Tailored Living (Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, BC)

Your Home, Tailored to the Way You Live


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The Logistics of Custom Walk-In Closet Design or “You Can’t Put Those Drawers There!”

walk in closetDesigning and installing a custom walk-in closet is a dream-come-true for many homeowners. The wrong design, however, can turn into a nightmare. Sometimes homeowners and even professional designers focus so much on the aesthetics of a closet design that they forget about some of the basic logistics, and end up with drawers that smack into each other when opened, shelves that can’t be accessed unless you close the closet door behind you and other common closet problems.

Tailored Living’s expert designers are trained to spot such issues and adjust plans accordingly. The last thing you want after spending your hard-earned money on a custom-designed closet is to be unhappy with it for the rest of your years in your home, or until you shell out more money to fix the problem. We run into these issues frequently, so we wanted to cover a few that we encounter most often so that you can start thinking ahead of time about a design plan that really works for you (one without crashing drawers and inaccessible shelves) and one that you’ll be thrilled about when your custom closet is finally finished.

closet drawers.jpgPlacement of drawers and sliders: Anything installed inside a walk-in closet that slides out when in use (drawers, slide-out racks and baskets, etc.) or needs to be pulled away from the wall to be accessed can be problematic if not placed smartly. We often work with clients who already have a basic layout in their minds of where they want drawers and sliders to be placed within the overall system. However, people often forget to think about how these drawers and sliders are actually going to interact with the rest of the system and with one another, when opened.

For instance, what if your walk-in closet is fairly narrow, and you want to have drawers placed on opposite each other on the side walls of the closet, his-and-hers style? This mirror-image type layout seems to make sense and might sound logical. However, what will happen if both of you are trying to access drawers on opposite sides at the same time? Will you be able to open both sides of opposing drawers at the same time without them bumping into each other? Would you be able pull it open a drawer on one side all the way and still have room to stand in front of it? Although such a layout might work with all drawers and sliders retracted, it will be problematic if there isn’t enough room to open them without doing an awkward dance around them inside your closet. The novelty of your new closet will wear out pretty quickly.

How your closet door opens and closes: If your closet has sliding doors, then you don’t closet doors.jpghave too much to worry about in terms of your door interfering with shelving, etc., inside the closet. If you have a traditional hinged door that opens into your closet, you’ll want to think about what you install in that space behind where the door will open. Will you still be able to push the door in far enough if there is shelving behind it? If your closet is on the small side, will you have to perform awkward maneuvers to get inside the closet and then get behind the door to access whatever is stored there? Is it plausible to change the design of the closet door (change the door from inward opening to outward opening or install sliding doors instead)?

girl wearing boa closetThe age and size of the closet’s main user(s): This is something you’ll especially need to keep in mind if you are designing a closet for a child, or a closet that is going to be used by two or more people of significantly varying height, or if the closet is going to be accessed by someone who uses a wheelchair. A standard closet in a new build usually has a rod that is placed about 68 inches from the floor. Double rods are generally installed at about 43 inches and 84 inches. This would be considered ideal for the “average” user.

Of course, everyone knows no one is actually “average” in height. A slight majority of people fall somewhere just above or just below that, while the rest of the population is usually significantly above or below that, height-wise. What this means is that the “average” closet rod really only serves just over half the population well. The rest of us either have to reach down or reach up to hang clothing. Not only that, but the “average” closet rod height really cancels out a lot of otherwise usable space in your closet.

If you’re going to design a custom walk-in closet, please for the love of all things sane, DON’T have it designed for the “average” person. If you’re spending the extra money to get something tailored exactly to your lifestyle, you might as well place drawers, closet rods and any other spaces you plan to access frequently at a height that makes sense for you. If you’re reluctant to do this because, say, you’re over six feet tall and you’re worried about the resale value of your home if a prospective buyer is 5 feet 2 inches tall, you can work your design so that pieces like the hanging bar can be height-adjusted.portrait-1160487_960_720

The same goes for children’s closets. Hang rods and install shelves at child-height, not adult-height. This encourages independence in picking out clothing and in putting clothing and personal belongings away. However, children grow, so make rods and shelving adjustable so that they can grow with your child.

Consider other “hacks” that can help you access less-frequently used closet space: In order to make the most efficient use of the space in your closet, you should plan to utilize all of it, from floor to ceiling. Of course, doing so means that the very highest components, whether shelving, cupboards or otherwise, are going to be more difficult to access. These spaces are ideal for storing items that you rarely have to access. However, at some point you will have to access them. Hacks like extendable clothing rods, high-reach hanger hooks (a long stick with a hook at the end, great for reaching high-hanging clothes), step-stools / step ladders (with their own dedicated space in your closet) will make getting to those out-of-the-way spaces less frustrating.

 


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Closet Dreams: Top Seven Closet Mods Moms Must Have

TL walk_in_closet2_organization_by_tailored_livingWe hope all you Moms had a beautiful Mother’s Day this past Sunday and that you got spoiled by your kids and grandchildren. There’s no one else on earth who can fill your shoes, but if you’re a Mom whose shoes fill most of your closet, we have the right solution for you. After all, doesn’t every girl dream of having a walk-in closet with a mirror, dressing room lighting, room for a hundred pairs of shoes (or more), and a section for every season of clothing?

For a lot of women, the ultimate walk-in closet is but a dream. However, no matter what size her closet is, it CAN be tailored to meet some of those personal dreams. In honor of Mother’s Day, we have decided to dedicate this post to all of those Moms out there who tirelessly give of themselves to make sure that their children and grandchildren are cared for and loved unconditionally. However, these mods are really for ladies of any age, with or without children. Check out the top seven closet mods that Tailored Living installs in women’s closets:

1) Shoe shelves: Shoes are an obsession that most guys will just never understand. Just because she already has ten pairs of black shoes doesn’t mean she doesn’t need another black pair because they’re all different and they all have very different purposes, right girls? However, accumulating shoes can eventually become a problem because you only have so much floor space in your closet, and even over-the-door shoe holders fill up fast. That’s why Mom will love Tailored Living’s shoe shelves. Individual shelves tiltshoe fence downward so that you can easily see what’s on it, even if it’s up high. A built-in fence keeps shoes from sliding off. Each shelf typically holds two to four pairs of shoes, but the design can be adjusted to accommodate more or less, depending on how much space you have to work with in your closet.

spiral-shoe-rack2) Spiral shoe rack: An alternative to the shoe shelf, the spiral shoe rack can hold up to 25 pairs of shoes. Shoes hang from specialized hooks on a spinning carousel device so they’re not only easy to access, they retain their shape better.

3) Pull-out mirror: A full-length mirror is mounted on a sliding rack. This allows her to pull out the mirror when she needs it. It slides back against the wall or inside a cabinet, depending on how it’s mounted, so that it doesn’t take up space when it’s not in use.

4) Spiral clothing rack: It’s kind of like having her own personal shopping boutique right in her closet! The spiral clothing rack allows for hanging up of typical clothing items, like dresses, and is ideal for funky closet corners where space might otherwise simply be wasted.

5) Custom drawer dividers: These are really simple and inexpensive to install, yet they ACC0 make a big difference when it comes to maximizing space and efficiency. Drawer dividers ensure that small items like socks, undergarments and accessories don’t get all mixed up in her drawers.

accessory hook6) Accessory hooks: This is another simple mod that can make Mom’s closet SO much more organized. Tailored Living’s accessory hooks come in a variety of shapes and configurations, and they are ideal for things like necklaces, scarves, hats, belts, purses and many other small to medium-size items.

7) Valet rod: Yet another simple and relatively inexpensive closet mod that is perfect for the working professional. It’s a clothing rod that’s housed in a track mounted on the side valet rodof cabinet or shelf. It takes up virtually no space when not in use. To use, she simply pulls the rod out. There’s just enough room to hang up tomorrow’s outfit so she doesn’t have to waste time hunting for it in the morning.

These seven closet mods are only a very small sampling of the incredibly-useful ones that Tailored Living installs in closets every single week. And don’t worry, Tailored Living can transform the guy’s closet, too. You can view some of the closets we’ve transformed and check out the accessories that can make your closet fabulous on our closet customization page.


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Got Moths?

clothes-moth-1492608Ever get a kick out of those cartoons you watched as a kid where a character would open up a closet door or storage trunk and a hundred moths would fly out? We laughed then, but it’s not that funny in real life. If you’ve ever pulled your favorite sweater out of storage, only to find it ridden with holes, and felt like crying, this advice is for you.

It might already be too late for those woollens and cashmeres you boxed up for storage last spring. But these de-mothing tips will help you avoid getting your most expensive suit chewed up over the winter and will be in you mind next spring when you de-winterize your closet once again.

What the Heck is the Deal with Moths Anyway?

There are hundreds of different kinds of moths, but clothes moths are the only kind that eat holes in your clothes. Some people have the misconception that they will eat any kind of fabric. In reality, they only like fabric that is made from animal fur, such as wool and cashmere. So don’t blame clothes moths for the holes your favorite cotton or synthetic fabric shirt.

Another misconception is that adult moths eat fabric. It is actually only clothes moth larvae that eat your woollens and cashmere. What happens is that the moth looks for a woolsdark, cool, secretive place with lots of access to animal material to lay its eggs. That’s why closets are popular, but they will also lay eggs in places where there might be lots of animal hair (like inside your doghouse) or in enclosed spaces in your barn. There, the larvae can eat to their heart’s content and probably not bother anyone. But chances are good that you don’t want to sacrifice your expensive wool suits to raise baby moths.

However, a lot of people have a strong aversion to mothballs, and we don’t blame you. Our advice is not to put mothballs in your closet. There are a few good reasons for this. First, mothball fumes are unpleasant at best and noxious at worst. Plus, they smell awful, and the scent is very difficult to get rid of, even after washing. Mothballs contain toxic chemicals, the main one being naphthalene, which is what gives mothballs their distinctive smell. They kill moths by giving off toxic fumes. Not only that, but they’re dangerous for children, especially little ones who might mistake them for candy or playthings.

Besides, mothballs are not doing any good in your closet anyway. In order for the vapors to effectively kill moth larvae, they have to be in a controlled and tightly enclosed space where they can’t evaporate. As confining as your closet is, it’s not enclosed enough to contain the fumes of mothballs.

Get Rid of Moths and Moth Larvae This Way Instead

Since you’re not wearing your wool and cashmere over the summer anyway, the best thing to do is store them in an airtight container, like a Rubbermaid tote bin. Instead of tossing mothballs inside, add some cedar. Cedar fumes have a similar effect on moths as mothballs, but without the toxic chemicals. Not only that, but the scent is much more pleasant, and it is easier to wash out after summer is over if smelling like cedar isn’t your thing. Plus, they aren’t noxious to humans AND they’re 100 percent natural.

That being said, cedar balls can be pricey, especially if you need quite a few. However, you may be able to get cedar waste if you happen to live near a cedar mill, such as board ends or shavings. If not, you can probably get cedar shavings at your local pet store in the form of animal bedding. It is often marketed as bedding and habitat liner for small rodents like hamsters and guinea pigs as well as for rabbits. Ounce for ounce, it is much cheaper than cedar wood planks or cedar balls and a big bag will go a long way.

For now, if your clothes from last winter smell like mothballs, it might take two or three washings to get rid of the scent completely. Adding an oxygen-booster like Borax to your regular laundry detergent may help. For those wardrobe items that are not machine-safe, a trip to the dry cleaners is probably your best bet. Make sure you mention the mothball smell. Dry cleaners have great tricks for getting out unwanted scents.

Need more closet storage space for those bins of off-season wardrobe items? Tailored Living offers free closet upgrade consultations, and you can even see your plans in virtual reality 3D before any demolition or construction begins.

empty-closet-white

This could be your new closet, with plenty of room for storage bins.