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Southern Living Idea House 2015

You have probably heard around town that the Southern Living Idea House for 2015 is now open in the Bundoran Farm community just south of Charlottesville.  This is quite prestigious for our area and Summit Custom Homes, the builder of the house.  Each year Southern Living magazine chooses one house and one builder to be highlighted in their Idea House issue (the August issue is currently on newsstands.) I was thrilled to be asked to design the master closet and it is a stunner.  The closet soars to the 10′ ceiling providing cubbies for all manner of things.  Lucite fronts showcase sweaters and scarves, ties and belts.  I hope that it is feminine enough for most women but not too fussy for the man of the house.  I’d love to hear your opinion. Our Closet Factory installers did a great job under tricky conditions.  The house was a beehive of artisans working to have the house finished on time.       The house is in a beautiful setting – 90% of Bundoran Farm’s 2300 acres is under conservation easement, and the home interior was designed by Bunny Williams, a Charlottesville native recently named a Grand Master by Elle Decor magazine.  Schedule plenty of time for your visit so that you can take in all the small details. The Southern Living 2015 Idea House is open to visitors Wednesdays – Sundays, through December 20th.  Call me at 434-409-8588 for more...

10 Tips for Organized Shoe Storage

This has to be one of the most often asked questions: what’s the best way for me to store my shoes?  And that starts a cascade of questions from me, your closet designer, because face it, we all have different needs. If you tell me you have lots of shoes, I need to know how many so that we can plan the space needed.  To some, 20 pairs is a lot of shoes; to the true shoe addict, 200 pairs and up is typical. The 10 tips below will help you find the best way to store shoes and boots for your particular situation.  Which ones are you already using?  Do you have other tips to share? 1.  NEVER store your shoes on the closet floor.  The most common complaint I hear from clients is that they hate having their shoes all over the floor.  They are hard to see, impossible to keep neat, pairs never stay together, they are a trip hazard, and most people will not bother to move their shoes in order to vacuum.  ‘Nuf said!           2.  Shoes on shelves are the easiest to see, access, and put away.  Group shoes of similar heights together to maximize space.     3.  Flat shoe shelves will hold more shoes in the same vertical space as slanted shelves, because they can be moved close together, but slanted shelves are a great way to show off your shoe collection!           4.  Organizing your shoes heel to toe saves space (they nest together closer) and you can see the style of the...

Cville Design House 2015

For the 6th year, the Shelter for Help in Emergency in Charlottesville, VA is hosting it’s Cville Design House, a fundraiser for the Shelter and an opportunity for the public to view the work of  dozens of local designers.  And for the 6th year the Closet Factory is participating in this worthwhile event and having fun in the process.   inspiration fabric – thanks Second Yard How It Works Each winter, an invitation arrives to preview the home which will be showcased that spring.  Designers from the area bid on which rooms they would like to transform and that’s where the real work begins.  Paint colors are fanned out,  light fixtures are switched on, and furniture and accessories are considered and moved around.  In the span of just a few weeks, the designers take empty rooms and bring them to life. This year the Design House is in Earlysville so you get lovely mountain views as a bonus!  As you tour the house, you will see dozens of ideas that you can take home with you.  Even if your home is not large, or your budget is small, you will find something you can do in your own home.  Case in point, this year U-Fab hung empty picture frames in the master bedroom, to great effect! Closet Factory Involvement I’m not going to give away the secrets of this year’s expansive master closet (you have to come out and see it!) but last year, myself for the Closet Factory and designer Amy Smith of Organized Design redid the laundry room  and what a laundry room it was!  A large footprint allowed us...

Ideas Galore – and for a good cause too.

Well if it seems like I’ve been gone awhile – I have. Spring is the season of home shows and design house tours, and I was lucky enough to be involved in two great ones. If you were able to come and see either the SHE Design House or the Summit Southern Living Showcase House, thank you so much for attending. If you made it to both – Bravo – you saw two beautiful homes full of ideas. If you didn’t make it to either, make a note on your calendar now to come next year. Here’s what you missed.. This is the fourth year that the Shelter for Help in Emergency has put on this wonderful fundraising event. Why a Design House fundraiser? Because for the victims of domestic violence, a home should provide shelter, comfort, and happiness. Each year, an empty home, that is on the market, is selected and transformed by the Charlottesville design community. Each designer takes a room or space and works their magic with paint, furnishings, lighting, and accessories. This year I saw the side-by-side pantries (with their sticky fixed shelves that wasted space) and I saw a way to provide more function and more square footage in the food pantry storage on one side, which opened up the other side for our great Virginia product: wine! I also like to glean ideas for future projects. Look at the wallpapered ceiling in the baby’s closet with such a fun light fixture! To see a gallery of images from this year and previous years, go here. The second event of the season was a...

Planning to build? Plan your closets.

It happens more often than I would like.  I’ll get a call from someone building their dream home.  And they will describe to me how they have envisioned their new master closet.  They might say “I want a big island so I can put my suitcase on it when I pack for a trip.”  Or, “I want my sweaters behind glass doors so I can admire the colors and they won’t get dusty.” All fair enough.  Browse through or and you will see spectacular closets with lots of enviable qualities – elaborate jewelry drawers and shoe shelves to show off your Louboutins.  But it can be hard to tell from the pictures exactly how big those spaces are. Sometimes I will stand in the empty closet with my client and it feels huge.  Imagine standing in a small bedroom – say  9 feet wide by 10 feet long.  Should be plenty of space for a closet and island.  Think again. Hanging clothes on a rod eats up 2′ (22 – 24″) on each side of the closet.  Then you have to take into consideration the space you need to walk around the island, typically 24 – 36″.  Finally, if you have doors or drawers, you need to consider the amount of space them need to open and consider where you will be standing. This is why it is so important to have an experienced closet designer; someone who specializes in closets.  Even well known interior designers have bee known to waste space in the corners and I once had to tear out a gorgeous closet with elaborate...

Could your closet win “worst closet” honors? What about these?

Have you ever walked into your closet and thought: this is the worst closet ever!  Well you are not alone.  There is a wide variety of issues I see when clients are unhappy with their closets, all of which can be solved with a functional, strong, and beautiful closet by the Closet Factory. I probably see wire closets the most often because they are so cheap for a contractor to install, but they have several inherent problems.  They are not strong and I’m often called after they have pulled right off the wall. Some wire systems do not allow the hangers to slide easily along their length because the bar is divided into segments, and clothes and sweaters stacked on wire shelves are imprinted with marks from the wires. Another common problem is that wire shelves for hanging are often crossed in the corners so that the corner space is effectively lost.  As a CF designer, I’ve been trained in how to use every inch of your closet with no wasted spaces such as these.  Finally, wire shelves are not adjustable, so you can’t take advantage of valuable space between the shelves, and temptation usually ends in a jumble of articles stacked on one another. The next step up is a standard wood shelf and rod which allows hangers to slide and doesn’t wrinkle your sweaters, but still lacks all the spaces you need for short and long hanging, and different shelves for sweaters and shoes.  Even a “semi-custom” wall hung system that at first glance looks adjustable, can be found lacking. The bottom rod can be too low...

Holiday Decorating Strategies

It’s 65 degrees here in central Virginia, so it seems crazy putting up holiday decorations, but that’s what I’m doing.  I don’t have days to tackle this job, just little snippets of time between appointments and other tasks.  Luckily, I have a few strategies that make decorating easier so that I am not swimming in boxes and bins for days at a time.  If you have a busy family, you know what I am talking about! I have packed my holiday bins so that everything I need to decorate just one area is all packed together in a single bin.  This is different that organizing items by category which is much more typical.  In Bin #1 I have everything I need to decorate my front entry: the greenery that goes around the door, the large balls and bows, the outdoor lights and the timer that turns them on from dusk to dawn. Other bins contain my indoor decor (including those lights), and tree ornaments.  You might have bins for mantle decorations, trimming the stairs, or the dining room buffet.  Each bin is numbered so that I can decorate in the order I prefer.   Just so you don’t think I’m a genius (which you will if you haven’t figured this out for yourself already) this system grew quite organically.  Before I was married, I had just one box of decorations that covered my apartment and my tree.  Once we were married, my husband and I started collecting ornaments from our travels.  We grew from one box to two.  One day I asked my husband to bring down a box...

Design Trends for 2013

I was recently asked to share my ideas for design trends for the coming year.  I’m no expert, but I have noticed that many of my clients are looking for more compact housing with quality of spaces stressed over quantity of square footage.  No more McMansions!  Also, a lot of baby-boomers (like me) are downsizing, so we want less stuff, but also a place to store the stuff we decide to keep. My clients do not want to sacrifice luxury just because they are downsizing.  They are still looking for beautiful and functional closets and other storage spaces that allow them to stay organized and not have to look at clutter.  Where space allows, we are putting islands in closets so that dressers, lingerie chests, and jewelry boxes can be eliminated from the bedroom creating a more restful space.   My condo has a small master; the original closets were also small and non-functional (wire shelving, ugh.)  We tore those closets out and designed a wall unit (manufactured and installed by the Closet Factory, of course) that spans one end of the room.  It looks quite serene to see one cohesive unit, and yet it holds everything: hanging clothes, shoes, sweaters, undergarments, jewelry, and the TV! Multi-functional wall units look more organized than having lots of different furniture pieces. For instance, this home office also contains two Murphy wall-beds that can be used when guests visit – the function of two rooms in the space of just one.   A media wall unit is another area that might hide a Murphy bed or desk area as well as the...

Welcome to my new blog!

It won’t be hard for you to figure out that I am new at this.  But I have so many clients, friends, and acquaintances who ask me questions like: “what’s the best hangers to use in my closet?” and “do you have any ideas for how to store X, Y and Z?” that I thought I would give it a try. So who am I?  I think if you asked my friends, they would say that I’m the one in the group willing to ferret out information, organized enough to be able to retrieve it when necessary, and I’m not too shy to offer my opinion about what I find. Sometime after I started my organizing business, my Mom commented that as a bossy first-born, I was lucky to have stumbled upon a business where I could tell people what to do and get paid for it!  My younger siblings will attest that I did like to boss them around, but my goal with my clients was never to tell them what they had to do; my goal was only to offer suggestions on what might make them feel better and more in control. So in my blog, I plan to pass on tips I read or hear, personal experiences that might help others, and comments from my clients.  I’ll be delighted to read your comments too and to respond to your suggestions. I’m not a “writer” so this should be fun!...

“Closet Factory transformed my vacant closet into a space one might see in an up-scale clothing magazine or fine homes brochure. The design was creative, functional, space efficient and elegant. The attention to detail in both design and final product was superb. The installer was outstanding in all areas of installation to include insuring precise fit of all pieces, precision mitering of corners and moulding, and final touches insuring immaculate appearance at completion. It was a first rate job, superbly installed with total customer satisfaction. I heartily and gladly recommend Closet Factory to all those interested in a custom closet.”

We Offer

Wall Closets ◆ Walk-in Closets
Dressing Rooms ◆ Wall Units
Mudrooms ◆ Laundry Rooms
Garages ◆ Pantries
Wine Rooms ◆ Murphy Beds
Home Offices ◆ Craft Rooms
Media Units ◆ Bookshelves
Entertainment Centers

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