{organizing with style} Coat Closet Part 2: The Planning Process, Design Choices & Installation

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

This post is sponsored by Closet Factory, but, as always, all opinions are my own. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

You guys, I am doing my happy dance over here because I have a brand new coat closet! I have yet to put our coats in it, but it's installed and beautiful! It's taking all the will power I have to write this post rather than filling up the drawers and shelves right now. But I talk often about the importance of the planning process in any organization project, so that's what I want to share with you today! And then, next week, be sure to come back to see the complete coat closet in all it's organized glory!

Coat Closet Planning

Last week I showed you my scary coat closet before photo, shared some inspiration, and discussed why I decided to work with Closet Factory to create a custom coat closet system rather than trying to DIY my own fix. This week, it's all about planning, design choices, and installation.

THE PLANNING PROCESS

The planning process began by meeting with a professional closet designer from Closet Factory, Doug Lestikow, who came to our house to measure the coat closet and talk about how we wanted to use the space. I had some serious anxiety about opening the closet door to show him the hot mess, but I convinced myself it didn't make sense to clean a closet that was about to get a complete makeover. Plus, I was assuming {hoping?} that he's probably seen worse. But really, I knew it would be easier for him to see the problems and help me brainstorm solutions in its disaster state.

Once Doug had the measurements he needed, I asked him about my options. Based on my prior experience with pre-fab closet systems, I expected there to be certain size restrictions for drawers and the like. But I quickly learned that's not how Closet Factory operates. Every closet system is designed, manufactured, and built custom; meaning there are no dimension restrictions, and no limits to how we could use the space. This was pretty exciting news to me, since my number one goal is always to maximize the use of every inch of space!

After that initial meeting at my house, it was time for me to visit Closet Factory's showroom to take a look at some proposed renderings and make design decisions. I could seriously stare at an organized closet all day long...so can you just imagine me in a closet showroom?! 

Closet Factory Colorado's Showroom

After touring the showroom, I had mad pantry envy! I mean, check out all that gorgeous lucite on the drawer fronts, the wine rack, and the dividers for pans and trays! Yes, please!

Closet Factory Pantry

And our current garage "situation" seems all the more pressing after seeing how stylish and functional it could be!

Closet Factory Garage System

At this point, my mind was reeling with ideas for all the spaces in our house that need organizational makeovers, but it was time to sit down and focus on the coat closet. Doug showed me several variations of the proposed design plan that he had come up with, and we started talking through the details. 

Closet Factory design process

It was so helpful to work on the closet design with the showroom right outside the door because we were able to look at some of the options side by side before finalizing the organizational plan. For example, I had asked for some drawers in the coat closet to hold gloves, hats, and other winter gear. We initially contemplated using open baskets {like those used in the showroom's mudroom set up} to make it easy for the boys to find their belongings.

Closet Factory Mudroom

But as we stood there looking at the baskets and talking about how I would be using them, we realized that the openings, especially at the corners, were large enough that some of the boys' items {like little mittens} might fall right through. 

Custom closet with chrome baskets

That led us back to the computer where we adjusted the plan to have solid drawers instead. I loved that this was such a collaborative process! I got all the benefits of working with a professional closet designer, but the focus always remained on our family's needs and my design preferences! Doug was able to make the design tweaks while we talked, and I was able to see the modified designs right there on the screen. 

Closet planning process at Closet Factory


THE ART IS IN THE DETAILS

With the organizational layout of the closet set, it was time to start making design decisions. You all know that one of my organizing mantras is "make it pretty to keep it pretty" and Closet Factory has a similar philosophy. Their slogan is "The Art of Organization" and they work with each client to custom design a space that expresses the clients' unique personal style to create the perfect combination of art and organization. These people speak my language!

I was able to make every design decision to create the coat closet of our dreams, and one perfectly suited to our home and our style. I started by choosing the style of closet rods {the oval chrome rod at the top}. We also decided to add a belt cleat with chrome hooks {like those pictured} to one of the side wall in the coat closet to provide us a place to hang umbrellas.

Closet Factory design options

When it came to drawer pulls, I was really impressed by the variety offered by Closet Factory, but I asked if I could supply my own to really personalize the style. They said that was no problem at all, so I purchased some Amerock Galleria pulls {affiliate link} that I'd had my eye on from Home Depot for just over $5 each, and had them shipped directly to Closet Factory to be added to the drawers during the construction process.

Closet Factory design options

Closet Factory's custom organizational solutions extend far beyond closets - think laundry rooms, craft rooms, and home offices, just to name a few - so their design offerings also include a massive wall of laminate counter top options for these spaces. Even though our coat closet doesn't need a counter top, I certainly enjoyed browsing this section of the showroom. I was amazed to learn that all of these laminates are included in the design price with no up-charges! As someone who seems to have a knack for picking the most expensive finish from a wall of choices like this, knowing they are all the same price would sure make the design process less stressful!

Closet Factory laminate countertop options

Finally, it was time to choose the material for our closet construction. For those who prefer real wood, Closet Factory offers a wide variety of species of wood that can be custom stained or painted to match your home. However, melamine provides an affordable alternative to custom stained wood, and is an ideal choice for most high use areas. The melamine options range from matte to high gloss, and solids to wood grain. 

Closet Factory custom door and drawer front options

With so many different finishes, moldings, and details, the options are nearly endless to create specialty drawer and door fronts to suit your style - from classic, to eclectic, to modern. You can even mix and match finishes to create a completely unique space - like this reach in closet that I spotted in the showroom that uses two different colors of melamine with frosted glass doors.

Reach in closet from Closet Factory

Since I prefer a clean, modern look, I decided to stick with smooth drawer fronts, and I quickly narrowed the melamine choices down to the three I thought would best fit our home - one that was a very dark wood grain, and two that were in grey tones. All three were what is called textured melamine, which is great for a modern aesthetic. The texture also gives some added depth and provides that real wood feel. I took samples of all three home with me so that I could see them in our space.

Textured Melamine

My first inclination was to pick the darkest color, because it is a close match to most of our furniture - including the entry table located near our coat closet. While this would have definitely fit our style, I started to worry how dark the inside of the closet would be - especially when filled with our coats {many of which are black and dark colors}. Between the two grey tones, the dark grey would be a good match with the charcoal colored accent wall in both our living room and kitchen, but I still worried that the closet might feel dark. After consulting a few others for their opinions, I was convinced that the lightest grey melamine - called Looks Likatre - would be the best choice and would give the closet the bright yet sophisticated feel that I was after. 

THE FINAL COAT CLOSET DESIGN

Once all of the design decisions were made, Doug emailed me the final renderings for the coat closet. One detail that really stood out to me when I received the final renderings was that Doug was not only able to illustrate the color of melamine that I selected, but also changed the color of the floor in his design software to match our flooring so that I could really see the space come to life.

Closet Factory coat closet design

It's exactly what I had envisioned and it will solve all of our storage challenges! This closet plan includes ample space for Scott's and my large coat collection, a place for the kids' coats at a height they can reach, drawers for winter gear, shelves for snow boots and shoes, and shelf space above to take advantage of the height of the closet. 

Closet Factory coat closet design

And because the entire system is adjustable, we'll be able to adapt it to our needs as the boys get older.

CUSTOM MADE

I signed off on the final plans, and then things moved into the build phase. Every Closet Factory location runs their own factory and manufacturing process. That means that every closet systems is made one at a time and cut to the exact specification of your space, ensuring a perfect fit! 

The factory is attached to the office and showroom space, so Cooper and I got to tour the shop floor and see every step in the process. This was heaven for a little boy who is super interested in tools and construction!

Closet Factory manufacturing

Running their own factory and manufacturing process located in the market they serve also puts Closet Factory in control of all the materials, the inventory, and having parts available when they are needed, allowing for total quality assurance and quick turnaround times. The other great thing, as Doug explained, about having local manufacturing is that when there are issues {which happen given the complex projects that Closet Factory takes on}, those issues can be resolved on the day of installation instead of having to wait for parts.

INSTALLATION DAY

The night before our scheduled installation, I completely emptied the coat closet so that it would be ready for the installers. Fortunately, I didn't have to remove the existing shelf or rod - they took care of that for me. 

Empty coat closet

The next morning, the installers arrived in a Closet Factory van and were all wearing matching Closet Factory uniforms, which looked very professional, and made me feel comfortable having them in my home. It was snowing that morning, but they were careful to cover the floors keep our entryway clean and dry. 

Custom coat closet installation by Closet Factory

The installers were very friendly and confirmed everything with me prior to installation, including the exact placement that I wanted for the hooks on the side walls. 

They were also so sweet to my boys, who just loved watching them do their work!

watching the coat closet installation

The install went much faster than I expected - they were in an out in under two hours. Once the installation was complete, the guys did a meticulous job of cleaning and polishing every surface of the new closet system, and they even swept and vacuumed before leaving.
Coat closet installation by Closet Factory

I am so thrilled with our new closet system! It looks gorgeous and I keep opening the doors just to admire it! I was even texting photos to my friends all afternoon {it's a good thing I have friends who get as excited about closets as I do}.

The really fun part is up next! Over the next few days I'll be filling the closet up with all of our belongings! I even have a couple of quick and easy DIY projects in mind {cause that's just what I do :)}. Come back next Wednesday for all the pretty "after" photos and organizational details!

I seriously can't say enough good things about working with Closet Factory! The whole process was super easy and streamlined, the focus always remained on our family's unique wants and needs, and the customer service was great from design all the way through installation! If you have a project you've been wanting to tackle, consider giving them a call {or fill out their online form to schedule a free design consultation}. Closet Factory is a national company, with more than 45 locations around the country, so chances are there's one near you. 

6 comments :

  1. Love it! I am proud to be a Design Consultant with Closet Factory and to work with Doug. Helping our clients get ecstatic about their coat closets, master closets, kid's closets or all the other things we do is so much fun! Enjoy your closet Angela!

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  2. Okay, I am dying over all the lucite in that pantry. It's like my closet had a pantry-baby. Dreamy. And I'm so impressed that the install only took 2 hours. I can't wait to see the final reveal!

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  3. Hi Angela, I love your blog (though with a toddler and a 5-week-old don't have as much time to read it as I would like) this post grabbed my attention as I'm planning to add a closet when we have some renovations done. My problem is I can't decide how big to make it - yours for a family of four - would be a perfect guide size. Would you mind telling me the dimensions? It would be a huge help. Apologies if these are in this or one of the other closet posts - I had a quick look but couldn't find them. Thanks, Jen

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    1. Jen, I totally understand the time crunch of two little ones! I don't think I had included the closet dimensions anywhere, so I'm glad you asked. Our closet is 24 inches deep and 64 inch wide on the inside. The pull open doors are 24" wide each. We have 10 foot ceilings, so our closet is extra tall, but I would just make sure your closet is as tall as your ceilings allow.

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  4. I love that you had them build in a little area for the kids' coats! That is absolutely brilliant. I want to do that with some of our closets, too. Even though our children will grow up, we'll have grandkids some day, and in the meantime, we can just stack some baskets down there or something. I just love that you thought of that! http://www.bellasystemssc.com/Charlotte.php

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    1. Thanks, Tara. That's the best part of the Closet Factory system...the kid space we've designated won't go unused as they get bigger. Everything is fully adjustable, so we'll simply remove the shelf above their coats and move the clothing rod up to accommodate their full sized coats when they are older. I love that everything is totally adjustable.

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