In today’s world of reduce, reuse, recyle, repurpose – so many ‘re’ words – what does it mean to you when you hear the word, redesign? Depending on the professional you’re working with, redesign can take on many different meanings from a full-scale renovation to…
Tag: Interior Styling
Something that comes up consistently in my consultations is the storage solution conundrum. With smaller footprint homes becoming the ‘norm’, clients are increasingly focussed on utilizing every nook and cranny in order to maximize their space. There are so many tips and strategies on this topic that a blog article could become a book. Read on to see three ‘before’ and ‘after’ mini projects where functional, and optimal storage was the ultimate goal for each of my clients.
Project #1 – Master Suite
This master suite was actually part of a larger redesign project, which included selecting new wall colour and window treatments, but the biggest obstacle was to create a truly functional closet from a standard closet design.
- This closet is 9½’ long x 2’ deep x 8’ high
- The opening is 6’, which is accommodated with two 3’ bi-fold doors
- There is also 20” of awkward-to-access space in each end of the closet to work with
The original closet system contained a single rod stretching the full length of the closet, a narrow unfinished shelf above the rod, and 2 lower shelves in the 20” space on the left side. The rest of the closet was unutilized dead space.
One 4– 8’ Rubbermaid closet kit, available at Canadian Tire, Home Hardware, and Home Depot. This kit includes two 4’ shelves and rods, and one 26” shelf and rod. The system is fully expandable, which provides the flexibility needed to set each shelf and rod to suit the storage needs and really make the space in this closet go a long way.
In order to utilize the rest of the closet space, a piece of dowling was cut to size and mounted near the ceiling at the left end of the closet for out of season tops to be hung and stored. An extra shelf was added to the existing shelving for jeans and sweaters, and canvas lined wicker baskets (from Jysk) were incorporated for t-shirts and smaller items like scarves, etc.
The floor space under the shelves is left open enough to store a small carry-on size suitcase, and other items of similar size and bulk.
In the opposite end of the closet the 26” rod and shelf was mounted high enough to hang full length gowns. You can see here that dress pants hung full-length also take advantage of this space. The floor space that is left is roomy enough for shoes, though you can’t see the floor space in this picture.
Other add-on items that were incorporated: a tie rack (left of top shelf), and a hanger for belts (left of tie rack on back wall of closet).
From a standard closet design to all-out function, every inch of this closet was maximized with a simple closet kit, a few add-ons, and a little creativity. And all this was done in a day!
Project #2 – Teen’s Closet
This bedroom is quite small, and only has room for a double bed and either a small dresser or a small desk, but not both. Previously the useable space of this room was expanded by placing a study desk in the closet area instead of having a functioning closet. There were shelves in the left end of the closet, but the rod had been removed.
- This closet is 8’ long x 2’ deep x 8’ high
- The opening is 5’, and does not have doors
- There is also 27” of awkward-to-access space in the left end of the closet to work with
This space is now a teenager’s bedroom, one with a lot of clothing and accessories. So in desperate need of a closet system, she wanted a combination of solid shelving and double rods, room for her laundry hamper, and somewhere to store all her handbags. She was very clear that she didn’t want doors of any kind, because she wanted to have easy access to all her things.
Individual materials were purchased from Home Hardware to build the closet system with: two 4′ long x 1′ deep pre-cut pine boards; one 9′ piece of dowling to cut down to size for 2 rods; plastic rod cover; four shelf/rod mounting brackets; one 3′ pressure-fit rod. Canvas lined baskets were purchased from London Drugs.
If you look at the reflection in the mirror you can see all the purses hung over a rod. This is where the pressure-fit rod was installed; it’s easy to remove and keeps the purses from being crushed, or squashed. Installing the mirror here was the teen’s idea!
Here is the finished closet. Isn’t it neat and tidy? In front of the mirror is the laundry hamper, and under the bottom rod of clothing there are more baskets that hold smaller accessory items. This closet has a light inside, which makes the items on the top shelf easier to see.
Did you notice the great new colour on the walls? It’s Benjamin Moore’s ‘Tropicana Cabana’ 2048-50, also part of this project!
Project #3 – Laundry Room Storage and Styling
This laundry room is a very tiny 6′ x 7′ work-horse. It not only has a washer, dryer, and basin in it, but is home to the hot water tank, and also multi-tasks as storage too! The challenges were lack of counter space, and turning wasted vertical space into more functional storage.
Right away I wanted to find a solution to disguise the hotwater tank as much as possible, and remove the visual clutter from the top of the cabinets. I wanted to find a spot for the laundry basket that would keep it off the dryer, which could double as a valuable folding surface.
Baskets from London Drugs; Trolley and replacement laundry basket from Super Store
The baskets fit perfectly above the cabinets, and the smaller ones on the side complete the look.
The trolley serves as quick and easy storage for smaller items that are used more often. The new laundry basket sits on top of the trolley and does a great job of hiding the hotwater tank – did you even remember it was there?
The space now has a more unified and finished look. The baskets not only serve a function, but they warm the room up as well. Adding colour to the walls would be a nice touch too, but that is part of another phase in the styling work.
What do you think? Have the challenges of these projects been met for the clients?
Can’t find the solution for your storage challenge? Maybe we can help. Contact us to schedule an introductory consultation – remember the first ½ hour is on the house!
When you hire an interior specialist (designer, stylist, decorator, redesigner, stager, organizer, etc.) chances are that you will hear ideas and suggestions you have not considered or even thought of. And that is why you hired the professional! Let your mantra for this journey be to say ‘yes’ first, and stay open for amazing results.
If you have done your homework prior to hiring Sheila Zeller Interiors, then you will know that we listen, create, and connect. In order for us to do this successfully, your part is to be as open, candid and clear as possible in the consultation. The more you are able to tell us about your hopes and desires for your space; your uses and needs for it; and the feeling you want created, the better informed we will be to help achieve your vision. A few things to keep in mind so that we can do our best work for you are:
1. Know your likes and dislikes
Before we can create a space that works for you, we need to have a sense of who you are, and what makes you, YOU. What colours and textures do you prefer? What kind of artwork do you tend toward? Do you like antiques or steer clear of them? What is your personal style and flair – jeans or suits or somewhere in between? Do you like nature, the city, landscapes, seascapes, or sky scrapers? What are your hobbies and interests? This is all about you, and the more we learn, the more your space will reflect YOU!
2. Understand how you plan to use the space
Is this a new space for you or an existing one? What kind of space is this? For example, are we styling a bedroom, an office or den, a living room, or are we doing a few rooms? Does the space need to be multi-functional or is it single purpose only? Does it need to be pet-friendly, child and/or teen-friendly? Will you be using it to entertain in, or is this your oasis?
3. Prioritize your existing furniture, artwork, and accessories
We will need to know which existing pieces must be, can be, and definitely won’t be incorporated in the fresh look (do you love it, like it, or really want to let it go?). We want to learn what things are meaningful to you, and which pieces hold a special sentimental value. We would love to know their stories so that we can better tell your story. We will ask if we can ‘shop your house’: can we remove items from other rooms and incorporate them into the space we’re working on? We need to be clear where the boundaries are: what is off-limits, what is negotiable, and what is fair game. And of course, we’ll want to know if adding any new pieces is an option, so shopping for and purchasing new items, and/or refurbishing existing ones… which leads next to the budget.
4. Be budget-conscious and budget-clear
All too often a project will begin with mutual enthusiasm and excitement, only to wane when the beast of the budget enters in. And this is why being budget-clear before we begin is critical: what is most important to accomplish (key areas of focus), what is the time line for completion (haste makes waste), and what is the $$$ allocation (a range between $ and $)? It’s our job to create a space that you connect with within these parameters; it’s up to all of us to be mutually clear on what these parameters are.
5. Enjoy the Journey: Just say ‘Yes’
Relax and trust the professional that you have hired. Expect the unexpected, and allow yourself to think outside of the box. By saying yes to new ideas and being clear about the process, you make it possible for us to create something remarkable for you!
It’s about coming home… If you want a remarkable space that tells your story, contact me to see how we can help!
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THANKS FOR READING!
I’ve been following Maria Killam’s blog for the last year, eagerly awaiting each new post with anticipation and curiousity – what will Maria say today? Maria has a way of writing that simply resonates, and she shares her expertise as if she were sharing with a friend – well a friend that she has actually met.
So when Maria posted that her True Colour Expert Training course was being offered in May, I was excited and quick to sign up. My thought, if Maria teaches the course the way she shares in her blog, this is the colour course for me! And… so it was. The course has come and gone, but the impact of it remains. With 14 of us participating, from as far away as New York to as close as Vancouver Island, there was an instant richness and depth to the tapestry of this learning experience that might otherwise have been missing (see in the picture below: that’s me 2nd from left, and Maria is in the centre, 6th from left. Funny thing, right beside me is Traci Zeller of Traci Zeller Designs – no relation, other than by profession… and the colour course of course!).
So how did colour change my business name?
Well, Maria’s course provided a palette for focus – three solid days of everything colour with like-minded professionals. And it became transparently clear that what we do best for our clients is really about doing what we love to do, and leaving the rest for the true specialists in those other areas. And that clarity is why I am refocusing to create Sheila Zeller Interiors.
What are my specialties? Listening – Creating – Connecting
- Listening: hearing your wishes and needs, and interpreting them in your space
- Creating: translating your style with a balance between beauty and function
- Connecting: telling your story by working with your pieces to reflect who you are in your space
Why? Because I believe your space matters as much as you do, and in the end it’s all about you.
THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY!