Closet Collaboration

I’m sure many of you have heard the expression “happy wife, happy life”; well in this case “happy closet, happy wardrobe” or maybe that is “well designed closet, accessible wardrobe”!  When clients ask me what all Closet Therapy entails, I of course lead them through the process which focuses on your wardrobe and just a little bit about the organization of said wardrobe, but as I always say, I am not an interior designer or a professional organizer.  So what’s the solution to that?  To collaborate with an interior designer of course!  Allison and I offer two different style perspectives, hers is structural and hardware design, mine of course is all about the clothes (and accessories).  Below are some tips on how to make sure your closet is best serving you from both perspectives.

Allison Jaffe: Allison holds a Bachelor’s of Science from University of Pittsburgh in Neuropsychology and graduated Magna Cum Laude in Interior Design from Texas State University. She is a Texas Registered Interior Designer, #11043 and a Professional Member of the American Society for Interior Designers (ASID). Her accolades include seven prestigious awards in residential design. In addition to her dedication to interior design, Allison is an active member of the Austin Jewish community and plays a strong role in fundraising and leadership.

Where to Start:  What came first, the closet or the clothes? All good design has to start somewhere and let it be function that guides you to good closet design. No matter the size of the closet, it is important to work within the parameters of the shell. Take note of your closet’s width, length and ceiling height. Maximizing the entire design of the space allotted will also give you the most bang for your buck.

Stress Free Closet:  Getting dressed in the morning can be stressful; not only are you tired, have 50 things on your mind and probably are running late for work; but you also now must put together an outfit-that is if you can just find your favorite shirt! Having a closet that is purged and organized to your style and liking is very important, it will enable you to look your best with the least amount of anxiety possible.

Take Inventory:  Next step in determining how best to design your closet is to take inventory of what you already have in your existing closet. What closet habits have you procured? Do you have a million shoes like Imelda Marcos and want every one of them displayed or do you have a pension for hanging items. All closet articles should have a designated space and knowing how many items you own can help define where those specific items should go in your new closet.

Closet Therapy: The first step to a stress-free closet is participating in some “Closet Therapy” where you decide what to keep, what to donate, what to alter, what items are needed in your wardrobe and how to wear items you love but are unsure of how to wear.  The “what to donate” part can prove to be the most challenging as we spend both time and hard earned money on our  clothes, so parting with them can be tough and even emotional. Allow yourself this purge though and I promise your mornings will be both stream-lined and stress-free. If you aren’t wearing clothes, they are just taking up valuable real estate in your closet.

This is what my "Closet Therapy" looks like!

This is what my “Closet Therapy” looks like!

Outfitting Your Closet: When it comes to outfitting your closet, your options go beyond the old contractor’s “pole and shelf” system. Custom cabinetry is not uncommon and with a wide variety of materials and finishes, the details that can transform your closet are endless. But for those who are budget conscience, Ikea and Elfa are great options too. The limiting factor with a more budget friendly line like Ikea and Elfa is that you are working with limited finishes, materials and building options.

Organization is Key: Once your closet is designed and outfitted with the structural details that best fit your wardrobe, it is most definitely worthwhile to organize the contents in a manner that best suits your organization style. I find the best way to do this, is to organize it in the manner that you like to put outfits together. Some like to organize their closet by color because this is how they put together outfits and some by item type because then they know just where to go when looking for a short sleeve shirt. Organization is crucial to alleviating frustration when getting dressed.

Woman in Closet

I hope these tips help you in your closet, both with your wardrobe and closet design.


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