Hello friends! My apologies for the delay in sharing the latest blog post from our Los Altos home remodel with you! I’ve been too busy organizing client closets to find time write about my own!
When it comes to living in a small space and downsizing, my organizing philosophy is to compartmentalize the home into zones and carve out a home for items related to each zone. For example, our bedroom closet is the only closet that stores clothing, our kitchen cabinets are the only cabinets that store kitchen and entertaining items, our guest room/office closet stores household and hosting items, etc. It’s easy to muddle things into zones around the house to make it all fit BUT less is more and keeping likes together (and less of them) the systems will succeed. With this in mind I knew the home would be so much more comfortable if we converted it from a three bedroom into a two bedroom which made room for a functional master closet which I knew would be key.
I’ve spent my fair share of time inside of closets, hence the name Kuzak’s Closet, so I had already had a storage plan and design in mind before we gutted the house. My check list included shoe storage, hanging storage for my clothing as well as Chris’s, drawers for my basics, shelving for handbags and jeans, locked jewelry storage, and a built in hamper that would save on the use of floor space. That’s a pretty big list for a pretty small closet but my friend Karin Parodi, a fabulous designer from Valet Custom Cabinets really helped me bring it to life!
When we originally bought the house there were two bedrooms on the right side of the structure, both with small reach in closets. This is a before of exactly the corner where my current master closet is now…
On the other side of the closet, to the left, was a water heater closet that was in the hallway. We removed the water heater and replaced it with an on demand unit that is outside which freed up the space to enlarge the closet by about 20 inches while leaving room for my custom pantry in the kitchen. This is the closet all gutted out and framed up after we repaired the termite damage…
It feels like this project started so long ago but the reality is that we closed on the house last July and didn’t start construction until September. My entire summer was spent planning the remodel and as much time as it consumed I would go back and do it all over agin. I love transformation projects like this!
Here is the closet once the sheet rock went back up. I had a bit of a panic at this point because it felt like it would be way to small in the end but once the cabinetry was installed it doubled in size. It’s a good example of how a custom closet can go miles compared to a simple shelf a rod when it comes to storage!
Valet’s install time is typically 4-6 weeks out so with our 10 week gut remodel (from start to finish) I knew I had to schedule Karin to come out to measure and put a plan together right away. The design on the top left is for my side and the design for Chris’s side is on the bottom right. Even though we share the closet it feels like we have our own closets.
Custom closet companies have a variety of finishes and while it’s easy to keep it simple with white melamine I would really urge you to spend a little extra on an upgraded finish. I went with the Bianco finish and it has a bit more warmth and texture to it. It added up to about a $600 difference in price for both closets (I also did a custom closet in guest/office bedroom) but I’m so glad I did.
Here is a closer look a the finish, can you see what I mean about worth the extra $$$! Speaking of upgrades, I also chose to have the matching Restoration Hardware Grafton pulls installed to match what is in our kitchen and bathroom. Love it!
Here is a peek at the master closet in reference to where it is in our current master bedroom. The closed door cabinet and drawers could’ve been designed to be installed on another wall but with the closet barn door often open I wanted it to be a focal point and also look like a piece of furniture to help make the closet feel like an extension of our bedroom. I’m extremely visual so I often think of sight lines when creating storage and installing products for my organizing clients, this time the organizing client was me!
The barn door is oversized and wonderful! It doesn’t take up any floor space when opened or closed which is smart for a small home like ours. We installed barn doors as our bathroom and bedroom doors for that same reason.
I love a shoe gallery so it’s fun to have one in my own home!
And while these black heels don’t look practical they are extremely comfortable, a nice contrast to the typical sneakers I wear to work daily!
Rules to live by! I’m a shoe lover and a strong believer that you can double the feel of a small wardrobe with the right shoe collection! Mine is all about comfort and color and it is often changing. I only have so many slots on the shelves so the rule of removing a pair when a new pair comes in definitely applies.
Here is a quick peek at Chris’s side of the closet. It’s small but mighty! He has a dresser in our master bedroom with the rest of his clothing and believe it or not, all 6 pairs of his shoes fit into his entry closet drawer.
I love the continuity from our bedroom to our closet! The uniform colors and materials make the space look larger, that was the theme throughout the entire house and it worked!
Just in case you love my closet stool as much as I do, it’s the Tavi Mongolian stool from Pottery Barn and it’s the perfect size and strong enough for me to stand on it just in case I need to reach something up high.
And just in case you wondered what I meant when I said I had a built-in laundry hamper on my checklist here it is! It takes up storage space but so does a hamper in the middle of the closet and I’d much rather have it tucked away. It’s divided with one side for colors and the other for delicates and the bins pull out so I can take them right to our laundry room. Bravo Valet!
One last look! I realize I didn’t photograph what’s inside my drawers and cabinet but I typically don’t do that with client projects either. I promise you it’s a stack of Kuzak’s Closet t-shirts and jeans, ha!
The photos for this post were taken by my friend Kate from JetKat Photo and myself. Our driveway landscaping in the backyard was recently completed so the front yard is the last project on our list for now. Once that gets planted this summer I’ll schedule a time for Kate to come back to take exterior photos so stay tuned for that!