Wednesday, September 21, 2016

How to Turn a Cluttered Basement Room into a Multi-Functional Space

Most of us have that room in our house.  You know...... the over-crowded room in the basement that is the go-to space for storing random items you rarely (if ever!) use.  We don't intend for it to become an over-filled catch-all space.  We start by saying we'll just store an item there until we have time to go through everything. But days turn to months and months to years and eventually the room is packed to the gills with stuff! Today we want to show you what this room could be with just a bit of TLC.

 
Our clients came to us wanting to transform their basement storage room into a multi-purpose space.  The room's only purposes up to this point was for laundry (the room housed the washer and dryer) and storage, lots and lots storage.  The space was large but so overwhelmed by bins and items that it felt small and cluttered.

When we met with our clients during their free in-home consultation, they expressed their wish to transform the room into a multi-purpose space.  The washer and dryer needed to stay but they also wanted to incorporate space for exercise and a crafting/wrapping station, all while still maintaining some storage capacity.  Their plans were to empty the room of its contents, sheet rock and paint the walls and finish the cement floor with an epoxy finish.  They wanted us to design and install an overall cabinet and storage solution that tied the room together and assisted them in using the space for multiple purposes.

We set about designing a solution that would run along two of the walls, leaving ample space for exercise equipment in the center.  Running along one wall, we installed base cabinets with custom sized drawers for holding wrapping paper and craft supplies.  The wrapping paper drawers are 40" deep, big enough to hold 3' rolls of wrapping paper!  Ample counter space provides plenty of room for crafting or wrapping.  A TV mounted above the craft space can be used while exercising.



Along the second wall, we incorporated tall storage cabinets for hanging seasonal clothing items and other storage.  The washing machine and dryer are encased, providing a counter space above the units for folding and a base cabinet to the right of the washer and dryer can be used for laundry supply storage with a hanging area for clean clothes above.

All of the cabinetry was constructed using Stevenswood Artika textured melamine in Takase Teak which gives the room a sophisticated and polished feel.  All together, the transformation was amazing!  Our clients were overjoyed with the results, having gained a significant amount of new usable space in their existing home.  To see larger photos of this project, click here to visit our Houzz page.
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Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom organization company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative solutions for all of your organizational needs including garages, closets, mudrooms and entry spaces, offices, Murphy Beds, wine cellars, laundry rooms and more.  Whatever your organization needs, Closets for Life will come out to your house for a free in-home consultation and help design an organization solution that perfectly fits your needs.

Contact Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at
rlyrek@closetsforlife.com. You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com. 





Thursday, August 25, 2016

Sophisticated Garage Organization with Gladiator

Rick Lyrek in his garage
Psstt....we have a secret to share about garages. It's not an earth shattering secret but we'd love to share it.  Ready?  Closets For Life is a certified installer for Gladiator Garageworks products! In fact, we are the only local certified installer in Minnesota.

Still feeling in the dark regarding what's so great about this revelation of ours?  Gladiator is a line of garage cabinets, work benches, wall storage, shelving, flooring and more.  These durable pieces feature a distinctly sophisticated design and can be combined in infinite ways to fit your needs and layout.  Featuring sleek lines, stainless steel exteriors and wall panels that allow for flexible tool and gear storage, the components can be individually ordered and combined for limitless possibilities. We love this line so much Closets For Life owner Rick Lyrek used some of the components in his own garage!

You do have the option of installing Gladiator systems yourself, but if the idea is overwhelming to you, Closets For Life is a certified installer with the experience to make sure it's done fast and right.  We can even come help you measure and order the right Gladiator system for your space.   Check out Gladiator's website here and don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or if you would like us to come out for a free in-home consultation.

Gladiator Garage Storage
 Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom organization company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative solutions for all of your organizational needs including garages, closets, mudrooms and entry spaces, offices, Murphy Beds, wine cellars and more.  Whatever your organization needs, Closets for Life will come out to your house for a free in-home consultation and help design an organization solution that perfectly fits your needs.

Contact Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at
rlyrek@closetsforlife.com. You can also visit our website www.closetsforlife.com.

 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Challenging Laundry Space Makeover

Have you ever had a project where you couldn't find anyone to take the job? 

We recently had a client come to us wanting to add work space for laundry and upper cabinets for storage to her basement laundry space. Other contractors had been out to her home to look at the space and but no one wanted to do the job due to the complexity of the project.  The challenge was due to a maze of plumbing and water valves that made the space unusable and the room an eyesore.



Needless to say, we took the job and set about designing an organization solution.  Our client's wish list included a flat workspace to fold clothes on, upper cabinet storage and a built-in fold-out ironing board.  In addition to addressing our client's wish list, our design needed to work around the unmovable pipes while masking them as much as possible.  However, we also had to ensure that there was still access to the water meter and shut off valves.  

With the washer and dryer located to the right of the pipes, we designed a solution to run along the wall of pipes using lower cabinets to hide the piping and valves while still allowing access.  We custom notched the counter tops to accommodate the pipes coming up from the lower cabinets,  delivering the work space our client desired without compromising the piping.  A built-in fold-out ironing board was mounted on the left wall and the lower cabinets wrapped around the right wall abutting the washer and drawer. Installation was understandably tricky and we worked carefully to insure the piping was not compromised. 





Our client was thrilled with the results.  Not only did she gain the functionality she desired, the room was transformed from an unfinished, dreary space into a polished, organized room.  The installed cabinetry, paired with new flooring and a fresh coat of paint, dramatically changed the feel of the room.  Our client told us that she couldn't believe it was the same room!  To refer to a quote from the playwright Moliere - "The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.".  Perhaps glory is a bit grandiose but we are pretty proud of our work and it feels great making our clients happy. 

***
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom organization company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders, remodelers and architects to create innovative solutions for all of your organizational needs including laundry rooms, closets, garages, murphy beds, home offices, and wine cellars. 
 Contact Rick Lyrek at Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com for a free in-home consultation to see how Closets For Life can help you organize your space.  You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.
 

 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Closet Tips: What to Hang Vs What to Fold

It sounds basic but when trying to get the most from your closet space, determining which clothing items can be folded versus which should be hung can make a big difference.  During our in-home consultations, we often find homeowners are focused on hanging space.  However, a good closet designer (such as Closets For Life!) will take into account the type of clothing in your wardrobe.  In many cases, drawer or shelving space designed for folded clothing is equally as important as hanging space in a closet design. 

Not sure about the best ways to store and organize your clothing items? We've compiled tips from www.stylecaster.comwww.marthastewart.com, and www.shefinds.com on which items fair best when hung and which clothing items should be folded.  Review these tips to find out whether you've been treating your clothes right.

What To Hang...

Blouses and Dress Shirts:  Dress shirts and blouses made of linen, rayon, silk, satin, taffeta or 100 percent cotton will stay wrinkle-free when hung on a hanger with a solid grip.  Padded or velvet hangers are recommended for delicate fabrics which may be crushed easily.  Also, if it is a button-down shirt, make sure the top button is secured to keep the collar shape intact.

Jackets, Overcoats and Blazers: These items should be hung in a space with ample clearance underneath.  For heavier coats, a curved suit hanger is recommended to better support the weight and help hold the shape.

Dress Pants or Trousers: Hang dress pants or trousers on hanger clips by their waist or hem, or fold them in half and fold them over a hanger.  If you opt for the fold and hang option, make sure you use a thicker hanger to prevent creasing and slipping.

Dresses and Skirts:  Dresses and skirts should be hung on a hanger.  Use hangers with clips for skirts or padded hangers if a dress is made of delicate material.  The only exception to this is if the dress or skirt is heavily embellished, in which case the items should be folded as the weight may lead to the items becoming misshapen if hung.

What To Fold...


Sweaters:  Hanging sweaters made of any material will cause them to become misshapen.  In addition, sweaters can be folded without causing creases or wrinkles. 

T-shirts: Long and short sleeve t-shirts can get stretched out when hung so its best to fold them for storage.

Casual Pants: Casual pants made of heavy materials such as jeans, cords or cargo materials as well as most shorts can be folded without wrinkling.

Bras and Underwear: Other than silk nightgowns which fall under the dress category, undergarments such as bras and underwear should be folded and stored in a drawer.

***
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom organization company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders, remodelers and architects to create innovative solutions for all of your organizational needs including closets, garages, murphy beds, home offices, and wine cellars. 
 Contact Rick Lyrek at Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com for a free in-home consultation to see how Closets For Life can help you organize your space.  You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.



Monday, May 16, 2016

Steps for Organizing Kids' Sports Gear

If you have kids who play sports then you've probably experienced first hand the struggle to get out the door on-time to a practice or game with all of the necessary gear.   Having all of your gear organized and ready in one spot is a key play in securing a win for your home team (and family happiness!).  Here are three steps to organize your kids' sport gear and make getting out the door a breeze.

Step 1: Collect all the Gear
Collect all (yes, we mean all!) sports gear in your home in one location and sort it by sport and child.  Go through each item to determine if it's still needed/used and if not, throw or donate the item depending on the condition.  You will probably end up with a lot of single soccer socks, one football glove, etc. but resist the urge to keep them 'just in case'!

Step 2: Develop a System 
The system that works for you is going to depend on your home layout, the number of kids you have and the number of sports they play.  However, we have one key recommendation no matter what your situation. Keep all items for the current sport(s) in one spot, preferably the mudroom or garage or somewhere else that doesn't involve a long walk through your house.  Baskets work well for holding gear like balls, shoes and pads and we recommend having one basket per sport.  Hooks or a shelf above the basket are a great way to keep uniforms together with the gear but not crumpled and crushed in the basket.  If mouth guards are used, purchase a retainer storage case that can hold the mouth guard and still allow it to be stored in the basket.  As sports change, simply move out the current sport basket into storage and move in the new sport basket. 

Step 3: Coach your Team!
Just as your kids need to learn different plays or strategies for their sports, your new organization system will only work if your kids learn and follow the new organization strategy and practice, practice, practice!  Make your kids the star players in this new strategy and enforce the idea that all sports items are returned to this spot immediately after returning home from a game or practice with the exception of dirty uniforms which can be washed first and then returned to their hooks.

Employ this winning strategy and your home team is sure to be champions!  As with any great team, a solid foundation in the basics can make all the difference.  If you feel your mudroom or garage could benefit from a custom organization system, like the lockers pictured above, to provide the right foundation for your new organization strategy, contact Closets For Life.


Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom organization company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative solutions for all of your organizational needs including mudrooms and entry spaces, closets, garages, offices, Murphy Beds, wine cellars and more. 

Whatever your organization needs, Closets for Life will come out to your house for a free in-home consultation and help design an organization solution that perfectly fits your needs.

Contact Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at
rlyrek@closetsforlife.com. You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.

 


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

3 Reasons to Install a Murphy Bed

Murphy Beds have been around for a long time but if you haven't taken a look at them in the last 10 years, you should.  Here are three reasons to consider installing a Murphy Bed in your home.

1) Murphy Beds  = Multi-Functional Space
Home design is changing.  Homes are moving away from having single-use spaces such as formal dining rooms and formal living rooms.  From entertaining in the kitchen to home offices that double as guest rooms, today's homeowners are looking for multi-functional design of spaces within their home without sacrificing appearance.  With a Murphy Bed, a home office, workout space or playroom can be transformed into a guest room for the occasional instances a guest bed is needed, leaving the room to be utilized by homeowners when the guest bed is not in use.

2) Murphy Beds Are Easy To Use
The old joke featuring a person being folded into a Murphy Bed and into the wall couldn't be further away from the truth.  Murphy Beds are easy to use.  Pull down and push the bed back into the wall with just a touch of your finger or, in some cases, the press of a remote button.  So much easier that blowing up an air mattress when an extra bed is needed and much more comfortable for guests too.

3) Murphy Beds Improve the Appearance of a Space
Worried that a Murphy Bed will look ugly or out of place?  Murphy Beds can be custom ordered allowing you to choose the style, color and finish.  This flexibility means it is easy to match the Murphy Bed to existing wood work or blend it perfectly into custom storage built around it like in the project featured below.  Rather than looking out of place, a Murphy Bed opens up floor space leaving you a clean, uncluttered room to design, decorate and use as you wish.
 
Murphy Bed Folded Down
Murphy Bed Folded Up
Before Photo
***
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom organization company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders, remodelers and architects to create innovative solutions for all of your organizational needs including Murphy Beds, closets, garages, home offices, wine cellars and more. 
 
For a free in-home consultation on your next project, contact Rick Lyrek at Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com.  You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.


Monday, March 28, 2016

4 Fab Apps for Wine Enthusiasts

Whether you have a home wine cellar, are dreaming of a home wine cellar or just love to drink wine, you don't need to be a sommelier to be able to smoothly navigate the sometimes overwhelming world of wine. 

There is a growing collection of apps for your phone or tablet that can help you with everything from managing your home wine cellar collection to recommending the right wine to pair with food.  We've compiled a list of 4 apps that will appeal to wine enthusiasts on all levels, allowing everyone to take advantage of the berth of information available online.

VIVINO (Free - Android, iOS)
Scan a photo of any wine label and instantly learn that wine's rating, review, and average price.  This app also allows you to track and rate the wines you choose and compare your ratings with friends the Vivino community.  What's more, once you rate three wines, the app will start recommending bottles for you to try.  A great app to use when your looking to explore a new wine or standing in the wine isle overwhelmed by the choices.  It's like having a wine expert at your virtual side.
 

HELLO VINO (Free - Android, iOS)
Hello Vino provide recommendations for every occasion - from the best wine to pair with food to the appropriate wine for specific holidays or celebrations.  The app also tracks and makes suggestions based on your personal taste preferences.  Appear 'wine-worldly' at your next dinner party by serving a wine paired for each course!  It also let's you use the app "in reverse" by suggesting meals and selections based on the wine you already have on hand. 
 

VNTG-WINE CELLAR ($2.99 - Android,  iOS)
Track and organize the contents of your home wine cellar with this simple and powerful app. The app also allows you to view your wine cellar by style, region or favorite, prices and more. With thorough entering of details from the wine bottle, this app will also help you gauge whether a bottle is ready to enjoy or would benefit from some longer time to age.  Although it costs $2.99, this app is priceless for the home wine cellar collector.

WINE QUEST (Free - iOS)
This app is the equivalent to a wine Magic 8 Ball.  App users complete a 'taste interview', answering questions about their salt, coffee, beer and cocktail whims.  The app then uses those answers to hone in on the user's personal flavor preferences.  Based on the interview, WineQuest claims it can predict if you’re going to love, like, or simply hate a wine.  It's worth getting this app just to find out if it's right.

 
***

Thinking about a home wine cellar?  Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom organization company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative solutions to all of your organizational needs including wine cellars of all shapes and sizes.
 
Whether you are interested in installing wine racking or a building a complete wine cellar, Closets for Life will come to your home for a free home consultation to help you design a wine cellar that perfectly fits your needs.

Contact Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com. You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.

 





Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Small Closet Solutions

While we all love to gaze at photos on Pinterest or Houzz of beautiful, spacious walk-in closets, the reality is that many of us just don't have the option of a walk-in closet.  Many older homes were built before walk-in closet space grew into a mainstay of home design and own homes with reach-in closets instead. 

 
However, just because a home has reach-in closets, doesn't mean you can't have smartly designed closets space that although small, feels mighty!  A custom closet organization system designed specifically to meet your needs and your space will maximize storage potential in your reach-in closet.  Features such as dual hanging closet rods, built in drawers and custom shelves will have your closet space working over-time to keep your clothing organized and tidy. 
 

In addition, the multitude of closet accessories available can add significant storage potential without taking up valuable closet real estate.  Space saving accessories include pant hangers (pictured above), tie and belt racks, pull out hampers and more.
 
And while you may be tempted to visit your local home store to do it yourself, we urge you to at least contact a custom organization company (like Closets For Life!) for a free in-home consultation to see what we can do for you.  Our experience means we know what questions to ask to assess your needs to design a system that you won't out grow and that won't fit awkwardly in your space.  We are also able to offer customized options not available from a cookie-cutter system like textured finishes and custom pieces to meet specific needs.

***
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom organization company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders, remodelers and architects to create innovative solutions for all of your organizational needs including closets, garages, murphy beds, home offices, and wine cellars. 


For a free in-home consultation on your next project, contact Rick Lyrek at Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com.  You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Powerful Questions To Ask Yourself When Organizing Your Closet



Custom Closet by
Closets For Life
 
Even the best designed custom closet can get overwhelmed if you pack too many clothes into it but parting with items of clothing can be difficult.  Whether it's because the item has sentimental value or because it cost a lot of money, letting go can be hard.  However, a once or twice a year cleaning out of items in your closet has many benefits including making your clothes more accessible, shortening the time you spend getting ready each morning and creating a place of a calm instead of chaos. 

Here are 6 questions to ask yourself when deciding whether or not you should keep an article of clothing (this includes everything down to your shoes, socks and underwear!) 


Have you worn it in the last year? 

If not, it’s time to let go of that item.  Keeping an item for the small chance you might  wear it sometime in the future is not worth the space.  Sometimes we just tire of an item and sometimes a new item never transforms into the vision we had in the store.  It is time to move on! 

Is it ill-fitting? 

Ill-fitting or too tight clothes don't make anyone feel good or look good which leads us to our next question...

 
Does this item make me feel good about myself

An item that doesn't make you feel confident or happy when you put it on isn't worth keeping.  Clothes should make you feel great!  It they don't, it's time to move on.


Is the item in poor condition?

Take a close look at each item.  If it is stained, ripped or faded, let it go.


Is the item out-dated?

Fashion is always changing and it is fun to add new trendy pieces of clothing.  Just make sure that when the trend has moved on, so have you.


If I was shopping today, would I buy this?

This is probably the most helpful question to ask yourself on those items you are just not sure about.  If you answer truthfully, it will can be an eye opening factor on whether to keep an item.  If you wouldn’t buy it now, it is time to go.


***

Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom organization company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders, remodelers and architects to create innovative solutions for all of your organizational needs including closets, garages, murphy beds, home offices, and wine cellars. 

For a free in-home consultation on your next project, contact Rick Lyrek at Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com.  You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.