The most important place on earth is home. Home is a place where we work, play, and exercise. As our lives change and our children grow, home needs to evolve along with our needs—which is possible without moving or spending a lot of money reinventing if we thoughtfully design our rooms with flexibility and versatility with the future in mind.
It’s back to school time.
For inspiration, we sat down for a conversation with Sales & Design Consultant, Lauren Shafer, and General Manager, Nicole Kypreos, of California Closets of Oregon. Designing custom rooms that effortlessly adapt to changing needs and ages is a specialty at California Closets, and a great example is creating a kid space that changes with the needs of the growing child.
Shafer says she began the design with the foundation basics, which include drawers, shelves and cubbies, then worked with the client to envision future needs and make the spaces adjustable and flexible. Because it’s a clean design with a sophisticated finish, it has a promising future as the child grows.
The built-in closet structure includes solid doors that cover adjustable shelving, drawers for smaller items and tall doors that hide an integrated place for dirty clothing. This built-in hamper is divided on the inside so the child can learn about how to take care of clothing and sort items according to how the family does laundry.
In deciding on finishes, Kypreos says, “We start with the basic design in a neutral finish, so that it will be very easy to incorporate specialty items to create different looks. Everything is custom so if the client wants a pink drawer face today and something completely different down the way, it can be changed out easily.”
Over the years, the glossy white finish in this playroom will resist scratches and wear, will be easy to clean and will work with many different decorating styles, while the facings can be changed out for an entirely new look.
An organized closet means less stress.
“Always having items at kids’ reach is very helpful.” Kypreos says. “When my daughter was little, she laid out her clothes for the next day and hung them on these wonderful valet rods. The next morning, they were easy to reach and really helped her get ready for the day.
A recent closet installation for a newborn illustrates the California Closets “for the ages” design principle. Today, one section holds current clothing and the second has clothing the child will grow into. “As the child gets taller, we can change the positioning of the poles and eventually it will work for adult levels,” Shafer says. Boxes and bins can hold diapers and onesies today, then Legos, sports gear and more grownup goodies as time goes on. She also loves to include desks within a closet, with doors that slide to one side to hide or reveal the workspace, freeing up some of the bedroom real estate and giving kids a cool place to study.
In designing spaces for children, Kypreos advises homeowners to take the long view, “Think about how they will change in height and in their interests. With minor adjustments like poles, shelves, and changing the face on drawers, the space can still be relevant as the child grows.”
Noting that children are “temporary tenants” and will eventually move out and create their own homes, she says every aspect of the design is adjustable and multi-purpose. As the family changes, a few minor adjustments can make the playroom a welcoming guest room, a dedicated space for hobbies or perhaps a private room for an aging parent.
The design process
Kypreos says, “When we work with clients to create a design, we start with the physical space and what contents need to be stored. These are built-in structures, designed to fit with the architecture of the house and the needs of the current occupant.” She says the design process can happen within one to three hours, depending on how quickly the decisions are made, and installation can be scheduled around the customer’s timeline.
For a free design consultation, visit California Closets showrooms in the Portland Pearl District, West Linn and Bend or book online.