It's probably an illness I am dealing with here, but after the chaos of the building business and the job site everyday, I love to come home to order! But not just any order - I'm talking about 'everything in it's place' order! Yes, I'm a fanatic! In a good way though. Evidently it's not limited to just me because a number of my clients have seen the concept and wanted it for themselves too!
My fascination with organized, aesthetically pleasing closets began back in London in 1989. Molly and I were staying at the famous Grosvenor House Hotel on the edge of Kensington Gardens when I found all of my clothes neatly hung behind mirrored doors in an elegant cabinet. There were no closets, just these beautiful wardrobes which stylishly accommodated all of a weary travelers belongings! Those British really know organization, and I loved it! So much in fact that when we built our home I just had to have a Gentleman's Dressing Room instead of a closet. The picture above was my first attempt at compartmental wardrobe storage. Look carefully and notice that I used stock french doors for the side compartments, and actually old shutters without the top panel for the center doors. Effective...and cheap!
As long as I was going to do it, might as well take the time to catalog all of my normal living habits and incorporate the way I really like to live into the design of the dressing room. Rather than hang my belts on hooks, for years I have rolled them around my hand, coiled to hold their form. My belt drawer comfortably houses twenty belts, nicely concealed and out of the way. Similar calculations went into my underwear and sock drawer. The shoes went on thick glass shelves; sweaters on glass shelves behind divided lite glass doors; workout gear in it's own separate area and, well....you get the idea! I even have a "receipt drawer" just for all of those receipts you want to keep for tax time! Interestingly, when I show off the closet to clients who want something a little nicer for their closets, the receipt drawer has been a tremendous hit and has been incorporated into a number of closet designs.
So, we have been building "variations on a theme." One client wanted a fold down "gate leg" table which extended out from behind closed doors so that he would have a place to put his suitcase while packing. He had thought through the process completely enough that he had us make glass front drawers adjacent from the suitcase table, and big enough to accommodate folded, pressed shirts from the cleaners. In a hurry, he simply grabs those pressed shirts which he easily can see and throws them in the suitcase.
Many of the wardrobe closets have rolling ladders to access the higher parts of the closet. This client wanted open, easy access to all of her belongings. She also reads quite a bit, so we made provisions for some additional bookcases.
Most of the wardrobe closets have taken on an elegance that I could not have imagined back in 1993 when my dressing room was built! This gentleman's closet is made out of walnut, one of the more expensive woods available today. He loves every square inch of the space, carefully organized to fully accommodate his lifestyle. For further ideas, hit this link and see a collection of some other really great ideas http://baylorsays.blogspot.com/2011/05/this-is-closet-deliciousness.html .