Everything in its Place
These organization tips help life run smoother, morning ’til night. Finding the hairspray, changing baby’s diaper, and whipping up a salad were never easier.
From Left: Andrea Wolf, Marianne Jones, Rima Belau
1. The Kitchen
Meal Prep Made Easy
Professional organizer Andrea Wolf, above, of Huntington Woods-based Neat Home & Office Organizing, gets started by focusing on just one area. “You need to take everything out of the selected space and both categorize and inventory it,” Wolf says. “You can’t work with an area that has stuff in it. When you get ready to put things back, you need to make a final ‘do I really need this?’ decision,” she adds. She also suggests scheduling a donation pick-up to help you get motivated.
Doing an inventory helps ensure functionality, Wolf explains. For example, for a kitchen in Franklin, Wolf first worked with the homeowner to make an inventory, then with kitchen designer and cabinetmaker John Morgan of Perspectives, a custom cabinetry company in Royal Oak, to make sure drawer inserts ,left, and shelves would accommodate the flatware and a collection of china and crystal. With all in its place, cooking great meals is easy as pie.
2. The Dressing Room
Practicality Before Primping
When helping clients design an efficient home, interior designer Marianne Jones, above, says it’s important to truly examine their lifestyle. “Then you grow the space around it,” says Jones, who has an office at the Michigan Design Center. For a home in Grosse Pointe, she designed — and Chris Blake of the Blake Co. in Grosse Pointe constructed — a dressing area, shown above, with a built-in vanity to meet the client’s specifications.
Two deep drawers hold a hair dryer and tall bottles. Above, narrow drawers store flat objects like eye makeup and brushes. A three-way mirror on the wall across the vanity helps the homeowner see herself from all angles when getting dressed.
“It’s always collaborative and it (interior design) is not all about being pretty. It’s about being practical, too,” Jones says.
3. The Nursery
Once Upon a Design
“You can have the best fabrics and the nicest furnishings, but if the room isn’t organized, the rest doesn’t matter,” says Plymouth-based designer Rima Belau, above.
A tiny 10 x 10-foot nursery she recently designed, shown below, challenged her to make everything fit.
“Since they really didn’t need a closet for baby clothes, I took out the closet rod, removed the door, and turned it into a space for the changing table,” recalls Belau. “And because you almost always have the baby in your arms when you’re in the nursery, you need to place a shelf or basket for diapers near the changing table, and you need to have a table next to the feeding chair to hold a bottle.” As for drawers, Belau says the homeowner wanted a vintage piece, “but since so many flea market finds were painted with lead paint, we opted for a new ‘old’ piece in a bluish-grey.” They labeled and sorted baby items (pacifiers, bibs, grooming kit, etc.) into the cubby drawers. “Everything had its own spot without taking up too much room,” Belau says.
White vanity photograph by beth singer. nursery photograph by laf lines photography.