Elements of the Perfect Closet Include Design and Organization

Many of us dream about the walk-in closet with built-in storage to maximize our wardrobe potential and keep us neatly organized. Now that we have done our spring cleaning and purged what we could, let’s organize what remains (which always still seems like way too much) for maximum efficiency and good looks.

Ways to Get More Out of Your Closet This Year

First things first: clear it out. Once it’s time to move everything back into your closet, arrange your wardrobe like a display. It’s important to have everything you own in view, or it’s possible you’ll forget you ever bought it.

Options for designing a closet are now nearly as wide as your choices for furnishing your house. It used to be that all a closet got were poles, hooks and shelves. Today, a closet’s custom mill work and visual finishes are as sophisticated as any high-end kitchen, bath or even retail store.

Closet designs begin with your basic “pole and shelf” setup: a single pole with a fixed shelf above it. Then it’s up to you to customize the closet interior.

The next upgrade includes multiple poles and shelves of varying lengths and heights to accommodate different types of garments. Typically, the vertical partitions holding up the poles are used as the sides for adjustable closet shelving. The components can be shop-built and painted on-site or, for a more durable (and expensive) finish, surfaced with melamine or laminate.

The third option is Oprah-style luxury. Think shop-built, prefinished wood: essentially furniture that is designed and dimensioned to fit your closet interior precisely. Custom-made dresser drawers, shoe cubbies, shelving, jewelry drawers and partitions give you the maximum amount of storage and cost the most money.

Below are some fabulous closets in homes for sale in Nashville.

Closet Design and Organization

At 2259 Horn Springs Road, the master closet features custom-made dresser drawers, shoe cubbies, shelving and an island providing additional storage. Click on the image for more photos and information from The Lipman Group Sotheby’s International Realty.

Closet Design and Organization

2114 Golf Club Lane, perfectly located between Vanderbilt & Green Hills, features his and hers closets with custom systems that include drawers, shoe cubbies, and shelving. Click on the image for more photos and information from The Lipman Group Sotheby’s International Realty.

Closet Design and Organization

Adelicia Unit 1105 features storage and organization with a modern feel. The bright white cabinetry allows your wardrobe to be the perfect pop of color. Click on the image for more photos and information from The Lipman Group Sotheby’s International Realty.

For closet design inspiration visit Houzz.com and for organization tips from closet professionals visit RealSimple.com.

Dreamy Porches, Patios, and Outdoor Living Rooms

Zillow Blog recently featured an article How Outdoor Space Can Help Sell Your Home and we agree that when considering a new property, nearly every home buyer considers the outdoors in some way as a requirement for a property they’re considering.

If the buyer is looking for a home in the suburbs, they want to know about the size of the lot, access to the yard, whether or not there’s a pool, or the location of the lot in relation to the neighborhood.

Some buyers love properties on corner lots; others, not so much. In more urban areas, buyers want to know if a property has any outdoor space at all and, if not, where is the nearest park?

Don’t let this spectacular season go to waste. Below we have pulled together great resources to make the most of your patio or porch and turn it into the new living room.

Dreamy Porches, Patios, and Outdoor Living Rooms

Make your deck the hot spot for evening parties. If your outdoor space currently says, “walk on by” rather than “please have a seat,” follow these creative ideas and simple styling tricks to give it a five-star makeover. Photo Credit: Southern Living via MyHomeIdeas.com

Dreamy Porches, Patios, and Outdoor Living Rooms

Finding the perfect table and chairs might be the most important aspect of reinventing a deck. Homeowner and designer Mary Leigh Fitts ditched her outdated patio set to make room for a large table custom-made with an iron base and limestone top; canvas chairs fit easily around it. Hint: For a less expensive tabletop version, use glass or plywood painted and sealed for outdoor use. Photo Credit: Southern Living via MyHomeIdeas.com

Dreamy Porches, Patios, and Outdoor Living Rooms

The simple brilliance of the space is that it connects directly to the kitchen and family room through French doors, so when homeowner Jennifer Frist hosts a dinner party, it’s a lot easier to perform back-and-forth hostess duties. Photo Credit: Laurey W. Glenn for Southern Living

Dreamy Porches, Patios, and Outdoor Living Rooms

To keep the landscape in view, designer Mark Simmons suggests copper or bronze screens. “They oxidize faster and have a way of disappearing into the background better, unlike the galvanized metal ones,” he explains. Photo Credit: Laurey W. Glenn for Southern Living

Get more great ideas from MyHomeIdeas.comHGTV.com, and don’t forget to pin your favorites on Pinterest!

5 Hot Design Trends in New Homes

Creativity and cost-savings are the main themes driving new-home design trends today, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Here are some of the latest new-home design trends, according to NAHB:

5 Hot Design Trends in New Homes

More new homes are incorporating a small space devoted to home management, known as “pocket offices.” These pocket offices may be anywhere. This pocket office is included in the pantry/mudroom.

1. “Pocket offices.” More space is being added to popular family gathering places like the kitchen and family room. As such, space devoted to formal home offices and dens are falling to the wayside. Instead of a formal home office, more new homes are incorporating a small space devoted to home management, known as “pocket offices.” These pocket offices may be anywhere, even included in a large pantry. They also might be tucked away near the kitchen or family great room. Most people today are mobile with their electronics and home office items anyway so they might not need as big of space to spread out and a “pocket office” may suffice.

2. Tucked away relax spots. Window seats and alcoves are increasing in new homes because they don’t take up much space but can still provide some private time.

5 Hot Design Trends in New Homes

Laundry rooms are being added onto the master bedroom’s walk-in closet for added convenience.

3. Master laundry rooms. Laundry rooms are being added onto the master bedroom’s walk-in closet for added convenience.

4. “Shadow” units. As more families live together under one roof, “shadow” units are increasing in popularity in new single-family homes. These units may be built alongside a home and operate as a separate living unit accessed through a door from the home’s main floorplan. Shadow units may also include homes that come with at least two master suites, such as one located on the ground floor and one upstairs.

5. Rectangular home designs. Rectangular home designs are increasing in popularity because they are more cost-effective to build. The trend was once grand, multiple roof lines. But to make rectangular designs appealing, these homes may have two windows in a corner with mitered glass to allow unobstructed views and light to flow in, according to NAHB. Or these homes might mix exterior materials, such as with metal, wood, and stone to give the home a more modern look.

Source: Styled Staged & Sold blog by REALTOR® magazine

Paint and Decorating Trends for 2012

Go bold in 2012 or blend in – that’s the trend for paint and decorating in the new year. REALTOR® Magazine recently highlighted Debbie Zimmer, color expert at the Paint Quality Institute, forecast for color choices in 2012, but here are some more of the home trends she expects to catch on in decorating next year.

Paint and Decorating Trends for 2012
Courtesy of The Paint Quality Institute

Matching Exteriors
On exteriors, shutter color choices often have been painted high-contrast greens, reds, or blacks. But in 2012, Zimmer sees the trend moving to a more monochromatic scheme for the exterior.

“You’ll see more shutters that are painted just a shade darker than the siding,” says Zimmer. “Owners of homes with stone exteriors can get in on things by matching the shutter color to the dominant color of the stone.”

Flashy Painted Patterns
A budget friendly way to decorate a room and still have big impact – painted patterns. Patterned paint will likely be decorating more walls in 2012, Zimmer says, from houndstooth finishes, lacy designs, to bold color blocking techniques.

“In some cases, pattern will be the main decorating feature in a room; in others, it will provide a subtle, textured backdrop for fine furnishings and artwork,” says Zimmer.

Paint and Decorating Trends for 2012
Courtesy of The Paint Quality Institute

Black and White
The two color extremes can add a pop to interiors, from the contemporary apartment to even the historic home. Zimmer says pairing black-and-white is a “great way to freshen an interior with something smart and stylish,” Zimmer says.

For more information on popular trends in 2012, visit Styled Staged & Sold, a REALTOR® Magazine blog

Efficient Home Design from Best-Selling Author Sarah Susanka

Sarah Susanka, architect and best-selling author of the “Not So Big House” books, has just finished her newest example of building a right-sized home.

The home, in the School Street neighborhood of Libertyville, Ill., is 2,450 square feet on two floors and sits on a small and narrow lot, 29 feet wide by 100 feet long. The home’s interior spaces are lined up in a row; each has a west-facing window that lets in plenty of sunshine on cold winter days.

Sarah Susanka FAIA traditional
The home’s Arts and Crafts aesthetic helps it fit into its surroundings. And the front porch gives back to the neighborhood, allowing the home to engage in the public sphere.
Sarah Susanka FAIA traditional
The living room, to the left after you enter the house, is made special and spacious with a raised ceiling that incorporates indirect lighting. The screen wall keeps the room open to the stairs while providing enough of a barrier to ensure the space has its own integrity. In the view down the hall, a piece of artwork is displayed in a lighted niche.
Sarah Susanka FAIA traditional
The kitchen is visible from the entry area and circulation spine. A unique feature of the layout is the kitchen’s location at the front of the home, ideal for preparing a snack while watching for the kids to make their way home from school. Also, the front of the house receives the most sunlight so having the kitchen here gives this heavily used space a lot of natural light.
Sarah Susanka FAIA traditional
At the top of the stairs is a laundry/crafts room. This room provides plenty of storage space and counters for folding. A sink provides a handy cleanup spot for crafts and home projects.

.

The plans show how the home’s linear plan of one room deep spaces is positioned to gather as much light as possible. This approach allows some passive heating of the house during those cold Illinois winters, reduces the home’s carbon footprint, and saves on energy bills.

Sarah Susanka FAIA

Click here for more images from the tour of Sarah Susanka’s newest right-sized house on Houzz.com.

Artsicle: Rent an Art Collection

The excitement of holding a paddle from the Sotheby's auction house in New York.

Ooh, the excitement of holding a paddle from the Sotheby's auction house in New York!

So many people long to attend a live auction at Sotheby’s auction house. Just to visit the auction house, participate in an auction and actually purchase original works of art are events that may never happen to many people.

Owning original art, especially those of the world’s most renown artists is reserved for a few.

Introducing Artsicle.com

Peruse Artsicle.com to find about having your own original art collection - without the enormous investment traditionally required.
Peruse Artsicle.com to find about having your own original art collection – without the enormous investment traditionally required.
The quick and easy quiz gives Artsicle and idea of your art preferences. There's a "second date" quiz that digs a little deeper.

The quick and easy quiz gives Artsicle and idea of your art preferences. There's a "second date" quiz that digs a little deeper.

The art world is closer than ever with a relatively new service called Artsicle. Think of art in the same way you think of DVDs and Netflix.  Artsicle will let you sign up free and take their “discovery game” to find out your preferred art style.

This Matisse painting is estimated by Sotheby's to sell for more than $550,000.

This Matisse painting is estimated by Sotheby's to sell for more than $550,000.

Then, instead of expecting (or even hoping) that you will exchange your $500,000 for an original by Henri Matisse, they will sign you up for a private rotation of original art – monthly – shipped directly to your home.

For as little as $25/month, art collectors – of any status – can be surrounded by objects and paintings that they love….and they can help out a few artists get more exposure.