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Closet Organizing Systems Blog

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.

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.

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.

Chicago Custom Closet Design with Screen to Machine

Saturday, July 27, 2013
Most of our clients have the same priorities when they consult with us to create custom closet organization storage solutions – increased function and space maximization.

They want to make sure that they can not only fit in all the “stuff” they already have – but want room to add more in the future.

They also want their Chicago custom closet design project to look good, work properly and fit the space.

chicago custom closet design
And all of those ultimate goals are achieved by starting each Chicago custom closet design project with a solid method of manufacturing.

At Closet Organizing Systems, we utilize a method that’s known in the industry as "screen to machine”.

What that means is that the computer design program is fully integrated with the technology of the machinery. Computerized code is sent directly from computer to the CNC woodworking machinery. All variables are calculated with high precision accuracy for results that are top quality.

After we meet with you for your Chicago custom closet design consultation, we utilize software to create a detailed drawing that gives you an idea of what your closet will look like.

Once you sign off on that design paperwork, our engineering takes over to produce a more detailed set of internal fabrication drawings.

We don’t just rough sketch something out and cut it with a saw.

We calculate the most efficient way to layout (referred to as “nesting” in the woodworking industry) the shelves and panels so we get the most from every sheet of material. This allows us to not only give you the best price possible, but it reduces our waste, which in turn contributes to our “green” efforts.

If your project is complicated (let’s say there’s some fluted columns involved) our technology allows us to calculate hinge location and spacing, along with rabbets (which are similar to a Dado, which is a groove cut in to one piece of wood that allows another piece of wood to fit snugly) and edgebanding tolerances that are within a sixteeth of an inch.

Now, honestly, most people are not concerned about tolerances within a sixteenth of an inch - but doesn't it give you peace of mind to know that we do?

Two Fail Proof Ways to Get Out of Your Custom Closet Looking Great in 2011!

Saturday, July 27, 2013
custom closet built in Chicago by Closet OSHaving an organized custom closet is a beautiful thing and makes your daily dressing ritual so much easier when everything has a space and is it in the right place.

But a custom closet doesn’t solve every dressing dilemma you are often faced with – like what to wear to the company holiday party or a corporate networking event with the business owners. Once outside the “dress code” comfort zone, how do you know what is appropriate?

“Dressing for business these days has evolved into “situational dressing”, defined more by tasks, audience, position and industry than anything else,” says Jill Bremer, Bremer Communications, Chicago Illinois.

Here are two tips that will help you always look your best – no matter the situation.

Don’t under dress.

It’s usually better to exceed expectations. Showing up a little overdressed probably won’t hurt you, but dressing too casually can be a career-staller, if not a career-killer altogether.

“There will always be someone in your department or company that is pushing the dress code envelope – and not in a good way. Just because they’re getting away with dress code murder doesn’t mean it’s okay. Remember the old adage – 'Dress for where you’re going.' It will make getting there all the easier.” advises Bremer.

Think “crisp”.

What’s crisp? It’s a look comprised of fabrics that stand away from the body instead of conform to it. It means shirts with a collar instead of knit shirts, T’s or sweaters. It means pants that hold a crease rather than jeans or sweats, according to Bremer. A custom closet can provide appropriate storage for those items to ensure that they maintain their "crisp" appearance between wears.

Structured fabrics convey professionalism and respect. Soft, unstructured fabrics can look mushy and put a spotlight on curves and bulges.

“My recommendation is to wear crisp fabrics instead of or on top of soft or stretchy fabrics. If you plan to wear only a top and a bottom, make the top item a shirt instead of a knit top,” says Bremer. And she adds – “If you want to wear a knit top, simply add a jacket. Leave your body’s curves to the imagination and you’ll help others see you as the serious professional you are.”

Great tips for getting yourself out of your closet and into your life with success and ease.

You can find more tips from executive coach Jill Bremer at http://www.jillbremer.com.

Keep Your Closet Organization Resolution – 5 Tips

Saturday, July 27, 2013
Chances are, if you are like most Americans, you made a New Year’s Resolution on the first of the year. One of the most popular resolutions is to get organized – closet organization, home office organization, etc. But if you’re going to stick to your organization resolution, you’re going to need a plan.

In fact, according to Bill Curran, president of Closet Organizing Systems™, your project could be doomed before you even start. “With the holidays behind us and our new resolutions upon us there is a sense among many of being disorganized. [We know we need to get organized] but too often it is without a real plan to make it happen. A written down organization plan with a set of priorities is a must these days; otherwise, the task is daunting for many. New projects with a custom home organization system can be taken in steps as well in order to be done economically.”

Here are five tips to help you get - and stay - organized in 2011:

1. Assess – Before you can organize the things you own, you need to figure out exactly how much that is. We all have things buried at the back of closets or in the bottom or drawers that we forgot we had. If it’s been forgotten for over six months, you don’t need it. Ditto anything that doesn’t fit or is in poor condition.

2. Group – Now that you have weeded out items that you no longer need, it is time to separate the things you do need so that they are easy to store and locate in the future.

3. Invest – You’ve gone through your things and organized them, it’s time to invest in home office organization and/or closet organization systems. This is the most important tip, and it can make or break your resolution. With a custom closet or home office organization system, everything will have its place, making it effortless to keep your home office and closet organization resolutions.

4. Organize – Whether you do it yourself or opt for professional assistance, this is the step where you literally “get organized.”

5. Reassess – As with most resolutions, organization is an ongoing process. Resolve to go through your closet organization and home office organization systems every once in a while. Weed out things that are old or no longer serve a purpose. Revise systems that aren’t working as well as they should. Reorganize items by season. You get the idea.

Getting your home office organization or closet organization project underway doesn’t have to be overwhelming, and it doesn’t have to be “just a resolution.” If you follow the above steps, you can easily stick to your resolution and finally get organized in 2011. There are a variety of closet organization systems and home office organization systems available that can help you realize your dreams of “getting organized” – and staying that way through 2011 and beyond.


Closet Organizing Systems Earns Coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award in Two Categories

Saturday, July 27, 2013
Home & Garage Organization in Chicagowww.angieslist.com  
Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer Service

Closet Organizing Systems has been awarded the prestigious 2010 Angie’s List Super Service Award, an honor bestowed annually on 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.

“We are very pleased to have received 2 Super Service Awards this year from Angie’s List in the categories of Closet and Home and Garage Organization” says Bill Curran President of COS. Curran adds “It’s great to be recognized by independent consumer review resources as they are a true testament of our commitment to quality of product/service in the areas of Custom Closet and Cabinetry systems” Curran adds.

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 2010 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.

Seven Tips for Organizing Your Closet

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

So what if you’re one of the people who haven’t yet achieved the nirvana of your own boutique size walk in closet?

How do you get all of your stuff inside and organized so you can find it when you need it? 

 

Start with these tried and true organizing tips:

 

1) Start by taking everything out.  Some items will go in the trash or Goodwill pile immediately.  Trust me – you’ll find things you don’t even remember having, along with some that you’ve been looking for a very long time.

 

2) Evaluate with honesty and discipline.  Look at each item and give it a rating

from 1-10.  Ten means you love it and wear it often with confidence and joy.  Anything below a 7 should no longer have a home in your closet.  It’s not doing you any favors and not serving your current lifestyle and goals.

 

3) When you’re doing this evaluating – ask yourself how you want people to perceive you TODAY – in current time.  Are you looking to get promoted?  Are you looking for love?  Pick three to five adjectives that you resonate with and make sure each item you keep honors and conveys these characteristics.

 

4) Put the pieces that have sentimental value in a box – and then store that box somewhere besides the main closet you use to get dressed.

 

5) Apply the 80-20 rule.  We really do wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time.  If you have things you just can’t bear to let go of – move them to the back of another closet or storage space.  If another 6 months or year goes by and you still have worn them – let them go without even re-evaluating.  Trust that they have served their purpose.

 

6) Make another pile for anything that needs to be tailored, sewn or mended and write down what needs to be done to fix the piece.  Then take them to the seamstress at the dry cleaners or your tailor – within 72 hours – and get the problems fixed so you can move forward and wear them with confidence.

 

7) Now start putting things back into your closet.  The things you use the most should be the easiest to access.  The goal is to be able to open (and close) the closet door – access what you need – and move on with your day.

 

Good luck and happy organizing!

And if you need to add some structure to your closet – set up an appointment with one of our fabulous design team members.  They can double your storage capacity in no time flat and make your newly organized life so much easier to live.

12 Things to Consider BEFORE you Design your Master Closet

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
If you’re lucky enough to have a walk-in master closet – whether it’s shared space or there are “his” and “her” versions – it pays off to plan your storage design.

So here are the top ten things to consider when planning this space (whether you’re doing it yourself or meeting with –oh – say – one of our fabulous design consultants).

Here’s the inside scoop on how to master “The Master”.

1) If it’s shared space, decide on the division. How much space will each person get? The typical division is 2/3 Hers; 1/3 His.

2) Do you need drawers and if so, approximately how many? And do you like deep drawers, shallow drawers, or a combination?

3) Shoe Storage. How many pair need shelf space? Honestly.

4) Make the Long Hang decision. How much of it do you need and where will it go? If space is tight, you don’t wear the Long Hang items frequently and you have other closets, consider moving the Long Hang out of the master closet.

5) Do you hang pants long or fold them over a hanger? This will help determine what other hanging space will be needed (short, medium or long).

6) Where does dirty laundry end up? And what about clothes that need to go to the drycleaner? Would you like pullout baskets/drawers for that?

7) Are you a “folder” or a “hanger”? People who fold most things need more shelves. People who hang need hanging space.

8) Do you like all of your clothing and shoes to be visible or behind doors/drawers?

9) Do you need a full-length mirror?

10) Do you travel and need a surface (island or peninsula) for packing?

11) Where will you sit to put on your shoes?

12) Would you like some hooks for hanging the clothes you “hang around the house in”. They’re so much better than the floor.

These are the things we “masters” consider when we have the privilege of working with people on this most important and intimate space. If your husband is the “master” in assisting you with this project, then he’s one lucky fella. And if that doesn’t work out – we’re here for you! Just schedule your complimentary in home consultation and we’ll make the process painless and the result beautiful.

How to get the most out of your home storage project

Sunday, June 30, 2013

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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