Tag Archives: design

Storage Trunks: an Overlooked Multipurpose Powerhouse

57 Cadillac storage trunk

Trunks, we all have at least one, but we don’t all use them to our advantage. Whether it’s a “sea-trunk” that Great-Grandma brought with her to America or one you bought last week, trunks are a unique storage space and conversation piece.

Put some Junk in the Trunk

Depending on the size and shape of your trunk you can store nearly anything. Some even have separate compartments or drawers, thus helping store and organize whatever items you want.

  • Use it as a toy chest or board game storage, so kids can easily reach and store their favorite toys and games.
  • Store bedding that clots up your closet space
  • Store clothes (especially if it has drawers) during college, or long trips
  • Use Great-Grandma’s “Sea-trunk” as a TV stand or use it as a coffee table (if the lid isn’t smooth get some table glass to put over it). People will take notice of all those old travel stickers.
  • If it’s a small trunk that can easily fit on a dresser, store small things like: jewelry, makeup or even rolled up ties.
  • Use it as a hope chest, and store any Family heirlooms, photos or newspaper clippings.

Trunks can store and be used for nearly anything, so long as it fits. Whether it’s Great-Grandma’s old beat up one, or one from college covered in stickers from your friends and vacations, or even if it’s plain wood or wicker, each trunk has a unique look and personality.  Use trunks to your advantage because they are a great storage asset.

Stylish stairs: Five can-do ideas that add personality

Stair styles

(BPT) – Stairs are no longer just a way to get from one floor to another. Realizing that staircases are quite often major focal points in their homes, homeowners are showing love to this once underappreciated space with a wide variety of creative and easy updates.

Add personality and perk-up the daily climb in your home with these five do it yourself projects.

Walls that wow

In most homes, the staircase is the centerpiece of your entryway and serves as the first impression. Transforming this space into an extraordinary one is easy by painting a bold accent wall. To add extra panache and go beyond the expected look of one solid color, paint the wall next to the stairs or the landing with an eye-catching pattern using a premium painter’s tape, like FrogTape Multi-Surface. Pick a pattern that packs a punch, like an all-over diamond motif, geometric shapes, or classic stripes, which complement staircases well. The patented PaintBlock Technology applied to the edges of FrogTape helps prevent paint bleed and leaves precise lines, keeping your pattern looking sharp.

Dazzling photo display

If you already love the current color on your staircase wall, you can easily add a personal touch by creating a photo gallery. It’s easier than ever to find inspiration and instructions for this project – simply visit Pinterest.com to view countless ideas and find one that works with your design style and space. The key to creating an impressive photo gallery is to keep one element consistent throughout. Whether it’s the color or material of the frames, or the shading of the photographs, having a uniform component allows the finished product to look polished and intentional, instead of haphazard.

Rethink risers and steps

For an unexpected update, focus your attention a bit closer to the floor. The area of your stairs that really takes a beating are the risers. Breathing new life into them can be accomplished easily with a fresh design. No need to stick with neutral shades. Risers are the perfect place to tie in a daring pattern. Opt for a chevron or Moroccan design with colors consistent with your home’s interior to achieve your decorative stairs.

Another stair expression is to apply a haute pattern directly on your steps for a faux carpet runner look. Paint your stairs with the base color of your choice and opt for a diamond motif or patchwork design. Be sure to protect your work with two coats of polyurethane when your design is complete.

Modern touches

The spindles between the treads and banister on a staircase are there to protect people – especially children – from falling off the sides, and are an easy item to swap out for a more up-to-date look. Simply remove the old spindles, which are typically held in place with a few nails. Clean up the wood around the spindle holes and scrape off any old stain, dust, dirt and sand around the tread for a tighter fit.

When shopping for new spindles, choose from these styles to take your staircase from boring to extraordinary:

* Swirls to add a hint of elegance

* Spindles with shapes such as diamonds or squares

* Outwardly curved designs

* Twisted styles

No more wasted space

Reclaim unused space under a staircase by adding storage. If it’s hollow underneath, remove the drywall to create an instant mudroom by installing cubbies to store coats, shoes and other items. Another option is to transform that once wasted space into a nook to meet your family’s needs. Whether you long for the perfect spot for reading, a desk to keep paperwork and bills organized, or a secret play space for kids, the ways to utilize this area are endless.

With a little inspiration and elbow grease, it’s simple to add the perfect dose of personality to your staircase. For more information about FrogTape, visit frogtape.com.

5 Tips for Optimizing, Organizing and Designing an Exquisite Mudroom.

Red MudroomYou might be surprised to find out about one of the most talked-about spaces in a designer’s consultation with home owners, and one of the most popular problem/solution ares in the house: the mudroom. One of the first things a new homeowner will realize is just how important this space really is, and one of the greatest improvements a veteran homeowner can implement is to make sure at least one of the entrances to their house functions as a mudroom.

The mudroom is where you leave your muddy boots as well as all the mud on them. It is where you leave your snowed on jacket as well as all the water runoff. With a mudroom, the hazards of the outside are contained, and don’t make their way all over the rest of your home.

The mudroom is also where you’ll find your boots again the next day, where you’re snow jacket and umbrella will be waiting for you before you go out, and where you’ll put them on. So, the mudroom is a functional space, not just a storage space.

Lastly, the mudroom is or is a part of at least one of the entrances to your house, and in this sense it’s an introduction to your home. So, the mudroom is a design space, too. A mudroom has to be well designed and look good as an introduction to your home, it has to contain all the things that happen to you when your outside the house, and it has to be a comfortable place to slip in and out of your outerwear; it’s a tall order for just one area, but we’re here to help you out with the most helpful tips to a successful mudroom.

1. Varieties of Storage

The mudroom might contain the largest variety of different storage needs out of any single space in the rest of the house. Everything from the hat on your head to the shoes on your feet, and anything in between must be stowed here. That means bins, shoe racks, hooks for jackets and scarves, shelves for hats, and that’s just the beginning. Drawers for gloves, surfaces to put things down on when you need both hands for dressing, a place for your umbrella. If you’ve got kids, then we’re talking about places for book bags and strollers.

Reach in foyer closet for mudroom

A careful brainstorm at the onset of a mudroom design or re-design project goes a long way. You don’t want to be leaving anyone out. And that includes a pet that might require doggie bags, leashes or pet clothing.

2. A Mudroom Must Function

Not only must your mudroom store all your articles of outdoor clothing, it must also cater to the process of putting them on and taking them off. A bench makes lacing up shoes easier for Mom, and especially for Grandpa. A mirror prevents you from forgetting that your hat and your scarf don’t match, and proper lighting ensures that you can see that mirror.

Make the mudroom a place where coming into and leaving your home is a seamless transition.

3. No Mudroom? Making it work.

The mud, and this refers to all the varied thing you’d rather not track into your home, makes it’s way in weather you’re ready for it or not. But if you don’t have a nice space to act as a mudroom, don’t worry. You can work with what you’ve got. An entrance that doesn’t have its own enclosed space may still be able to accommodation hooks and shelves, standing drawers, and a mat to contain the dirt or mud and protect the floor in the rest of the house.

4. Mudroom Combinations and Materials

The mudroom often doubles as a laundry room, or a workshop for messier hobbies. The porch can also function as a mudroom. Or, as mentioned above, sometimes the mudroom isn’t a room at all, but a necessary buffer nonetheless between the outside of the home and the inside.

No matter how you organize it, the mudroom’s function is simple. To get dirty so the rest of the house doesn’t, and to be easier to clean than the rest of the house. For this reason, pay close attention to what colors and materials you use in your mudroom. Since it’s the first place many guests will see, it must still exhibit a sound design and reflect the sensibilities of the homeowner. That said, it’s not the place for soft woods, carpets and difficult to clean nooks.

5. Making a Mudroom

A mudroom can double as a laundry roomMudrooms are something a custom company like Contemporary Closets can definitely help you out with. If nothing else, the consultation is free and you’ll learn a little bit more about what you are looking for in terms of storage and organization in your spaces.

If it’s a DIY job you’re after, you can use some of the tips above to help get you closer to realizing your vision for your home. Pay attention to other peoples’ entrances, laundry rooms, and mudrooms. See what types of things you would use or avoid in your own.

How do your needs differ from those people, how does your space offer you different options? Take some time to walk through entering and leaving your home in different seasons, and in different types of weather in your head to make sure you don’t forget anything obvious, like a place to put your sunglasses.

5 Tips for a Small Closets with Sloped Ceilings

Closet with Sloped CeilingWhat To Do About Sloped Ceilings In a Small Closets

Sloped ceilings are one of the most common problems encountered by homeowners trying to optimize and organize their closet space. When a structural requirement arises in the building of a new home that calls for slanted or sloped ceilings, they are as often as not incorporated into the closet space.

But you can’t ignore the things you throw in your closet, even if they are architectural peccadilloes,  especially if you don’t have a few steps and tips, and a sound strategy for dealing with your sloped ceilings. Suddenly every little detail becomes bound to your overall organization:  your choice of shoe rack, storage containers, hamper, placement of your closet rod, even how you organize your belts and ties. It’s a delicate dilemma, but here are five easy steps to demystify it for you:

1. The Closet Rod and the Sloped Ceiling

Depth is askew in a closet with a sloped ceiling. That means that, depending on the angle of the slope and the size of the closet, the most space is at the bottom, and the closet narrows and tapers off at the top. Because we are going to have to optimize and organize with what we’ve got, it means we’re going to have to use that low depth, which means the closet rod needs to be installed as far forward as possible (which means higher up, too).

Shelf space at the top of a sloped-ceiling closet would be sparse anyway, so forgo narrow closet shelves, and prioritize prime placement of the closet rod. You’ll make up for it with added storage space behind and beneath your hanging garments. It may not be ideal. But it is the first thing to start thinking about when dealing with the less-than-ideal situation of sloped ceilings in the closet.

2. Shelving in a Closet with Sloped Ceilings

If you’re done thinking about step one, and you’ve still got room on the slope for closet shelving. Then it’s time to think about how to accomplish it. There are a verity of brackets and fasteners, as well as specially made shelving and shelving units which specifically accommodate the sloped ceilings in your closet. Many of them work on a hinge system so that home installation can be easily accomplished regardless of the varying angles of the slope. The bottom of the shelves is the place to put an extendable tie rack, retractable belt racks, and maybe even some lighting if doing so will save you valuable space up top. Since the floor space is going to be crucial, consider a hanging or hanger shoe rack as well.

3. The Four Seasons of a Closet with Sloped Ceilings

That would be spring, summer, fall, and winter just like everywhere else. And just like everywhere else, your closet – if it isn’t large and the slope is cutting into the organizational space even more – is going to change seasons. The winter is going to be the most tricky because of the larger, warmer clothing the cold requires. But the spring is going to be even more important because that is the time you are going to do the crucial change over from the winter clothes taking up all the room in your closet, to your summer clothes airing it out. Remember that awkward spot that may have been created at the low back of your closet, the least accessible, most annoying spot. This is a good place for storage containers which can hold the winter clothing you really aren’t going to need ready access to until next year. A closet that may not be big enough for all four seasons to be accessible at once, may just be big enough (with some diligent organization) for one or two seasons worth of clothing to be accessible at a time, while storing the unneeded clothing as well for the remaining two seasons.

 4. Talk to us about your Closet with Sloped Ceilings! It is fun and free!

At Contemporary Closets, we are a team of professional designers and installers who deal only with organizational storage spaces like the closet, the pantry, the garage, and the laundry room. We will come right to your house for a free consultation and do what we love and do best: show you how to optimize your closet spaces in ways you couldn’t have imagined. If you don’t like us. Just kick us out. But most people like us; just check out the testimonial section of our site.

We are faster, nicer and better than anyone else in the custom closet industry, and it’s free to give us a try.

5. Don’t Worry… About a Thing… Including Your Small Closet with Sloped Ceilings.

Wrangling with the space in your closets is a nearly universal dilemma. Even if you have a spacious wing of your house devoted to you wardrobe, you still have to think about your organization if you are going to find anything. Storage spaces are daunting, especially if they’ve got sloped ceilings! But take advantage of these tips. Reach out to us in the comments section, or call us at (877) 647-7331 .. and you’ll be just fine.