Deb Cantrell of Closets By Design, Manassas, VA, is a finalist in the 2015 Top Shelf Design Awards competition with her project “Sophisticated and Stylish" entered in the Closet: Laminate more than 18 linear feet category.

Project Description: The homeowner wanted a unique design for her dream closet that would function effortlessly but also to be very welcoming. The window at the far end provides one of her favorite views, but at over 26' long and almost 14' wide this space had the possibility of looking tunnel-like unless properly designed for a cozier feel. The angled side walls presented the next biggest challenge. Starting at only 61" high, they reach a final 108" center ceiling height. Using a soft palette of Antique White melamine and the right design, we were able to achieve the warm, boutique feel she was looking for.

Project Construction Details: Antique White melamine panels 1 1/8" thick give this closet a warm luxuriant appeal. Utilizing 24" deep panels on the side walls gives a measure of height that this long room needs. The 82" tall panels were custom angle-cut and installed with a 3" top shelf for added support. Crown molding increases the vertical visual and mimics the ceiling slope without crowding it. Flat trim was installed where the angled panels meet the drywall to hide any drywall abnormalities and complete the finished look.

The side wall shelves are inset at 20" deep to enhance the boutique feel. The upper shelves create the perfect framework for displaying purses, boots and hats. The visual balance is also maintained by keeping the units adjacent to the door and those on the far end at this same height. The units on each side are equal in width so shelves can be interchanged if future needs dictate.

By enclosing the far end of the room with "wing walls/tall peninsulas,” a unique dressing room area is created near the window. The other side of these walls provides additional hanging for coats and jackets and shelves for winter scarves and hats. Ribbon lighting with diffusers on each side and across the top of the slanted shoe shelves on the closet side frame the window view and become a highlight of the design. The decorative panels on the ends of the island are repeated on the ends of these peninsulas to complete this sophisticated look.

The specialized jewelry cabinet, originally inspired by a colleague's design, is ramped up with mirrored backing and motion sensor diffused ribbon lighting all around. Layered pull out jewelry trays are set back under the extended top shelf where that same diffused ribbon lighting highlights the contents as each tray is pulled out. The beveled mirror is inset to extend all the way to the top of the unit. Black cloth inserts on the inside of the doors are trimmed with thin, flat molding to highlight the hanging necklaces.

Valet rods are used throughout to enable the client to stage her clothing choices for various events. Slide out pants racks are utilized for both pants and scarves on the walls adjacent to the entrance door. A folding ironing board fits in a drawer between the top and bottom racks on one side and a matching drawer holds small accessories on the other.

Lucite shelf dividers are used to display some of the smaller purses. A tilt out hamper is included in the island along with 15 soft-close, full-extension drawers housing additional jewelry inserts and Lucite drawer dividers for lingerie.

Materials Used: Vertical panels are 1 1/8" thick Antique White melamine. Shelves are 3/4" thick and all have a soft, beveled edge for the look of luxury. Lighting and accessories were supplied by Hafele. Others provided the marble island top and chandeliers.

Equipment and/or Software Used: Detailed hand drawings along with KCD CAD software were used for designing.



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