Everyone knows the feeling. Whether looking for an outfit for work, or an ensemble for a Saturday night out-on-the-town, you can’t find anything to wear. It’s not due to a lack of a nice wardrobe; it’s because your closet doesn’t fit your needs.
According to Mark Hutto, who grew up on St. Simons Island, and owns Closets by Design, in Jacksonville, Fla., with his wife, Frances Hutto, the main problems homeowners are faced with, as far as closets go, are crammed space and lack of design.
He said the company’s most frequent customers are those who have older homes with insufficient closet space, and people with new homes with closets that have what he refers to as those “terrible wire racks.”
A closet remodel results in a system that works.
“We give it a facelift; we double their space with a lot more shelving and hanging space,” he said.
People who are really lacking in closet space can undertake a larger project, perhaps converting a guest bedroom into a large walk-in closet.
For example, at a customer’s home near Fort Frederica, a room at the back of the house was converted into a walk-in closet, complete with an island with locked drawers to store jewelry and other valuables. Some new locks are operated via Bluetooth technology, so they provide even more security for homeowners’ treasures.
Perhaps his favorite closet accessory is the valet rod.
“You can hang the clothes you just got back from the dry cleaner, or use it to hang your clothes for the next day,” he said.
In closets with high ceilings, pull-down rods allow access to a whole other level of hanging area. Operated by hydraulic piston, pull-down rods also provide accessibility and efficiency for people with physical limitations.
Frances Hutto is the design guru of the company, and said clients are looking primarily for two things.
“They are essentially looking for more space and better function of their space,” she said.
Frances Hutto said in her personal closet, her favorite features include having an entire section dedicated to her shoes.
“Some would say a person can never have enough shoes, so why not make the space they inhabit pretty and functional?” she said. “I now have all my footwear on slanted shoe shelves and no longer have boxes all over the floor.”
Clients wanting to match their closets to the overall feel of their homes is a popular trend.
“Colors are carried throughout the home design, and often door and drawer styles will be repeated in various spaces,” she said. “Grey tones are extremely popular – from solid lights and darks to textured finishes. Brushed nickel bar pulls are also in vogue; they are often selected to stay in tone with the rest of the home as well.”
Must-have features include the aforementioned valet rods, along tie and belt racks and soft-close doors and drawers. And, a tilt-out hamper is a great way to stow dirty laundry, and the removable bag makes for easy trips to the laundry room.
Having this level of organization, she said, is a “breath of fresh air.”
“With everything in one place, I am able to see everything easily, and it makes getting ready a cinch,” she said.