Creating a dream closet!

Most people don’t realize how much thought goes in to creating a closet! Today, we thought we would compile a few little things that people often forget to consider during a closet reno! First, and possibly most important, is closet lighting. What good is an AMAZING closet when you have poor lighting? If your closet lacks a natural light source, don’t fret, there are a few things you can do to get that natural light feel. If you are working with an open space, top to bottom white is often your best option as it helps you emulate natural light. Fake it till you make it, right? If you’re looking for a cozy, warm closet, stick with warm paint colors and pendant lights.

Another important piece of creating the perfect closet is choosing whether or not to use closet cabinets. Closet cabinets can be designed to house your high-end shoe collection or your handbag obsession! What about built-in storage for your jewelry or built-in safe for valuable items? These are both very important things to consider when designing your closet!

Supercharge your closet organization through the use of valet rods, tie racks, and belt racks. These are things most people forget about when dreaming up their closet, but a designer who knows what they’re doing will make sure you’ve seen all the options! A valet rod is a single rod which attaches to a built in that has the ability to slide out when needed or be tucked away when not in use. Valet rods are great for planning outfits or steaming clothes. It’s like an extra pair of hands to help you hold an item! Valet rods can be found in many sizes, styles and finishes, but there sure will be one to fit your taste!

Finally, belt and tie racks can sometimes be interchangeable! Tie and belt racks are the ideal solution to keeping your accessories organized! They keep your ties unwrinkled and belts in place. These gadgets come in many different styles, so just like valet rods, there will always be something that fits your taste!

Thinking about spring cleaning?

Have you ever walked in to your closet to grab something, yet have no idea where that something is? If you answered yes (like most of us!), then keep reading! Keeping your closet functional and decluttered is something many people desire, but it often don’t obtain because they aren’t even sure where to start. Below are some tips and tricks on how to maximize closet space, especially for those who are on a budget!

First, you should start from scratch! Take everything out of your closet…yes, everything! Not only does this give you an opportunity to go through your items to see if anything needs thrown out or donated, it allows you to visualize where you want things to go! Think of it like a blank canvas.

If shoes seem to overtake most of the precious space in your closet, try using an over-the-door shoe organizer! Not only does this free up shelving space, but it keeps shoes together, so you aren’t digging in a pile spending your valuable time looking for your other shoe! In addition, designate a place for everything in your closet. Keep your sweaters in one place, your short-sleeved shirts in another and organized by color. If you wake up in the morning thinking, “I want to wear a red sweater today!”, you will know exactly where to find it. No more digging around in your closet looking for that on shirt that was hiding behind a pair of pants you haven’t worn in years!

Now, this tip might be more difficult for most people to follow…Every time to buy a new shirt, get rid of an old one that you don’t wear. Donate it or toss it if it’s seen better days. A study showed that most Americans only wear 10 to 20 percent of their clothes, so it is likely there is always something you can get rid of! To cut down on excess clothing, remove items you haven’t worn in a year! Donate these items or drop them off at a consignment store. Most importantly, come up with a plan to keep your closet organized so it never becomes a breeding ground for clutter again!

Now when it comes to closet storage tips, there are a few necessities. In addition to over-the-door shoe organizers like we talked about earlier, a step stool can make it easier to reach things on the top shelves of the closet and installing a double hang can help to make better use of horizontal spaces in your closet.

Lastly, a few minor things can make a big difference. Using coordinated hangers contributes to the less cluttered feeling and shelf organizers can keep folded clothes or accessories upright and in their assigned spots. Let the Spring cleaning commence!

Laundry Room Reno: An exhaustive guide

The laundry room has finally come into its own as a bright and organized cleanup command center, whether in a tidy corner of the basement or a nook next to the kitchen.  For help updating yours, visit our website, www.theclosetenvy.com to schedule your free consultation!

Organization Central

a remodeled laundry room with green towels

PHOTO BY NATHAN KIRKMAN

Keep reading to see our expert advice on everything from energy-wise machines and thrifty flooring options to the best labor-saving layout and how to safeguard the house from a potential flood or fire!

Where to Put Your Laundry Room

an upper floor laundry room
PHOTO BY DEBORAH WHITLAW LLEWELLYN

For lots of us, the basement is just fine. But many homeowners who can spare the space and expense prefer to have the laundry closer to bedrooms or the kitchen. Here’s what to factor in before making a move.

On an upper floor
Pros: Proximity to where dirty clothes are shed lessens schlepping distance with hampers. Can tap into existing plumbing lines if in or near a bathroom.
Cons: Noise and vibration require extra insulation and a motion-arresting pad. Leaks can damage first-floor rooms. Closet installation requires a vented door and additional space around stacked machines to dissipate dryer heat.

Where to Put It (Continued)

a first floor laundry room
PHOTO BY JOE SCHMELZER

On the first floor
Pros: Near where most other house-keeping chores take place.  May be able to share kitchen or powder-room plumbing lines.
Cons: Laundry can pile up in cooking, eating, and foot-traffic areas. Need to carry hampers upstairs. Machines hidden in cabinets require vented doors and clearance space for proper ventilation.

Low-Impact Layout

a laundry room designed for a small space
PHOTO BY ZACK BENSON/CORNERHOUSE STOCK

You don’t need a huge space.  In fact, some of the most efficient laundry rooms are quite small, with the following four elements arranged in close proximity, not more than a step or two away from one another:

1. Appliances: Stack them or put them side by side to transfer wet clothes easily from washer to dryer. Machines should be placed directly in front of utility hookups.

2. Supplies: Store detergent, stain sticks, and other clothing-care items, such as a sewing kit, in closed cabinets, cubbies, or open shelving that’s above or next to machines.

3. Baskets: Leave enough room in front of machines to empty or fill them easily, and create a nearby niche to tuck baskets or hampers out of the way but within easy grabbing distance.

4. Work surface: Add a counter or a freestanding table adjacent to stacked or top-loading machines for sorting, treating, and folding. With front loaders placed side by side, consider installing a counter on top of the machines to save space.

Comfortable Clearances

a laundry room illustrated to show clearances
ILLUSTRATION BY IAN WORPOLE

Consider these measurements before hooking up machines or adding built-in storage to keep your laundry room looking—and working—its best.

Delivery-Day Reminder: Measure the dimensions of not only the area where the machines will be installed but also doorways and stairwells that they will have to pass through to get to the laundry room. Most machines need about a 30-inch-wide opening.

The Case for Front Loaders

an illustration of a washer with a crown on its head
ILLUSTRATION BY EDWIN FOTHERINGHAM

They cost about $150 to $300 more, but front-loading washers tend to clean better and more efficiently than most top loaders—a faster spin cycle, up to 1,200 rpm, wrings out more water to cut drying time and energy consumption. A front loader also offers design flexibility and comfort; you can stack it with a dryer to save floor space, top it with a counter for folding, or raise it on a pedestal to a back-friendly height. To do the latter with a top-loading washer, you’d have to be part giraffe to reach inside the machine.

Front-Loader Add-On: Pedestals

a washer with built-in pedestal/drawers, blue walls
PHOTO BY MARK LUND/GETTY IMAGES

$100-$300

• Good storage for tight quarters because they sit beneath machines and don’t eat up floor space.

• Elevate the washer and dryer, saving you from having to bend over as much to reach into the machines.

• Drawer can be ordered from the manufacturer that makes your machines for a perfect match. Just be sure to check specs; drawers should be deep enough (typically 12 to 15 inches) to hold detergent bottles upright.

Front-Loader Add-On: Countertop

a black-colored washer under a custom black counter
PHOTO BY KATE KUNZ/FANCY/ALAMY IMAGES

• Fits across the top of the washer and dryer for a large work surface for sorting, treating stains, and folding.

• Prevents items from falling in between or behind your machines.

• Could be a custom counter, or a prefab rubber tray (made by several manufacturers to complement their machines) that resists staining, has a built-in back-splash, and often comes with rear pockets for laundry supplies and other small items.

Keep It Safe

braided steel washer hose and adjustable wrench
PHOTO BY SHAFFER SMITH

Washer mishaps are among the leading causes of home floods, and dryers account for thousands of fires annually. But with some key supplies, you can avert disaster and save thousands. Here’s what you’ll need:

• Braided steel washer hoses, shown left, that can’t split open like rubber ones.

• Metal dryer-vent pipe sealed with foil tape, rather than a plastic flex hose, which is a fire hazard.

• A washer box that’s recessed in the wall so that water valves are easily accessible and hoses don’t loosen or get damaged by getting squished behind the machine.
Oatey Washing Machine Outlet Box, $23; The Home Depot

Safety (Continued)

worker moves a washer onto a washer drain pan
PHOTO BY SHAFFER SMITH

• An automatic shutoff valve that cuts water to the washer if it detects a leak or a burst hose.
FloodStop, $145; Amazon

• A washer drain pan (shown) to catch drips, especially for machines on main living levels.
1-2-3 Under Washer Tray, $30; Menards

Buying a Dryer: Gas or Electric?

pile of clean laundry
PHOTO BY ANDY CRAWFORD/GETTY IMAGES

The connections in your laundry room will likely dictate your choice. But if you have both a gas hookup and a 240-volt outlet, go for gas. It costs about $50 to $100 more than an electric model, but it’s cheaper to operate over the long haul—15 to 20 cents per load, compared with 30 to 40 cents for electric. Considering that the average American family does 300 loads of laundry a year, that’s an annual energy savings of $45 to $60 with gas.

Decoding Energy Star Labels

illustration of man staring at a washer with large label that says MEF and WF on it
ILLUSTRATION BY EDWIN FOTHERINGHAM

Most HE (high-efficiency) washers are also rated by MEF and WF. Here’s what the new acronyms mean:

MEF: Modified Energy Factor is a measure of the energy used to run the washer and heat the water. The higher the MEF, the more energy-efficient the washer.

WF: Water Factor is based on the number of gallons of water consumed per cubic foot of capacity. The lower the WF, the more miserly the washer.

Ventilation Checklist

dryer vent on outside of house with self-closing vent

• Make metal vent-pipe runs to the outdoors as short as possible, with limited bends for the best airflow (45 feet max, assuming two 90-degree bends).

• Install a self-closing exhaust vent, rather than a louvered one, to keep outdoor air from coming into your home when the dryer is off.

• Consider putting in a bathroom-type vent fan in the ceiling to prevent moisture buildup in a laundry with a stall shower or pet-care station.

The Right Ironing Board for You

a foldout ironing board and iron
PHOTO BY BOB STEFKO

If you’re the type to tote your wrinkled shirts to the den so you can watch TV while you press, go for the classic folding board. But if you prefer to iron in the laundry room, consider one of these built-in space-savers instead.

Drop-down board It stows in a recessed or wall-mount cabinet. Pricier models, such as the Deluxe Iron-A-Way Wall Ironing Board with a birch-veneer door ($351; Rockler), are configured with storage shelves and electrical outlets.

Foldout board This compact board unfolds from behind a false drawer front (shown) for a seamless look. The Rev-A-Shelf VIB Series Board ($179; Rockler) is sold as a kit that you can retrofit into an existing drawer.

The Best Basket If You…

a canvas laundry basket
PHOTO BY ALISON ROSA

Take sorting seriously: Individual stacking baskets that nest ($10 each), or a metal frame that holds multiple removable fabric bags ($35).

Like to roll: A wheeled garment rack with bins ($20 to $40).

Navigate stairs: Lightweight, soft-sided vertically shaped bins, similar to the loop-handled canvas one (shown, about $20 each). Traditional rectangular baskets are unwieldy and lead to scraped knuckles.

The New and Improved Utility Sink

laundry room utility sink
PHOTO BY JURGEN FRANK

Standard-issue plastic laundry tubs stain easily, lack under-sink storage, and are too deep to be practical. A better option is a 10- to 12-inch-deep square or rectangular stainless-steel sink with curved, easy-to-clean corners. Paired with a gooseneck faucet or one with a pull-out spray, the setup is perfect for doing delicates, washing hands, and filling buckets and watering cans.

Smart and Cheery Finish Materials

red and white checkerboard linoleum floor
PHOTO BY BOB STEFKO

Chemicals, water, and soiled items tend to get splashed, sprayed, and dumped in a laundry room, so when it comes to finishes, prioritize durability and affordability over luxury. But that doesn’t mean your room needs to be dull. Consider these hardworking, thrifty surface options that can also inject color and texture to liven up your laundry space.

Floors
Glue-down linoleum (shown), cork, and vinyl floors shrug off moisture with less upkeep than wood and without the worry of ceramic tiles’ cracking or dingy grout lines.

Finishes: Storage

open shelving in a laundry room, red bathing suit hanging
PHOTO BY JEAN ALLSOPP

Rather than closed cabinetry, consider open shelves and cubbies. To stylishly conceal clutter under a countertop, hang a curtain printed with a colorful pattern.

Finishes: Walls

laundry room with green walls
PHOTO BY ROGER DAVIES

Easy-to-wipe-clean semigloss paint, beadboard paneling, and glossy ceramic tiles can take a beating while injecting your laundry room with bright hues and personality.

Finishes: Countertops

Corian countertop in Silver Birch in a laundry room

Instead of natural stone, try nonporous solid surfacing, such as Corian (shown in Silver Birch), engineered stone, or laminate, which cost the same or less and come in muted and vibrant shades.

Which Lights Where

focus on overhead light in a laundry room
PHOTO BY NATHAN KIRKMAN

For general ambient illumination in addition to any natural light in the room, choose a low-profile ceiling-mount fixture. A pendant is a more stylish alternative, but steer clear of the folding area and upper cabinetry unless you want to play whack-a-lamp. For treating stains or spotting wrinkles while you iron, go with task lighting, such as LED undercabinet strips, which are energy efficient and stay cool to the touch, or focused overhead spots.

All the Extras

a laundry room with red walls, laundry chute, shower stall and island
PHOTO BY NATHAN KIRKMAN

There are dozens of ways to upgrade your laundry room, but which of the bells and whistles are really worth the extra money?

Worth the splurge
• Replacing an old washer. Switching out one that’s more than 10 years old for an Energy Star model can save you $35 a year in energy bills because they are 30 percent more efficient and use 50 percent less water. Plus, you may qualify for rebates and tax credits.

• Stainless-steel washer tubs and dryer drums. They last longer than plastic or porcelain-coated steel and won’t chip, crack, scratch, or leave rust stains on clothes.

• Laundry chute (1). If you’ve got a clear path between floors—no wiring, plumbing, or ductwork to contend with—eliminating those tiring trips down the stairs with arms full of dirties can be easier than you may think. Old-house owners may even be able to convert a decommissioned dumbwaiter.

• Simple shower stall (2). Use it to bathe the dog, rinse off muddy outdoor gear, and hang clothes as they drip-dry.

• Movable or built-in island (3). Not just for kitchens, these workhorses can serve as a folding table or a homework station with stool seating, and provide extra storage for cleaning products, the toolbox, even craft and gift-wrapping supplies.

Extras (Continued):

a laundry room with a flat-screen TV monitor
PHOTO BY TROY THIES/COLLINSTOCK

• Television (4). It’ll keep you entertained during long periods of folding and ironing.

Not worth the splurge
• Natural stone finishes, such as marble, for counters and floors. They require sealing to prevent staining and don’t absorb sound. With exceptions for high-visibility laundries, such as one that adjoins a kitchen where you want materials to match, they’re rarely worth the expense and upkeep.

• Drying cabinet. This armoire-like machine air-dries your clothes with gentle heat and uses 90 percent less energy than conventional dryers, but at $4,000, you’ll never recoup the cost.

• Jetted sinks with timers for hand washables. Most washing machines these days have extra-gentle cycles for delicates.

• Steam settings, which add some cleaning power to a washer but not enough to justify a couple hundred dollars more on the price tag.

• Interactive LCD displays on washers to track the progress of a load and get stain-removal tips.

• Built-in clothes bins. They hide dirties but tend to trap moisture and get smelly. Better to tuck bins into open cubbies where air can circulate around them.

3 Indoor Air-Dry Options

a laundry room with a hanging rod
PHOTO BY ANTHONY MASTERSON/GETTY IMAGES

Clothes dryers cost about $85 a year to run and are second only to refrigerators in terms of energy expenditure, so consider these electricity-free options when planning your new laundry room. Bonus: Air-drying causes less wear and tear on your clothes, so they’ll last longer and you won’t have to shop as often.

1. Hanging rod ($2–$3 per foot) Make it metal, and securely mount it to bear the weight of wet garments.

2. Retractable clothesline ($10–$50) Wall-mounted pull-out clotheslines, available as a single line or multiple lines. Set one up in a well-ventilated spot where you can lay down a towel to catch drips.

3. Foldaway rack ($10–$35) Choose from wood accordion-style and two-tier metal and mesh folding racks that expand to provide ample space to hang or to lay garments flat.

Multitasking Laundries

a laundry room and mudroom
PHOTO BY NATHAN KIRKMAN

The laundry room increasingly plays host to a variety of household chores and activities, from pet-grooming and potting to sewing and organizing sports gear, backpacks, and coats. Below, four double-duty rooms that do it well.

Mudroom
A laundry near the back entry allows family members to toss dirty sports clothes or soiled garden togs right into the washer so as not to track muck into the main living area. A boot bench with hooks above corrals coats and bags, and closed cabinetry keeps laundry supplies hidden from view.

Multitasking: Bathroom

a laundry room in the bathroom
PHOTO BY ERIC ROTH

Pull warm towels straight from the dryer in this combo room. A louvered door discreetly separates the laundry from the bathing area and provides extra ventilation for the machines.

Multitasking: Pet-Care Center

a laundry room and pet shower
PHOTO BY LAUREY W. GLENN

A shower pan on a raised platform beside the washer is designed for dog grooming, but also works great for spot-cleaning large items, like throw rugs.

Multitasking: Dressing Room

a laundry room and walk-in closet area
PHOTO BY OLSON PHOTOGRAPHIC/CORNERHOUSE STOCK

Clean clothes go straight from the dryer to the drawer in this walk-in closet, no hamper required. For efficiency, the homeowner opted for stacked machines and a built-in dresser that also serves as a folding table.

Marie Kondo’s Best Tips & Tricks!

As a company that consistently strives to create the most Envious spaces, we are always looking for new ways to do so! Right now, we are, like the rest of the country, enthralled by Marie Kondo and her methods!

Kondo has already been an icon for years due to her book “The life-changing magic of tidying up,” but has gained millions of new fans thanks to her new Netflix series “Tidying Up.”

The series has eight episodes, each featuring a different family that Kondo helps to declutter their lives. Each one has a theme, such as empty nesters who need to downsize or a family struggling to keep their home tidy with two toddlers.

Kondo’s calming presence gradually transforms the homes from chaotic to organized, with some on the show crying tears of gratitude for the peace and sense of ease she has brought to their homes.

Here is a rundown of some of Kondo’s best tips:

1. The best way to fold your clothes

Even if your house is perfectly organised, you should give Kondo’s folding system a try, it’s a gamechanger.

The idea is to fold your clothes into one long strip, fold this in half and then into thirds to create a small square that you can sit upright in your drawer. You can do this with everything including underwear and socks. It uses up less space and it’s easier to find what you want. Instead of rifling through your drawer and pulling out everything to find a particular shirt or dress, you can easily check to see if it’s there and then grab it without disturbing any of the other clothes. It’s also very addictive once you start.

2. Take an inventory of what you have

One of the first things that Kondo asks people to do is to dump all of their clothes in one spot so they can see everything they have. There’s nothing more motivating than seeing a huge pile of clothes, books or electronic cords to give you perspective on how much you really own. Putting everything together also makes you realize you don’t really need five extra extension chords or three whisks.

3. Declutter in a specific order

Kondo’s method suggests going through things such as clothes and books first because it’s easier to make a decision on these types of items. You can then move on to paper and a category she calls “komono,” which includes the bathroom, kitchen, garage and miscellaneous items. Sentimental items are left until last. This is because by the time you get to these items you will have refined your sense of what really “sparks joy.”

4. Does it ‘spark joy’?

Modal TriggerMarie Kondo
AP

Kondo believes the best way to chose whether or not to keep something is to hold each item in your hand and decide whether it sparks joy. This is an uplifting feeling that you get when you hold the item, and has nothing to do with whether the item is practical or you “should keep it.” Choosing items this way means that after you finish decluttering you will only be surrounded with items that make you happy, which is a great feeling.

5. Everything has a place

Kondo working at a client's home in Tokyo, Japan.
Kondo working at a client’s home in Tokyo, Japan.AP

Another great tip is to make sure there is a specific place for every item in your home. This means when something is out of place you can easily put it back where it should be. It also means that when you need to find something, you’ll know where to look. One benefit of decluttering is that you uncover things you thought were lost or forgot you had. And you actually start to use these things.

6. Respect your belongings

Taking the time to “greet your house” sounds pretty crazy but in every episode Kondo sits quietly and silently pays her respect to the house for what it has given the owner. She is also taking a moment to acknowledge the role that possessions play in people’s lives. As people declutter she also encourages them to thank each item for their service, which makes it easier to let go of once-cherished things. It also makes you appreciate what you have and to treat each item with respect.

7. Stay focused on your own stuff

When you live with others it can become frustrating to deal with other people’s clutter but Kondo doesn’t recommend interfering or taking control of other people’s belongings. She encourages people to concentrate on going through their own stuff and instead act like a role model for others in their lives. This will naturally inspire others to do the same. Instead of the tidying falling on one parent, for example, she encourages getting children involved in decluttering and tidying including things like folding clothes so everyone takes responsibility for their own possessions.

Once you’ve Decluttered your home, and you’d love a true showcase to respect all of your items, head to www.theclosetenvy.com and schedule your free consultation!

How to create an enviable Home Library

Where are you currently stashing your book collection? Are your books scattered around the house or maybe stowed away in the attic where they’re just sitting and collecting dust?

Not. Any. More.

Read on to learn 5 simple steps to getting the home library you deserve!

Step One: 

Go to www.theclosetenvy.com and book (pun intended) a free consultation so we can install beautiful built-ins in whichever room of your home you’d like to display your collection!

Step Two: 

Sorting. Now that you have your gorgeous new Closet Envy system, it’s time to go through your collection & start sorting! (Or we could do this for you… we include 4 hours of Professional Organizing with every purchase of $4,000+… just a thought!) 😉 You can sort your books by topic or color, depending on how you would like your library to function/ look aesthetically!

If you sort your books by topic:

  • Next you’ll want to sort them by weight & how often you will be pulling this book to read it!
  • Place the heavier books on the bottom shelves
  • Place the books you’ll be grabbing most often towards the ends of the rows (so you’re not grabbing books from the center too often).
  • Alternatively, you can sort them by topic & then by alphabetical order if that makes you happy! (Remember, we’re designing YOUR happy place!!)

If you sorted your books by color:

  • Create your rainbow! Done!

Step Three:

Fill in the gaps. If you have space for books that you intend to get in the future, you can fill the gaps with decorative items, get creative!

Step Four:

Look after your library, and keep it clean. Dust is the most common problem, but it can also be books not put back, leftover drinking cups, etc.

Step Five:

Enjoy! Find a cozy reading area where you can still occasionally gaze at your stunning new library, and get to reading!

How to Style Built-Ins – 10 Tips

At Closet Envy, we build more than just closets. Built-Ins are becoming increasingly popular as an addition to any room: from Offices to living rooms, they are a versatile addition to your home! With us smack-dab in the middle of the Holiday’s, it’s a good reminder that you can alternate decor in your Built-In to create a theme for each season! Try these tips below today before guests arrive & make your Built-In an Enviable statement piece:

1. Start with a blank slate.

As with any decorating, it’s always best to start with a clean slate.

Place all of your accessory potentials in one spot so that they’re easily accessible and you can “shop” from them while you’re filling the bookshelves.

2. Add books.

If you have plenty of books (or even just a few) that’s a great place to start.

They can be upright, laid down, leaned, stacked, grouped, placed backward or forward, bundled, sorted by color, and with or without covers – so think outside the box (or book, in this case).

When styling bookshelves, vary the heights of accessories for a more interesting look
Urban Gold Bookcase from Schneidermans

{We love the way Steph from Schneidermans used accessories as “book ends” on the bottom shelf above, too. Creative!}

3. Layer, stack, and hang.

Layering and stacking items creates depth, dimension, and visual interest.

Hanging accessories, such as mirrors or art, can add even more depth and yet another layer.

Accessorizing bookshelves
Meagan Rae Interiors

4. Vary heights.

There are times when you’ll intentionally group “like” items on a shelf to make a statement (case in point, the bookshelf at the beginning of this post).

But, other than that scenario, you’ll always want to make sure you vary the heights of your accessories to keep the eye moving and keep things interesting.

5. Consider contrast.

Dark items can sometimes get lost against a dark background, as well as white against white, so keep that in mind when choosing your accessories.

Accessories can get lost against a dark background, so keep that in mind when styling bookshelves.

6. Make it meaningful.

Displaying collections, momentos, and photographs in your bookshelves is a great way to keep the things that mean the most to you visible on a daily basis.

7. Come up for air.

Really full shelves can be a “look” if done right, but don’t be afraid to leave breathing space between accessories and allow them to shine.

8. Rotate.

The image below is from BHG and I liked what they have to say on this topic:

… resist the urge to add “just one more” item. If you have a large collection, rotate objects in and out from time to time, rather than displaying everything all at once, to ensure the vignette strays from cluttered territory.”

"Look for objects that have commonalities, such as white finishes, to create a more unified display. And resist the urge to add "just one more" item. If you have a large collection, rotate objects in and out from time to time, rather than displaying everything all at once, to ensure the vignette strays from cluttered territory."

9. Think outside the shelf.

Do the unexpected by hanging art or a mirror on the outside of bookshelves.  This can be a great idea in rooms where wall space is limited, too.

"I like to put the pattern on the floor and solids on the furniture," Phoebe Howard says. Family room rug by Tai Ping.
House Beautiful

10. Smaller isn’t always better.

Resist the temptation to fill small shelves with tiny accessories. Use fewer, larger, well-placed items for a really great look.

Use fewer, larger items on small shelves to make a statement when styling bookshelves
SHOPbookcase/room divider

Styling shelves in your built-in  is a process, so continually step back and assess as you’re placing items.

Pro Tip: snap a photo or two on your phone to see things from a completely different perspective, and to quickly spot changes that need to be made.  This same idea can work when you’re styling bookshelves.

How to: Create a greener closet

In order to truly attain an enviable closet, the items that go into it are an important factor to consider! How many of us think of our clothing as being part of a global issue? A lot of us have clothing that we acquire over the years from various stores… some “cheap” & “disposable” and some more expensive, classic pieces. But do you think about how these practices impact our environment?

The idea of “sustainable fashion” can be a bit of an oxymoron. The fashion industry is hugely based on trends that change season to season, leading to massive amounts of cheap and poorly made clothing, which can have major impacts on the workers who produce them and the environment. When it comes to shopping, it can be hard to find clothing companies that both honor human rights and have a low environmental impact. But our purchasing decisions have the power to challenge the norm. Check out our tips for creating a sustainable, conscious closet below.

This short video from One Minute MBA briefly explains the fast fashion industry. Fast fashion refers to an industry that produces cheap, disposable clothing and relies on quickly changing trends.

1. Don’t buy anything at all.

Shop your own closet! Are you sure you don’t have enough of what you need already? I mean, really, really need? Extending the life of clothing already in circulation does more for the environment than changing the way we make clothes ever could. Research by WRAP in the UK shows extending the average life of clothes (2.2 years) by just three months of active use per item would lead to a 5 to 10 percent reduction in each of the carbon, water and waste footprints.

2. Buy Pre-Loved clothing. 

This is the best option if you do shop. Buying used clothing significantly reduces the impact of the items on the environment because we are diverting waste and reducing the environmental toll of manufacturing. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, it takes 700 to 2,000 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to make your average cotton T-shirt. Buying used is one way to opt out of that process. We can’t know for sure the conditions under which the clothing was produced, but we can know for sure our money isn’t going directly to a company that profits from exploitative labor practices.

When you do buy used, make sure you look for clothes that you’ll hold onto for the long run. Look for durable, quality fabrics and manufacturing (and avoid trend pieces) so you won’t have to toss them when they fall apart or you get bored with them. According to the EPA, Americans discard approximately 13.1 million tons of textiles a year, and only about 15 percent of that is reclaimed for recycling. The rest goes straight to the landfill, where it releases methane and harmful chemicals.

3. Be really, really picky when you do buy something new.

There are a number of companies that promote ethical and sustainable manufacturing practices. We really love EverlaneKrochet Kids, and PACT, but there are plenty of others out there if you do some searching. Consider these tips when buying something new:

  • Consider the number of uses. Can you wear the item to work AND a date? Can you wear the item multiple seasons, or better yet, all year? Function matters! Buy clothes that you can use for multiple occasions in more than one season. You’ll get more use and keep them longer.
  • Go for quality, not quantity. Some great fabrics include: hemp, organic cotton, tencel, lyocell, recycled poly (or any fiber), wool, modal, cupro, and peace silk.
  • Do you know the labor practices of the company? Opt for brands that value transparency so you can purchase with confidence.
  • Ask yourself the following questions when you’re about to buy something new:
    • Do I have anything that can substitute what I need?
    • Can I borrow what I need from someone else? What about a swap?
    • Can I make what I need?
    • Can I buy it used?
    • If the answer to all of the above is “no,” ask yourself: Why do I need this? You should be able to answer that before you buy.
  • A lot of people avoid buying sustainable clothing because they think it’s expensive. At first look, that can seem true. But if you buy one quality shirt that will last for years instead of a new, cheap shirt every two months, you’ll end up saving money in the long run. Think of your closet as an investment. The payoff is that you’ll have items that you can love for years to come. (Note: We know that for many people, low-cost, sweatshop-sourced clothing is the best financial option, and investing in quality clothing just isn’t an option. Do the best you can. For others, I suspect it’s possible for you to change your spending habits without breaking the bank.).
  • Do without until you find a decent option. When we shop with urgency, we buy things we don’t actually need and maybe won’t even want in a matter of weeks or months. Know what you’re looking for, and buy only that. Patience pays off.

As designer Vivienne Westwood said: “Buy less. Choose well. Make it last.” 

Source: Bust.com 

Weekend Project

Do you have plans for the weekend? If not: why not consider cleaning out your closet?

Cheryl Richardson said it best:

“If you want to improve your life immediately, clean out a closet. Often it’s what we hold on to that holds us back.”

So! Where to start?? We love this handy chart by Passions for Fashion, it provides a way to go through your closet and decide what to keep and what to donate, sell, get rid of, or store. No cheating! Send us your before & after photos for a chance to get featured on our blog! Good luck!

Pocket Closets… how to maximize your space!

Even the smaller closets in your home deserve to be functional and worthy of envy.  Often referred to as “reach-in” or “pocket” closets, these smaller spaces can be quite versatile if you let them!Usually anywhere from 3 to 8 feet wide with a limited depth of 24 to 30 inches, reach-in closets are commonly found in hallways, kids’ rooms and bedrooms of older homes. These closets were originally designed with a single rod for hanging clothes under a shelf, with return walls that can limit access inside. But these days a wide variety of products allow you to create a more efficient space with numerous storage opportunities.

We offer numerous accessory options to add to these pocket closets to transform them into usable spaces that will save you time & energy each day. Adding drawers to this space is one way to immediately allow for a much greater efficiency in your closet. These drawers can allow you to have your socks and undergarments right there, making getting ready in the morning infinitely faster. It also can reduce or even eliminate the need for a large dresser, which can choke an already small room.
We also recommend that our clients add pull-down wardrobes for a more efficient hanging system for folded pants, skirts, jackets and other like items to gain space in this kind of closet.
Lastly, for reach-in closets with traditional hinged doors, you can increase storage by adding hooks or over door racks and pockets to the back of the door for things like keys and shoes. In some of our projects, we actually replace the hinged door with sliding doors (like barn doors) in order to conserve even more space!

Winter White Sale

Exciting news for a lucky few: we are having a sale on six of our most exclusive colors of closet finishes from the Azure Collection.

Due to a high demand, we only have a limited quantity of these amazing finishes left- so make sure to book your complimentary consultation as soon as possible in order to reserve the perfect color finish for your custom closet.

Here are our six sale colors: 

Click here to see a full list of our closet finishes. 

The new name in luxury