8 Ways to Maximize a Small Walk-in Closet

Walk-in closets serve your need for an efficient storage system, but what if you can only work with a small space for all your things? If you love clothes, shoes, and accessories, it would be easy to find yourself surrounded by clutter. Without a streamlined closet, organizing gets extra difficult–and it just gets tougher with limited space.

To get out of this headache-inducing scenario, follow these tips for maximizing your walk-in closet.

 

1. Do Clear Outs Every Once in a while

Make space in your closet by doing clear outs

Closet clear outs can be done once a year or every six months. Not only will this practice save you space, but it will also keep your wardrobe updated.

 

2. Bring in the Baskets

Use baskets to maximize closet space

A basket is a go-to item to declutter and free up space in your walk-in closet. Baskets or storage boxes work best for storage systems that lack drawers. Here you can roll up your clothes, socks, and underwear–in which case it also makes a good storage system to keep hard to find items at arms reach. Lastly, to free up floor space, use stackable baskets as your primary choice.

 

3. Organize Your Drawers

Organize your drawers

At the beginning, you would see your drawers tidy and organized, but before the week ends, it always ends up in a chaotic jumble. To do away with this problem, you can use your shoe boxes as dividers so you can easily find your socks, ties, undies, and whatnot.

 

4. Make Use of Vertical Space

Fold your laundry neatly and keep them vertically

Hangers are notorious for eating up much valuable vertical space that is precious for those with a small closet. Shelves are more flexible than closet rod as they can be used for your accessories and shoes, along with folded clothes. To really save up space, go for a shelving solution that stands from floor to ceiling. Lastly, if you can’t let go of a hanger, keep it short and reserve only for overcoats.

 

 

5. But if You Need to De-Clutter, Use Hangers Efficiently

Make use of closet hangers

You can free up space if you group your short hanging clothes together. The space made available below these short hanging items can be used for storage boxes, additional drawer, or for a shoe rack. So next time you organize your hanging items, group them by length and use the space beneath the short ones for storage.

 

6. Get Some S and L Hooks


Make use of S and L hooks

Image Source: Pinterest

Make use of S and L hooks Make use of S and L hooks

Image Source: Pinterest | Pinterest

These cheap and small items are actually great space-savers. L shaped hooks work just intuitively when you want to use a blank wall such as the sides of your closet, the inside of drawers or just right up to the wall. It works best for hanging your tank tops, ties, scarves, and even your jeans. If you place a metal rod in between two hooks, you can make a closet rod to hang your clothes. The S hooks, on the other hand, can make your closet rod twice as useful. And when you run out of space to hang your S hooks, you can simply stick it up on your cubbies and shelves

 

7. Use the Corners Wisely 

Floating corner shelves with storage

Image Source: Pinterest


The most unused space in a walk-in closet are the corners. While many consider it a dead space, it doesn’t have to be especially when you need every inch of your space for storage. One way to maximize the corner is with the use of carousel for your shoes, coats, jeans, scarves and mostly anything. Another way to maximize the corner is to install a DIY shelf.

 

8. Don’t Forget the Back of the Door

Make use of space behind your door

Image Source: Pinterest

Oftentimes, the door is left untouched, when in fact you can use its vertical space for hanging pieces. Your door makes a good space to keep your scarves, ties, handbags, and belts. You can also use the cabinet door where you can place L hooks for your accessories, tank tops, and whatnot if your walk-in closet door runs out of space. Also, the space above the door makes a good place to install a shelf for your winter boots, bedsheet linens, and other items.

 

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Lugbill Designs Founder Reveals Secret to Starting Interior Design Firm

In an interview with Voyage Chicago, Erica, founder of Lugbill Designs, was asked how things were when she was starting to pursue her passion. Here, she reveals her secret into building a successful Chicago-based interior design firm.

“It was a relatively smooth process starting Lugbill Designs,” Erica recalls. “We were able to start the business small and build a really great foundation which set us up for success.”

While starting the business was easy, Erica reminisces she is no stranger to long hours and short weekends. As with any startup, she struggled finding a work-life balance, all while building a network of trusted vendors and contractors. But, what makes it all worth it is seeing the business grow into what it is today.

Since starting Lugbill Designs in 2010, it has evolved into one of the most revered interior design firms in Chicago. It has acquired a depth of experience in designing and managing interior design across the metropolitan area, involving décor, full renovation and new construction projects.

The seven-year old firm has established a wide network of independent construction companies and vendors, enabling them to handle everything for their clients from consultation, design to installation and all that entails.

Lugbill Designs is distinguished for producing customized designs that embodies a client’s personality and lifestyle. The firm offers clients a “choose your own adventure” approach to interior design. For Erica, there is no one size fits all, what works for one client’s life won’t work for another.

“Building a relationship with clients so that we know the design will work for their life is essential,” Erica tells Voyage Chicago. “We’re passionate about making clients’ homes work for them in a way that only true customization can achieve.”

Interpreting a client’s style and determining the practical needs of a space influences the aesthetic direction of the project. Erica believes that it is her ability to connect with her clients and understand what they want make the process more relaxed and seamless from start to finish.

To know more about Erica Lugbill, log-on to her website: www.lugbilldesigns.com.

Quick Guide to Kitchen Under Cabinet Lighting

Quick Guide to Kitchen Under Cabinet Lighting

Under Cabinet Lighting is the most suitable choice for your kitchen countertops. Not only does it illuminate the backsplash on your wall, but it is also ideal for food preparation and cooking. A lot of lighting designers are talking about under cabinet lighting as it creates “layers of light” for your kitchen.

However, there a lot of available options in the market. How will you know which style of under cabinet lighting is perfect for your kitchen?

We hope this Quick Guide to Kitchen Under Cabinet Lighting helps.

Types of Under Cabinet Lighting Fixtures

1. Puck Lights

Puck lights are by far the most popular type of under cabinet lights. They are circular lights that deliver focused lighting to the space below it. Aside from serving as a good task lighting, it can also be used for accent lighting by orienting it toward the backsplash to get an ambient glow.

Puck lights are easy to install and affordable, hence they are user and budget friendly.

On the other hand, the space that is lighted by puck lights is limited to the space they are pointed at. Thus you have to buy several units and install them with regular spacing to achieve best results.

2. Light Strips

Light strips are available in several lengths and can be customized according to your cabinet length and shape. Compared to puck lights, they deliver lighting more evenly. And compared to rope and tape lights [below] they emit more luminous light.

You can buy this in LED or fluorescent options. LED being longer lasting and energy efficient, while fluorescent has less initial cost.

3. Tape Lights

Tape lights are the most space-saving under cabinet light, because its thin strips are flexible and can fit into corners and tight spaces. It is made of LED lights fixed in a strip of flexible peel-and-stick adhesive tape. It delivers functional light to aid your kitchen task while staying low-key and inconspicuous. But note that tape lights are not a good stand alone under cabinet lighting. It only works well when matched with more functional lights.

However, it can be complicated to install this fixture if you want to hide the wirings. It is best to hire a professional if you want to properly install tape lights.

4. Rope Lights

Rope lights are a type of linear lighting fixture alongside tape and light strips. It is made of LED lights strung inside a tube, thus it is a bit thicker than tape lights. The two, however, shares almost the same advantages. It is also a space saver and is more affordable.

Like tape light, it doesn’t give off much light. So, it is best matched with good task lighting. It is also less flexible than other linear lighting.

 

Things to Consider when Buying Under Cabinet Lighting

Now that you know the type of under cabinet lights you need, here are the details that you have to consider when you buy one.

Amount of Light

Under cabinet lights are only an addition to a kitchen that is already well lit. Overhead lighting should primarily deliver the most amount of light. However, if you want to add more illumination you can choose task lights like puck lights as they deliver a bit more light than other under cabinet lights.

Color Temperature

Aside from the amount of light, you should also be concerned with the color temperature. Different kitchen designs, including the color theme and materials used, call for a particular color temperature. Hence, you should be particular with this.

Kitchens with wooden cabinets and tones are best lit with lights in the warmer spectrum.

Modern kitchens, on the other hand, with glass or steel fixtures and cabinets call for cooler lights.

Bulb Type

LED (Light Emitting Diode) –  is the most energy efficient choice is LED. It doesn’t emit as much heat as other bulb types and it lasts up to 50,000 hours. It costs more than halogen and xenon lights, but the cost pales in comparison to the amount of light and energy efficiency of this bulb.

Xenon – is the best choice if you want warm lights, as it gives off the warm glow comparable to that of incandescent lights but with less heat and longer life hours. It can last up to 8,000 hours compared to 2,000 hours lifespan of incandescent bulbs. While it emits less heat than incandescent, it has a higher heat emission level than LED and Halogen bulbs.

Halogen – is much like the incandescent bulb, but it emits brighter illumination and it lasts longer. It can last up to 4,000 hours. Compared to LED, it is less expensive, but it emits more heat. Accurate fitting and proper placement is important, as it can burn very hot.

Fluorescent – emits cooler light than halogen and xenon lights. Along with LED, it is also energy efficient and emits functional, bright illumination. On the other hand, its initial cost is hefty, and it must be properly handled because it contains mercury vapor that can risk your health.

Power Source

Here are three main power source options you have for your under cabinet lights:

Battery-powered is easy to install and convenient but can be unreliable especially when you drain the battery charge. You may need to replace the batteries too often when you’re busy at the kitchen

Plug-in requires an accessible outlet, and as such the wirings can be too obvious. If you use many kitchen appliances, this may not be your best option. On a lighter note, it only requires simple installation.

Hard-wired lighting fixtures are directly connected to the power source. It is a good permanent solution for a seamless under cabinet lighting fixtures. However, its installation is the hardest, requiring professional service.

With all these important information under your belt, you can now plan the remodeling you want for your kitchen. Not confident enough? Call a professional interior designer.

Do you find this article helpful? For more interior design guides and tips, stay tuned in our blog.

Energy Efficient Home Trends of 2016

Energy Efficient Home Trends of 2016

In the previous part of this article series, we discussed the various home design options that you can choose to achieve a complete energy efficient home. Having covered design types from log homes to Efficient-manufactured homes, in this last part of the series we give you the top energy-efficient home devices and appliances of 2016.

1. Connected Homes

Connected homes contributes to conserving energy. This type of home lowers down energy cost due to automated devices or appliances that automatically turn off when not being used. Home owners with learning devices e.g smart heater can save up to 50% of energy cost.

2. Improved Heating Efficiency

Unlike cooling or heating appliances, heat pumps distribute heat instead of generating it. This means you save 25% of heating or cooling operating cost by using heat pumps. To further illustrate, you can save between $1,000 and $2,000 annually in energy cost. Next time you look for heat pumps, look for these features:

  • Two-speed compressors —  reduces compressor wear and minimizes electric consumption
  • Variable-speed or dual-speed motors — maximizes energy saving
  • Desuperheater — recovers waste heat for water heater
  • Scroll compressor — long lasting and way quieter to operate

3. Magnetic Refrigerators

The use of magnetic field is revolutionary. Instead of using refrigerant gas, it uses water-based coolant that changes temperature as the magnetic field changes.

Magnetic refrigerator is environment friendly, requires half the usual electricity requirement and requires very low level of maintenance.

4. Window Technology

There are emerging technologies that incorporates sensors and microprocessors inside the windows. Automated shutters and shade are helpful in keeping the outside air from slipping indoor, and controlling the intensity daylight.

To maximize energy efficiency, a popular material of choice is fiberglass. It is stronger than vinyl and can last a lifetime without shrinking or wearing out like wood or aluminum.

5. Insulation Advancements

A good and complete insulation has always been the most practical way to conserve energy. Air-sealing the attic floors, pipes, wiring, chimney, and light fixtures is important to save heating and cooling cost. A well-insulated house can save up to 40% in energy cost.

6. Reflective Roofing Materials

As the roof catches all the sun’s rays, its temperature surface can rise to over 100°F. With reflective roof material or paint, it can reduce the amount of heat absorbed and thus, helps cool your house. Also, fitting your roof with reflective materials also enhances its durability.

7. LED and other Energy Efficient Light bulbs

Energy efficient lightbulbs e.g LED, compact Fluorescent CFL and halogen incandescents only consumes 25%-80% less energy while emitting same or even superior amount of light with your traditional ones. It also lasts up to 25 times longer and altogether saves you $75 each year/5 lightbulbs. If you’re going to purchase one, look for the ENERGY STAR seal, to ensure high standards and safety.

8. Environment-Friendly Construction

According to the Passive House Institute, Passive house can save you up to 90% on energy consumption. Passive homes are a brainchild of superior ingenuity as it leverages the environment to provide comfort to your home. With proper room orientation, layout and design, passive home can leverage natural energy sources like the sun and wind for cooling, heating, ventilating and lighting the interior.

Having a passive house is a holistic approach to conserving energy and saving  money. Good to know, refashioning your building or home into “passive” one costs only a little or none.

9. Solar Power

Having your home powered by solar panels is a multi-thousand dollar savings. According to Cost of Solar: The average 20-year savings for Americans who went solar in 2011 were projected to be a little over $20,000.” The amount could climb up to $65,000 savings.  Solar power is a reliable source of energy that you can be sure this world will never run out of. And didn’t we mention, that  the installing a qualified solar energy panel can write off your income tax?!

This list of energy efficient appliances and materials concludes our Energy Efficient Home Trends of 2016 series. If you want to learn more how you can conserve energy and save money while enhancing the beauty of your interiors, contact us at Lugbill Designs.
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[PART 1] Energy Efficient Home Trends of 2016

[PART 1] Energy Efficient Home Trends of 2016

Energy efficient homes offer a smart way to reduce excessive consumption of energy and greenhouse gas emissions. These homes provide a healthy and livable environment for your family while also allowing you to get a few tax breaks and save a significant amount of money.

Reasons Why You Should Consider an Energy Efficient Home

Doing more with less energy is one way to take your part in preserving nature. But there are other reasons to make the investment in an energy-efficient home.

Energy efficiency saves you money.

The average American household spends thousands of dollars per year on electricity bills.

Many families can take simple steps to reduce their energy bill, while making their homes more comfortable. One way is to buy Energy Star-rated appliances which can help you save up to 30% on your electricity bills, as compared to regular home appliances.

1. Energy efficiency boosts economic growth.

While being energy efficient can help you improve your lifestyle, it can also help in a macro scale. Energy efficiency can boost the economic growth and competency of a country. It can help the state to save on its overall costs, saving billions of dollars per year.

Also, energy efficient projects and innovations have opened numerous doors for employment opportunities. These projects have provided 830,000 jobs nationwide.

2. Energy efficiency benefits the environment.

Energy efficiency helps conserve natural resources, as it limits the need to produce and import oil, coal, and natural gas Investing in energy efficient methods is an effective way to abate tons of greenhouse gas emission every year.

One good example is the differences between incandescent light bulbs and LED light bulbs. In addition to saving ample energy while producing the same light, the manufacturing process of LEDs is much cleaner (i.e. no mercury)

The Home Energy Score

The Home Energy Score

U.S. Department of Energy has developed a rating system to determine the level of energy efficiency in a home. This rating system is called the Home Energy Score. It helps homeowners and home buyers to obtain information about the home’s energy use and possible financial savings if any upgrade will be made.

scoring system

The scoring system uses a scale of 1 to 10, wherein 10 serves as the highest score as an energy efficient home. It was designed to be simple for every household to feel encouraged on improving their score, and outperforming other homes. Furthermore, the Home Energy Score can provide useful recommendations on how to improve the home’s capability of being energy efficient.

Single-family homes, townhouses, and duplexes are the types of home eligible of getting the Home Energy Score. These homes will be estimated using different attributes such as furnaces, insulation levels, windows, and others. And because the Home Energy Score is widely used across the U.S.,it is possible to compare scores on a local or national scale.

A home with a score of 5 reflects a decent amount of energy use among homes in the country. If a home scored a perfect 10, it ranks among the 10% of expected homes to consume the least amount of energy.

 

Factors That Determine an Energy Efficient Home

Factors That Determine an Energy Efficient Home

There are several factors that determine the energy efficiency of a residential property.

1. Insulation

Hidden cracks in attics and crawlspaces can cause excessive air flow. Thus, the heating and cooling system will work twice as hard, causing your bills to increase substantially. That’s why having proper insulation and protection against air leaks is considered as an energy efficient home.

2. Heating and Cooling

A good deal of excess energy consumption in your home is caused by impractical use of heating and cooling systems.

To smartly utilize your heating and cooling systems, be sure to use a programmable thermostat or even better, a learning thermostat that knows when you are home and when you aren’t. (i.e. Nest, or Ecobee). You also have to regularly change filters and inspect further damage of ducts. Thereby, you can lower your expenses while increasing your utility’s efficiency.

3. Energy Star

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy developed a program that helps consumers opt for the most energy efficient products. If you plan to upgrade your appliances, look for products with Energy Star rating.

4. New Home Planning

If you’re planning on building a new home, there are a lot of things you can do to improve energy efficiency. For instance, installing solar panels on your roof, and coupling it with a Tesla Powerpack, is a great way to save money by only needing to purchase energy during non-peak times. Glazed windows, cool roofs, and energy-saving insulation.

 

For more information about Energy Efficient Home Trends of 2016, watch out for the 2nd part of this article series in the coming weeks. Regularly check out our  interior design blog for useful updates and information.

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