The Eddie Moreno Project

January 14, 2012

Recently, our team here at California Closets designed and installed a complimentary closet for a young man in need. It was truly a unique and fantastic opportunity for us. Our designer on the project, Joann Wilmeth, talks about her experience throughout her time with Eddie and discovering his personal needs.

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What makes you passionate about the work that you do as a designer at California Closets?

I love to enhance the lives of my clients!  Knowing that a project is completed and my client’s life is easier and more functional is so gratifying.  

What are your goals when designing for a client’s specific needs?

The needs and wants for a custom storage space differ so greatly from client to client.  Some have very specific ideas of what he/she is looking for, while others leave the solutions to me. Either way, my goal when working with someone is to listen first and foremost so that their needs are uncovered and the perfect solution is designed.

What can you share about what happened to Eddie and what brought about his need for your help?

Early last year, Alamo Heights High School senior and basketball point guard Eddie, was shot in a tragic road rage incident. Like any other high school senior, he was looking forward to graduation and starting college in the fall to become a basketball coach. In an instant, his world as he knew it was forever changed. The bullet that pierced his left cheek lodged in his spinal canal at level C2/C3. Eddie is now ventilator-dependent and has no movement from the neck down. The doctors say he’ll never walk again, but we know, and he believes, he will. The doctors did not predict that Eddie would survive, but he is still here with us. He is fighting every day. He truly amazes us!

                               3-D CAD Renderings of Eddie’s closet designed by Joann.

What inspired you and your company to get involved with Eddie’s project & recovery?

Knowing how versatile and custom our product designs are, (based on the needs of the individual), I knew we were a perfect fit for Eddie and his family.  The team on this project was amazing and dedicated to making life for Eddie easier on a day-to-day basis. I quickly knew I wanted to be involved.

What are the biggest advantages that Eddie will get from his brand new custom California Closets system? 

With Eddie being paralyzed from the neck down, his personal use of our product will be limited.  The caretakers and family members caring for him will find great pleasure with our product, though.  It will be easier to locate Eddie’s items so that his recovery goes smoothly and be accelerated. There is a custom-designed place for everything, from clothes, shoes, to medical equipment. Their productivity as a family will skyrocket.

How does working on a community project differ from other projects that you do?

It’s a community project rather than getting business from a client. Being able to work with our community to better the life of someone like Eddie and his family is rewarding.  This is a family that otherwise would not have our products in their home.  I met a few of the family members at an ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) event in October.  They were so gracious and thankful, and that solidified my feelings for helping. Very heartwarming!

Are you looking to do more work like this in the future?

I would love to continue to give to our community.  I am from San Antonio and have spent my 38 years here. As a company, we have had the pleasure of working with Goodwill numerous times and, most recently, we are donating material and labor to a build for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. It’s such a great experience as a company to share our products, what we can do, and give back to the community that made us successful in the first place. This is my home and, next time opportunities like these present themselves, I would most certainly participate again!

We are so very proud of Joann and her drive to reach out to the Moreno family – we would not have been able to do this for them otherwise! There’s even opportunity for YOU in our community to help. Visit eddiescourage.org to read about him, see photos of him and his loved ones, and to donate to his recovery.

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Wondering how you can do it? Just follow my six organizing tips for turning a small bedroom into a closet that you’ll love!

An extra room can be converted into a stunning master walk-in closet and dressing room.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Is your soon-to-be closet near your master bedroom and bathroom? Proximity to the bedrooms of the users is the first thing to consider. Imagine yourself using your closet in your day-to-day life; your closet should be aconvenient space for you to look forward to using with ease and comfort.

 

CLEAR THE ROOM OUT!

Trying to envision the closet of your dreams in a bedroom should be a fun brainstorming process and you can accomplish this the best if you clear out the bedroom first!

Sure, it’s a huge task to get everything out, but you’ll be surprised at the difference that it will make for you. With the room empty, you might realize that you have more space to design in than what it seemed like when it was full. It will be less overwhelming for you and you will have the opportunity to walk through the room (as if you were actually using it) while deciding where your clothes will be going.

 

BEST IN SHOW

When you walk into a bedroom, the first thing typically seen is a nicely dressed bed, front and center. Consider this when designing your closet, but instead, pick the best part of your wardrobe to showcase from the door! Do you have a shoe collection that you’re proud of? Perhaps pressed suits lined up in a row? Choose a part of your wardrobe that you love and design a solution to flaunt it.

 

LET THERE BE (PROPER) LIGHT

When designing where your clothes will be stored, consider the sunlight that streams into the room and in what direction it shines. Bedrooms usually have good-sized windows and taming natural light is important to the life of your clothes. Prevent fading by installing shades over the windows and recessed lighting into your closet space – in the ceiling or in the closet system itself could work. Discuss the effects that different types of lighting will have on your clothes with a professional to get their expert advice on the type to use.

Make use of wall space for custom shelves and drawers and create space to dress and dream.

 

SPOIL YOURSELF WITH SPACE

In a spare bedroom, not only do you have plenty of wall spaceto build on, but floor space, as well. This can be perfect for acenter island or dressing area.

An island is great place for drawers to use when storing jewelry, purses, large shoes, or as a dressing area to lay out your clothes for the day. It can also be a nice divider in the middle of closet for a shared his and hers space. Just remember to leave yourself ample walking space around the island when designing.

 

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL

Get yourself a full-length mirror! There’s plenty of space for it and the closet would not be quite complete without it. Leaner mirrors can leave a grandiose impression, but built-in mirrors may be the most convenient. Building these into the closet system – maybe as a door insert – or a slide out mirror that tucks away into the closet are a couple of creative ways to seamlessly integrate this accessory for easy use.

 

What do you think? Ready to transform a too-small bedroom into a just-right walk-in closet? 

Fall Colors Upgrade Event

October 11, 2011

…now through October 31st! 

During our Fall Colors Upgrade Event, you can add luxury and elegance to your home and save money, too. Choose from our wide variety of wood grain and fine Italian-inspired Lago® finishes to enhance any décor. Form, function, and high fashion combine to create tranquil and organized spaces that you will enjoy for years to come.

Until October 31, we are offering a free upgrade to one of our lush wood grain finishes for the price of white or our Lago finishes for the price of wood grain.  That’s right – for a limited time enjoy extra style and beauty at no extra chargeThat’s a savings of up to 20%!

Get Started Today! 

This offer won’t last long. Your project must be contracted by October 31, 2011 to be eligible for a free upgrade, so don’t delay.

Call 210.819.1991 or 512.441.6061 to book your complimentary design consultation. 


Offer valid through October 31, 2011. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Available at participating franchises only. Each franchise independently owned and operated.


Summer is officially here! And that means you and your wardrobe are about to make a drastic switch to prepare for the sweltering days ahead.

Too many seasons in the closet causes clutter. If you want to be able to easily choose your summer outfits, then you need storage solutions for your winter wardrobe.

But there is much more to putting away those sweaters and jackets than dumping them into Tupperware in the garage.

Here’s what to remember when storing them away.

Purge unwanted items

The forgotten fact is that any and all garments, when hung in a closet, need plenty of hanging space to breathe in order to have as long a life as possible, so it makes sense that over-crowded closets will cram clothes and wear them down. If you still have items in your closet that you haven’t worn in a season or two, say good riddance! Donate, sell, or hand them down – they have the potential to make someone else just as happy as they made you!

Tie up loose ends

If you find snags, loose seams or hems, or buttons falling off, be sure to remove them. Clothes will seem more like new when it comes time to wear them again this fall. Also, empty out all the pockets! Items left in pockets – coins, keys, candy, pens – can put kinks and dents in your clothes over time should you leave them in storage long enough.

Be sure they’re clean

This is an obvious step in storing a wardrobe so you should expect to spend some quality time in your laundry space to prepare. Any particles and stains that are left on clothes for a prolonged period of time will set into the fabric, meaning it will be more difficult to clean in a few months.  (Not to mention the potential smell that could result depending on the source of the stain – yuck!)

Avoid hangers if you can

Since you will be putting these clothes away for a few months and not wearing or washing them, try not to leave them hanging. You’ll maintain the integrity of the garment and avoid them getting misshapen. If you find that hanging is necessary, quality hangers and the extra loops that come sewn into the clothes are extremely beneficial to utilize.

Location does matter

In fact, this is probably what you should be most mindful of. Avoiding warm, musty places will keep away mildew and insects; dark places will prevent fading. Find a place in your home that can combine these two points and you are absolutely set! If not, you might consider coming up with a new storage solution that will not only serve your wardrobe, but plenty of other household items that could use it.

Prepare your closet for new items

Clean, wipe down, and vacuum your closet thoroughly so it is fresh for the new wardrobe going in. Starting anew will ensure your clothes – and you! – a fresh start and motivate you to organize yourself the right way right off the bat.

With these steps in mind, you can cherish your seasonable wardrobes for years to come!

 

See more of our blogs here!

As the leading Custom Storage design & installation companies, California Closets is opening a brand new showroom in San Antonio beginning Thursday, March 17th! Our franchise, branded as California Closets of the Texas Hill Country, is independently owned & operated by a husband-and-wife team, Daniel & Jill Siegel and we have been proudly serving San Antonio, Austin, the Texas Hill Country and beyond for almost three decades.

While it is obvious we specialize in custom closets, we can also provide custom storage solutions for every area of the home: garages, media rooms, pantries, and kitchens are all in the mix and are warrantied for as long as you own your home.

Previously located off of Broadway Avenue in San Antonio, we relocated to the Design District and are ready to open to the public. Our Sales & Marketing Coordinator, Lucy Guilbeaux, knows the move will be beneficial to the company.

“It is going to be an up-to-date, current showcase of our work” says Guilbeaux. “Our last showroom was older and becoming outdated. This is going to be a step above anything that’s been available for people to see and experience. Once you step into our showroom, you get a broader sense of the work that we do – we’re not just designing closets!” Since the showroom will also serve as a design center complete with samples of all of their available products and materials, she hopes that it will be a place of inspiration for people to re-imagine their own spaces.

Our company has been expanding over the past few years and we are excited to venture further into the commercial and custom furniture markets. Lucy expanded on this: “Our production facility, which is connected to our new showroom, has doubled in size.  This, combined with our investment in new machinery, will help us to explore new markets while still providing our core customers with the quality we’re known for.”

Our design consultants will be available for walk-in consultations on weekday afternoons until 5:00 pm and every Saturday until 4:00 pm.  Design Consultant, Matt Till, is excited to be able to use the new space as a way of showing the people of San Antonio what we’re all about.

“I would encourage anyone looking for a storage solution of any kind to check out our incredible new showroom,” Matt says. “Come see and experience first-hand the quality, style, and versatility that makes California Closets the industry leader in customized home storage”

Another one of our designers, Misty Rodriguez, has been with the company for almost six years and she can’t wait to show how much they have grown. “We’ve evolved so much and I am thrilled to show that to our clients,” Misty commented. “I am particularly excited about having one of our wall-beds in the showroom. In my time here, I haven’t had one to show off in a showroom before. I’ve noticed a real increase in interest and demand for our wall beds.”

You can find our new showroom off of 281 and Nakoma Drive at 1111 Arion Parkway. Come by and see us.. we are excited to meet you! 🙂

Greetings friends — I hope your summer is swimming along smooooothly:)  Ours is great and we are super busy, which we LOVE.  Hip, sophisticated, custom storage for all is our motto and it is our mission to bring it to you in style and with superior service!

Never satisfied with where we are and always moving the needle here at California Closets of the Texas Hill Country, our new wood collection is in full swing.  We are pleased to be working in this material after 27 years of working exclusively in melamine finishes.  However, there is, of course, a reason we have used this material for all of these years serving the San Antonio / Austin / Corpus Christie markets so I thought I’d blog a bit about the pros and cons of melamine vs wood material.

We field calls and answer questions about this quite a bit.  When I was a Designer in Seattle it did not seem to come up as much as it does in Texas… but I am a Texan who lives in Texas and loves Texans and we will give the Texans what they want!  Hence, our wood program — here are some pics:

Our client was looking to create a peaceful workspace in an under-utilized area of her home at the top of a staircase. We achieved a beautiful result using a Maple veneer stained with a custom high gloss black finish.

There are times that wood lends itself better to customization. This was the case where our client wanted to create a very organic counter-top shape for his home office.

Beautiful solid maple raised panel door and drawer fronts in an Espresso finish.

Here are the facts about melamine versus wood veneer when considering what is right for your project:

Melamine:

Pros
no maintenance
does not change color
can add doors, drawers, shelves, etc and you not not have to worry about matching color
will not dent as easily as wood – much tougher
Can be sustainable, recycled material and very environmentally friendly

Cons
it’s not wood:) and therefore, can have bias against it

Wood:

Pros
more organic look
can be stained to closely match a specific color or tone

Cons
with dent easily
color will change over time
will be difficult to match the color if adding to system

So, there you have it!  Our Melamine, aka, furniture grade MDF with a melamine laminate, is not low quality, in fact, it is a high quality product guaranteed to last a lifetime — we could not be in business for 27 years in central Texas if it was a “cheap” material.  Other things to think about when thinking about QUALITY are the installation method, hardware used, the level of expertise of the Designer / Installation technician — overall quality STANDARDS of the company / product (or lack therof)…  but then, that is a whole other blog!!

Please visit us on the web <http://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaClosetsAustin.SanAntonio>  or in person at one of our showrooms — we would love to meet you!

Stay cool,
Jill Siegel, peruser of possibilities.

Summer has arrived!

June 9, 2010

California Closets exclusive Lago finish collective - shown in Umbrian Oak with 3Form bamboo rings

California Closets exclusive Lago finish collective - shown in Umbrian Oak with 3Form bamboo rings

WOW, That came fast; it’s here and it’s hot.  Time for margaritas on the patio and cooling off in one of our many swimming holes.  Life is good in Central Texas – Really, what could be better??

We have been offering FREE Certified Professional Organizing with purchase for our Spring rejuvenation Program and it has been quite a success!  We have seen lives dramatically improve – we are not just beautifying and simplifying storage areas any longer!  I can’t tell you what a GIFT it is to see lives transformed on such an emotional level from organizing and de-cluttering ones living space.  This is our California Closets Experience and we are proud to extend the complimentary organizing program through the summer months!   Please visit one of our showrooms, Facebook us, DM us on Twitter, call or email us at sa-atx@calclosets.com for more information!!!

We hope your summer is off to a great start.  We are planning several events for our showrooms – wine tastings, clothes swaps, trade events, and organizing workshops.  We will be announcing our event schedule soon!

Also, we are busy building out a new showroom in San Antonio – it will be our most beautiful yet and we are beyond EXCITED to showcase our many new product offerings!!

We were thrilled to participate in a couple of high-rise condos showcases benefiting charities in both Austin and San Antonio.  We adore doing these smaller spaces and making the urban living experience work!  I included several pictures – we used our exclusive Lago materials for these events because they are SO awesome!

Here's a Milano Grey california Closets with seeded glass inserts!

Tiny pantry in a fabulous downtown condo made oh-so-cool + functional by California Closets.

Cheers to the best summer yet!  Dwell in the possibilities.

Jill Siegel, storage siren.

Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.

–A.A. Milne

Spring is here — Bluebonnets and wildflowers are out so it is official!  In honor of the season and starting anew, California Closets will be offering a Spring Rejuvenation Promotion.

We will have complimentary Certified Professional Organizing services with purchase – it is up to our clients whether to have the CPO® come in before or after the storage system installation. We have wanted to create this program for a while so our clients could have an organizing service to go along with their California Closets custom storage system and therefore have a full-service, life-changing experience.  After all, lives are busier than ever and who has the extra time to devote to the task of re-doing their organizing processes alone? Not many of us have that luxury of extra time or the expertise required to under go such a task.  Enter Living Order — Leaders in the organizing industry, the very best in the business.  Like California Closets, they operate in both Austin and San Antonio.  Also, like California Closets, they are dedicated to professionalism and service.  These are a couple of dynamic, energetic and clever women – I can’t tell you how much the California Closets team enjoys working with them and how much we have learned!  Yvette Clay owns the Austin branch and Helene Segura the San Antonio location and we are thrilled to have them as our professional partners. We want to share them with our wonderful clientele so a new program was born! Professional Organizing is one luxury we cannot live without and neither should you.

Of course, we are fascinated with organizing, specially the emotional element that goes along with it.  We thought we would interview Helene and Yvette and share their thoughts and experiences with you, so here we go!

·      What is the one room in the house that is a good place to get started on the organizing process?

Helene: I always recommend starting in the master bedroom and closet.  You begin your day there, so you want to be able to find your clothes and get ready without struggling or feeling frazzled.  When you return to your room in the evening, it should be a retreat from the long day that you’ve had.  If your bedroom and closet are disorganized, that’s a lousy way to start and end your day.

·      

What is the most rewarding experience you have had in your work?

Yvette: Saving marriages or relationships.  Over the years, I have worked with many clients and their partners in situations where they could not agree on a certain way to get organized.  By having a neutral party involved, it helps alleviate the stress on everyone.  Compromise is the key to success and having the skills to find that middle ground without creating a “winner” or “loser”.

·      What is the craziest experience you have had in your work?

Helene: I think I’ve pretty much seen everything, so nothing jumps out at me as crazy anymore.  There was one time when someone’s pet rat jumped onto my back when I wasn’t expecting it.  Fortunately, I didn’t scream, and it was a very friendly rat.  The only other thing I can think of is the situational craziness I experienced when I worked on the San Antonio episode of A&E’s Hoarders.  We had a junk hauling crew, cleaning crew, camera crew, three professional organizers, a psychiatrist, the client, and a couple of her friends – all squeezed into a house trying to get work done.

·      What is the subtlest organizing tool you might use that has the highest impact

Yvette: Communication and trust.  It is vital for a client to communicate their needs and expectations and have the ability to trust us ~ both personally and professionally.  It can be challenging at first, especially with new clients who don’t know anything about us and vice versa.  A certified professional organizer will have that extra level of skills and knowledge to create trust with the client so that the work can begin.

·      How do your clients feel after working with a CPO®?

Helene: The two things I commonly hear are, “That wasn’t nearly as painful as I thought it would be,” followed by, “My life is about to get so much better.”

·      How have you seen lives change?

Helene: I’ve seen —

*families stop bickering because we’ve reached a compromise on household order

*clients end up with more money in their pockets because they no longer had to buy duplicates or triplicates or pay late fees on bills and credit cards

*children’s grades improve because we set up a realistic study and paper management system

*clients lose weight because working in the kitchen and finding ingredients in the pantry were no longer a chore

*smiles because clients have peace in their lives

·      What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?

Yvette: When people ask me what I do for a living, I usually respond by saying that “I change people’s lives” and I truly believe that.  Working directly with clients to solve their problems is very satisfying work and I know I was born to do this!

·      Why should someone hire a Certified Professional Organizer (CPO®)?

Yvette: Certified Professional Organizers have established they have the business experience, education and an established foundation of 1,500 hours working side by side with clients before they can sit for the exam.  Certification should be a priority qualification when hiring an organizer.  There are many “fly by night” organizers out there who may or may not be serious about their career or the clients who hire them.  At the very least, make sure to hire someone who is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and its local affiliate chapter.

Please join California Closets and Living Order in our quest for a tranquil, joyous existence!

Dwell in possibility.

Jill Siegel, custom storage zen master


Happy almost Spring

March 9, 2010

Happy almost Spring, everyone!  I am looking forward to blue skies and higher temps although I have enjoyed the actual winter that we experienced in Central TX.  We are busy, busy here at CC – lots going on!!  We are launching our spring-cleaning special – complimentary professional organizing with purchase!  Click here for more information….

Also, working on a six figure installation outside of San Antone, doing a lot of special finishes and custom work as well as our 3form accents.  The home is AMAZING – I’ll be blogging more about it and posting pictures, as we get closer to the installation, which should be in April.  The home is Japan meets the TX hill country and is owned by a couple of famous authors whose work I very much admire.

Beautiful Wood Finishes

Also, California Closets of the Texas Hill Country is launching our new wood program.  The finishes are beautiful – there are four of them from Maple to Espresso.  We just installed our second project in wood in San Antonio.  Here is a photo.  We will also be installing a gorgeous espresso stained wood system at the Broadway model unit in Alamo Heights – pics to come, of course!

Similar to the doors coming this spring to the Austin Showroom

In more news, we are working on 4 showcase houses at the moment. Two at the Austonian, one at the Parade in Austin and the other in San Antonio at the Vidorra for the Junior League Showcase house.  We are excited about all of these and to share our product and designs with the public – we put al lot of LOVE into our work to showcase the very best of what California Closets can do for the home.

We are also making some changes at both of our showrooms.  In Austin we are adding high-gloss doors to our beautiful library system on the back wall; there are a couple of Mocha pairs and Ivory pairs.  We are also adding 3form door insert to our wine bar in Fossil Leaf and we are super excited about that.  In San Antonio we are adding a wall bed in one of our new wood finishes – we are working in the designs now and cannot wait to get that installed.

Wine Pantry with 3form

So, like I said, lots going on.  In a company dedicated to progression, innovation and excellence, there is never a dull moment!

It is great to take a moment and reflect on what we are up to and share the info with others – thanks for reading.  I wish you organized closets, beautiful interiors and stress free living in Spring 2010!

Jill Siegel, Closet Super Hero

To see more of our local work click on the city a check out our sites.  Austin, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi

To see our Facebook page for special offers and updates  www.facebook.com/CaliforniaClosetsAustin.SanAntonio

To follow us on Twitter click here twitter.com/CAclosetsSA_ATX

Welcome to my blog about California Closets of the Texas Hill County and all things custom storage! Our fabulous company has been serving San Antonio, Austin and Corpus Christi since 1983! I know…blah, blah, blah, but the great thing about this is that we have systems out there that are 27 years old and we still service and warranty those products – how awesome is that?!? And when you have the history that we do in the Austin and San Antonio communities and you regularly see and maintain custom storage systems not only do you get to see how California Closets has evolved over the many years since we pioneered the storage industry but you get to hear how much people have enjoyed our systems over the course of years! To be able to hear how our clients are still happy and the difference that our products and services make in peoples lives is such a joy and privilege.

Custom Murphy Bed in Lago Wenge with Celsius Bronze Italian Glass

Obviously, I am very passionate about our company for the fore mentioned reason but also because of the people that work here. We are proud to employ 23 Central Texans who enjoy their work at California Closets and strive to deliver the goods each and every day! We offer the highest quality product in the marketplace and we have very discerning clients. All of us strive to not just meet but to exceed expectations. We have team members that have been with California Closets for over 20 years (Stephanie, Design Consultant) and 15 years (Kenny, Installation Technician) –we have the BEST and most EXPERIENCED in the business bar none! From our Production Supervisor, German who has been with us 6 years to Mark, Installation Technician who has worked his way up from production Staff to Installation Technician over his 7 years to Sue, Design Consultant who has worked here for over 6 years —These people inspire me each and every day and I am grateful to work each day with them and the rest of our talented and dedicated team! I myself have been with California Closets since 2002 when I started as a Design Consultant in Seattle. Eight years later I own this franchise along with my husband, Daniel, who formerly worked with our corporate office. What a great career one can have at California Closets. When you sell, manufacture and design handcrafted custom systems and furniture it is important to have the very best personnel – and California Closets of the Texas Hill Country has that inspades!

Milano Grey Wardrobe

Meet our Design Consultants here:

Shanna Davis

Misty Rodriguez

Sue Bassett

Stephanie Miller

Joann Wilmeth

Katie Hodgson

At California Closets, we are always innovating with new products and offerings – big and small – and there is always a story to tell. Our BIGGEST news as of late is our new custom furniture offering! We are very fortunate to have artisan on staff here to assist with these types of pieces.

See our custom work on our Facebook page here: California Closets Custom Portfolio

We are very excited to have the skill and expertise with our Design, Manufacturing and Installation teams to create these projects — some of the many things that make California Closets different and unique.

The life of a California Closets owner is never dull and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you – Cheers!

Jill Siegel, closet nerd