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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


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.



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!



Another Good Year for Closet Organizing Systems at the 2014 Top Shelf Awards

Closet Top Shelf Awards LogoBill Curran, was the winner with his project "High Gloss Garage" in the Garage over 600 square feet category and Tom Mayfield, received Honorable Mention for “Home Office for Active Consulting Business” in the Home Office under 150 square feet category.

We are pleased to be adding our latest 2014 Top Shelf Award wins to our previous awards since entering the contest a few years back. To date, this gives Closet Organizing Systems a grand total of 10 wins and 5 honorable mentions. Design winners were celebrated at the 2014 Cabinets & Closets Gala Awards reception in Somerset, NJ, during the Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo. Awards are given to honor designers for their creative organizational solutions and woodworkers for their outstanding design, craftsmanship and execution. Each category is intended to highlight functionality and originality, as well as design.View our Top Shelf Design Awards wins from previous years.

High Gloss Garage Design Top Shelf Award 2014Custom Garage TV Cabinet with LED back lightingIn the Garage over 600 square feet category, Bill Curran took the win with his project "High Gloss Garage”.  This sleek custom garage cabinetry system includes high gloss red, black, and wire bronze finishes to achieve a modern high-end car connoisseur look. The countertops were finished with a Mayan dyed copper metal laminate and all drawer boxes were lined with black and red speckled vulcanized high-impact rubber matting. Some added features include integrated seating bench, personal beverage center, concealed hot/cold water retractable hose reel, and a wet/dry shop vacuum system.

The TV was also equipped with its own high gloss surround cabinet with tiered picture frame to further accent the garage colors. The TV cabinet has LED back lighting to make the TV appear as though it is floating in space. Red and Black mouldings were added to the upper soffit area to conceal a multi-color LED lighting for added ambiance. To finish things off two car lifts were installed for more good boy toys. View full article

    

Tom Mayfield's Top Shelf Award Home Office for Active Consulting Business design Impressing in the Home Office under 150 square feet category, Tom Mayfield, received Honorable Mention for his “Home Office for Active Consulting Business” project. Some of the challenges included creating more efficiency, work space and elegance for the daily operation while including a separate work center for limited use from a much larger room to one with only 127 S.F.

pull out printer shredder shelves in Home Office designFor this design, we created an L-shaped desk with a separate work space for computer and manual tasks. The desk adjoined a credenza across the entire back wall that placed all working files and office equipment at his fingertips. A free-standing triple lateral file for retained records with a bookcase above was placed nearby on a side wall, and a TV screen was mounted on the wall for easy viewing. We also created a second work station for an out-of-town business partner consultant that could be easily disguised in an existing closet space when it was time for him to leave. View full article

Closet Organizing Systems will stay the course and continue to impress as we look forward to entering our latest designs in the 2015 Top Shelf Design Awards competition.



Six Tips for Crafty Storage Spaces

Designated space designed for activities like scrap booking and gift wrapping is increasingly popular.

And if you’re one of the lucky people who has a space that can be utilized for these activities, here are some suggestions on what to consider as you implement your design plan:

1) Define what kinds of crafts you’ll be doing in that space and what kind of equipment/tools and storage you will need in order to be able to enjoy utilizing your space while being efficient at the same time.

2) Figure out location and size of work surface (where it will be located in the room and how big it can be). Will this be a large table or a custom laminate surface?

3) Storage. Determine what kind you need and where it should be located. If the room has a Reach-In closet, you should vary the shelf depths inside that closet so you can store large items on deeps shelves, yet be able to easily access small items on shallow shelves.

4) Utilize wall space to help keep you organized. Install a “tool rack” of some sort with hooks on the wall nearest your work surface so you can easily grab what you need to work on your craft.

5) Task lighting should be accessible on your work surface so you can see detail in anything that needs close up attention.

6) Share your goals, pictures and things that need to be accommodated with your storage design professional so they can guide you through the process to a successful completion for an artsy-craftsy space that your friends will wish was theirs!








How to get the most out of your home storage project

The decision to have a custom storage solution designed and built in your home can bring you long lasting results and satisfaction.

It can also be a daunting process because you’re working with someone to “create a one of a kind original from nothing”, so to speak.

You’ve got the designated space where you want this storage solution to “live” – and you likely have an idea of the kinds of things you need stored there (files, books, clothes, electronic equipment, etc.).

Now you need a design/build professional to work with to make this all happen.

The most important variables to consider as you’re working on this project are form, fit and function.

Form

This is the “look” and “feel” you want your project to have. 

Do you want it to blend in with the rest of your décor, or stand out and make a dramatic statement?

Do you like a rustic, knotted wood or a smooth, high-gloss, lacquered finish?

Do you want open storage, closed storage, or both?

And what about shelves, drawers and doors?

An experienced design consultant can guide you through this part and will be sure to ask you all the questions that you didn’t even know you had to answer!

Fit

Making sure a built-in fits the space is crucial – otherwise – it’s no longer a built in – it’s a mistake.

All obstacles need to be considered in terms of allowing access and making sure the pieces are manufactured so they work and fit correctly.  This includes outlets and vents as well as sprinkler heads and anything else that resides in that space.

Any special AV or office equipment that will be stored within the units need to be measured and incorporated into the design – so there’s no such thing as “it’s just a standard printer” or “40” flat screen” when communicating with your designer.  We need to know the precise measurements of any special equipment that you plan to incorporate into the design.

Function

Function is the place where a skilled designer can really take your project to the next level.  Any woodworker can make a box and add shelves or drawers.  It takes experience to know that 24” deep shelves aren’t good for much in a closet space unless they pull out.  And that shallow shelving as well as deep shelving increase functionality in areas like pantries and home offices.  And that corner shelves in lower cabinets end up becoming “big, black holes”.

Having an experienced design consultant, like one of the team members at Closet Organizing Systems, that can work with you to make your dreams come true – is – well – quite frankly – a dream come true.

So how can we make your dreams come true?




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