or cabinetry.

-Using baskets and boxes helps keep things looking nice and stylish while still functional and increasing overall storage capacity.

Combining even a few of these tips into your living space, whether large or small, will help you feel better, find things more easily and live life more stylishly.

And consider customization because custom storage options make use of every inch of space and can be personalized to fit almost any purpose. Give us a call if you'd like some help figuring out custom storage solutions for your living space.

Closet Lighting

closet task lightingDetermining your navy blues from your blacks seems like a minor thing in life – but walk out the door with a mismatch and suddenly it feels epic. Or foolish to say the least.

Good lighting is an important factor in getting the colors and hues correctly – so here are some guidelines to adding lighting into your closet so it's easier to pull together your outfits and show yourself in your best light.

So, where to start?

First, a basic introduction to get started.

There are three “groups” of lighting categories that we should first shed some light on. They are – LED, Incandescent and Compact Fluorescent. For those of you who want to know specifics, this link to a wonderful chart will help with that: comp chart.html

For those of you who are less concerned about details and more concerned about effects, LED is the “present” and the “future”. Its' predominant benefit is that it uses less energy than other light sources and lasts longer. It also doesn't get hot like most lighting does, which is a big benefit when putting lighting near clothing.

Then there's the aspect of what you want the lighting to do.

Is it task lighting? Ambient lighting? Are you not sure?

led closet drawer lighting shelf rod puck lighting

Here's the difference:

Task lighting is directed at a specific area to make it easier to complete a visual task, like determining if you have grabbed the navy blue shoes or the black shoes.

Ambient lighting is designed to illuminate areas of space in order to create certain effects.

For the majority of people with Reach In Closets or small Walk In Closets (5 x 7 or 8 x 10), TASK LIGHTING is the most appropriate.

So what choices do you have when it comes to task lighting?

Here are some great options:

cordless led lighting

Cordless LED Rechargeable Lighting (Hafele makes a product like this). There are magic words here. Cordless means you can put this anywhere and not have to be concerned about hiding wires. Rechargeable – we know what that means. And LED means long life (it also technically means Light Emitting Diode). All great contributing elements to a successful closet lighting venture.

Recessed or Surface Mount LED Puck Lighting – Puck Lights have been around for a long time. They're shaped like they are named and work in a wide variety of situations.

Remote Controlled Lighting ( Rev-A-Shelf makes a product like this). This option is great for the gadget friendly amongst us. As you can see from the picture, there is a remote control that looks much like your car key Fob. This feature allows you to control your lighting from the remote from a distance of up to 30 feet. And it's dimmable, so you can have the results of task lighting with the added benefit of ambient lighting.

remote controlled led closet lighting

Closet Organizing Systems ranked one of America's Best Rated Closets Companies by Closets Magazine

Closet OS ranked America's Best Rated Closets Compaines

Closets Magazine has ranked Closet Organizing Systems in Bartlett, IL as one of the top closet organizers in their article "Finding America's Best Rated Closets Companies."  

Making sure our customers have an exceptional experience with Closet Organizing Systems is our ultimate mission as company. Our mention in this article is a powerful testimonial for our company, but it did not come without efforts from everyone focusing on quality of product and quality of service . A big "Thank You" to our employees and all of their efforts for making this acknowledgement possible.

Vintage Cars In An Award Winning Garage

custom vintage car garageGarages were created to protect cars from the outside elements while we're not driving them. Yet, most garages today are so filled with other household items that the cars are parked in the driveway and the garage is used for storage.

However, some people value their autos so much they build garages around the needs of the cars, and we were lucky enough to design and build such a project.

The owner is a vintage car collector who wanted a showroom quality space that could house not only his cars, but storage for all items needed to maintain the cars, as well as his collection of car memorabilia. And he wanted room to hang out and have “shop talk” as people visited and shared their love of everything automotive.

But when you think “car storage”, you have to go beyond the concept of just pulling your car into the garage. Way beyond. In this project we had to calculate the installation spacing of cars and a car lift system. We also had to  investigate and test a special Linex (TM) coating (which is a durable and liquid resistant countertop surface) to go on top of an MDF (medium density fiber board) core for the countertop.

showroom garage hangout  muscle-car-memorabilia-garage

In addition, we had to design the cabinets and spacing around his existing toolboxes, air and water hoses, and existing “slop sink”. But here's the topper – we also had to plan and build for a urinal cabinet area. Why go in the house when you can go in the garage, right? You know the saying – happy wife = happy life!

We manufactured the cabinetry out of a brushed aluminum melamine and used built-in J-Pull handles that were a powder coated black.

urinal garage cabinet areaThe manufacturing of the urinal cabinet is almost a story unto itself, as it had to have a waterproof lining and be contour shaped so someone could walk into it and use it. But wait, there's more!  We also built in cup holder space because when you're having this much fun, why be without your beer for even a minute?

Does that sound like a dream garage to you? Just give us a call. We can make you one too (and we won't tell your wife!).

Color Trends and How To Put Them Into Your Closet

Since we like being on the leading edge, we're jumping ahead to 2014 to take a peak at what's trending on the color horizon and how that translates into your  home environment.

Color spurs emotion and creates atmosphere. It alters mood and impacts how we react to things, whether that's clothing or room design.

So what kind of mood do you think the country is in? What colors will be seeing a bit of a resurgence and which are a new twist?

Experts from Sherwin Williams ( and the Pantone Color Institute ( see the following:

shades of grey color pantones

Shades of Gray

You'll see more than 50 shades of gray and it has nothing to do with best sellers at Barnes & Noble. Gray in all its' shades has been making its' way back into environments for the past year and is coming on strong. Or muted, if you're being literal.

grey melamine closet trendThe closet industry has had a standard gray melamine offering for decades (though sales have not been very robust in recent years). So if you're really excited about this somewhat sedate color, you can do it very cost efficiently. And if you don't want to make too much of a commitment, mix it with some white or a darker wood tone for a contemporary spin.

You can also look at newer shades (remember, I said there are more than 50) to be on the leading edge of the trend, but your fashion-forwardness will require an increase in budget.

soft white color closet trend

Light. Delicate. Simple. Soft.

- These are the terms association with some of the Sherwin-Williams colors with names like “Steamed Milk”, “Balanced Beige” and even “Non-Chalant White”.

This trend is also easy to incorporate into your environments with materials that you can readily find (similar to gray). Of course, there are always new spins on standard offerings, but the budget-friendly options can still give a nod to your fine design aesthetic.

Science Meets Fantasy

Not just influenced by “green design”, but influenced by “bio-design” (inspired by nature at the molecular level), this color trend “incorporates a merging of architecture, industrial design and art that integrate living systems” according to Sherwin-Williams. Their new paint options include “Library Pewter”, “Relic Bronze” and “Sealskin”.

The pewter and bronze can be incorporated into custom storage solutions most readily through hardware (handles, hinges, accessories). Or, you could make a statement with one of these colors by selecting an on-trend material for your counter top surface. What I love about this idea is that you get the opportunity to select from the coolest material options with over-dosing on a trend.

brass fixture hardware trend

Cultural Ties

While America is often referred to as the “melting pot”, many of us embrace our roots and the culture in which we were raised. Honoring tradition and heritage through color is a great methodology. Colors include “Ceremonial Gold”, “Georgian Bay” and “Capri”.

The return of brass gives nod to this trend in terms of hardware, in both shiny and matte finishes, and includes several versions of oil-rubbed bronze. You can incorporate this into lighting fixtures as well.

So if you'd like to give a new “nod” to some of the space in your home – give us a call so we can come out and help you move in to what's trending.


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ClosetOS Zillow Digs