Friday, June 8, 2012

CLOSET CASE

A closet doesn't necessarily have to be a scary place!  In fact, if designed properly, it can become one of the favorite spots in your home.  Before I head back into the closet, though, I must admit I've learned a lot since moving to the east coast from LA, particularly in design.  Weather plays a major role in how we navigate each day in our neck of the woods.  Don't get me started on schlepping firewood and shoveling snow off of the front path in the winter, or our latest struggle of battling the raccoons that invade our garbage on a nightly basis! One major lesson I've learned is that every single design element has to take the surrounding environment into consideration if it wants to succeed.  Where, for example, do we store that firewood so it's protected from the elements?  Ever thought of heating the outside walkway to keep it from freezing?  And, yes, we might need a separate structure to house the garbage to protect it from pests of the night!  In California two major factors that threaten a structures integrity are earthquakes and wild fires, and designs of everything from freeway overpasses to roofs and outdoor landscaping reflect that concern.  While earthquakes aren't a huge threat in New York (we did have a minor one last year, however!), Mother Nature gets quite testy every season, begging the question what happens inside when she comes pounding on the front door?  Major spring showers, summer downpours or winter blizzards, the harsh elements outside are bound to eventually push their way IN!  To appeal to all that nature showers upon us, I decided to design a mother of a closet in a clients entryway.  You might not expect a walk-in closet in the foyer, but this year-round room provides a safe haven from anything that nature brings their way.
QUICK TIP: By eating into an unused space in the garage opposite a tiny hall closet, I was able to create a walk-in closet next to the front door, concealed behind a bead board-clad door.  With enough space to hold this families jackets for all seasons, there's still enough room for guests jackets, purses and other items.  No need to stuff your master closet with winter coats or rain jackets, place them all in the entry closet!  An added feature for this all-weather room; a drain in the middle so snowy boots and rain-filled jackets can slowly slip away!  A key to incorporating an element like this into your home, is to look for unused "dead" space (many times found under staircases or in garages) and give it new life!  Some view the kitchen as the hub of the house, but a closet like this can become command central by storing dog leashes, umbrellas, jackets and shoes, hats and gloves and all of those little things that land everywhere but where they should!