separate closets = a happy marriage

Before, this closet was a staging/storage with some of the husband’s clothes but mostly misc things. This husband and wife were sharing a larger walk-in closet, but I think it’s important each person have their own space for non-shared items like clothes. He’s quite tall so reaching the top rod and high shelves are no problem. The top rod holds work clothes and the lower for casual clothes.
The wife’s closet is almost finished, she getting some new canvas storage boxes and a rug. I’ll show you pics when it’s all done… For more details on this project, check out my Flickr.

after 4 days of intense unpacking… bedroom








The white cubbies were used for books in her previous home but she wants this new space to be clean, uncluttered, and sophisticated and since most of the books are paperbacks, I’m suggesting a closed cabinet for them. For now, the cubbies fit perfectly in the bedroom showcasing her 95+ pairs of shoes.

I have reasons behind everything I do and my main goal when transforming a space is to get it completed in the least amount of steps. It’s important to plan things so you’re not moving things around more than necessary. The books are not immediately important and can stay packed until we get the cabinets to put them in, plus they’re easier to deal with packed.
I set the shoes up this way for several reasons:
– they were carefully packed and took up a lot of room in the moving boxes
– I do not know how she dresses everyday so I didn’t know which ones she’ll want right away
– the entire collection is visible making it easier to categorize them once the new storage piece comes; everyday shoes, special occasion, off-season, archive, etc
– since we don’t have anywhere else to put them (i’ll be suggesting a closed cabinet for them), they’re safe and out of the way until we get the new cabinet
I know she’s motivated to get the space done as soon as possible so she shouldn’t be living this way for too long. Will keep you posted on the progress….
UPDATE: For more pics and details, check out my Flickr.

walk-in closet: before and after (just about)

The little L-shaped walk-in closet was my latest challenge. She basically wanted me to recreate my closet for her. Here’s what I added:
drawer unit below (from ikea, no longer available)
– hanging shoe rack behind the door
This is actually a progress shot; we need to edit along with a season switch, add a small rug, and put on the handles on the top drawers. But otherwise it’s just about finished….

off-season storage solutions

the laundress


the container store


bed bath & beyond


My favorite kind of clothing storage is zippered canvas bags. Easy to use, can usually squeeze into any space, and are breathable. Clothes take up less space when packed away, but for those pieces you’d rather keep hanging, use a garment bag which you probably already have (I find most people do), if you don’t, here’s a good one.
Individual and larger bags
I like the individual ones to keep delicate pieces visible all year round. The larger ones are perfect for multiple items with easy view access.
Under bed sizes and cubes $30 – $52 each
I love these zippered bags. It’s almost like they’re starched since they have a little structure to
Under bed and cubes $24.99
Handles and label window on the front makes getting them up and down easy.


– Measure to see which bags will work best in your space.
– Clean everything before putting away, even if you’ve only worn it once or twice. Clothes moths and pests are attracted to what you leave behind (skin cells, hair, animal fur, oils, food) over the actual material.
– Group 1 (or 2) type(s) per bag; dresses, shorts, tops, etc.
– If you’re planning a vacation during the winter, back a ‘resort’ bag.

man’s elfa closet: before + after




I want to share more of what I do, but sometimes what I do doesn’t need lengthy explanations, or have big lessons. Sometimes it’s just a new closet. So here’s the first of the new series ‘What I Did Today’ (ok, technically I did this on friday but you get the point).
The only closet and main storage in a small, minimalist studio now has a new Elfa system, and we installed a few new hooks for the entry.

move to alcove studio continued…



This apt has two great clothes closets and I wanted to show the progress we’ve made with them. Closet #1 has boxed and hanging off-season clothes, special occasion clothes (hanging on the right) with jewelry organizer in the middle. We added the mesh drawer unit after we completely filled the new dresser.
Closet #2 also has boxed off-season clothes on the top shelf, with current season folded and hanging clothes and shoes lining the floor. I’m hoping to make room to use a hanging shoe organizer or store the shoes somewhere a bit more accessible as this client has arthritis and it’s not so easy to bend down to see the shoes.
My installer is coming tomorrow to hang art, mirrors, etc. Stay tuned!!

elfa closet: before + after

You’ve seen her and her husband’s
medicine cabinets and their new bar, now here’s one of her clothes closets.
What we did:
– major edit
– removed items that didn’t belong in this closet
– moved all drawers (tighter together) + shelves to fit shoe drawers, and extra top shelf
– categorized clothes on shelves; turtlenecks, crew necks, heavy sweaters…
– categorized clothes in drawers; camis, layering t-shirts, small bags, workout…
– reused small baskets for belts
– top shelf is now for guest bedding + aero bed

walk-in closet: before + after

I don’t have a true before pic as the first shot is actually a progress shot taken after I cleaned the shelves (with the magic eraser) and put in the beautiful rug that was rolled up in the coat closet with no foreseen use in this apt. We were so happy it fits nearly perfectly in here.
We used every inch of the closet. Her everyday shoes are on the back of the door, and her boots lined up on the floor (the rest of her shoes and a full length mirror are in the accessories closet). Her jewelry, formerly spread out on her dresser, is now in a hanging organizer and a pegboard. Clear plastic drawers hold very delicate pieces that shouldn’t be hung, but want close at hand (she’s fabulously tall so reaching this isn’t a problem). The closed canvas boxes hold off-season clothing.
There are more pics and more details on my flickr.