How to work with your Closet/Storage Designer

MASTER WOMEN'S CLOSET WHITEStorage designers can organize your life and add luxury to your spaces for a very reasonable investment.  Many people don’t realize the flexibility of styles available, and that your storage designer can tie the design closely to your home décor.  Your closet specialist can work with your interior designer and your contractor by scheduling installations in a way that makes sense for your project.

Tip #1:  Schedule time for an in-home consultation with your closet designer.  A thorough consultation ranges from 1-2 hours.   He will measure your space, assess your storage needs, and if time allows, start planning the layout and design while you’re still together.  Meeting in your home allows your storage design specialist to work with you to fine-tune your design, choose color pairings, and door/drawer selections that complement the mood and style you enjoy. Tip #2:  Make sure to remove enough items from the closet, pantry or other space so that your designer can properly measure.  Being able to see the corners and ceiling, to observe hidden utility panels or molding, can make all the difference in the end result: a tightly fitting, custom sized storage system.  Provide an inventory of your possessions and if possible, show her the items for a quick measurement.  Similarly, let her know if you store your shoes in boxes so that she can build in customized shelves to accommodate them perfectly. Tip #3:  If you’re already working with an interior designer or contractor to complete your remodel, introduce your closet designer to the other professionals involved in the project.  This will simplify any necessary coordination of scheduling and deliveries, ensuring that everything goes smoothly.  A simple change of floor molding size, ceiling height or door opening can be communicated this way, before the storage system is manufactured.  Of course, if you’re looking for a great painter or interior designer—ask your closet designer—there’s nothing like a recommendation! Tip #4:  Your schedule for painting, carpet or flooring installation/finishing, and other tasks is crucial information for your closet designer.  Your new custom storage system should be installed at the end of your remodel or renovation project. Tip #5:  For those who live in a condo/co-op or other multi-unit building, it’s helpful for you to facilitate the conversations with building management.  You probably haven’t thought about it in a while unless you’ve done other recent construction, but as a rule, buildings have strict requirements regarding insurance, scheduling time to use the freight elevator, and service entrance.   Your assistance with those conversations can save a lot of frustration.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

season of giving 2It’s the season of giving — why not give yourself the gift of space?  We’re fully into the holiday season now, a time of celebration, and a chance to catch some great sales.  So, how do you avoid overwhelming limited storage capacity when bringing new stuff into the home?  Here are some practical and charitable ways to be a little lighter and brighter this holiday season. Closets & Clothing
  • Establish a rule that when a new coat, shirt, or pair of shoes comes into the house, an old one must go in the give-away pile.
  • The wintertime is sock-time–go through the sock drawer. Look for those with holes or without a match, or those that never fit right, and get rid of them.
  • Instead of taking the sweaters from off-season storage and squeezing them into the closet, take a moment to look through them. Some are likely well-worn or ill-fitting, or haven’t made it off the shelf in years.  Those can go into the give-away pile, leaving more room in the closet for the ones you enjoy wearing.
  • Once everything has been sorted through, take stock of what you have and need. Do you need more or less sock storage—maybe sweaters can be hung on pant hangers instead of folded on shelves (or visa versa).   Bins and baskets can be great ways to store socks or gloves, hats, and scarves as well.  If a total closet make-over is needed, you can call a professional closet designer to develop a tailored solution.
Coat Closet & Outerwear
  • Take a serious look through the coat closet. Which of the coats never got worn last year?  Probably it never fit right, or is just not your style.  Put it in the giveaway pile.
  • Sort through the winter-wear drawer. Most people have more hats, gloves, and scarves than they wear.  If your favorite style gloves are worn out, now is the time to buy a new pair, before the stores are out of stock.  This way, you can also find room for that gorgeous new scarf.
  • Look through the winter shoes, boots, slippers, booties. Again, now is the time to replace that worn out favorite style with something new that you love, and will wear all winter.
  • The winter shoes often get stored near the door in a pile. Consider the possibilities of a mud room with customized shoe storage.  Once the snow starts falling, this could also accommodate the wet coats, hats and gloves.
Charities & Giving
  • Take a look at the give-away pile and smile! This is all stuff that cluttered your space.  If you take it away, you can find the clothes you love, and buy replacements for worn out favorites without worrying about where to put them.
  • Best of all, there are so many charities that can take away your give-away items. There are veteran’s organizations, coat drives for the homeless, clothing drives for kids in need.  You can clear your space and help people – a very good result.

OUR FEATURED DESIGNER Wendy Lepkoff, Owner of Wendy Interiors

Wendy Lepkoff, Owner of Wendy Interiors

Wendy Lepkoff, Owner of Wendy Interiors

How Symmetry Closets and Wendy Interiors Began Collaborating

Wendy and Bonnie have worked together on projects for several years, and have since cultivated a wonderful rapport through working together at the Interior Design Society, Long Island Chapter. “Wendy’s concern with her clients is to not only make her client’s home more beautiful but much more functional. She fully appreciates how important solving storage issues are. And she works through those details, of what they want to keep or what they want to replace, with her clients. By making storage a priority, she is able to deliver a clean, highly functional interior space, and her clients love and appreciate it.” – Bonnie Reich, president of Symmetry Closets
About Wendy Lepkoff Long Island, New York based Wendy Lepkoff specializes in residential interior design projects. Wendy Interiors, Inc. is a full service design studio offering design consultation, space planning, custom furniture design and space renovations.Wendy Interiors Wendy creates custom interiors with a collected feel that reflect the personality/vision of her clients. She seeks out furniture and accessories and assembles collections of unique pieces for her projects. Wendy is an excellent guide throughout the design process. Knowledgeable and intuitive, she has an ability to articulate visually and verbally exactly what her clients seek. From the grand view, down to the most intricate detail, Wendy’s finesse enlivens any room.

Design Backstory: East Hampton Vibes

Kitchen Storage Design in East Meadow, NY

Kitchen in East Meadow, NY. Photo courtesy of: Peter Braun & Wendy Interiors

This home began as a bachelor pad. When the homeowner got married, he promised his wife that they would redo the townhouse. The wife is a very organized person and preferred everything to have its place. The clients wanted to make the most out of the limited space they had. This was a challenge because the 2-bedroom townhome did not have a garage or basement for extra storage. Wendy needed to find a way to utilize every possible space. Wendy and Bonnie determined how to overcome this obstacle. The result: the neutral, relaxed design remained consistent throughout the kitchen and living room area, into the home office and other built in storage areas. All-white, shaker style, custom built ins in the home office created a clean-cut and streamlined appearance.
Home office design in East Meadow, NY

Home office in East Meadow, NY. Photo courtesy of: Peter Braun & Wendy Interiors

Although the home office has more of a contemporary vibe than the rest of the interior design, there are still seaside details distributed lightly throughout the space.

Classic White Bedroom Closet —Storage with Style

The theme throughout the home was an updated, fresh and organized look. From the light fixtures to the lighter pieces of wood placed in different areas of the home, and the silver and chrome hardware – the home has a complete, consistent vision—and Wendy makes the whole project appear effortless. To ensure the space was utilized to its greatest organizational potential, Bonnie measured everything the clients own, including vacuum cleaners, cat carriers, coolers, beach chairs, folding chairs, blankets, wrapping paper, etc. The client was able to fit everything into their new closet with room to spare.
Washer/Dryer Storage Space in East Meadow, NY

Washer/Dryer space in East Meadow, NY. Photo courtesy of: Peter Braun & Wendy Interiors

A Charming Kitchen and Living Room With Maximum Cabinet Space

Wendy needed to find creative storage solutions for the clients. She was able to do that by moving their washer/dryer upstairs, adding pantry space. She continued the kitchen cabinetry into the dining room, to create a generous amount of counter space and cabinet space.

“I came, I went, I conquered, that felt so good.” – Wendy Interiors

Wendy explains a little bit about why she enjoys working with Bonnie on these special projects, “Having Symmetry Closets do the clients wall of bedroom closets and walk in closet saved them the space they needed for a closet in their office as there was no clothing overflow from the bedroom. The office closet literally became their garage/basement.
Reach In Closet in East Meadow, NY

Reach In Closet in East Meadow, NY. Photo courtesy of: Peter Braun & Wendy Interiors

Bathroom Storage Solution East Meadow, NY

East Meadow, NY, redesigned bathroom with new double sink vanity. Photo courtesy: Peter Braun & Wendy Interiors

Watch Our Videos

Symmetry Closets As Seen On: George to the Rescue NBC

Symmetry Closets on Halftime Howie

Symmetry Closets and Tara Byrne on the Halftime Howie Podcast

Our Interview on Live It Up!

Live it Up with Donna Drake on location for Swatched

Kids Closet Organization Solutions

Tips For Organizing Your Closets

Our closets start out organized—what happens? We forget to sort through our stuff as we buy more, for one thing. And as we use them, we put things back in a hurry, and our closets get messy. There are techniques and strategies to keeping a closet organized over time. These are a few of our tried and true best recommendations to tame your linen or clothing closets.
Linen Closet Organization:
  • Rule of Three: Sheets per bed, towels/hand towels/wash cloths per person. This provides one in use, one in the wash, and one in the closet.
  • Guest items: One or two is sufficient (sheets, towels, etc).
  • Group items either by type (queen sheets) or by room (bath #1).
  • Bulky items like quilts or pillows can be stored in compression sacks (vacuum activated) to stay fresh and condensed.
  • Seasonal items like holiday tablecloths and beach towels should be stored on high or low shelves. Slide out shelves work well for table mats and cloths, baskets and bins can neatly hold napkins and rings.
  • Resist the temptation to buy linens on sale without giving away an old set. It will keep all the linens looking uniform and will keep the allocated space from creeping into other areas.
  • Linens get musty when there’s not enough air circulation. Be sure to leave room around and above the stacked linens. If needed, a simple open baking soda container will remove any odors and keep the closet fresh.
Clothing Closet Organization:
  • Group clothing by length, type or purpose: Business clothing can be in a single section, with pants and shorter skirts hung together. Men’s or women’s suits can be grouped with color coordinated shirts, or outfits can be hung together. Install a tie rack or belt rack nearby, and your outfit is almost complete. The goal is to be able to glance into the closet, pick out your outfit, and go about your busy day.
  • Put away Dry Cleaning: When the drying cleaning comes home, it often gets hung on a valet rod or hook., and gets used as needed. This creates a bulky obstruction in the closet, and empty bags and hangers. A better technique is to take five minutes right when the clothes are brought into the closet. Quickly remove the bags and hang everything on proper hangers, in the area you’ll look for them. Recycle or dispose of the bags, and return the wire hangers to the dry cleaner.
  • Arrange seasonally: Even if you don’t have off-season storage, there are ways to remove those items from view. Create a zone for the clothes, in a less accessible part of the closet. Use a high shelf for boots or sandals, bins or baskets for smaller items. You’ll get in the habit of not looking at the off-season area, and will have a selection of seasonally appropriate items in your main area.
  • Organize folded clothing by type and color: How often are you looking for a blue tee shirt, or a workout top, and can’t find the one you want? Pick part of a shelf for shorts or sleeveless tees, for exercise gear or lounge wear. You’ll be able to find what you need every time, without wasted time and frustration.
  • Shoe storage: In addition to the designated area for off-season shoes, it is useful to set aside less used shoes. If space allows, store these in labeled plastic bins or shoe boxes high or low in the closet. If not, try to store them in another closet or under the bed. This method should free up space for frequently worn items. Grouping business shoes near the business clothing is optimal, like sneakers with the gym clothes and shorts.
  We want to make room to buy new things, and we want to keep our closets organized and neat. By using the tactics above, we truly can have it all! Just remember when it’s time to make the seasonal clothing changeover, look through the clothes. See whether anything is stained or getting tattered and get discard it. So much stuff can be given away, to have a second life with those who need it more.

Tidying Up Around The House Could Help You Lose Weight

The 5 Best Ways to Care for Your Clothes

(1) Check the Laundering Instructions…and do what it says: This is the simplest piece of advice you’ll ever get! Better yet, before falling in love with that beautiful shirt, jumpsuit, piece of lingerie in the store….look at the label and decide whether you’re really willing to do the hand-washing or other special treatment required.
  • Delicate items need a little mesh bag and a place to hang after washing. Take a look at the pull-down rods and valet rods that can be added to your laundry area. When needed, they’re right there and when you’re done, they slide out of the way!
Valet Rod for Closets

Valet Rod

Pull-Down Rod

Pull-Down Rod

(2) Set Aside Ironing Space in the Laundry Room: Some of us love ironing, have a dedicated area and lovely lavender scented spray for our linens. But even if you’re a dedicated Permanent Press person, clothes sometimes come out of the dryer too wrinkled to wear. Many laundry areas are right in the main part of our homes, next to the kitchen, or in the master bathroom. We don’t want to have a huge ironing board in the middle of everything—the solution? Fold-out ironing boards!
Fold Out Ironing Board (Open)

Fold Out Ironing Board (Open)

Fold Out Ironing Board (Closed)

Fold Out Ironing Board (Closed)

(3) Got a Stain? Treat it Immediately: Most stains will respond well to the stain stick of your choice. The key consideration of course, after washing, don’t dry the garment until you’re sure the stain is gone. A couple of stain removal tricks:
  • Wine: Sprinkle salt on the stain to minimize saturation. Soak in cold water or borax solution for 30 minutes. Wash as usual.
  • Coffee: Soak in cold water. Then apply a pre-treatment product and wash as usual.
(4) Invest in Better Hangers: Using covered hangers, your clothes stay on the hangers in your closet. When you wear them, your clothes will fit nicely, without dimples or distortions. As an added benefit, the inexpensive felted hangers are space savers. You can fit more neatly hung clothing with these then is possible with a hodgepodge of tangled up hangers. If you’re feeling creative, check out the fun & functional yarn covered hangers.
Velvet Hangers (Amazon)

Velvet Hangers (Amazon)

Yarn Bombed Hangers (Etsy)

Yarn Bombed Hangers (Etsy)

(5) After Being in Storage, Seasonal Clothing can Smell Musty:
  • Dry clean only garments? Try vodka—it’s not just for drinking anymore. Vodka makes an effective deoderizer, and is less expensive than a special cleanser. Using a spray bottle, spray the musty item all over. Then hang it outdoors until dry.
  • If you have an outdoor space, hanging clothes in the fresh air is always effective, time-tested, and free!
  • Check the labels to confirm that they’re machine washable. Sort by color in the washing machine, no soap and add 2-3 cups of clear vinegar to the wash cycle. The vinegar smell only lasts for minutes; they’ll smell fresh and new after drying.

Take a Test Drive Before You Buy

WHY VISITING EXPERTS AT A HOME PRODUCTS SHOWROOM IS A MUST

By Sharon McGovern, Editor of NARI NYC/LI Design & Remodel Sure it’s great to do your research online before making any large home improvement purchase – in fact most homeowners search the internet to select products. But do you really know the quality, benefits and features of what you’re getting? Our NYC/LI NARI experts want you to know why it’s imperative that you test drive products before making a major purchase for your home.
“For large purchases you want to make sure you’re spending your money wisely, you owe it to yourself to see the range of what’s possible”
“Most customers think they know what they want, and then they see all the options available and change their minds,” said Jason Ashe, National Sales Manager for WindowRama. “We understand the importance of a customer touching and trying out products – windows and doors can be big ticket items in larger renovation projects,” he added. WindowRama offers 40 different brands of windows and doors, so the product selection process can be overwhelming. “Our showrooms are a destination – customers can see windows and doors in a real world atmosphere – similar to rooms in their own home,” Ashe said.
Photo Courtesy of Green Art Plumbing Supply

Photo Courtesy of Green Art Plumbing Supply

A popular trend in home renovation and design is indoor/ outdoor living. WindowRama’s 6000 square foot superstore in Farmingdale showcases multi-fold patio doors and screens so homeowners can see how these large doors operate. “We want the consumer to be excited about their purchase,” Ashe added. Green Art Plumbing Supply also implements the latest and greatest innovations for the home into their showrooms. Customers can explore possibilities that were merely ideas, until now. Green Art Plumbing Supply’s Huntington Station showroom features exquisite kitchens and baths as functional displays – providing a chance to experience products firsthand before making a decision.
WindowRama

Photo Courtesy of WindowRama

“We put ourselves in our customer’s shoes,” said Stephanie Kurtzman, Marketing Director for Green Art Plumbing Supply. “Instead of buying online, visit a showroom to make sure the products you’re selecting fit your daily lifestyle and the unique look of your home,” she said. Green Art Plumbing Supply offers customers a truly unique showroom experience at their Huntington Station location – come in a bathing suit and try out a steam shower system in person! Custom closet design is generally an in-home shopping experience, says Bonnie Reich, owner of Symmetry Closets. “We measure, get a customer’s likes and dislikes, and can quickly provide a design and 3-D space plan. But you can’t get the experience of actually seeing materials in person and trying out options, unless you visit our showroom,” she said. “For example, there are all different grades of hardware – sometimes what you see in a picture may not be right for you. You need to engage with the product, and you just can’t replicate that experience.”
Symmetry Closets Located in Holbrook, NY

Symmetry Closets Located in Holbrook, NY

Lighting really makes a difference when you’re looking at materials, especially in custom closet and organization design. There’s LED lighting, strip lighting, drawers that light up and motion sensors that light up a space when you open a door. “There are so many lighting choices – cool, warm – unless you visit a showroom, you can’t experience that for yourself,” said Reich. According to Cambria USA spokesperson Aliki Vrohidis, different lighting can also affect the way you read colors, tones and movement in each of Cambria’s natural quartz countertop designs. “Additionally, our HighGloss and Cambria Matte surface finishes reflect light differently, so it’s important to see them both in person and in the correct lighting to see which you prefer,” she added. Cambria’s natural quartz design samples are a small select cut from a slab; they do not fully exhibit all the design characteristics of the final installed product. Variations in the natural quartz stone color, pattern, size, shape and shade are unique and inherent characteristics of the product. “Prior to making a purchase, we recommend viewing a full slab of the design’s movement in one of our showrooms or galleries,” Vrohidis said. Equally important to the experience of the showroom is a great team to work with. “Our incredibly knowledgeable, friendly, and dedicated staff provide the best personalized service in the industry,” said Green Art Plumbing Supply’s Stephanie Kurtzman.
Cambria USA

Photo Courtesy of Cambria US

For those customers who already have a trade professional to work with, the team at WindowRama offers ‘contractor concierge service.’ “We invite customers to come in and meet with a specialist to select products and build a portfolio of features,” said Jason Ashe. WindowRama’s staff then work with the contractor’s measurements to place the order. Need an installer or financing? WindowRama offers those services as well. Working with an expert in person can make all the difference says Bonnie Reich of Symmetry Closets. “There are things you don’t even think of – for example, your height makes a difference in designing a closet. Many times we have to modify standard cabinetry to work for your specific needs,” she said. “For large purchases you want to make sure you’re spending your money wisely,” she added, “you owe it to yourself to see the range of what’s possible!” This article originally appeared in Design & Remodel Magazine

Symmetry Closets—The Long Island Based Custom Closet Company Earns Esteemed 2014 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

Angies List Award 2014

Symmetry Closets has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2014. “We are delighted to receive the prestigious Angie’s List Super Service Award—two years in a row,” said President Bonnie Reich. “People invite us into their homes, to customize their bedroom closet storage, or ask us to design closet organizers for their kitchen pantry and other spaces. We’re so appreciative that everyone takes the time to write on Angie’s List about how happy they are with their new built in closet organizers. It truly makes our day!” “Only about 5 percent of the Custom Closet companies on Long Island have performed so consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a really high standard.” Angie’s List Super Service Award 2014 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines. Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.   Angie’s List helps facilitate happy transactions between nearly 3 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly-rated service providers in 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of authentic reviews of local service, Angie’s List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

Symmetry Closets Receives Interior Design Society Award for Charitable Work

Symmetry Closets Receives National Interior Design Society IMPACT Award: First Annual Charitable Design Recipients Announced

 

Snoa Garrigan, IDS and Bonnie Reich, Symmetry Closers

NEW YORK, April 15, 2016 – The Interior Design Society (IDS) announced award recipients for its first annual charitable design competition – the #idsIMPACT Awards – on Friday, April 1. Symmetry Closets is thrilled and honored to receive the Industry Partner IMPACT Award for their work on a charitable project. The Individual and Group IMPACT award winners were selected based on the widespread effect that each project had on its respective community. The Sponsor and Industry Partner IMPACT award recipients were selected based on how each company’s donations of product and/or service helped the group or individual complete the project.

The #idsIMPACT award recipients are:

Industry Partner IMPACT Award: 1st place: Symmetry Closets, donated a custom cabinet with cubbies

Individual IMPACT Award:

1st place (tie): Karen Ferreyra, Karen Ferreyra Interiors, East Meadow, N.Y. Project: Family & Children’s Association, residential home for homeless veterans 1st place (tie): Wendy Lepkoff, Wendy Interiors, Baldwin Harbor, N.Y. Project: Restoring a home devastated by Superstorm Sandy 2nd place: Tanna Edler, Tanna By Design, Snohomish, Wash. Project: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County, teen center transformation 3rd place: Kimberly Joi McDonald, Designing JOI, Las Vegas, Nev. Project: Baby’s Bounty, baby nursery and mom’s retreat

Group IMPACT Award:

  • 1st place: IDS Chicago & Suburban Chapter Project: Little Angels, redecoration of two children’s rooms
  • 2nd place: IDS Naples Chapter Project: Habitat for Humanity of Collier County, furnishing of a model home
  • 3rd place: IDS Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter Project: Feeding Children Everywhere, contributed to feeing 8,308 school children on free or reduced lunch plans

Sponsor IMPACT Award:

  • 1st place: Sherwin-Williams, donated paint and tools to four projects
  • 2nd place: Hansgrohe, donated a faucet and shower components
The award recipients were selected by judges Leslie Carothers and Kelli Ellis. These judges both possess backgrounds in interior design and harbor a strong commitment to community. To learn more about the #idsIMPACT projects and to see photographs, visit www.interiordesignsociety.org/impactwinners.  

About Symmetry Closets

At Symmetry Closets we have a passion for creating the best possible space for your needs and budget. We can help you organize your home and bring luxury to your spaces. At Symmetry Closets, we guide our customers through the process of designing a custom closet that’s right for them. As a business that is built on recommendations and referrals, customer satisfaction is our primary concern. We rely on our customers’ recommendations to family and friends. Our company’s foundation is built upon a solid reputation of reliability, and quality. Symmetry Closets is based in Long Island, NY.

About the Interior Design Society

The Interior Design Society (IDS) is an association of professional interior design entrepreneurs focused on helping our members grow their businesses, develop their talents, inspire each other, and impact their communities. One of the country’s largest design organizations dedicated to serving the residential interior design industry, IDS embraces four core values including professionalism, community, influence and growth. The IDS National headquarters is located in High Point, N.C.

About #idsIMPACT

#idsIMPACT is a community-engagement initiative of the Interior Design Society that was launched at 2015 IDS National Conference. Commitment to community is a core value of IDS. Beginning in 2016, IDS strongly encourages each member to report the number of hours per year provided in pro bono design services to benefit their community. The work can be of general benefit for the community such as a park or community center, or the work can be for a non-profit, religious, or other charitable cause.

Media Contact: Sheree Jeanes-Marketing Consultant 631-553-2775 sheree@symmetrycloset.com