My Closet

20 Jan 2011
Our DesignersOur ProjectsOur Stories posted by Sara Tofanelli-Barroso

“Purge”, “Spring Clean”, “Organizing”.  Whatever you want to call it, that’s what I’ve been doing lately.  It all started one day when I went clothes shopping.  I bought too much.  But I really needed everything that I purchased!  At least that’s what I told my husband who couldn’t believe I spent that much on clothes just for myself!  As I was putting away my freshly washed, new clothes, I realized that I had run out of closet space.  No more hangers, no room to hang anyways, sweaters all unfolded and in a bunch and, frankly, just old.  It was then that I began “in with the new, out with the old”. 

This is not my closet but it might as well be for all the organization it had!

I only had a few minutes before I had to make dinner, but I was determined.  I got to work quickly and very efficiently, I might add.  If I hadn’t worn the item in a few years, it was on the floor, in a pile.  I didn’t allow myself to think about it…I just threw things down.  Soon, my pile was rather large.  But I didn’t stop there.  I went through my shoes and my jackets (in another closet).  Ahhh…it felt nice, very nice.  I then put everything in kitchen garbage bags and ended up with 3 large, full bags when I was done.  My bags went into the dining room until I was to take them to good will. 

Not too many people have beautiful closets/rooms for their clothing. What I wouldn’t give for something like…

The Living Space Closet - HIS modern closet


Presidio Heights Residence traditional closet


Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly Bedroom 11 modern bedroom
modern bedroom design by new york kitchen and bath Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly, Inc.

But most of us have to be content with the closets God gave us and make do with organizing them to the best of our abilities!

Designs by Shoshana eclectic closet




Invest in all the same size and style hanger. When everything is on an even plane, it is easier to keep things straightened and organized.

Purchase these really inexpensive foam hanging strips to adhere to the tops of your hanger. For pennies you can keep your clothes from sliding off its hanger (thereby reducing visual clutter) and ending up on the floor.

Take your necklaces and bracelets out of a drawer and hang on a rack or hooks on a wall in your closet (or on the door). That way you see everything you have and will wear it more (or toss, when you realize that you never wear it). It also will free up another drawer for your use.

Designs by Shoshana eclectic bedroom

eclectic bedroom design by philadelphia interior designer Designs by Shoshana


Purchase inexpensive plastic, zippered bags to store sweaters in (during  the summer) and shorts and swimsuits in (during  the winter) Or use nice fabric covered boxes, which will take up more room but look great. Store them up high, or down low when they are out of season and save the easy to reach spaces for things you use now.

Closet Storage Idea eclectic closet

Organize your clothes by type and color. All of the tops go on a top bar and should be color coordinated. All of the pants and skirts go on a bottom bar, also by color. Make sure your closet has two rows of bars. You will probably only need a small space for hanging full length dresses and coats. If you can find dividers like these (used in clothing stores to separate sizes) they are good to separate colors or styles (i.e.short sleeves from long sleeves)

If you have the luxury of starting fresh and actually planning your closet, make sure that you draw out the space, measure your clothes lengths and how much rod space you need for them and also measure the size and depth for your shoes and how many pairs you have ( or want to have!)

Stonebreaker Builders & Remodelers traditional laundry room
traditional laundry room design by chicago general contractor Stonebreaker Builders & Remodelers

We all collect things.  Some collect more than others.  But the fact of the matter is, we all have too much stuff.  To purge feels good and remember: “one man’s trash is another man’s treasures”.

Oh…and after much nagging, I finally got my husband to go through his side of the closet.  He ended up with 3 big bags too! 



Continue reading "My Closet" »
0 Comments | Post A Comment
Our Projects posted by Sara Tofanelli-Barroso

Last Sunday at 4pm, the quasi finale of a relaxing 3 day weekend, just 2 hours before dinner was to be served and in the middle of a wearisome argument about how we can solve our kitchen and bath issues (with my father mediating), John and my mom decided to start right away to un-complicate our living space.

One of John’s biggest frustrations is that we had toys in every room in our house.  I didn’t think it was that awful but I could understand his annoyance.  Of course, any time I cleaned up the toys they’d be played with and all over the house 2 minutes later… a never-ending mess.  And as anyone with a small home knows, there’s no room for clutter.  With small homes less is better…Ideally, keeping the design aesthetics to a simplistic minimum.

So it began.  Our room was the biggest so the boys should enjoy it and fill it with their beds and their toys.  Their room was the smallest.  John and I don’t really need a lot of space in our bedroom… maybe just enough for a night stand and a laundry basket.  So why not make the switch?

This was their room before.



As you can see it was small but it worked.  However, we had a train table set up as a coffee table in the office, a few Ikea storage bins for cars, crafts and random toy parts also in the office, a firehouse and police station in the boys room and the legos that Luca received from Santa hadn't yet found a home (other than the dining table).  So here's a glimpse at the semi-final project...

To obtain more space we decided to close off one of the 4 doors in this room (yes, both rooms have 4 doors!).  It's behind the white bookcase and it lead through my closet to our new bedroom. It's been an adjustment not being able to use it but we should've done it years ago for the space we've gained.  

And it was such an eventful evening (and possibly traumatic for Rocco) that he needed to sleep with his brother. Such troopers!

I'll post pictures of how our room transformed soon!

Continue reading "Resolutions in Progress" »
2 Comments | Post A Comment


02 Jan 2011
Our Projects posted by Sara Tofanelli-Barroso

It’s often that in life we don’t make the time to take care of the things that we really would like to accomplish.  We often let day after day go by living our usual lives trying to catch up with the daily grime without making the time for bigger projects that may just make our lives easier and more satisfying.   It’s exhausting just thinking about adding a task, yet alone a project, to my list.

However, it’s become clear to me that I can no longer just do the 100 things that I do every day.  All of my usual tasks are becoming much more difficult and I need to simplify.  I have decided that my family’s lives would be a lot more manageable if we took some accountability of our home. 

We live in a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 1700 square foot home which was built around 1910 very near downtown.  We love our home and wouldn’t want to move.  However, with 2 very active boys and 2 dogs we are quickly growing out of our small, beloved space. 

Our home was built so long ago and as you can imagine, people lived differently back then than we do now.  We would like to modernize the room sizes, create a bigger more functional kitchen, construct closet storage that's user-friendly and somehow add another bathroom… all by staying within our existing exterior walls. 

So it’s by putting this out in the open for everyone to remind me of my mission.  This year I WILL follow the necessary steps required to complete this project.  I WILL simplify my living situation, I WILL do one extra task every day in order to complete this project and I WILL require the motivation, encouragement, know-how and relationships of my friends and family in order to make this home livable, functional and beautiful (see inspiration image below) ...

(Unless, of course, it’s going to cost too much!)


Continue reading "Resolutions" »
0 Comments | Post A Comment