Tag Archives: closet

Paula and Jim Wilson

July 31, 2015 by
Photography by Colin Conces

This article published in July/August 2015 Omaha Home.

 

It all started when Omaha’s Advanced Design & Construction set up temporary residence in Jim and Paula Wilson’s west Omaha neighborhood, where the couple had their own home built in 1997. Some neighbors contracted ADC, a custom design-build company, for a remodeling project, and the Wilsons were curious.

Naturally, when the finished project turned up on a remodel showcase tour in 2013, the Wilsons popped over to see the results.

In a small term, inspiration struck.

“When you live in a house for a very long time, even though it’s been 14 or 15 years and it’s old, you still think of it as your new house,” Paula says. “But no one else does. It gets dated.”

Appliances wear out. Styles change. Kitchens become mishmashes of ’90s fronts and current surfaces. Traditional furniture feels heavy.

Jim realized there were two options: Sell everything as it was and move to a new neighborhood—or city—or update what they had.

They loved their neighborhood. They looked for another one like it and couldn’t find a community that felt better. The choice was clear.

The Wilsons called ADC.

In its embryonic phase, the project was ambitious. The Wilsons proposed moving a wall that separates the living and dining room from their home’s kitchen, plus a separate addition to the house, but from a functional standpoint, the original plan wasn’t feasible. A lot of kitchen storage would’ve been lost in the process of re-creating something more open but still structurally sound, and in the end, a smaller scope offered greater possibility.

“We sit down and talk to [homeowners] and find out their wishes and then take those wishes, look at the structure, the systems, the adjoining rooms and see what the options are,” says Casey Illian, a partner at ADC. “Once we realize what can and can’t happen, we start plugging everything into a floor plan.”

In the case of the Wilsons’ home, the plan became simple: Optimize the functionality of the existing space, update the furnishings and appliances, and “make it pretty,” Illian said.

To the last end, ADC brought Interior Design Group’s Anita Wiechman into the project. She started in the kitchen, where she demonstrated for the Wilsons the most efficient number of steps in the classic work triangle—counter to stovetop to sink—to best utilize that space. Now a large, single-piece granite countertop flows along one side of the kitchen across from a fully vented-out gas range with a grill and—at Jim’s request—a wall-mounted pot filler. Every cabinet space has been made efficient, too, with pullout shelves so the Wilsons don’t have to bend down looking for dishes or storage containers lost at the back.

The kitchen’s original oak flooring—and the living room’s carpet—were torn out and replaced with more modern, wide-plank hickory flooring. In several key areas, Weichman designed colorful geometric rugs to set the tone and tie the spaces together; traditional furnishings in each room were replaced with fresher transitional pieces. In the living room, a sleek floor-to-ceiling tiled mantel took the place of library paneling, with a clean-burning liner fireplace at the center.

Off the entryway, a half-bath boasts textured, hand-painted wallpaper from Lincoln’s Vahallan, complemented by a vessel sink and thick raw-edge black granite countertop. The bathroom originally had a bathtub—one that got used, Paula says, only when she turned on the faucet to rinse out the dust.

ADC removed the tub and gave the Wilsons extra storage space in the room behind—thus giving Jim main-level closet space he hadn’t had in years. (Paula had the main-floor space; Jim had a basement closet.)

“Jim Wilson got his closet back,” he beams.

Paula got a more efficient closet, too, with segmented shoe storage and pull-down hanging bars that made utilizing floor-to-ceiling space possible. Between the closets, the master bath got a new soaker tub instead of a rarely-used whirlpool tub, and a more traditional shower became a zero-entry shower with a subtly sloped easy-drain floor and rain showerhead. In the master bedroom, the Wilson’s Ethan Allen bed sports new linens.

There’s a lot of pretty in the Wilsons’ new space—pretty and practical. The fridge is tucked in a flat-panel cabinet. The dining table is substantial but resistant to grandkids’ spills. Mounted angled outlets don’t interrupt backsplashes and designs with holes.

“That’s really the name of the game—getting the biggest bang for your buck,” Wiechman adds.

Jim put it even more simply.

“We really enjoy it a lot,” he says.

Bank Job

February 18, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Shoes and boots coming out of the Gucci, Manolo Blahnek, and Claudia Ciuti fashion houses can carry a pretty hefty price tag.

“My husband says I’ve become something of a shoot freak, something of a junior Imelda Marcos,” says the homeowner of this handsome Downtown living space.

Her collection of about 50 pairs of footwear certainly deserves to be pampered, but doesn’t storing them in a walk-in safe seem to be taking things just a bit too far?

The rich patina of the safe manufactured by the Harrigan Safe Co. of Kansas City was probably a lot less rusticated when it sat in the president’s office of the furniture company warehouse that once occupied the building. Today the space has been converted to a beautifully designed and appointed
two-level condo.

But doesn’t she ever worry about access to her most unusual of closets? What if she forgets the combination? What would Imelda do?

“Nothing stands between me and my closet,” the homeowner says. “Just to be ‘safe’ [pun intended], we had the mechanism welded open a long time ago.”

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From Frenzied to Functional

December 23, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

January is Get Organized Month, so we asked local author and clutter coach, Cyndy Salzmann, to transform from frenzied to functional the tiny laundry room of a busy Elkhorn family.

Cyndy Salzmann and her bag of tricks.

Cyndy Salzmann and her bag of tricks.

Salzmann is the author of seven books, including her recently released Organized by Design: Using Your Personality to Get and Stay Organized, and she takes a unique approach to organizing a space. “A lot of clients want to start a project by digging into a closet,” says the pro who has also appeared on A&E’s Hoarders. “I insist on first digging into their personalities to make sure we design systems that produce long-term results.”

Dave and Debbie Raymond have a blended family of nine and need every inch of their 2,900 square-foot home. They use the laundry room for much more than just soap and suds—it’s command central for winter wear, cleaning supplies, gift wrapping, and is an overflow area for wayward kitchen items. Unfortunately, the multi-functional room ended up being more of a “multi-mess.”

before

 ASSESSMENT

“I ask each new client to take a personality inventory,” says Salzmann. “Test results as well as discussions with family members indicated that Debbie’s creative bent led to ever-changing systems of organizing things—a source of frustration for Dave, who is orderly and perhaps a bit more right-brained. A collection of sentimental items belonging to Debbie’s recently deceased mother added to the chaos. Finally, poor room design with high shelves and an open area under the counter wasted valuable space.”20131121_bs_3325

DESIGN

“Once I determined the family’s organizing style and needs,” Salzmann continues, “I pulled together a team to transform the room. We used flexible pullouts and open shelving along with other design elements to motivate family members to maintain the space. Debbie is a strong woman of faith with a vibrant personality, so I wanted this room to also feed her spirit.”

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TRANSFORMATION

“A soothing paint color grounds the space while design elements provide splashes of color,” Salzmann explains. “Meaningful objects, such as colorful canisters from Debbie’s mother, provide function and serve to personalize the room.

“I was able to take advantage of unused space by installing pullout shelves under the counter. The contents of two plastic drawer units with a jumble of mittens, hats, and gift-wrapping supplies are neatly organized in a deep pullout with dividers. Dishes formerly stored openly on top of the refrigerator slip neatly into drawers. Shelves for laundry baskets keep the counter clear for folding.

“A clear, plastic bin corrals items Debbie is collecting for her oldest daughter’s upcoming wedding, while the creative label builds excitement for the special day. Cleaning supplies, formerly stored on too-high shelves, are now easily within reach in a pullout shelf under the sink. Infrequently used items, stored in bins on high shelves, have dry erase labels to identify contents.”

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AFTERMATH

So how do the Raymonds feel about their “new” laundry room? “We love it!” says Debbie. “But more importantly, it’s not so overwhelming for us to now think about tackling another space in our home.”

Salzmann will be blogging about her experience throughout January. For more project details and inspiration, visit cyndysalzmann.com.

Salzmann’s Team • Interior design and painting by Renee Quandt, Clean Slate Interiors; Custom pullout shelving by Nick Starkey, ShelfGenie of Omaha

Organizing Bedroom Closets

May 25, 2013 by

How many times have you been late to work because you couldn’t find one of your shoes in your closet? Or maybe that cute scarf you bought last month? Whether you have a small amount of closet space or a slight shopping addiction, organization can be your best friend.

The first step to solving the mess: Utilize the closet space you have. Find an organization system that works best for you. If you have a small space with too much stuff, it might be a good idea to purchase an organizer with plenty of shelves and drawers (IKEA has lots of these). Another great investment? Clear storage bins. They’re stackable, and you can see what’s inside without getting them out.18 April 2013- Bailey's home is shot for HerFamily Magazine.

It helps to organize clothing, accessories, and shoes in your closet by season. Store anything that isn’t currently in season in bins and label the season on the outside of the bin. With the clothes that you have out for the current season, hang the hangers from the backside of the rack. Only face the hangers the correct way if you’ve worn the clothes during the season. Any clothes still backward at the end of the season should be donated to eliminate clutter.

Have a hamper in the closet as well. This way, clean clothes and those already worn are separate, making laundry less of a headache. There’s nothing worse than having to wash the entire contents of your closet because you’re not sure what is clean and what isn’t.18 April 2013- Bailey's home is shot for HerFamily Magazine.

Since several home organizing blogs have become popular in the last few years, it’s worth looking around at some of the unique ideas on the web, too. Pam with DIY Design Fanatic suggests taking smaller wicker baskets and nailing them to the closet wall to keep track of socks, tank tops, etc. Multiple blogs recommend installing key hooks or corkboards with push pins to hang necklaces so they don’t get tangled. If you’re not sure where to start looking for ideas, don’t forget about Pinterest. It’s a fabulous source of DIY solutions.