Hilton Head and Bluffton, SC, Home Owners Love Custom Closets with Secret Compartments

Hazel Digital Media Admin - Friday, April 06, 2018

Residents in the Hilton Head, Bluffton and Beaufort, SC, areas have lots of stuff that need hiding or concealment. Everything from hand guns/ammo, rifles, passports, wills, insurance papers, jewelry, etc. need a secure place that’s hidden, fireproof, and easy to access in case of emergency.
Most people use their master closet because it’s close, handy, private, and not in a high traffic area. In the past few years, South Carolina homeowners have requested that hidden compartments or bolted-in- place safes be included in their new custom closet renovation.

Keep the Honest People Honest

Safes come in many sizes, shapes and weights. A small unit measuring fourteen inches wide by fourteen inches deep by twenty inches high will fit on a secure shelf above a bank of drawers. At Closet & Cabinet Experts, aka The Closet Specialist, the safe is bolted to the unit and the wall studs beyond. Put a door in front and you keep the honest people honest. Bad guys entering your home with crowbars will tear the closet apart, remove the safe entirely and open it at a remote location.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

For smaller valuables, a hidden compartment with an illusion front totally hides the space which only you know. This is often custom built into the trim or toe kicks. These fronts can be locked using magnetic locking hardware so no handles, slides or hinges are exposed. Other illusion fronts could be false walls, closet partitions or alcoves behind the custom closet shelving system.

Vaults Inside Your Closet

When converting a guest room into a master walk-in closet, the existing reach-in closet can act as a vault behind the hanging systems. Recently on Hilton Head, Closet & Cabinet Experts created a full length mirror with hidden hinges that pivot open to expose the large safe beyond. From the front, no one realizes that the mirror can pivot. Other options include shoe shelf towers that separate apart on heavy duty slides to reveal the vault beyond.

Weapons Secure but Readily Available

A man’s home is his castle. It must be protected along with its contents and especially its occupants. Responsible adults will protect their kids and grandkids by hiding their firearms. The master closet is the most secure and private area in a home. Gun safety is paramount but, when and if the weapon is needed, there can be no hesitation. The unfortunate reality is that “when seconds count, the police will be there in minutes”. Not good enough if your family is faced with imminent danger.

If you happen to own the ‘Star of the Ocean’ (Titanic movie) or a Ming Dynasty vase, Closet & Cabinet Experts suggest you rent a bank safety deposit box. If, however, your loving husband is taking you out on the town for an anniversary, you want to dress for the occasion. If it’s a three day weekend and you pull your valuables from a bank on Friday, it’s comforting to know that a hidden closet compartment is available until Tuesday morning when the valuables can be returned to the bank.

For a free in-home consultation and design review, contact Closet & Cabinet Experts, aka The Closet Specialist, at 843-837-9944 or 912-691- 2626. Serving Low Country SC since 1984 with over 26,000 custom closets and storage systems designed, built and installed locally.


Jacob Parrack - Thursday, April 05, 2018

With new home construction and major remodeling projects booming in growing Hilton Head and Bluffton, SC, HOUSING prices are soaring. Homeowners are sitting tight and considering less expensive ways to stretch their living space. Organizing existing closets and storage spaces has become a top priority. Rather than adding on, home owners are evaluating whether they are fully utilizing the space they already have.

For the Person with Everything and No Place to Put It

Bluffton, SC, is, like most communities, a community of collectors. Americans cannot bear to get rid of anything, so they continue to accumulate “stuff”. The biggest problem is finding room for more while not having enough space for what we already have.

The largest single space for personal belongings is the master closet. The rage in the ‘80s and ‘90s was ventilated wire shelving. The myth was that ventilated meant your clothes would not mildew because air could circulate around the garments. Here in Low Country South Carolina, air conditioning and heating registers are provided in walk-in closets, and two-foot deep reach-in closets enjoy the same circulation as the adjacent, conditioned living space. The big advantage of wire shelving was cost, but while you were counting the savings, your clothes were resembling Ripples potato chips, your first-tier hanging garments touched the floor, and your upper-tier garments overlapped the lower tier.

A truly organized closet needs to be totally adjustable. Both hang-rods and shelving need to accommodate your needs and wants. Some women like to hang dark slacks long, either by the waist or cuffs. This eliminates the dust line which often appears when slacks are folded over the hanger. When a professional closet designer inspects a closet, part of the interview includes questioning the client about his or her needs and wants. Eg., do you hang your golf shirts because you like to, or because there is not adequate shelf space on which to fold them?

When space efficiency is of utmost importance, flexibility in habits can help. A simple example would be a hanging section 24” wide by 40” high. An average height person can hang 16 to 18 shirts in that space. By replacing the hang-rods with three adjustable shelves 24” wide you can stack twin columns of 8-10 shirts high on each shelf and store more than 48 shirts – three times as many in the same space!

It’s 7:00 AM – Do You Know Where Your Shoes Are?

Nothing is more frustrating than finding one shoe and knowing you have another one just like it buried somewhere amongst the closet carnage. An organized closet gets everything off the floor onto a hang-rod or shelf, or inside a drawer or basket. Stop to think how much money you have invested in your current personal wardrobe, then take a look at the closet system that stores this investment.

A Place for Everything, and Everything in its Place

How can you face the day when you are spending half your morning looking for something to wear? Imagine walking into your Bluffton, SC, custom closet first thing in the morning, and all the clothes you own are “standing at attention”. Everything is in plain sight – shoes aren’t missing, and hanging clothes aren’t crushed together. In addition to being fully adjustable, modern melamine closet systems are flexible, expandable, interchangeable and accessible. A series of drilled holes spaced 32mm (1-1/4”) apart allows the owner to readjust or totally rearrange the storage system to meet his or her changing needs.

Closets can be a “Deal Breaker” 

For home re-sale, organized closets are the crowning jewel, and many home owners are convinced that closets and storage systems can either make or break the deal. If a woman buyer walks into a small or cluttered closet, she will project her belongings into that closet. If she feels that her stuff could never fit into that space, it’s game over. A Hilton Head closet customer recently told me she sold her house in five days last December, and she’s convinced that her organized closets closed the deal. She moved to Hampton Hall in Bluffton, SC, and had Closet & Cabinet Experts, aka The Closet Specialist, install her new closets in her new house. She stated, “Once you’ve had organized closets you can never go back.”

Local Hilton Head, Bluffton and Beaufort, SC, realtors agree that closets are a top concern for home buyers. Organized closets have become the least expensive room addition. While you appreciate the value of your closets, your closets appreciate the value of your home. 

Closet & Cabinet Experts, aka The Closet Specialist, is located at 7601 Waters Avenue in Savannah and offers free in-home consultation and designs. Call 912-691-2626.

Savannah Custom Closet Designers Create Hidden Compartments

Hazel Digital Media Admin - Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Many people want hidden compartments or safes with illsuion fronts created in their new custom closets to protect their valuables. Compartments that Closet Specialist has designed recently include gun racks, Rolex watch compartment, designer custom sun glasses, important papers such as wills, insurance policies, stocks & bonds, cash, drugs (just kidding) and antiques. 

The rifle rack was for a doctor who had accumulated rare and valuable rifles from Civil War and World War Two eras. Because there was an empty wall cavity in the right rear corner, we were able to create a sliding rifle rack using the right hand closet vertical as the illusion front. When the owner shifted his coats and long hanging garments to the left side of the section, he was able to side the right vertical into that space and reveal all of his 'treasures". 

Creative storage system designers can create illusion fronts in front of bolted in place safes. These fronts hid the safe from service technicians, house keepers, baby sitters, and snoopy guests and visitors. As we at Closet Specialist like to say, "we need to keep the honest folks honest" Illusions fronts include tie and scarve racks, touch-up ironing boards, mirrors, and false drawer or hamper fronts.

Other creative compartments designed into custom master closets in the Savannah & Hilton Head areas include hidden trays for Rolex watches, designer sunglasses (this guy had 40 pairs) antique and rare jewelry, hand guns & ammo, and other items that "if I tell you, I'll have to kill you". 

 So if you are in the market for some very special features custom designed & fabricated into your master walk-in closets, consult with one of the many custom closet organizing companies in Hilton Head, Bluffton, Beaufort, SC and Savannah, GA.

Custom Closet Designers Help You Get to Work on Time

Hazel Digital Media Admin - Wednesday, February 01, 2017

You’re running a little late this morning. You skip the coffee refill and figure you can make up the time in the shower. As you fly through your bedroom with a mascara wand in one hand and your new slacks in the other, you glance at the clock. You’ve just about got yourself back on track. “If I can get out the door in the next five minutes, I’ll be set,” you tell yourself. All you’ve got to do is put your shoes on and grab your purse and… where’s that other shoe? You scramble through your closet looking for the mate to the only heel that works with the outfit you’re wearing. Your other 60 pairs of shoes mock you as you make the tough decision to change your outfit and wear the open-toed slingbacks. You are 15 minutes late getting to your car. Who knows what traffic is going to be like? You’ll never make it on time. Now you get to sit on the highway, listen to the radio hosts remind you of exactly how late you are, all the while imagining the fall-out from your belated arrival. Again.

In your clamor to get out the door, you probably didn’t hear the cry for help. It was coming from the back of your closet. Under the laundry basket. Next to the purse you think you lost. That lonely heel who won’t see daylight today should be right up front in your closet. But it isn’t and cries out, "Please get me to a professional closet organizer".

Jeff Klein, President of the Association of Closet and Storage Professionals, ACSP, and local owner of Closet Specialist, thinks you need professional help. “If you start your day in chaos, it just degenerates from there. If you wake up in the morning and you’re late, you can’t find what you’re looking for, or you grab something off the shelf and everything is so jammed and wrinkled that you can’t wear it, it just gets you off to a bad start,” he says. “Most successful people are successful because they’re organized. What better way to start your day than to walk into your custom organized closet and have everything you own standing at attention, saying ‘Pick me! Pick me!’ If you don’t see what you’re looking for, it’s either in the laundry room or dry cleaners or your daughter has borrowed it!”

Now is a great time to organize your closet. “Your whole attitude changes instantly,” says Klein. Hiring a professional closet organizing company to install an adjustable closet system in your house is an investment that will have short term and long term returns. Today’s closets can adjust to meet your growing needs – and adapt to the needs of the next owner of the home.

“There are a lot of professionals – builders, interior designers, remodelers, real estate agents – who know the benefit of an organized closet that’s fully adjustable, which means it is fully changeable. You can change the height of the rods and convert shelving to hanging and hanging to shelving, insert drawers, etc. Many people use the closet system as a good selling point,” he says. “What’s happened now in the housing market, a lot of people are not building that newer, bigger, better house, but they’re staying in their home longer than they thought. They need organization, and efficient space. Now it’s worth it to them to get an organized closet. A custom closet adds value to your life now...and value to home later.

Experts agree that, along with kitchen and bathrooms, closets can factor heavily into a decision to buy a home. “I’ve spoken to real estate agents in Savannah & Hilton Head and in many cases, a cluttered or small closet can be a deal breaker. When a woman home buyer walks into a master closet, the first thing she’ll do is project her stuff in that closet,” he says. If her 'stuff' won't fit in there....'game over'.

Expect a professional to come to your home and give you a personalized evaluation. “They’ll look at the closet, take an inventory of the possessions – count the number of shoes and observe the way people store things. Then they’ll ask questions. ‘I noticed that you fold your slacks over the hanger. Is that the way you prefer to do that or do you do it because the fixed rod in your closet will not allow you to hang your slacks long?’” he offers. “Some people like to hang slacks long from the waist or the cuff so they don’t get that dust line that appears when you fold the slack over the hanger.”

Consider these questions:

  • Do you have adequate drawer space in your bedroom or would you like drawers in your closet?
  • Where do you keep your hamper? Would you like two hampers, one for dry cleaning and one for laundry, or maybe one for whites and one for darks? Or maybe his and hers hampers?
  • Would you like a safe? What would you like store in the safe? Important papers or maybe some jewelry that you don’t have time to take back to the safe deposit box? Would you like to hide the safe so only you know it’s there.
  • Do you have a hard time reaching things at the top of your closet? Would you like a stepladder at your disposal, yet out of the way?

Some designers will then sit down and design the closet right there with you. Others will use computer programs to create a 3-D rendering of your new closet space. “A lot of people have trouble looking at a two-dimensional line drawing and visualizing what their closet will be like,” says Klein.

Extending well beyond closets, home organization systems can be addicting. Once your closet is in order, you’ll want to get your garage done. Then the home office. Then the pantry…Klein exclaims, “Once you’ve had an organized storage system installed…..you can never go back.”

Getting your home organized is a task that will yield rewards for years to come. Having a designated place for all of your clothes and other belongings will free up your mind so you can concentrate on other things. Like getting out the door on time.

Organizing Closets Will Organize Your Life

Hazel Digital Media Admin - Sunday, January 01, 2017

It’s 7 a.m.  Do you know where your shoes are?

Newer homes typically have large closet and storage areas. The problem is, they seldom are utilized to their full potential. Homes built in the 1970’s and 80’s discovered the latest and greatest closet system when their builder installed ventilated wire shelving.  Others continued to have trim carpenter nail up wood shelves with iron pipes, or shower curtain rods, to act as hang-rods. The emergence of custom closet companies in the 1970's has changed all that. Now custom closet designers & storage space organizers are available to maximize your space and organize your life.

The ventilated shelving system was actually designed for homes in northern climates. The sales pitch stated that the closets could ‘breathe’ and this prevented mold/mildew. In the south, walk-in closets have air conditioning vents and that is what eliminates the mold/mildew problems. The ‘vinyl coated oven racks’ in your closet also leaves an impression……right on your folded clothes. The garment at the bottom of the stack usually looks like a Ripples potato chip.  Ventilated wire is a fixed system, permanently attached to the wall at fixed intervals with no adjustability. Carpenter-built systems are, likewise, fixed in place. Trim carpenters rarely interview the home owner prior to installation which leaves a lot of frustrated owners with under-utilized space.  Long dress hang sections are built from front to back spanning an entire 6’ to 8’ length wall. Problem is the woman of the house only needed 3 feet for her dresses, robes and gowns.  Fixed spacing between horizontal shelves does not allow maximum storage of shoes, as a 5” high heel does not need 12” of clearance.

In the 1970’s the ‘cavalry’ arrived. Closet organizing companies appeared on the housing scene and have grown to be a $4 billion/year industry with its own Association of Closet & Storage Professionals (www.closets.org). The European 32mm adjustment system was introduced to the closet and storage industry and the rest is history.  Polished chrome steel continuous hang rods and durable pre-finished melamine laminate shelves are adjustable at 32mm (1-1/4”) increments and easily re-position by the homeowner with no tools required.  These closet specialists will extensively interview the homeowner, determine the needs (have to accommodate 80 pairs of shoes) and their wants (always wanted the hamper inside the closet), measure the space available and propose a computer generated, three dimensional rendering.

This customization turns a ‘closet’ into a ‘dressing room’.  Basic organized closets begin with the adjustable rods and shelves. As space and budget allow, many accessories are available to enhance the beauty and function of the storage space. Drawers with jewelry trays and locks, pull out hampers, slide out tie, belt and scarf racks, and beautifully designed full extension sliding baskets are among the features that extend  the ‘needs’ into the ‘wants’. Additional accessories include overhead pull down retractable hang rods (to utilize the ‘air rights’ above your reach), pull out mirrors, designated ladder slots as a  permanent parking place for your step stool and even small ‘touch up’ ironing boards to correct that last minute wrinkle.  Savannah & Hilton Head have local closet organizing companies that offer free in-home consultation, local manufacturing (not shipped in from the left coast), and life time guarantees.

So tomorrow morning at 7 a.m.........you will know where your shoes are!

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