In a town where apartments are often closet-sized, actual closets can be little more than figments of the imagination. But the mission of Yonkers-based Creative Closets—the subject of this week’s Real. Est. List Spotlight Series—is to make over even the smallest of spaces to suit your storage needs.
Established in 1984 by Curt Bohlen and Agostino Rocchi, a pair of designers who met at another firm and went out on their own with dreams of offering better services at better prices, Creative Closets now services Manhattan and Westchester.
And it's not just about closets—they also work to make any room (including garages, laundry rooms, basements, attics and offices) more efficient. In addition to shelving and hanging spaces, the company offers custom doors, drawers, hampers, counter tops, shoe cubbies and more.
Working with smaller spaces—including the dreaded triangular closet—can be especially challenging, according to Matt Donovan, head designer at Creative Closets. But, he says, something can almost always be done to turn cluttered confusion into organized oases.
“There are those curveballs that are hard to hit sometimes,” he says. “But it’s what you want to do with the space—not the size of the closet—that really matters.”
How it works
Call, visit the Yonkers showroom or simply fill out this form to set up a free consultation and arrange for a designer to come take a look at your space. Choose from an assortment of materials, including solid melamine (available in a variety of wood grains and colors) and Metro shelving (heavy duty shelves that are normally used in basements to hold heavier items). The company used to offer wire shelving, as well, but didn't feel that the quality was on par with its other products.
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Plans are quickly drawn up and pricing is determined. Costs can vary from a few hundred to several thousand dollars depending on size of the closet and materials chosen, but a 4' x 6' foot space, for example, typically runs anywhere from $700 to around $2,000.
The designer and customer then discuss the job in depth, and plans are altered as needed. This process usually takes about a week. Installation is set up for two to four weeks later. The installation itself is completed in a day or two.
Do one closet at a time or do them all at once, but note that Creative Closets has a $100 minimum order. “The more we do at once, the less overhead there is,” says Donovan.
Each and every Creative Closets design is custom built to fit a specific space—the company’s designers steer clear of pre-fabricated materials. “We follow the golden rule of design--that form follows function,” says Donovan.
Tips from the pros on organizing any closet:
- Double hanging rods: Install one rod under another to fit twice as much clothing as you did before.
- Consolidate your clothes: Put pants with pants, skirts with skirts and button-down shirts with button-down shirts. You can easily shave time off your morning routine if you don’t have to search through every piece of clothing you own to find the gray pinstripe slacks you know you have somewhere.
- Use shorter hangers: When it comes to hangers, go for short and squat not long and lean. If your clothes are higher up (which they will be with a shorter hanger), you’ll have more room to work with on the floor.
- Accessories for your accessories: Install jewelry trays, tie racks, belt racks and shoe racks into your closet to keep everything in one easy-to-find area. Creative Closets even offers baskets so the scarves, hats and gloves that previously lined the floor of your closet will have a place to call home.
- Make the space work for you: If your closets are oddly shaped, as is the case in many pre-war buildings, Donovan says to treat each part of the wardrobe as a separate entity while keeping in mind how they relate to one another. For example, he notes, in an L-shaped closet, the back might offer a section for hanging items, while the right side would be for shelving. “We would determine the size of either section based on the size of the walls, all while keeping access open to each section” he says.