Tag Archives: Built in Closets

Bellingham bath remodels

In Bellingham, homeowners are upgrading their bathrooms! Check out what can be done to enhance your bath:

Floating vanities: Have your contractor build the vanity on the wall; this leaves open space at the bottom, giving the room a more airy feel. This works especially well if your bathroom has a nook that the vanity can be built into, attaching the ends to the side walls.

Adding tile accents to the wall above the vanity, or to the entire wall, will add glamour and style.

There is nothing more luxurious than in-floor heating! This can be accomplished with electric in-floor or hydronic system. Just imagine walking into the bathroom early in the morning, and feeling warm tile under your feet!

Frameless glass showers are undeniably luxurious. While you are having the glass shower doors re-done, why not make it universally accessible by having your contractor install the shower pan without an edge or lip? Not only does this add a spa-like quality to your master bath, but aging family members will appreciate it!

What about seating in the bath? Whether you want a spot to sit down and towel off or a place to lean back and relax for a few moments, a cushioned chair or ottoman ups the comfort level of any bath.

Most of us enjoy some music while in relaxing in the shower or soaking tub. Include a shelf for your mp3 player (have your contractor install an electrical outlet there), or go for a state-of-the art sound system for your master bath.

Heated towel bars provide you with warm towels for after your shower; this idea is almost as wonderful as a heated floor!

Don’t forget a seat in the shower. Tile a bench to match the rest of the shower; or add a bench made of a contrasting material like teak or glass. While you are having that done, include a steam feature or multiple shower heads.

Storage! Storage can be attractive and plentiful, if you have enough square feet. For smaller bathrooms, creative solutions can be found. Installing shelving in a wall; utilizing any nooks for shelving or cabinets. Beautiful custom cabinets will upgrade your bathroom and provide practical storage solutions.

Adding skylights or sun tunnels will brighten up a dark bath. Strategically located lights are important also!


Skylight, custom cabinets, glass shower

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Filed under Aging-in-place, glass shower surrounds, remodeling

What can you do with a tiny bathroom?

I am always looking for ways to make a small (or even tiny) bathroom look good, and work! A small bath, no matter how small, still needs a place to put a few towels, a toothbrush, hair brushes, maybe a few band aids? Some are unbelievably small, but there really are solutions to all the above, plus they can look good, and still leave you room to turn around in!

This Old House has some excellent ideas, plus plans you can take to your contractor. Older homes can have problems that are hidden behind the walls and flooring – places where maybe there was some leakage that caused water damage in the past and was just covered up. Now when you go to replace that shower or flooring you discover it. What to do?

Shallow cabinets make adequate floor space

Call a reliable contractor; they know what needs to be done to repair any damage discovered during the demolition phase and will install the fixtures, walls and flooring, all to code, and make it look great!

This Old House describes the small bath remodel in the photo: “These homeowners opened up their space by getting rid of two small closets and adding task and ambient lighting to help create the illusion of a larger room. Little width remained after incorporating the tub and toilet, so a shallow cabinet was incorporated. Our favorite detail? The playful “dry riverbed” of stones in the floor.”

This is my favorite small bath, and the shallow cabinets are a creative solution to the need for storage space. Who says cabinets need to be a standard depth? These are beautiful and will store a great many items and look wonderful doing it!

And check out the flooring – I love the curved path that looks like small river rocks.  This is a fun bathroom.

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Filed under bath remodel, bathrooms, remodeling, small bath remodel, storage solutions

Could your closet use some organizing?

Typical heavy sliding closet doors.

There are a great couple of articles on built-in closets and wardrobe walls, from starcraftcustombuilders. There are a lot of homes built in the 70’s or earlier with tiny closets and those heavy, sliding closet doors that when open still block 1/2 of the closet; this can be very frustrating for clothing storage and other storage items!

The following information is gleaned from Star Craft Custom Builders articles, titled “Thinking Outside the Closet” and “Beyond the Closet, 21st Century Storage Solutions.”

 Most of us, especially those of us who live in and love old houses, are stuck with those tiny reach-in closets. They may be dark little recesses stuck in one corner the room behind a narrow door. Half of the clothing stored in them is pushed into corners where it cannot be easily seen or reached. Anything stuck on the upper shelf is lost.

There is a limit to what closet organizers can do. De­signs are limited to what can be made to work inside a ty­pi­cal clo­set.   Closet doors create blind areas at the sides of the closet that restrict visibility and access. If pullouts are installed, doors limit pullouts to the doorway opening — the shoulders cannot be used and become largely inaccessible dark holes once pullouts are installed. Bifold doors are worse and bypass (sliding) doors are even more restrictive. 


Don’t closet, think storage. Maybe a closet is the best storage solution for wardrobe organization, or maybe not. Reach-in closets have serious structural problems that have no real solution. So, for the most effective wardrobe storage, the first step may be to recognize that the closet may not be the best solution to clothes storage and open our minds to some alternatives. In fact, think about getting rid of the closet for something better.

A better solution for most homes — especially older homes — is a space-conserving wardrobe wall. In a wardrobe wall, the restrictive closet doors are replaced by cabinet doors and drawers for easy access to stored items.

Wardrobe wall


Filed under Built in Closets, remodeling, storage solutions

Built-in Closets and other storage space ideas

Most homes have unused spaces that we would like to utilize, but how? Add to that issue, a general need for more storage space. I found a great article with wonderful pictures showing some great ideas.

It is located at one of my favorite blogs, Jeb Design Build. The photo below is from the Jeb Design Build article.

built in bookcase

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Filed under Built in Closets, remodeling

Creating Additional Storage Space in Your Home

I found an article with great ideas on a way to create storage space in your home by utilizing “tight spots” that are just dead ends currently. The article is found on www.builderonline.com/design/built-ins-add-value-to-new-homes written by Jenny Sullivan.

The first idea and I think the most obvious, is building storage under stairs. I have seen this done by adding stud walls and covering with gyp board; then installing shelving to create a pantry for canned goods and other foods.  It makes it possible to buy things in bulk at a lower price and just pull from the pantry when needed. The one I saw was well organized and everything was dated, so it worked very well.

There is a wonderful picture in the article showing how one homeowner had space under a beautiful curving stairway built in with a desk and bookshelves. No walls were added, so it has an open look and adds to the warm feeling of the adjacent room with its natural wood and details that match the stair railing.

We have just completed a job where we built a closet under a similar stairway, creating a very nice closet for the homeowners that fit right into the room decor.

Don’t get the idea that only homeowners with small homes seek out “built-ins” for storage; they are a nice touch to any home, providing the fine detail and efficiency that anyone can appreciate.  Well designed details and master craftsmanship in construction create beautiful and efficient spaces in a home of any size.

Another home in the article had a beautifully remade kitchen with lots of built in wine storage created for an expensive collection of wines.

Think about your home and all those tight little spaces that could be made useful and at the same time add to the value and beauty of your home.

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Filed under Built in Closets

Built in Closets

I want to expand on the built in closet idea.  My house has plenty of square feet, 1800, but I’m always amazed at the lack of storage space in a house this size.  My dad was a boat designer, and he was a master at using every little nook and cranny for efficient storage and organizing.  Maybe that is why my first thoughts go to “How can I make more use out of that closet.”

Check out the built in closet pictures from the website: www.cascadeclosets.com.  There is one in particular that I like because it looks like one of my closets (small).  Of course, everyone has their own ideas on what they would like to put in their closets and so the layout will be different for each person.  That is where the designer comes in.

Unfortunately, I do not have my dads skill with tools, so when I “do it myself”, the results are not as aesthetically pleasing as I know they could be.  So, if you are like me and are looking for a well made, organized and efficient space to fill that rectangular hole in your bedroom wall, first decide generally what you want and then select a well respected local contractor to build in that closet.

I know you will LOVE being able to put “that stuff” where you can lay your hands on it the next time you need it!

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Filed under Built in Closets, Remodel Bedrooms