LA Closet Design

Tapping Into Your Left Brain To Organize Your Closet

The left side of the brain is known as the logical side of the brain, it controls speech, logic and mathematical abilities. And, it can help when it comes to organization and how details are implemented – the big picture if you will. As a closet designer, I consider myself left-brained, but I also rely on my right brain for creativity and aesthetic. I do believe that tapping into that perfect blend of left brain meets right brain can be incredibly powerful in many areas of life and business. It’s true, I do have my degree in Chemistry, which utilizes my left brain tendencies, but I am also passionate about style and design, so you could surmise that I found my dream career (which I did!).

Now, a few tips from inside the left hemisphere of my brain about how to best organize your closet:

1)    Analyze: The left side of the brain is for gathering data and making analyses. Scope out your closet, make a list of what should stay and what should go. Use an online tool or draft a sketch of how you foresee your new closet.

2)    Gather Data: Research what you need to organize your closet. Do you need all new uniform hangers? Purse pillows to preserve your handbags? Leather boxes for jewelry, scarves or mementos? Make a list and gather your materials.

3)    Organize: Based on your list of data and your analysis, clean out your closet, donate what you no longer wear or need. This will allow you a clean slate to begin the execution of your closet organization.

4)    Execution: With your materials in hand, and your spreadsheet, sketch or list, begin re-building your closet to suit your vision. Hang up your new hangers and organize your clothing by style and color. Place your shoes on shoe shelves, hang your jewelry neatly where you can see it, and display your handbags with Purse Pillows.

You did it, welcome to the left side of your brain.

 

 

What’s In and What’s Out – Closet Design

I’m thrilled that closet design has become an integral function of the home. I have always considered my closet to be one of the most important rooms in my home, and when it is cluttered or disorganized it affects how I start (and end) my day. A National Association of Home Builders survey revealed that 64% of homebuyers don’t feel they have adequate storage space, and without the proper closet accessories it’s difficult to achieve your dream closet. I want to share the latest innovations with you that will help you find a place for everything in your closet and bring your closet into 2014.

  • Metal Closet Rod vs. LED Closet Rod: The LED Closet Rod will alter the entire aesthetic of your closet. In a silver finish with a neutral white light the LED Closet Rod will illuminate your clothing and modernize your closet.

  • Shoe Shelves vs. Shoe Racks: Shoe shelves provide a simple, streamlined way to view all of your shoes in one place. They are not only visually appealing, shoe shelves provide adequate space and help you to maintain your shoes.

  • Mothballs vs. Lavender By-The-Yard: We can all identify the smell of mothballs. Bring your closet into 2014 with Lavender By-The-Yard. It smells clean and fresh and will repel moths in style, and who doesn’t need to do that? I sell them on my site.

  • Plastic or Wire Hangers vs. Chrome or Velvet: If you know me, you know that my first line of defense to get any closet organized is to update and streamline the hangers. An updated closet should have uniform hangers in chrome, velvet, metal, felt or bamboo, it’s an investment and your closet will instantly appear synchronized and clean.

  • Rattan Storage Boxes vs. Leather Storage Boxes: I designed a set of chic color-block leather storage boxes that will add instant elegance to your closet and hold anything from sweaters and t-shirts to boots and keepsakes.

 

 

Spring Cleaning – What to Save and What to Donate

It’s time to refresh and revitalize our closet darlings, and we are focusing on what to save and what to donate. Many of my clients have some degree of sentimental value attached to what’s in their closet. I get it, I’m sentimental too, but I’m also practical, and practicality is the gateway to organization. We all tend to hold on to too many of the same styles of clothing, how many black t-shirts do you need? I recommend inviting a friend over to help you really assess what you need and what you don’t. Friends will give it to you straight and you will be one step closer to a beautiful streamlined, organized closet.

A few tips regarding what to save and what to donate.

WHAT TO SAVE

  • Your best jeans: Skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans, black jeans, white jeans. Keep jeans that fit well and are still in style.
  • Spring Style: This spring is all about aged denim, florals, airy fabrics, rich embroidery and the color orange – orange is the new black. Keep anything in your closet that is on trend, or keep pieces that will help you build on a trend, e.g. a lacey bohemian dress that you already own with a new orange handbag.

  • Streamlined Hangers: I say this often, but a closet with streamlined hangers, they should all be uniform (same color, same size, same brand), is the first step in an organized closet. I love the Satin Chrome hangers on my site; they instantly add elegance to your closet.

  • Outerwear: Blazers, leather jackets and cardigan sweaters can be classic and timeless, but they can also be woefully out of date. Check your outerwear to make sure it reflects who you are today and is still in good shape.
  • Loungewear/Pajamas: I often see drawers packed with pajamas and loungewear, and there are often too many pieces that serve the same purpose. Save your favorites and toss the rest.
  • Shoes: I prefer classic heels in black and nude, a few pairs of whimsical summer sandals, chic flats, a sneaker or two and a few pairs of athletic shoes. Your instinct will tell you if it’s time to get rid of those wedge sneakers or Uggs (hint, hint).

 

WHAT TO DONATE

  • Jeans: Try them on and get rid of anything that A) doesn’t fit, and B) is out of style. Yes, even if you paid $200 for those jeans, you must get rid of them if they no longer work (see reasons A and B above).
  • Mismatched Hangers: Get rid of any hangers that don’t match, you will instantly streamline your closet.

  • Faded Black Items: From t-shirts to blazers to pants, once black fades it has lost its luster and should promptly be placed in the “donate” pile. A new black blazer or shirt will make you feel good and freshen up your wardrobe basics.
  • Anything You Haven’t Worn In One Year: This has been a long-standing rule among fashionista’s and closet organizers alike, but I might take it one step further and say 6-8 months. We know what we like and what we don’t, trust your instinct and know that if you haven’t worn it in 6 months (seasonal items excluded), you will most likely never wear it again.
  • Ill-Fitting Clothing Or Shoes: Some of my clients will hold onto clothing or shoes because they spent a lot of money on it, but if they don’t fit I recommend donating it and giving the item a second life with someone it does work for. You have now made room for something that does fit, and that feels like productive spring-cleaning.

Rock Your Spring Closet Cleanout

Spring is upon us, and there is no better time to take inventory of what’s in your closet, donate your gently worn goods and add a colorful new accessory to your closet. I might spring for a bright new armchair or a decadent chandelier to infuse a bit of fun and a dash of luxe into my closet. Sometimes small changes can go a long way in completely transforming the look and feel of your closet. But first, you have some spring-cleaning to do, and I have some tips that will set the mood and help you rock your closet cleanout.

Setting The Mood…

  • Before you begin discarding, organizing and decorating your closet, turn on your most inspiring playlist. I like a little Beyoncé, some John Legend and a bit of Justin Timberlake to get inspired.
  • There is something about a comfortable yet luxurious cashmere hooded sweater and lounge pants that makes me feel good, and feeling good while spring-cleaning is essential.

  • The right cocktail will elevate the entire experience to a new level. I’m currently loving the Pimm’s Cup, made with ginger beer and Campari.

 

Getting Organized

Now that the mood has been set and you are feeling good and inspired, it’s time to get organized. You want to be able to walk into you closet in the morning and at the end of the day and feel clean and clear.

  • Start with your jewelry, which is often tangled and hard to find. Untangle your necklaces and either display in drawers neatly of hang them up. What you can see you will wear.

  • Organize your tops by type and color.
  • Discard all items you haven’t worn in six months to a charity like Dress For Success. If you have several white shirts or jeans from 2012 that you know you will never wear again (even though you paid $200), it’s time to pass them on.
  • Battery-operated lighted rods can change the entire look of your closet, I recommend replacing the existing rods with lighted rods.
  • I am loving Pliios, they are a new tool that helps to fold shirts and sweater, your closet will look like a boutique.
  • Purse Pillows are a great way to keep your handbags preserved and new.

What’s In and What’s Out….In Your Closet

No one is happier than I am that the closet has become a natural design extension of the rest of the house. What’s in? Beautiful light-filled inspired closets. What’s out? Dark, messy, disorganized closets. We all know an artfully designed space when we see it, and yet it’s not always easy to define how to get there. I try to start with a few of my “must have” items that make a closet luxurious, personal and above all – organized. Like all design trends, closet design is fluid and ever changing, and with a constant stream of new innovations the options are endless. If your pocketbook isn’t ready for your dream closet, there are any numbers of ways to start small. I advise clients to streamline their hangers so that they are all uniform, and to trade out rattan and wicker baskets for leather baskets, two simple strategies to move your closet into 2014.

Here are my top tips for WHAT’S IN in your closet and WHAT’S OUT in your closet.

WHAT’S IN…

  • Mixing free-standing pieces with built in cabinetry – whether it is an upholstered chair or a whimsical pouf, a free-standing piece adds an element of comfort and a point of interest
  • Sweater hangers – I sell a great line of crease free hangers
  • Lighting, such as chandeliers and lighted rods
  • Hanging scarves is both organized and visual
  • Custom designed corners add an element of luxe to your closet
  • Leather boxes for storing boots or seasonal items – another great item that is available on my site
  • Waterfall countertops on the island
  • Pliios – clothing filers that make it easy to fold clothes neatly

WHAT’S OUT….

  • Mismatched hangers – it’s all about streamlining your hangers for a uniform look
  • White painted hanging rods
  • Reach-in corners
  • Clothes sticking out past the depth of your vertical divider panels
  • Half-extension drawers
  • Scarves stacked in drawers – hang them up and show them off
  • Closets that don’t go to the ceiling
  • Base and crown molding that doesn’t match the style of your closet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Architectural Digest Features LA Closet Design – Vote For Our San Juan Capistrano Closet Makeover!

As the most celebrated and revered shelter magazine, I am so honored to be a finalist in Architectural Digest’s Before + After Closet Showcase. The magazine has always been an inspiration to me. From its cutting-edge architecture and design to celebrity style and travel, it’s more than just inspirational – it’s aspirational. It provides a glimpse into the most innovative and creative minds in the design world, and I find myself endlessly generating new ideas with every new issue.

The contest showcases 12 before and after closet makeovers throughout the country (and one in Canada). LA Closet Design is included for our closet renovation in San Juan Capistrano, CA. Before the renovation the closet was disorganized, dark, and desperately in need of an update. From the gorgeous chandeliers that add a bit of decadence, to the shoe and handbag shelves and dark wood trim, the closet is now a beacon of beauty and order, if I do say so myself. There is nothing I love more than a good makeover, and when you see the before and after photos you too will swoon, I promise. My clients are thrilled, and nothing thrills me more than that.

On that note, I need your vote! Follow the link below to vote for LA Closet Design and the San Juan Capistrano closet makeover. You can vote once a day until February 24th. And your friends can vote too, hint hint.

Before

After

After

Time to Reboot – My Top Three Tips To Organize Your Closet For The New Year

It’s no secret that I believe in a well organized, aesthetically pleasing closet. Shirts and jackets hung with care, all shoes visible, sweaters folded neatly one on top of the other, it’s both an art and a science. And I can share my formula for maximizing your space and your wardrobe. Clutter is contagious, and if your closet is teeming with half hung sweaters and shoes strewn about the floor, you’re not starting off your day with a clear path, literally and metaphorically. It’s simple really, and it won’t take very long to organize your closet so that each and every piece has a home and is visible. If you can’t see it, you won’t wear it, and what’s the point in that fabulous wardrobe of yours if no one ever sees you in it.

Tip #1: Edit. And then edit again. Invite a friend over to help you sort through your closet to get rid of anything you haven’t worn in the last four seasons and instinctively know you will never wear again. It will feel more rewarding to have the extra space and to donate your clothing to a worthy organization like Dress For Success. It’s liberating, and I release you from using the g-word (guilt) throughout the entire process. Your gently worn DVF dress will find a new home and be very happy there.

Tip #2: Purchase the right products. All of the hangers should match to achieve a consistent, uniform look throughout your closet. Invest in shoe shelves so that all of your shoes are visible and have their own shelf or cubby. My Purse Pillows are a perfect product to preserve your handbags and to display them in your closet. Invest in the infrastructure of your closet and everything will have a place, as long as you continue to edit throughout the year to avoid clutter.

Tip #3: Organize your accessories. It’s the little things that often get overlooked – scarves, jewelry, sunglasses, and if left to their own devices will create chaos in the closet. I recommend drawers with individual compartments for each piece of jewelry and each pair of sunglasses. Belt and tie racks are incredibly efficient at keeping belts and ties visible and organized, and I sell my own personal line at LA Closet Design.

Closet Style: ECLECTIC

This week is about tackling arguably one of the more difficult styles: eclectic. (By now, you’ve seen other entries of this closet style franchise, including my modern glamour post for My L.A. Lifestyle.) There is a fine line between a space looking eclectic versus one that looks like a mismatched collection of flea market finds. It’s all about mixing and matching and breaking the rules—with the intention of telling a unique and inspiring story, that is. It’s about creating a smart and sophisticated yet effortlessly comfortable ease. In effect, this mismatching should create its own cohesive look.

Here are some guidelines in order to create the perfect eclectic look:

Break the rules! Forget about following the on-trend color palettes, and mix it up! Take risks and mix unusual colors with bold patterns. Upholstering a lacquered-finished, midcentury-style sofa with an oversized houndstooth pattern is unconventional but will undoubtedly make for a dramatic statement. For the more subdued, start with painting everything white so you can boldly play with colors and prints in your accessories.

Make it personal. By mixing and layering your favorite finds from your travels, you’ll create a space that embraces your individuality.

Mix and match to create a cohesive look! Midcentury furniture combined with vintage finds and paired with contemporary accessories will make your space fun and funky. Here is where your intution comes into play—follow your instinct. Think of the whole decorating process as curating your own museum. Whether it’s via color, pattern or geometry, be sure to have a loosely connected thread that will anchor your look into a cohesive one. 

Find inspiration from your favorite decades. Whether it’s 1950s advertising magazines, retro stores or your local flea markets, these are all great sources of inspiration. To create cohesion, photograph all of your favorite finds and create story boards in order to develop the perfect eclectic vibe.

Have fun with it! If you are going for an eclectic style, I’d consider you a risk taker. Kudos! There is an inherent air of quirk and wit that resonates when you don’t take yourself too seriously. I mean, who doesn’t appreciate a sense of humor?

xLA

#ShoeSwoon

Carrie Bradshaw said it best when it comes to women and their shoes: “The fact is, sometimes it’s really hard to walk in a single woman’s shoes. That’s why we need really special ones now and then to make the walk a little more fun.” (I think it’s fair to say no man can compete with Manolo, Christian or Jimmy.) Why? Because every girl’s dream is to have a shoe closet—like the shoe shrine Big built for Carrie! After all, they say the higher the heels, the closer to heaven! But regardless of the size or shape of the space you’re working with, your should organize your shoes so you’re aware of what you have. Don’t overlook any of your fabulous pumps!

Keep reading for your chance to win shoe inserts from my LA Closet Design boutique!

If you have the space, built-in open shelving is a great way to organize that combines both function and beauty. Essentially, the floating shelves act as a neutral canvas, and your shoes act as the artwork on display. If you want to go all out, provide back-lit LED lighting to your display and truly showcase each shoe like a boutique. (These LED hanging rods are a great option if you’ll be using boot trees!) Everything has its place and is easy to see.

If you’re working with less space, you have several options to get the most out of what you have. For example, play with depth—don’t always think about height and width. A double-depth shelf allows for two rows of shoes. Using a pull-out shelf allows for use of its full depth, so you can see both rows of shoes at first glance.  But if you are working with a stationary shelf, display your shoes one shoe in front of the other so, again, you see every shoe at first glance. Also, if you have limited space, a cabinet can be used to store your shoes but can also double as a console table. If shelving or cabinetry isn’t an option, get creative by taking advantage of free wall space with rails or molding as means to hang to heels.

Here are some general shoe-organization rules for any—and every!—closet:

1. Throw away boxes! Keeping your shoes in their boxes—even with a Polaroid on the outside—adds unnecessary bulk to your closet. You end up either stacking them to unreachable heights or storing them in forgettable places. After all, reducing this bulk allows for more shoes.

2. Organization is key. I like to organize shoe closets based on shoe type—flats, boots, wedges, and heels—and then by color-coding them. This makes them easily accessible and identifiable.

3. As a general rule, I like to keep boots on the bottom because of their height. Hanging them with boot trees maintains their shape.

4. Angle your shelving in order to see everything, and place a metal rod in the back of the shelf to prevent any sliding.

5. Flat shelves are for wedges. While angled shelves work for all other shoe types, wedges tend to slide, so keep them on a flat surface.

6. Use shoe inserts. Shoe inserts help freshen up its odor and retain its shape.

7. Change up the shelf heights. In order to get the most shoes in the area you have to work with, adjust the spacing of the shelves. Base them on the height of your shoes rather than having them all even spaced!

Now that you have these tips and have seen some of my closet concepts, I want to see what you’re doing! Tweet and Instagram your organized shoe rack, shelves, or whatever it is that’s working best for you. Mention @LAClosetDesign AND use the hashtag #ShoeSwoon, and we’ll post your photo on our Pinterest board! A lucky 10 winners will be chosen—based on design and originality—to receive shoe inserts from the LA Closet Design boutique. So start snapping those photos because I want to see what’s working for you!

xLA

Spring Must-Haves

Welcome spring with these—my style, beauty and closet faves! xLA

  1. LA Closet Design hanger eucalyptus sachets
  2. Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstain
  3. Jonathan Adler large ripple vase
  4. See By Chloé logo bangle set
  5. LA Closet Design polyhedron doorknob
  6. Roger Vivier striped canvas clutch
  7. Chanel nail colour in Skyline
  8. Jonathan Adler channing desk
  9. Rachel Zoe Scarlett sandal
  10. Amanda Nisbet book, Dazzling Design
  11. LA Closet Design LED light hanging rod
  12. LA Closet Design acrylic purse divider
  13. Nine Space for J.Crew beach towel
  14. Rebecca Taylor pleated silk shorts