Seeing what others in your field are doing is always interesting.

You find common ground.

Or you find inspiration.

Or maybe you see a solution to a problem you’ve had for years.

And then there’s just the fact that, when it comes to the field of closet design, it’s just plain fun to gain insight into a colleagues design process.

2018 Cabinets & Closets Conference

Panel: Designer Dialogue -- Senior designers from top firms across the country share their perspectives on how to balance the art of design versus the business of design.  March 27 at the Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena, California.


So I put together a list of questions and asked them of ten people I feel are designing at the top of the game. Here are their answers.

They’re not in any sort of ranking or special order. Enjoy getting to know these very talented, dedicated people.

Donna Siben

Closet Organizing Systems, Bartlett, Illinois

http://closetos.com

What did you do before you started designing closets?

I sold office products for tons of years. I liked the space planning part the best so closet design seemed like a good fit.

Number of years designing closets

17

Special designations or memberships

Four 1st place Top Shelf Design awards and a couple of honorable mentions

Does form follow function or function follows form?

Function follows form.

What’s your favorite/least favorite HGTV show?

Fixer Upper and Property Brothers - mostly because my husband likes watching them.

Least favorite is the one with the squeaky voice - Flipping Out. The voice just gets to me.

Tell me about one of your favorite projects

Oh goodness. The last time I won Top Shelf - the “L” shaped closet with windows. Because of the challenge involved in it. It was the biggest space I’d ever had to design. Not the most expensive but the biggest. What I loved was working with the people. They were decisive but let me run where I wanted to . They didn’t go over the top but still got a great result. There was lots of engineering to fit all the clothing. I liked being right there at the beginning to decide where the islands were going to go, etc. We took it from infancy through college.

What’s your design philosophy

I would say I’m different than other people because I don’t think about selling it until I have given them the best possible design for their money. I know lots of people think about the sales process all throughout. I don’t. I want to make sure they’ve got the best design possible.

Most memorable client request - good or bad

A wall in the center of a huge space that the client insisted was not a retaining wall. When they pulled it down it ended up being a humongous post that had to support the wall. So we ended up with this big ugly pole. I had the epiphany that we had to balance that, so I had them build another post to balance it out and we built an island in between. Inside the post we put in a safe that was accessible from the other side that just looked like it was a decorative piece.

It was a big challenge that we had to address and we did it with such design and production skill that the additional post looks intentional.

Favorite designer/architect - fashion or furniture or building

I’ve always been a Ralph Lauren fan.

If you had your own “dream closet” - what’s the “must have” in it?

I seem to tend to collect purses and I never have enough room for them - so space to store purses WITH lighting. Lighting everywhere.

Three words that describe your personal style

Classic. Blingy. Comfortable.

What’s your favorite clothing item in your own closet

My ponchos with pockets. It’s a seasonal thing.

Mistake you remember making that you’ve never made again

It has to do with garages. I was first starting out. I put in all these cabinets and never took into account that there were rails to hold the garage door - that they would only be 8 foot up and I was going higher with the cabinets so the doors hit the garage door. Never did that again.

When it comes to wine - red or white?

White. I’m a chardonnay gal.

 

Tim Higbee, RSD

Closet Works, Elmhurst, Illinois

http://www.closetworks.com

What did you do before you started designing closets?

I have a bachelor of fine arts in interior architecture and I worked for a residential/commercial architecture firm. The last major project was Sara Lee (who has an intimate apparel division - Bali and Playtex) Intimate Apparel on Madison Ave in Manhattan.

Number of years deigning closets

16

Any special designations or memberships

Registered Storage Designer with the Association of Closet and Storage Professionals.

Top Shelf Design Award Winner

Does form follow function or function follows form?

Form follows function - no matter how bad it hurts.

What’s your favorite HGTV show? Least favorite and why?

I don’t watch HGTV, or much TV at all.  I don’t like to sit on the sidelines and watch. I like to be involved.

Tell me about one of your favorite projects

That’s easy. I did a built in living room entertainment center with built in fireplace.

I love it because I’d never done it before and it was such a challenge. And I love the clients, they were great to work with. And it was a team effort.

What’s your design philosophy

Closets must first and foremost be action stations. You have to be able to get in, get everything that you need and get out on the road twice a day. You have to get yourself together and you cannot be hindered, but at the same time it has to be an environment that’s personally and aesthetically pleasing. So again, form follows function.

Most memorable client request - good or bad

That’s like saying what’s your favorite song. The most memorable ones are always the ones that are most challenging.

One of my favorites was an exterior corner shelving unit for a client who collected pottery. It wrapped around an exterior corner. It was challenging to do with our materials and system.

Favorite designer/architect - fashion or furniture or building

Zaha Hadid & Frank Gehry because they’re examples of form AND function.

If you had your own “dream closet” - what’s the “must have” in it?

That’s a hard question for me because I don’t need all the bells and whistles. I need it be efficient. I need it to function efficiently and have the flexibility for when things change in my life.

Three words that describe your personal style

Timeless Modern. Minimalist. Mise en plac (a german term for everything in its place)

I asked Tim what to define timeless modern - he said modern versus contemporary. Modern was a movement in architecture and design where you have traditional, transitional and modern. And modern is very clean lines. Thus “Timeless Modern”.

What’s your favorite clothing item in your own closet and why

My shirts because they express me in my varied moods and activities.

Mistake you remember making that you’ve never made again

Ceiling light fixture/door clearance - that states it pretty clearly for anyone who has ever designed a closet.

When it comes to wine - red or white

No way - don’t make me decide. It really depends upon the season and the event. I’ll never drink red wine at a social event because of potential spills and less than white teeth. So, on one hand, I would say  “All wine all the time.” On the other I’d say summer = white.  Winter =  red. My favorite (in case you want to buy me a bottle) is a Chateau Le Lafite Rothschild. To which I say sure Tim, would you prefer the bottle for $8625.00 or the one for $17,5000 (asked lovingly)?

 

Wendy Scott, RSD

Direct Cabinet Sales, Dayton, New Jersey

https://www.linkedin.com/Wendy Scott

https://www.houzz.com/pro/wendyrut/wendy-scott-closet-design

What did you do before you started designing closets?

Worked for a builder and then for a kitchen company. Working for the builder was selections. For the kitchen company I was a kitchen design assistant and then designed small kitchens. Then their kitchen designer quit and they said hey do you want to try designing closets so I did.

Number of years designing closets

12

Special designations or memberships

ACSP - Registered and Certified Designer, Vice President/President Elect for the Association of Closet and Storage Professionals

Top Shelf Design Award winner

Does form follow function or function follows form?

Form follows function

What’s your favorite/least favorite HGTV show?

My favorite is Chip and Joanna - I think I watch that one the most. I just love the interaction they have together.

Tell me about one of your favorite projects.

My favorite would be an attic closet - a white dressing room in the attic. She had all her inspiration pieces saved from Houzz and I was able to make her inspiration come to life in a really nice way - even creating solutions for her that she didn’t know were possible.

What’s your design philosophy

For me, I treat everyone the same no matter what their budget and that’s the way I design.

I like to think outside the box. Use things in different ways if I can, but it’s an equally balanced approach to problem solving using design tools.

Most memorable client request - good or bad

The first one that comes to mind - someone asked me to make a specific location for a cat shelf inside their closet. I had to put it in the back corner where there wouldn’t be anything around it so the cat could find it. Cat loved it.

Favorite designer/architect - fashion or furniture or building

JoAnna Gaines. I just like her. She makes everything so pretty in a classic way.

If you had your own “dream closet” - what’s the “must have” in it?

If my husband would let me take that darn guest room and make it into a closet - I would want my jewelry vault and a lock on the door so no one can come in.

Three words that describe your personal style

Easy-going. Low maintenance. Sporty.

What’s your favorite clothing item in your own closet

Ballet flats that are Ugg leopard print.

Mistake you remember making that you’ve never made again

Learning how to install the lighting before the day of installation.

First time ever doing lights, I was left to hang out and dry. Richie DeMarco had to come to my rescue as the installer had originally tried to install them inside out/backwards.

When it comes to wine - red or white?

White

 

Sally Hart

Clever Closet Company

Sydney Australia

http://cleverclosetcompany.com.au/

What did you do before you started designing closets?

I was a Nurse Practitioner in Sydney.

Number of years deigning closets

Sixteen years

Any special designations or memberships

KBDI Australia (Kitchen Bathroom Design Institute)

Association of Closet and Storage Professionals

Does form follow function or function follows form?

I just had to do a debate on this. I hate having to answer this. I actually think the straight answer is form follows function. However, I refuse to let myself think that way because I want things to look beautiful so I decide that way.

So it’s the chicken and the egg. At first premise I think form follows function but overriding all of that is a knowledge that the room has to be beautiful so ultimately, in reality, function will follow form. You can’t have a room so full of storage that it overwhelms the space.

You need to make the storage fit into the room in a beautiful way.

We’re all the time realizing that beauty is part of our first instinct and sometimes we forget that.

What’s your favorite/least favorite HGTV show?

I don’t watch much TV but there’s a show called “The Block” - 5 couples move to a building that needs to be renovated and they each have an apartment they have to renovate over 12 weeks. I like seeing what they come up with. It’s a mix of skills. They’re only allowed to use their own skills, so they have to create and execute good design skills under intense pressure with limited resources.

Tell me about one of your favorite projects.

It’s always for a person that you enjoy. Currently it’s one that’s like a genie’s bottle experience in that we’re creating a retreat for my client to have her own space away from a house of men.

It’s great to create something for a client that reflects their personality and style. She’s very feminine. She loves pretty florals and stripes and we’ll be bringing those into “joinery” (cabinets) with wallpaper and fabric behind glass. There’ll be sofas and ottomans and pretty lighting.

What’s your design philosophy

To create spaces that make people’s lives easier and reflect harmony and personality.

Most memorable client request - good or bad

Strangely, I think because we do everything bespoke, I'm used to odd requests. Two that stand out are:

1) We were asked to soundproof a wardrobe where it backed onto an elevator in an apartment-  a little tricky because we already were working with a space that was too shallow but I found a paint on sound insulating product that was just a bit thicker than paint that worked quite well.

 or

2)People get fixated on "a waste of space" such as in corners or when there is extra depth that effectively just makes the space awkward and they want to show how clever it is to use every bit of space, but really it's not necessarily good design, like secret doors to blocked off spaces.

I always say, "anything can be done. I can draw something that accesses that space (like an access hole into a roof space that they would need to remove items then crawl in through a small door), and show you how clever we can be in theory with electronic conveyors, or tricky little secret doors, but it amounts to design for the sake of it.

Favorite designer/architect - fashion or furniture or building

I actually don’t have  a favorite. I love and appreciate so many different styles.

If you had your own “dream closet” - what’s the “must have” in it?

A maid.

Three words that describe your personal style

Boho. Organic. Eclectic.

What’s your favorite clothing item in your own closet

At the moment I have a pair of silk corduroy Christian Dior jeans that I got in Florence in a second hand store.

Mistake you remember making that you’ve never made again

Not considering enough the height of cabinetry in getting the proportions right.

Wine - red or white

Champagne.

 

Sue Tinker

Closet Works, Elmhurst Illinois

http://www.closetworks.com/

What did you do before you started designing closets?

I worked in a yarn store, turning my hobby into my job. But when everyone stopped knitting, I needed a new career. I was interested in in-home sales and saw a blind ad in the Washington Post for a “closet designer”. When I went into that California Closets showroom and saw the jewelry drawer, I knew I had found my destiny.

Number of years designing closets

Almost 30 years

Special designations or memberships

I’m getting ready to take the first level certification test via the Association of Closet and Storage Professionals. Does that count?

Five time “Top Shelf Design” Award Winner

Does form follow function or function follow form?

It depends. I always have three goals. 1) Maximize the space 2)Make it a good design and 3)I want it to look good.

What’s your favorite HGTV show? Least favorite and why/

I never watch HGTV.

Tell me about one of your favorite projects.

I designed a closet where the shoes cost more than the closet. It had a lighted island and electronic pull-downs (and still, the shoes cost more than the closet).

What’s your design philosophy

The KISS method (keep it simple). Practical.

Most memorable client request - good or bad

It was literally a closet for the wardrobe of Betsy the Goose. A cement goose. I thought she was kidding.

Favorite designer/architect - fashion or furniture or building

Christian Dior - he’s french and amazing. I also love a woman named Iris Apfel (google her). She’s a fashion icon, interior designer and American business woman.

If you had your own “dream closet” - what’s the “must have” in it?

Plenty of jewelry drawers.

Three words that describe your personal style

Practical. Boring. Sensible.

What’s your favorite clothing item in your own closet

My jewelry. All of it.

Mistake you remember making that you’ve never made again

Jeez, I’ve made them all. On more than one occasion, letting someone talk me into something against my better judgement. I let them have their fantasy but it was a waste of time and effort.

When it comes to wine - red or white

50/50, though after a recent trip to Italy, I’m favoring Chianti.

 

Malka Sabroe-JoHanson

R C Cabinets and Closets. Cotati California

http://www.rccabinetsandclosets.com/

What did you do before you started designing closets?

I studied interior design and started working with lighting fixtures. Then worked as an assistant interior designer and repped fabric for 10 years. Then moved from Southern to Northern California and went to work for a closet company in the bay area and loved it immediately. I was 40 something at the time but loved it because it still involved design and it’s very practical.

I also have a degree in law enforcement because I wanted to be a cop in my youth and wanted to work with kids because I, myself, was in foster care. And I pursued this because I felt like I “should”, but wasn’t great at it. At the time interior design seemed frivolous for me but when I discovered cabinetry design and how important the function is, I knew it was right.

Number of years designing closets

25 years

Does form follow function or function follows form?

Form follows function

What’s your favorite HGTV show? Least favorite and why/

What’s HGTV? I don’t have TV.

The only favorite I have is a soap opera because my sister is on it.

I watch Netflix.

Tell me about one of your favorite projects

My most heartwarming one is a client of mine who had been a therapist who went into photography.

She used to be very organized but was diagnosed with brain cancer and things got really messy.

She had a home office of mismatched things and she said she wanted built-ins.

I started designing it and I recommended a professional organizer who helped her clean everything out and then we installed this really neat office and helped her get her life back.

What’s your design philosophy

My goal or purpose is maximizing a space being fastidious in detail.

My goal is to transform a clients space to make it as functional as possible and then add beautiful elements.

Most memorable client request - good or bad

We redid a closet that was wall hung because the cat jumped on the shelf and it fell down.

This lady had a small house and she worked for the city and she had a lot of clothes. Too many for this little bungalow house. So they enclosed the attic and she needed storage in there. So you had to go through her closet, up a staircase. I designed that.

Another interesting one - I had a burlesque dancer and she had these tiny weenie garments and we got special hangers and did 5 levels of hanging and we found little clips to put on hangers. I didn’t tell the installers anything about the client because I didn’t want them stalking or gawking.

Favorite designer/architect - fashion or furniture or building

I worked as an apprentice for Tom Hamilton, architect. He worked for the high end furniture store Cannell & Chaffin. He did work for Von Maur, Richard Nixon, the Hilton family. He was very traditional. He had lost one eye so it amazes me how great of a designer he was. He wasn’t extravagant, he created incredibly gorgeous homes that are livable and comfortable. He most inspired me to be in design.

If you had your own “dream closet” - what’s the “must have” in it?

Scarf racks

Three words that describe your personal style

Transitional with an eclectic sense.

What’s your favorite clothing item in your own closet

Pajamas

Mistake you remember making that you’ve never made again

My biggest thing is that I’m chatting away and I forget measurements so my rule is to have clients look at my portfolio while I focus on their measurements. And I like to do that by myself so I can be focused and fastidious.

When it comes to wine - red or white

Only Silver Oak cabernet (who has been a client). When I told them it was my favorite they gave me a bottle. And the installers get tips in wine. They collect it because they don’t drink much either.  I live in wine country but I don’t really drink. Sometimes at 10:00 am clients offer me a glass of wine.

 

Janet Stevenson, RSD

Closet City, Montgomeryville PA

https://www.closetcity.com

What did you do before you started designing closets?

Worked in corporate america for a fast food chain in their marketing and graphics department.

I was at a point in life where I needed a “rebirth” with the flexibility and the newly emerging closet and storage market could provide.

Number of years designing closets

34 years

Special designations or memberships

Board member of NARI

President elect of the area NARI chapter - Contractor of the Year 6 times

International President of IFDA (International furnishings design association)

Past board member of the ACSP - Registered Storage Designer/Certified Storage designer - one of the members who initiated and created the certification program for the ACSP

5 time Top Shelf Design Award Winner

Industry Partner for ASID

Member of the NK

Does form follow function or function follows form?

Totally depends on the project at hand because one could be totally function based and something else has to be so creative in order to have a project that works for the client so that form must be there first.

What’s your favorite/least favorite HGTV show?

I watch some Property Brothers. Fixer Upper is my favorite because I think Joanna Gaines has such a creative flair that I always love to see her outcome.

Tell me about one of your favorite projects.

The “Her” Dressing room project - it was such a creative challenge and the fact that the homeowner was so excited about her new closet when she said to me that I want to take my girls into my closet and feel like it’s my own personal boutique it opened the floodgates for me to be as creative as possible.  I was part of a huge renovation and she said to me that she was more excited about the closet than the kitchen.

What’s your design philosophy

There are no limits!

Most memorable client request - good or bad

A gentleman who wanted to make sure his collection of "videos" could be more easily accessible in his master closet, but discretely hidden....yuck...they were all on his top shelf when I inventoried - not a very comfortable event

Favorite designer/architect - fashion or furniture or building

Architect - Frank Lloyd Wright - before his time in his thoughtful use of space and maximizing every inch to be used artistically.

Clothes designer - Ralph Lauren.  Classic.  Timeless in most instances....all of my cocktail clothes are Ralph Lauren, actually!

If you had your own “dream closet” - what’s the “must have” in it?

A pull out pivoting touch ironing board. I put them in clients closets all the time and can’t figure out a way to get it into my home closet.

Three words that describe your personal style

Current. Edgy. Confident.

What’s your favorite clothing item in your own closet

My jewelry because it helps me finish an outfit to represent who you are. And I have a pair of boots that I absolutely love that I wear almost everyday in the winter. I even went out and bought another pair for when the first pair wears out.

Mistake you remember making that you’ve never made again

I had a non retractable ball point pen in my hand and I marked the woman’s collar on her shirt in her closet while I was trying to measure. She had borrowed it from her girlfriend and hadn’t returned it and I totally ruined it. I will never have a pen in my hand again that doesn’t click to close.

When it comes to wine - red or white

Both! But Oaky Chardonnay all the way.

 

Joyce Hardison

Native Oak, Ventura California

http://www.nativeoak.com

What did you do before you started designing closets?

I was actually taking classes in interior design. Then life threw me a curveball and I looked for a job and there was an ad in the classified for Closet World. I sent them a resume’ and they called and asked me to interview and they hired me and put me into training.

I’ve always had my closets done before I was one. When I saw the ad I figured I could do that.

Number of years designing closets

24

Does form follow function or function follows form?

Form follows function

What’s your favorite/least favorite HGTV show?

One that gets on my nerves is “Love It or List It” because every show has the same formula and it drives me crazy.

My favorite would be Property Brothers because I love their creativity and their taste.

Tell me about one of your favorite projects.

Most memorable project - Large stained walk in closet in Beverly Hills - had to replicate drawer fronts and doors from an antique piece the client wanted to match.  Watched as my cabinetmaker and custom door company worked out my hand drawn design on the computer for his CNC machine.  (Side note - Client bought house for 11 million and put another 5 million into remodeling.  It was the "haunted house" on American Idol many years ago.)

What’s your design philosophy

To provide my clients with a well thought out design based on their needs and desires, a fair price, a quality product and installation, and to create a long lasting relationship founded on outstanding customer service.

Most memorable client request - good or bad

When I had to design around a horse saddle. They had it on a special stand and I had to design around it because they wanted to keep it in the closet instead of the barn.

Favorite designer/architect - fashion or furniture or building

I’m a Frank Gehry fan. I like that he’s so off the wall. His designs are just so incredibly unique. They’re art.

Fashion - Christian Dior. Classic elegance. Timeless.

If you had your own “dream closet” - what’s the “must have” in it?

A big island with drawers and a wine fridge and espresso machine in it because it would mean I have a lot of space.

Three words that describe your personal style

Classic, Comfortable, Chic

What’s your favorite clothing item in your own closet

My Ralph Lauren jeans

Mistake you remember making that you’ve never made again

Showing a client a closet in a showroom that had backing and not offering back to the client. She complained because there was no backing.

When it comes to wine - red or white

Red. Right now it’s pinot noir.

 

Angel Martin

Affordable Closets Plus, Bangor Pennsylvania

http://www.affordableclosetsplus.com

What did you do before you started designing closet

I was a pharmaceutical sales rep for about 8 years. When you work in this industry they train their reps in so much detail. That really helped me with working in closet design. And I did a lot of in house learning, customer service, marketing, etc. before actually going out on client appointments.

Number of years designing closets

12 years

Special designations or memberships

ACSP (Association of Closet and Storage Professionals)

Members of AIA

Professional Women in Construction

National Association of Women in Construction

Does form follow function or function follows form?

Form follows function. Aesthetics incorporated, yes, but it needs to work. Then the look follows.

What’s your favorite/least favorite HGTV show?

I love “Love It or List It”. I love the transformations and how you think your existing home won’t work for you but when you have an expert come in - things could work and you don’t always have to move.

Tell me about one of your favorite projects

There are many - but one of the top had an elevator. It was a conversion of a three car garage, converting one bay into the women’s walk in closet. Now it’s a 2 car garage.

The client takes a shower, then takes an elevator down to her dressing room.

The garage is located below master bedroom. The husband had the vision of this. When we met I was thinking “why are we in the garage. Do you just want cabinets out here?” I wasn’t understanding because the appointment was scheduled for a master walk in closet.

He showed me blue prints of his vision and I was amazed. It's so unique and exceptional. This one really stands out.

Another cool feature is that when she gets dressed, she doesn’t have to go back upstairs. One of her hanging sections was a door that went right out to her car. It’s amazing.

What’s your design philosophy

It varies. It all goes back to function and then form. My whole thing is listening first and asking questions to see what their needs are. Once I hear that, then I do the questionnaire. THAT'S when I start knowing what the person wants and then I can design it.

Listening.  Paying attention to customer needs. Staying on top of trends - whether you use them or not.

Most memorable client request - good or bad

We often get asked for ways to hide their safes. And we keep that private for our customers. But it’s a challenge. We always think of other areas in their home to store it - usually not in the closet.

We’ll also do a double (secret) drawer that has a hidden lock and most people don’t know that the drawer is located there. It’s a great place to keep passports and things like that.

Favorite designer/architect - fashion or furniture or building

Frank Lloyd Wright is a favorite. 

If you had your own “dream closet” - what’s the “must have” in it?

Top of the line built in steamer. I don’t like to iron.

Three words that describe your personal style

Modern. Trendy. Classic.

What’s your favorite clothing item in your own closet

Jeans - a basic pair of jeans from a big box store.

Mistake you remember making that you’ve never made again

I had a client really get to me and I raised my voice. It was a client who was trying to get all this stuff for free in this built in we did for her. I let the client push my buttons and I reacted when I should have been more professional in my response.

She wanted all the add-ons and changes for free. We had given them a great price and still they were pushing, pushing, pushing.

The husband did interject and say “honey - come on. This can’t all be for free”. Still, I’ll never let that kind of thing happen again.

When it comes to wine - red or white

Red. I tried a new one this year and it was delicious - I’m looking at the empty bottle right now - it’s Caymus- Cabernet. And I found this via a wine dispenser we used in a design.

 

Patty Miller, RSD

Direct Cabinet Sales, Dayton New Jersey

http:/www.houzz.com/PattyMillerClosetDesign

What did you do before you started designing closets?

I graduated from college and went straight into work as an interior designer. Gradually moved from North Jersey to Central Jersey and figured a good way to get into the door in a new area was to sell closets for a closet company, which brought me into many homes. After hearing that I’m also an interior designer in addition to being able to design their closets, I got a lot of work from that. That was at a Closet Factory more than twenty years ago.

Number of years designing closets

23 years.

Special designations or memberships

ACSP - Registered  Storage Designer

Does form follow function or function follows form?

I’m really 50/50 on that one but for me function follows form.

What’s your favorite/least favorite HGTV show?
Favorite is Chip and Joanna - Fixer Upper because I just love to see how you can take something so broken down and make it a beautiful piece of art and design.

Tell me about one of your favorite projects.

Probably my favorite is one where we added a lot of elements that are not typically found in a custom closet. We had doors upholstered, we used lighting, we used silver leaf paint for accents, we used grey opaque glass on some of the doors, some are mirrored, some are clear glass. It’s two closets - his and hers.

I was really able to use my design skills as opposed to just designing cabinets. It was a full design project.

What’s your design philosophy

You can never ask for too much. Everyone deserves to have the best, most beautiful closet space as well as a practical space.

Most memorable client request - good or bad

I designed a space that incorporated dog housing - the dog was very involved in the design process. We designed a shower and a tub for the dog. A dog den was in the cabinets. A drawer for the dogs toys. An opening with a big bed. Laundry room next to it for a huge sink for dog to be bathed and showered. I even think the dog picked the color. But the dog was on a budget. The dog liked white.

Favorite designer/architect - fashion or furniture or building

I still always love Frank Lloyd Wright. And I also like “less is more” Mies van der Rohe.

If you had your own “dream closet” - what’s the “must have” in it?

Full length beveled mirrored doors so I can see myself and it adds a lot of glamour to a closet.

Three words that describe your personal style

Transitional. Neutral. Glamourous.

What’s your favorite clothing item in your own closet

My vionic sneakers. They mold to your feet and you feel like you’re walking on pillows

Mistake you remember making that you’ve never made again

Not checking the entryway of a residence. It was too small and we couldn’t get the cabinets into the house.

When it comes to wine - red or white

Red in the winter. White in the summer.

14 Hands is my red favorite - blends

My white favorite - Sauvignon Blanc.

And there you have it. Ten closet designers from around the world who are rocking and rolling their designs.

I’ve gotta say that creating this piece, talking with these artists, has been a really fun project. So much so that I’ll probably do again next year. So stay tuned.

And if you really want to “stay tuned” - you can get a free digital download of my book “The Consumer Guide To Closet Design” by clicking the link below.

https://butchkoandcompany.lpages.co/designers-on-game-article-12-17/

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.