Having custom millwork made for your home can happen in a variety of ways.
One option is to have your local trim carpenter do the work while they are actually in your house.
This option involves designing and making the cabinetry without a detailed master plan and the use of precision woodworking machinery. And it lacks the controlled environment to build and finish to the highest industry standards.
It also typically involves a great amount of sawdust and noise because work is actually taking place and things are being created on site.
Another option is to have things engineered and pre-built. However, transforming an idea from paper to product takes skill, expertise, and a firm grasp of cabinetry and construction technology.
Stability – having cabinets that are manufactured in a shop allows things to be put together in a more solid way – with things like rabbits and biscuits (even though those sound like things that are fuzzy and edible – they actually increase the rigidity of a cabinet). Additional bracing and support can be easily identified during the pre-build phase as opposed to an afterthought in the field.
Longevity – something that is fabricated and built in a shop means that things are created under optimal conditions using state of the art woodworking machinery and skilled craftsmen – and that means they will last a lifetime.
Finish Quality – any piece that is finished in a dust controlled spray booth and with a finishing specialist will have far superior quality than anything that’s ever done in the field. You just can’t get the optimal conditions and environment for creating a beautiful finish when you’re doing the work inside someone’s home.
Less Guesswork with Upfront Engineering – if your cabinetry is made in the shop, it’s fully designed ahead of time and incorporates all aspects that need to work together to create a truly custom solution. It’s also easier to install because it’s a set of solid boxes, not a conglomeration of loose pieces and field guesswork.
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.
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!
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 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.
Many of us would like to have closets that are better organized and dream of someday having a custom closet. But can a disorganized closet cost you money? In a way, it can.
A recent study conducted by Cooperative Insurance found that "3,000 women were surveyed and
the results found that the average lady has 11 pairs of shoes worth
nearly $660 sitting in our closets that have rarely or never been
worn," according to Yahoo Shine.
So, what does this have to do with closet organization? It's simple - if your closet isn't organized you likely don't know how many pairs of shoes you actually own. If your shoes are buried at the bottom of your closet instead of arranged on a shelf in a custom closet, you may forget about a pair or two or twelve.
A custom closet solution will allow you to see all your shoes - making it more likely that you will wear the shoes you have more and less likely you will spend money to purchase shoes you don't really need.
Although, that may only be part of the problem. According to the study and Yahoo,
37% of women buy shoes to cheer them up
52% buy shoes specifically to go with a new outfit
18% buy shoes to keep up with a trend
10% buy shoes because they're plain old obsessed
31% have knowingly bought shoes in the wrong size because they liked
22% have shoes all over the house and even in their car
21% never get rid of old shoes
While an organized closet or custom closet solution may not help with all of the above, it is certainly a step in the right direction.
You do all of the work all of the time – so why not utilize home office organization to make your personal workspace really work for and with you.
Try these design and home office organization tips to increase your productivity:
1) Add Bins - whether inside drawers or on shelves – be they leather or wire or wicker – bins become simple organizers that you can easily drop things into by category or topic.
2) Pop some wheelies – as in furniture that has wheels. Movable carts are easier to move and can be rolled with you and your laptop if you want to work in location other than your desk.
3) Go wireless and cordless – then there’s less to get hung up on! You have flexibility in both placement and function and nothing to hide, camouflage, route or add power strips for.
4) Think “Executive Suite” and add a table or console – either on the side of your desk – or behind you. It provides an added storage spot and can make you feel like the CEO that you know you really are!
1) Consider a closet storage system with doors and drawers. Then you can hide all the things people dump when company calls simply by closing things up. And if you plan wisely (or get lucky) you’ll have an accessible electric outlet so those gadgets can be plugged in and charging while in hiding.
But if that’s not an option, try a recharging pad. Duracell, Philips and Powermat offer options.
2) Incorporate space for hooks – preferably staggered at two different heights. It’s the easiest way to get family members to stop throwing things on the floor.
3) Build in shelves for shoes. Shoes are notorious clutter bugs. Shelves provide an easy space to stash them and make life less stressful.
4) Reflect Beautifully! Adding a wall mirror – or some mirrored doors to your closet storage system – can be a nice touch of elegance and give you that “last look” as you dash out the door to face the day ahead.
In some families, doing laundry is an everyday task – between fashion crazed teen girls who go through ten outfits in one day or boys athletic uniforms that need to be laundered after practice several times a week – it can feel like the Washer and Dryer are almost never shut off.
-A horizontal surface for folding clothes – because let’s face it – many of those freshly laundered items need to be folded before they can be put away in your fabulously organized custom closets.
-A rod or valet rail to hang things on hangers right as they come out of the dryer –saves ironing time and decreases wrinkling. You can also use these for air drying items.
-Shelves for detergents and stain removers
-A built-in ironing board – or a space to store your ironing board and iron.
-A utility sink for hand washing
-Designate a shelf/hanging space for each family member. If they’re taught early on to take the clean clothes from their section of the laundry room and put them away in their bedroom, mom’s job just got a whole lot easier.
Here are a couple of before and after shots of a laundry room remodel. You would never know it was the same space, would you?
Spring is officially here, and with it comes all sorts of reminders of things we should all be doing on a regular basis - there's a reason they call it "spring cleaning," after all. But reducing clutter and getting organized isn't just good for your home and a great way to start off the season; it can also benefit the Earth and local nonprofits.
How? According to Goodwill Industries, "when you donate to Goodwill,
you are also helping to keep materials out of the waste stream. At
Goodwill, we make a positive impact on the environment by being
proponents and practitioners of re-use. Every year, Goodwill
demonstrates social and environmental leadership by implementing
strategies that decrease our collective carbon footprint, create jobs
for people who need them most, and provide environmentally responsible
solutions for businesses and government.
donations of many gently used items that can be reused as intended or in
new, creative ways. Earth Day is a reason to clean out closets and get
rid of things you don’t need or want any longer. Donate the clean,
saleable items to Goodwill, and our stores will sell the merchandise to
eco-friendly shoppers who are also passionate about reusing items and
diverting them from landfills.”
In honor of Earth Day, why not spend some time today or this weekend clearing out the clutter? Your closet, your local Goodwill and Mother Earth will thank you.
And as a reward for a job well-done, why not look into having a custom closet designed to make sure that you stay organized?
Organizing your pantry takes kitchen organization to a whole new level and allows you to get the most out of every inch by letting you see and access everything you need easily.
So whether it’s storing macaroni or marzipan – here are some things to think about when you’re organizing the pantry into “command central”.
1) When it comes to shelf depth in a pantry – less really can be more. It’s good to have a variety of shelving depths. Shallow shelves are great for small items like soup and mac n’ cheese. Deep shelves are great for larger items like serving bowls and paper towel.
2) Deep shelves or pullout drawers are great for storing serving pieces, platters and large appliances and can go a long way toward kitchen organization. Just be sure to design pullout drawers with varying amounts of space in between in order to accommodate different size items. Your shelving should be adjustable so you can determine what works as you organize this space with your own foodstuffs.
3) Pullout baskets are great for potatoes, onions and such.
4) The wall is a good spot for a mop and broom holder.
5) Hooks are helpful – for reusable grocery bags, aprons, etc.
6) Design the space so items like bottled water and soda can be slid on the floor.
7) If your pantry becomes the home for the recycle center, make sure it’s organized and easy to use. Do this by deciding on how much space is needed for the containers and where they will go. Any sort of pullout can really make this task, and organizing your pantry in general, easier.
We are going to provide 3 tips on how to reduce clutter and unclog your closet. If you are like most of us, you probably haven’t even looked at all the stuff clogging and cluttering up your closet lately. Now is a great time to prioritize and de-clutter.
Do you have more than four pair of jeans in your closet right now?
How about black high shoes and black dresses? How many of those do you have?
And what about flip-flops? How many pair of those are flapping around in the corner somewhere?
Probably too many – and they are clogging your closet.
Who wants a clogged anything –let alone a clogged closet.
Implement these Drano like tips and your life will be flowing more smoothly before you can say “this doesn’t fit me anymore”:
1) Be Realistic – Think in Terms of Cost Per Wearing
A special occasion dress you wear once that costs $250 = a $250 cost per wearing.
A $100 pair of jeans that you wear twice a week for a year = a $1.00 cost per wearing.
Don’t let money just hang in your closet like a bad wire hanger. Make sure the money you spend on garments goes in and out of the closet frequently.
2)Get Baskin Robbins Out Of Your Closet
Sometimes it’s chocolate – sometimes it’s mint chip – but it’s still ice cream.
How that translates to your closet is that eight to ten pair of black high heels still boils down to black high heels.
It’s understood that you have different moods and different occasions and different pant lengths – but ten flavors of the same thing is a closet clogger.
3)Function and Beauty Go In The Closet – Just Beauty Goes On Your Walls As Art
Buying something because you appreciate its’ beauty is a wonderful thing. But if you never wear it – and it’s in your closet – it’s a waste of money.
If you’re a city dweller – you know not to purchase a painting or sculpture without a place to display it. Apply the same principle to your closet.
Don’t put things in your closet that aren’t going to work for you. See an example below of a recent closet de-clog that we helped perform for a client.
Closet organizing for teens and younger children can be challenging, no matter what methods you put into place.
And if you think about it from their perspective – it’s pretty difficult for teens to take the time to actually hang up a garment in their Chicago closets when they are glued to Xbox live or have an average of 80 text messages day, according to recent studies.
But there is hope!
With good planning and assessment of what needs to be stored and how – you might get lucky enough to actually see part of the bedroom floor by utilizing closet organizing.
So here are some important things to think about when planning your custom storage solutions for the kid friendly spaces in your home:
1) Determine what items need to call this Chicago closet space home. Are there toys and sports equipment, in addition to clothing, that need to be stored here?
2) What percentage do you want to hang and what percentage do you want to fold? And, if space allows in your closet system, do you want drawers?
3) Where does dirty laundry end up? Would you like pullout baskets/drawers in your closet system for that? 4) Be sure to have adjustable hanging sections so if children are very young, space will allow triple hang (three rows of hanging garments). As the children grow and the clothing takes up more space, you can remove one of the rods and have traditional double hang.
5) Make sure to have low shelves for children to easily put away the most frequently used items.
6) Incorporate kid size hangers. Standard hangers are often too large for such small clothing items. 7)Teach children how to treat clothing and reward them for with special rewards for keeping it organized. It’s an investment in time that will pay dividends for the rest of their lives. 8)Incorporate hooks for easy closet organizing with anything from sweat pants to back packs.
Note: These photos are from a project we did in the Healthy Home 2010. A small child’s closet and a “princess” closet were included in this entire house project. The other was for three young boys featured in the Luxury Home Tour.