We never think we know it all. We are always out there looking at what others are doing which is why we hit the Lewiston, NY Tour of Kitchens this weekend. This is not an ordinary event. The kitchens, main floor and gardens of 8 homes were open to the public. Restaurants offering food and wine tastings at each location made for a full afternoon. We saw some fabulous interiors and jaw-dropping views over the Niagara River. More importantly, we picked up a great tip in the kitchen design arena. Standard refrigerator/freezers often don’t provide enough of either space. Try installing a full refrigerator unit and put separate freezer drawers elsewhere in the kitchen. This substantially increases the amount of cooling space you have and eats up very little cabinet space. Genious.
If you are thinking about purchasing a closet organizer, how do you choose from the myriad of options? There are non-adjustable wire systems, adjustable track systems and what we call, full board systems (systems that are all melamine with partition panels that are drilled for adjustability). Here are some tips to help you choose:
1) Wire shelving is durable and inexpensive. It’s a good solution for rarely used closets or very basic plans. If installed to stud, it will support up to 75 pounds per foot. It’s readily available and can add extra space to any closet. Here’s the pitfall- the bottom garment on a wire shelf will always pick up the pattern of the grid. In a pantry, any appliance that has feet may get tangled beteween the wires. Lastly, wire is very hard on the binding of books. In some areas, adjustability may be worth paying for making the inexpensive appeal of this product, less attractive.
2) Track systems come with wire or wood shelves. Completely adjustable, these systems deliver a lot of function and are the easiest to install for the do-it-yourselfer. They are very weight tolerant as long as you don’t place your tracks more than 36″ apart. The pitfall- it has no partitions which can leave you feeling like things might fall off the sides of the shelves. These systems are particularly cost effective when you are creating wide sections of hanging. The Schulte Freedom Rail track system we sell at Creative Storage has drawer and shoe boxes that hang off the adjustable track, increasing it’s effectiveness. This system will manage more shoes in less space that a wire system. One of the best features of a track systems is that the shelving is pushed off the wall by 1 1/4″ allowing you to span a window or access panel with your system.
3) Full board systems are more expensive than the other products but they have the most features too- adjustability, solid surface for small items, partitions that create cubbies and the unique ability to look like furniture, not just shelving. Once you have determined function, a board system goes a long way towards making your closet pretty with the addition of crown moldings and decorative drawer fronts and doors for example. These systems will be the most efficient at storing large quantities of shoes and have the most flexibility when it comes to adapting to the style of your home whether it’s contemporary or traditional. In a pantry, the partitions that are part of a board system allow you to store cleaning products next to noodles with comfort. The pitfall- these systems must sit flush to the wall so any existing cleat or wall defect must be dealt with prior to installation. Also, of all the systems, this can be the most difficult to install as it is very parts intensive and must be completely level to look good. Lastly, be aware that the expense is indicative of the time it takes to deliver a well-designed, well-built and well installed system. A bargain when purchasing this usually translates to less product, less features or less customization, none of which may be obvious when comparing drawings. Ask a lot of questions when comparing features.
So there you have it. Hopefully, when you go shopping for your closet, you will have a better idea of what you want.