Not everyone has a spare room to use as a closet, but if you do, you already know how easy it is for it to get out of control….quickly! You also know how hard it is to even start controlled! I mean, you are building a closet from a blank slate, and most of us are not made of money! That means you need to be frugal and CREATIVE!
This client had the right idea. An expensive closet system is not the only way to create a closet. This client had some press-board shelving units, soft drawers, a shoe rack, and a free standing closet organizer to start. We needed to find some more storage bins and some additional matching hangers. And her daughter was sold on the bench for we purchased for the new make-up table! (Everyone deserves a splurge once in a while!) But for the most part, she was well on her way before I even arrived!
The first step in this make-over was to decide where all the storage pieces made the most sense and how they would be easiest accessed. Basically, we built a road map for the room. Once everything was moved into its new place, it was time to clean. The clothes were all hung on identical type hangers and color coded for type of clothes. I normally recommend all the same color but in this situation I used a color per type of clothing. Similar clothes were hung together to make them hang more neatly and easier to find later. In other words, long sleeves with long sleeves, tanks with tanks, pants with pants, etc. This also made it look less disorganized with the multiple color hangers. (I can not overstate enough; if you are starting from scratch on hangers, get all the same color. It really makes an amazing difference!) Next, shoes were placed in groupings and boots were placed on the top rack to stand up. The boots were held upright with rolled magazines. (This can also be done with cut pool noodles or inserts made to stand boots up. This both looks pretty and is good for the life of your boots!)
Moving around the room, consideration was given to how things looked, how frequently items were used, and grouping like objects together. I realize this is the third time I am saying this. While grouping items isn’t always the 100% rule, it is a very good rule of thumb to get and stay organized. Consideration was also given to how much room was available in each area for the set of items. There has to be some room to grow since it is almost certain you will acquire more “stuff” as time goes on. Overflow only creates chaos. To start, you have to assume every item counts and you will not find it if it is not grouped properly. As you find items that seem to go nowhere and haven’t been seen in ages, it is a good sign it is time to get rid of it! This client was terrific about purging clothes prior to my visit. We almost exclusively spent the time to get items together and pleasing to the eye.
The last step to this make-over was to add the touches that take a room from clean to beautiful. A curtain was hung across the long wall using king size duvet covers (because the are already sewn and much less expensive per yard than fabric by the yard in a regular fabric store) and a medium gauge wire from the hardware store. The soft drawers were placed in a symmetrical pattern. The bins were placed in areas to add pops of color and texture around the room. Finally, the make-up area was set up with all matching black and white French boutique patterns. The make-up area is the exception to the “everything in its place” rule as well. This area would be the staging area for daily use items. These items take precedence over being “put away” and it is best to find a neat way to organize while the items are displayed. In this case, we found caddies fitting the theme. Remember, neat is good. But don’t underestimate the way things look when you stand back from them. When items look organized, you are more likely to keep them that way!
And voila… the French boutique closet was born!