A Home Office – Charm, Efficiency and Grace

Designed by Closet Factory Richmond Designer Georgia Kukoski

As she wrote Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell cluttered her apartment with envelopes full of typed pages of the manuscript. So it is fitting that when Ellen Brown wrote her first book, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, A Bestseller’s Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood, she worked in a home office with a broken desk and 14” of free desktop. She surrounded herself with piles of research papers and books on the floor.

Ellen keeps a clutter-free home. So when I visited her office for our first design consultation, I was a bit surprised. I asked how she managed to research and write a book on 14” of desktop!

Ellen and I worked together to determine that she needed bookshelves to hold her research books, maximum desktop space to get the piles off the floor and room for her sons to sit next to her at her computer. Sounds easy right? But then we considered the space—a room with 3 walls of windows in a historic home on Monument Avenue. We could build up on only part of one wall without blocking the windows and covering the custom moldings. Then there was the radiator and 100-year-old elevator that needed access. How did we design and build an office to fit a writer’s needs while fitting in an historic home?

Closet Factory built a corner desk that has drawers on either wall. Books are stored on the bookcase and in the kneehole on shelves. A removable radiator cover was built to with metal grating, giving a more countertop space.  Stained wood door and drawer faces were used along with a stained wood countertop. All the while keeping the historic nature of the home in mind.

The result is a stunning office that maximizes the space. And Ellen’s second book is underway, sans the piles of papers on the floor!

One Wall Hole – One Custom Organized Entertainment Center

Original Wall Hole

Customer: Robert, Richmond Va.

Challenge: Sr. Closet Factory Designer Tom Ahl faced an interesting space as he walked into a recent living room. Tom’s client cut a hole in the family room wall to house their 36” tube TV. Thinking at first, this would look great, Robert soon realized he was creating a permanent modification to hold a TV that was already obsolete.

First Meeting: As Tom met with Robert a more in depth story started to come to light. Robert explained behind the hole is a fireplace for the room behind it. He wanted Tom to change everything he originally built, to have the ability to hang a 50” plasma TV, plus have storage space on both ends.

Completed Custom Entertainment Center

As well, Tom needed to create a heat barrier from the fireplace, and have this new custom storage solution match the current furniture in their dining room.

Installation: The Closet Factory installation team changed all of the supports inside the wall to accommodate the new design. A custom crafted 1 ½“ thick wall was created inside to hold the new TV and minimize heat. All of the storage below is vented as well to provide maximum air flow so the home

theater components do not overheat.

Robert easy summed up his wife’s joy with this new custom designed organization solution by saying She Loves It!


Client Showcase – Shoes to the power of shoes

Maximum Shoe Storage

So you love shoes. I mean who doesn’t. You may have a weakness for Jimmy Choo! Or your closet may be lined with the who’s who of shoe designers: Kate Spade, Prada, Manolo Blahnik, and Cole Haan. Regardless of your taste for the extreme pump or simple casual slipper 0ne of the most popular custom organization issues we see day in and out is that of shoes. Designer Diane Williams recently completed a new and wonderfully custom designed closet focused on providing significant shoe and jewelry storage.

Diane said, “my client’s main objective was to get all of her shoes displayed beautifully and no longer have them hidden under the hanging clothes.”

As you can see, as a Closet Factory custom organizer Diane designed this shoe space with slanted shoe shelves that have lucite toe stops that add to the elegance of the closet. This closet is done in the color Clove, to coordinate with the hard wood floors, it has stained wood raised panel doors and drawers. As well Diane added crown molding and a granite top on her custom designed dresser with a jewelry drawer and crystal knobs.

Custom Closet Factory Jewelry Storage

Laundry Room Bliss

Designer Cathy Hughes just installed this beautiful new custom organized Laundry Room solution.

Reversed Washer and Dryer - Creating new found counter space

Many Closet Factory solutions are born by asking a simple question.

What truly do you want your space to be able to do?

In this case Melinda was frustrated by the lack of space due to several obstacles, especially the location of the washer and dryer. Originally, the counter top was across the back wall, under the window with a huge sink in the middle. The left cabinets were difficult to access with the dryer in front of them coupled with the large sink, left very little counter space.

Cathy designed a one of a kind custom organizers dream solution. She started by reversing the washer and dryer which allowed a counter top over the washer. As well, she faced the cabinets toward the opposite wall thus creating additional room to put a unit on the opposite wall. More counter space! Finally, she included pull out shelves for even more space for folding and temporary storage, two drawers for whatever is needed items, and pull out trays and baskets for dirty laundry.

The client, Melinda is thrilled with her new space. Not only did Cathy create double the storage capacity, but everything is much more accessible. As a bonus also a small hanging section and valet rod was added to hang clothes as they come out of the dryer.

Another glorious organized day from the custom organizers at Closet Factory.

New found counter and storage space - the Closet Factory way

Closet Factory Designers – Building Trust Across Richmond

Senior Designer Sue Pike has worked with hundreds of clients over the years designing custom organization solutions that improve lives by reducing stress and clutter. When our clients take the time to praise the work we do it truly touches our hearts. Trust is an easy word to say these days, but a more difficult thing to show. At Closet Factory we believe every piece of custom organization we creatively design, manufacture and install makes a difference in the lives of all who use it.

Here is a letter just received from our client. Choosing an organizational company can be a challenge at times since so many elements of a great design are not always evident. As you read this letter ask yourself, “Does this company and Sue Pike sound like someone I can trust?” If you answer yes, our team and Sue are here ready to assist you.

Back to School – Mudroom custom organization

Back to school means a new year of custom organization needs. Sr. Closet Factory Designer Sue Pike just completed a new mudroom design and installation for her client. What first was an empty alcove is now organizational space for a busy family and their gear.

Space for an entire family to store their daily gear

Now, instead of a bare wall with shoes, jackets, backpacks and more piled on the floor there is a custom built, custom designed wall unit. As you see in the picture Sr. Designer Sue Pike designed this with hooks for hanging backpacks and coats, shelves for laptops and books, plus shoe storage and a place to sit. As well, she designed upper storage to hide away out of season items.

Closet Factory custom means designing a space specifically for your home. Notice in this design the trim work around the window, that’s what we call Closet Factory custom.

Give this mudroom and A+ for function and beauty this school year.

All useful, all in one place, all organized. Your one of a kind mudroom.

Learn how easily, and affordable Closet Factory makes it for you to have a custom mudroom or any other organizational space. Visit Closet Factory Richmond online or simply call 804-559-0001 for your free design consultation.

Where Did this Potted Meat Come From? Kitchen Pantry Organization 101

A family-sized cereal box holding just a small handful of stale fruit loops.  A can of beets with a thick layer of dust on top.  A smashed bag of marshmallows too petrified to poke a stick through. Does this sound like your kitchen pantry – storage space wasted on expired and unwanted products mixed in with all the foods you actually do eat, so that finding anything is a chore and figuring out what you already have is an exercise in futility? Is your pantry basically an overstuffed closet in desperate need of organization? Take comfort: you are not alone.

There are a few simple tips to move your pantry toward real functionality. First, of course, is to get in there and show no mercy to those old foodstuffs. Expired? Toss ‘em. Still good but never going to be eaten in your household? Got to go. Next, identify the things you want to keep that are in awkward packaging, and transfer them to containers that have a more regular shape and are easily stacked. Finally, group like items together and make sure those containers have big, readable labels! Remember, the goal is to make things easy to find.

Probably the biggest contributor to poor pantry organization is poor design – most pantries are just rows of plain shelves, with nothing to aid in keeping things orderly. Sliding drawers and shelves, vertical dividers, and handy bins can make it easier to not only get your pantry organized but also keep it that way. Our professionals at Closet Factory Richmond are experts at evaluating your kitchen pantry and designing a storage system that is easy to use and maximizes your space. Call us today to discuss how we can help you organize your pantry.

Client Showcase – A Lady’s Closet

Many times we know that we need to get organized, but we’re not quite certain of how to get there. If you need help, call Closet Factory of Richmond. Our approach to closet design is unique. Before we ever build anything, we work with the client to gain an understanding of what the current storage challenges are and what the ultimate goal is. Then we get to work designing a closet or storage system that not only solves the customer’s problems but also reflects their personality and style. Take for instance, this closet recently designed by Sue Pike, senior designer for Closet Factory.

Sue specializes in getting families organized while paying attention to every detail and never overlooking style. This is just one of the eight closets she recently designed for a home in Kilmarnock – “Her Master” reflects simple beauty and organization.

Design Features Include:
Antique white melamine
Painted raised panels door and drawer fronts
Mirrored dresser
Crown molding
Tilt out hamper
Lucite purse dividers
Velvet lined double decker jewelry drawer
Bench seat with drawers

I agree with Sue when she said “Who would want to come out of this closet?” To create the closet of your dreams, call Closet Factory of Richmond today.


Taking The Chore Out of Laundry

Doing laundry is a necessary chore. Whether you wait for it to pile up and do it all once a week or whether you do a small load every day, it always seems like a necessary evil. It really doesn’t have to be that way. A custom laundry room can turn a dark, unorganized space into a laundry room as stylish and functional as the rest of your home. When your work space is organized, the chore takes less time and you have more time to do what you really want to do.

Here are some features that create the perfect laundry room:

Use laundry baskets or hampers for sorting clothes.

Store laundry soaps and other cleaning supplies in cabinets or up high on shelves, out of reach of children and pets.

Create a surface space for sorting and folding clothes.

Install a rod for hanging clothes.

Install a retractable clothes line for hanging and drying delicate items.

Install a drop down ironing board that is fastened in a wall cabinet that can disappear when not in use.

Make sure you have good lighting.

Have a small trash can close at hand for disposing of dryer lint and trash from pockets.

Keep a basket or small bowl for lonely socks, loose change and odds & ends.

Custom laundry rooms can make light work of laundry. The perfect storage system will keep you organized and ultimately help cut down on the time you spend doing laundry. Shelves and cabinets will keep all your supplies organized and extra accessories like pull out baskets are perfect for sorting clothes and storing linens.

Lessen your load with a laundry room designed by Closet Factory of Richmond. Call and schedule a consultation with one of our designers.


Features of A Great Closet

Have you always dreamed of having the perfect walk in closet? A room that could house all of your clothes plus your many accessories? At Closet Factory of Richmond, we know that everyone uses their closet differently which is why we build custom closets that cater to the individual storage needs of our clients.

When thinking about designing your dream closet, there are some features that you will want to consider:

Maximizing Vertical Space – A good closet design will not waste one inch of space. If you live in a home with tall ceilings, make sure your closet takes advantage of your vertical space with hanging rods for out of season clothes or shelves for storage.

Seating – Add a chair or bench to your closet. It’s a great place to sit while putting on or taking off your shoes or just contemplating what to wear for the day.

Jewelry Drawer – A drawer designed to house your jewelry is a great feature. Jewelry drawers are typically velvet or felt lined and come with the option of adding a security lock.

Other Features:

Good Lighting – Since most closets lack natural lighting, they are often poorly lit. Pay attention to the lighting in your closet. Install recessed lighting or even a small chandelier that can provide bright light. You want to make sure you can see what you are putting on!

Ironing Board – This is the ultimate in efficiency. With a pull-out ironing board closet feature, your iron is right at your fingertips making it easy to touch up your shirt or tackle your basket of wrinkled clothes.