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A Mirror For More Than A Look

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Do you feel like you see yourself coming and going?

Or perhaps you can't keep up with how fast you're coming and going.

Still, you want to look good while you're “doing it all”, and well placed mirrors can make that so much easier, all while increasing functionality (that's almost better than having the prince rescue you!)

So take a moment to “look in the mirror” and see some wonderful ways that we've incorporated them into our closet designs. With any luck, you'll be inspired to do the same.

Mirrors make spaces look larger, so if you can incorporate mirrors into a walk in closet space, even if it's small, it will feel bigger. If it's already big, it will feel magnificent. Think about adding mirrors on door fronts, on the actual door to a closet, or on some wall space.

We're not suggesting you give up precious storage space in order to accommodate a mirror. We're suggesting you consider some clever ways to add them to your space without compromising a thing.

If you decide to put a mirror on the wall, make sure you will still be able to have a good line of sight and be able to see yourself once the closet is filled with your clothing. Clothing often sticks out beyond the panel structure of a closet and is deeper, so double check your viewing clearances.

And check the installation height location if it's a mirror that's not full length. If the woman who “wears” this closet is petite, make sure she can see her full face (at minimum) in the mirror. This comes in to play if you're putting mirrors on upper door cabinets.

There's also a 3-way mirror to consider. If you've got enough space in your Walk-In closet, a well-versed designer can create the space so that there is storage behind three sections that are hinged to open so they function like a 3-way mirror. Take a look at some of these pictures that illustrate the point more clearly.

And one more option, in case you just can't get enough! The closet industry offers what is known as a “Pull-Out Mirror”. It can be installed onto one of the vertical panels in your closet system and can be “pulled out” when you need it and pushed back into its' place when not in use. Again, a designer who's worth their salt can guide the design process so it's installed in a location that's functional.

Give us a call. One of our designers would be delighted to help you with that.




Angie’s List Super Service Award Three-peat Winner

Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Closet Organizing Systems is the proud recipient of an Angie’s List 2012 Super Service Award for a third consecutive year. We have been selected for achieving and maintaining superior service ratings by customers in both the Closets and Organization of Home and Garage categories. 

Our top priority is providing exceptional service to back our quality organizational products throughout the Chicago land area. We pride ourselves in maintaining positive customer relationships which have resulted in this honor once again. 

Less than 5% of thousands of businesses earn this award which honors excellence among service. Angie’s List Super Service Award winners have to meet strict eligibility requirements, including earning a minimum number of reports, a pristine rating from their customers and following Angie’s List operational guidelines. 

We would like to thank all of our customers for your continued support and feedback. As our promise to you we will continue to learn from our experiences together and push forward with customer satisfaction and superior service.
 
Angie's List Super Service Award for Closets Angie's List Home and Garage Organization Award

2012 Top Shelf Design Winners!!!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Closet Organizing Systems (COS) was selected for two Top Shelf Design Awards to be announced at the 2012 Closet and Home Organizing Expo at the Austin Convention Center on February 15th in Austin, TX.  COS was selected for a melamine office system design and solid/wood veneer closet system. This is the 9th time that COS has been awarded a Top Shelf Design award by Closet Magazine over the last 7 years since its inception.

In the home office category Carey Ekstrom received a Top Shelf Award for her unique office solutions for a sitting/sun room adjacent to the client’s kitchen and living room. The client worked from home and required a functional, yet attractive workspace that blends with the family entertainment activities and compliments the visibility from both the kitchen and living room areas. Transforming a dated, non-functional area into an attractive, warm and inviting multi-purpose area in the home in which the family now looks forward to spending time together.  

In the Wood Veneer category Bill Curran received a Top Shelf Award a cherry stained master closet system simulated leather inserts in the door panels, thicker vertical side panels, full backing, and matching top and bottom moulding throughout the room. The closet was designed with a peninsula island cabinet with his/hers hampers, jewelry drawers, viewing mirror, and granite countertop which doubled for folding and packing clothes. The space also included a window seat bench with drawer storage and an upper lighting valance which is flanked by more hanging storage.

Awards were presented by TV personality Amanda LeBlanc of The Style Networks show “The Amada’s” at the 2012 Top Shelf Design Awards in Austin Texas.

Closet Organizing Systems Earns Angie’s List Super Service Award Again!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Angie's List Super Service Award 2011Closet Organizing Systems has been awarded the prestigious 2011 Angie’s List Super Service Award. Closet Organizing Systems won the same award in 2010, making this our second year receiving this honor, which is bestowed annually to approximately 5 percent of all the companies rated on the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews on local service companies.

“Our Super Service Award winners are the cream of the crop when it comes to providing consistently high quality customer service, as judged by the customers who hired them,” said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List.

Angie’s List Super Service Award winners have met strict eligibility requirements including earning a minimum number of reports, an exemplary rating from their customers and abiding by Angie’s List operational guidelines. Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List, but members can find the 2011 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on AngiesList.com.

Angie’s List collects consumer reviews on local contractors and doctors in more than 500 service categories. Currently, more than 1 million consumers across the U.S. rely on Angie’s List to help them make the best hiring decisions. Members get unlimited access to local ratings via Internet or phone, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List magazine and help from the Angie’s List complaint resolution service. Take a quick tour of Angie’s List and view the latest Angie’s List news.

Sometimes Simple is Stunning with Your Closet Design

Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Yes – it's true - sometimes simple solutions really make us happy.White Melamine Closet

And simple in the closet world often equates to utilizing white melamine to build the closet systems.

White melamine also happens to be the most popular kind of closet system installed in the U.S. (to the tune of about 75%).

Popular US Closet Option-MelamineThat's not to say that colored melamine or wood aren't great options – they are.  But take a look at the beauty that can result from doing white right.

It's the finishing touches and attention to detail, along with terrific closet design work by Donna Siben of our closet design team, that makes this closet work so well.

There are specific spots for shoes and for bags and for boots, along with drawer storage, shelving behind doors and plenty of hanging space.

White Melamine Closet bring beauty and sophisticationThe system is floor based to add to the built-in look.  Granite tops on the island and dresser really upgrade the look without adding lots of cost and then there's the crown and base moldings.

Moldings in any room really add to the beauty and sophistication. And they are a finishing detail that really White Melamine Closet Optionsgive a custom look and feel. There are an almost endless amount of choices if you're looking to add a base or crown molding to your project. They come in many sizes and can look contemporary to traditional and almost anything in between.

So if you're ready to solve your storage solutions challenges and want a sophisticated closet solution, give us a call or Request a Free Design Consultation and we'll guide you through the design maze and help you define the details that truly make it your own.

Incorporating Feng Shui Into Millwork

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

These very balanced and beautiful spaces started with just stark drywall and a concept of architecturally tying together an existing kitchen with new living and working spaces.   

The client has a strong affinity to living life in accordance with the principles of Feng Shui.

Feng Shui (in Chinese thought) is a system of laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy (chi), and whose effects are taken into account when siting and designing buildings.

So that thinking was woven into every design element.  We made sure we had clear pathways and balanced elements.

We also designed a two-sided fireplace, so that this powerful symbolic element could be enjoyed from both the living room and the home office.

Fireplaces are often the center of attention for any room, and this is not just because our ties to the fire element go back to the beginning of time.  Fire energy adds a strong presence to any room and is beautiful in its’ coloring and changing shapes.

Not only do fireplaces radiate heat, they blanket an atmosphere with feelings of stillness and comfort and the crackling sounds are peaceful and relaxing.

The wood on the walls that surround this feature is Sapele.  Sapele, which comes from a large, African tree, has a reddish-brown nature color.

One of the most remarkable features of Sapele is that the grain is interlocked and changes direction in frequent, irregular intervals. You could consider it very harmonious with a fire element because fire changes shape as an inherent property of what it is.

The praying Buddha was added by the client with the intention of serving as a symbolic reminder to practice meditation so it’s easier to live a life of balance and harmony.

Buddha literally translates to “enlightened one” and the higher off the ground a Buddha statue is placed, the more reverence it holds in the life of the owner.

 

10 Characteristics of Traditional Design

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It’s common to find traditionally built homes in many Chicago suburbs.

And that often means traditional décor – closets included.

What elements make up “traditional” style?

Here’s a great list. Keep in mind, the more you find appealing on this list, the more likely you favor this popular style.

1. Nothing is extreme. Not color, not shape, not size. It’s more middle-of-the road.

2. It is a mix of straight and curved lines and the wood grains and coloring are mid-range to dark tones.

3. Accessories play a significant role as features with this décor. This shows up in trims, moldings and clear glass. It also shows up as accessories of all types being displayed.

4. The display features show up in pairs in an understated, not too heavy, kind of way.

5. This style feels comfortable to almost any age. Think timeless.

6. Corner cabinets and chair rails show up often in traditionally styled homes.

7. White ceilings are the most common color.

8. Reproductions of historically original pieces are a mainstay (another, more common term for these items is “knock off”). Maybe it’s a replica of a desk Thomas Jefferson used or an architectural element that dates back hundreds of years. It’s recreated to mimic the original piece and incorporated into today’s homes.

9. Things match. So not only do they come in pairs – they go together!

10. No surprises. There’s predictability to traditional style that yields a very positive element. The ride is typically smooth.

So if you feel yourself nodding in agreement, not only with most of the items on this traditional list, but wanting your closet or home office to look like the ones we’ve created, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help you discover a custom storage solution with your style in mind.

Contemporary Design Elements

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Contemporary Design Elements

 A custom closet can take on any look and feel a client wants.  It depends   not only on the budget and space available, but the personal style preferences of the homeowner and the style of the home itself.

Many basic closet systems fall into a somewhat contemporary feel because of the simple lines. And lines are the most obvious characteristic of contemporary design.  But here are some additional aspects to think about if you’re considering creating something contemporary:

-As much as we might overuse the term in the Chicago area, less really is more when it comes to contemporary design. It’s not about having lots of detail or décor elements.  It’s about editing so that there are only a few, key elements that really stand out.  Sometimes even just one element that stands out.  So think less about “stuff” and more about “statement”.

-Subtle sophistication is a true component of this style.  This is often interpreted through a neutral color base that is punched up with a shot of color in one or two places.

-Existing architectural elements can really serve contemporary design execution if they include things like exposed brick, which provides a natural texture, or high ceilings, which are a common component of contemporary design style.

-Geometry also comes in to play in contemporary design.  The shapes that show up in homes that are contemporary are typically angular or straight, versus the curves often associated with more traditional design.

If these elements appeal to your style sensibilities, you’re likely a fan of contemporary design.

Designing Harmonious Spaces

Monday, July 29, 2013

We all like our homes to feel good. A natural state of “flow” contributes to that home-like, peaceful feeling that says “welcome” when we arrive at the end of a long day.

But if you live in a house that's in an urban environment or is of smaller square footage, this design effort can take more energy because functions in the rooms often overlap.  Or you can easily see from one space to another and you want it all to look like it works together.

And that's the case with this project designed by our team member, Carey Eckstrom.  The client showed Carey a photo of something she liked and Carey used that as the inspiration for these two wall units – one in the bedroom and one in the adjoining home office space.

The client liked the wider vertical dividers, the crown and base molding and the open feel of the upper shelving.

And you can see these elements incorporated into the final designs for their own spaces.

Another feature that adds to the great function of these designs is the clipped corners. By making the ends with 45 degree angles instead of squared-off 90 degree angles, the space feels softer and the pieces fit more easily into the flow of the room.                                           

Carey also took into account the location of the bed when designing the wall unit that's in the bedroom, making sure that the TV was in the sight line with the bed for comfortable viewing.

Both units are manufactured with solid cherry wood veneer with solid wood doors/molding and matching melamine interiors.  This “hybrid” approach saves costs because only the parts you see are actually wood (a more expensive material).

Another feature that really adds to the custom look of these pieces is the built-up columns.  Adding the width on the vertical pieces that divide the sections makes the units feel more substantial and clearly adds to the uniqueness.

So if you're looking for some unique storage for your home, give us a call and we'll design something equally as beautiful and functional that solves your storage challenges.

Six Tips for Crafty Storage Spaces

Saturday, July 27, 2013
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!







     
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