Good home design begins with less clutter, more organization
By SALI MCSHERRY
Organizing is an art form, and finding the right products to help with that task is the easy part. It’s all about the multi-use of areas throughout the home, said Bob Pietrick, vice president of Closet Factory.
The experts say to make it convenient to find frequently used items, store them in the front of the shelves. Cluster items that are similar such as stationary, envelopes, pens and stamps. Label shelves so family members know the spot where the item they borrowed should be returned.
Home offices are becoming more and more popular, said Juan Antunez, president and owner of California Closets. An office may be home to three work stations, a study center, a computer spot and a craft corner, he said.
Everybody has too much junk, Mr. Antunez said. Sometimes clients just need a gentle nudge — a professional organizer to tell them they’ve got to get rid of the things they don’t use. Clients also need a professional who listens and can design a space that will work for them, Mr. Antunez said.
Let’s start with the dressing room. It’s simpler than ever to get things under control. Room conversions for the dressing room include larger islands with drawers and a bench seat, a lady’s vanity, full-length mirrors, luggage storage and a packing station and storage from the floor to the ceiling for out-of-season clothing, Mr. Pietrick said.
Another trend is converting the spare bedroom into a complete dressing room, Mr. Antunez said. In addition to installing shelves and drawers and bars to hang clothes, homeowners are incorporating safes and hidden compartments in the walls and dressers. He said he’s even seen clients take it a step further by having a small fridge and coffee maker and an easy chair, making the dressing room a private haven.
Men love the pullout pant hanger that keeps slacks neat and tidy, he said.
Women are loving cabinets with glass doors which not only keep clothing free from dust, but are beautiful and really dress up the closet, he said.
From cedar and birch drawers, to magnetic locks on drawers with remote activation buttons, the “closet” has evolved tremendously. Instead of hampers for dirty laundry, which can take up a lot of room, California Closets has a storage system consisting of two laundry bags, one for lights and one for darks, that hang on a frame and are mounted on the back of a door, Mr. Antunez said.
He said his company has had several requests from adult children for storage systems tailored to meet their senior parents’ needs. Designing a system to make it easier for seniors or people with disabilities to comfortably access their belongings including clothing and shoes is fairly simple, Mr. Antunez said. The company designs a storage system where the items the clients use every day are located between the waist and eye levels he said, so they don’t have to bend down or reach up too high.
The guest bedroom, which remains unused most of the time or is buried with boxes of holiday ornaments that never made it to the attic, can be the “flex room,” Mr. Pietrick said. It can be a home office, secondary entertainment area and, of course, a guest room, which includes a fold-down wall bed for maximizing space.
The kitchen has always been a place where everyone congregates, especially at a party, Mr. Antunez said. More families are utilizing a space in the kitchen for a computer workstation for the kids, and that can give mom and dad a chance to casually observe what Junior is viewing on the Internet.
Specialty multi-use products are becoming more popular, Mr. Pietrick said. For instance, Closet Factory has what looks like an eight-drawer dresser but is much more. There’s a top draw that drops down to reveal an area for the cable box/video recorder for the flat screen television that rests on top of the dresser. There’s also a valet drawer for personal items and a station for charging and storing cell phones, iPods, MP3s, PDAs and other electronic equipment, Mr. Pietrick said.
California Closets has introduced its new Lago Italian finishes with unique grain textures and elegant colors that enhance any décor, Mr. Antunez said. Lago looks and feels like real wood veneer but is more durable, easy to clean and exceeds strict European standards for clean and safe wood.
But, before designing spaces with adjustable shelves and flexible storage, get rid of all the things you thought you might need someday but have never or rarely used.