PATTY L COWGER: DEMYSTIFYING DESIGN

MALKA'S INTRODUCTION TO NAPA INTERIOR DESIGNER PATTI L COWGER WITH HER ARTICLE IN NAPA VALLEY REGISTER

 As seen in the Napa Valley Register

As seen in the Napa Valley Register

THE ART OF STORAGE: DAILY LIFE MADE EASIER, BY PATTI L COWGER

“A place for everything and everything in its place.” 

 Patti L Cowger, Interior Designer - Napa Valley

Patti L Cowger, Interior Designer - Napa Valley

 Kitchen Design by Patti L Cowger

Kitchen Design by Patti L Cowger

Although this phrase is sometimes credited to Benjamin Franklin, the Oxford Book of Quotations dates it back to the 17th century. No doubt you heard it as a child, probably as your mother encouraged you to clean your room. I can still hear the Sisters of Mercy at St. Apollinaris singing it over and over as we students tidied up our desks and the classroom. It’s such a simple, logical, healthy, and beneficial notion, no wonder it has lasted throughout the ages. 

Over the years, I’ve written several columns advocating the idea of surrounding yourself, your home, with things that you love, use, or have special meaning. 

This not only makes your environment more pleasant and attractive, it makes daily life easier. You can select your wardrobe more quickly, prepare meals more quickly, pay your bills more quickly, and find whatever you’re look for more quickly. 

You’ve not only decreased needless stress and aggravation but have increased cherished time in your day. But, like a diet, such an ideal circumstance can be difficult to achieve and even more difficult to maintain. 

My hunch is that most people declutter and donate once or twice a year. It always feels good to lighten one’s load. But there’s a subsequent step to this process. It’s where Benjamin Franklin’s wise words come into play. In order to sustain all that you’ve just achieved, what remains should have their own space. Their place. 

In many cases, this means designated rooms, closets, shelves, drawers, bins, and cubby holes. But creating storage is more than just making room for your belongings. It’s an art. It should be designed carefully with the thought of organization, timely routine, function and usage in mind. 

Key ingredients to this art are categorizing and grouping like items together. That is, instead of stacking books on desks, coffee tables, and bookshelves, create a single library. Instead of separating jewelry in boxes and baskets in dressers, bathroom counter tops, and nightstands, designate a single drawer or two (with inserts and dividers in specific sizes) for all your pieces. Instead of scattering cleaning supplies in bathrooms, kitchen, and the garage, store them all in one place. 

Why does this strict, and possibly uncomfortable, strategy work? Because it ends the guessing game. When looking for a book, a bracelet, or a broom, you’ll know exactly where to go instead of searching in various locations.

 Closet by Malka - RC Cabinets & Closets

Closet by Malka - RC Cabinets & Closets

Even if your home was built with several closets, they are most likely not configured in an optimal way. There are many aspects to designing functional, attractive, and well-made storage with value-added bells and whistles. Since it’s not only an art but a science, I call on professional closet, cabinet and storage designer, Malka Sabroe-JoHanson, to help   my clients. Sabroe-JoHanson stands apart from other closet designers because of her background in interior design, her 25-year experience, her insistence on working with quality materials, and complying with all relevant building codes and standards. 

She understands the concept of form and function and individual needs in diverse settings. She has clever solutions for each. She knows how to maximize space and a client’s budget.

 Custom Closet by RC Cabinets & Closets

Custom Closet by RC Cabinets & Closets

“A dream closet does not have to be expensive and or extravagant. It simply needs to be designed for a client’s specific needs and desires,” Sabroe-JoHanson said. 

One of my clients, Holly Quate, shared her conclusions: “I always thought a custom closet was a splurge — a nice addition only to be considered when there was extra money. Now that I’ve installed one, however, I see that my closet is one of the places where my money has had the most impact. The dedicated storage and the easy access to all my clothes, shoes, and accessories have made my day to day routine so much less stressful. The fact that I have plenty of hanging space and a place for everything makes both getting ready in the morning and putting things away at the end of the day a breeze.” 

Sabroe-JoHanson’s team, RC Cabinets and Closets, has worked together for more than 25 years. It’s composed of a private, family-owned, cabinet manufacturer and an installer who has known each other since kindergarten. They are fully insured and licensed under the Contractors State License Board, 

Consumer Affairs Department. Its long- established craftsmen are experienced in fine cabinetry and finishing work and adhere to the guidelines of safety and codes in the State of California for lasting construction. 

Sabroe-JoHanson’s process begins with a consultation, which is followed by a presentation of detailed, computer- generated drawings. All cabinetry is custom and without pre-fabricated parts, and all work is warranted. To see her portfolio and to read her informational blog, visit RCCabinetsandClosets.com. She can also be reached at (707) 688- 2791.

Patti L. Cowger is a credentialed, award- winning Napa-based interior designer and owner of PLC Interiors. For more information about her design services, visit her website at plcinteriors.com call (707) 322-6522; or email plcinteriors@sbcglobal.net.

OPENING THE CLOSET DOOR!

OPENING THE CLOSET DOOR!

The Good The Bad & The Ugly

12 Rules for Hiring a Closet Designer

After 25 years in the closet and cabinet business, I can certainly attests to have seen - the good, the bad and the ugly in closet designs. Far too many poorly designed closets have actually detracted from the homes’ worth and I have been hired to make over these wasted spaces through out the years.

To assist home owners in their choices, I have outlined the essential rules in hiring a designer to create their dream closets and make the process a more pleasurable undertaking.

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Malka’s Rules for Hiring a Designer for the Closet

1.) Hire a Professional qualified Closet Cabinet designer with several years of experience and with a knowledge of construction, space planning, garment size requirements and design. Ask for local references and / or ask neighbors and friends for a referral.

2. It is beneficial that a closet designer is associated with a reputable licensed cabinet shop to perform the construction and installation of the closets. A licensed cabinet maker is a “specialty” contractor under the State of California.

3. *In the state of California, a cabinet shop must hold a current, valid specialty license to install the cabinetry; California State Contractors license: Cabinets & C-6 - Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor and must have Workman’s Comprehensive Insurance for their employees and Insurance Bonds. All work must be supervised by the licensed contractor in the performance of the manufacturing and installation. Check with your residing state’s construction laws and always verify the status of their license and the correct owner. Their license is required to be posted on their website, contract and business cards as well as any advertisements.

4. The cabinet contractor should offer a warranty which must be printed on their contract.

5. The closet designer should be responsible to measure the interior space of the closet and the inventory of clothing and accessories of the client’s to create a perfect fit.  

6. The designer should present drafted plans that are clear, fully detailed with measurements and sizes to scale and easy to understand. It is preferable to be an AutoCAD, computer generated diagram for precise and accurate detailing.  

7.  The contract should clearly specify all materials to be used such as the quality, color, size and brand name as it may apply. The contract must be legible and easy to understand. 

8.  * A down payment of 10% or $1,000, whichever is less is the only deposit permitted in California. The remaining progress payments are allowed and required for ordering materials by the shop to perform the job.

9.  * Any changes made to the contract and / or the closet plans must be in writing as a “Change Order” and approved by you the client.

10. ** Look for value in a closet cabinet pricing. Be cautious of false sales promotions and “Price Reduction” deceptive discount coupons that are aggressively timed. A coupon or sale running more than three (3) months is not a sale, it is a false advertising. Offering a sales discount or reduction is a common sales technique. The sale price is misleading unless the former price is the actual, bona fide price at which was originally offered as.

11. Most importantly; the designer must work closely with the client and respond to their special requests, concerns and desires.

12. * When requesting a Bid on the closet project, it is suggested to get three bids on a design. Three different closet designers will have three different design plans therefore if a proper bid is requested, you, the client must provide accurate plans or drawings of the closet spaces to the three specialty cabinet contractors that will enable them to determine the scope and cost of the work. Again, the client must supply their own accurate plans to determine the exact scope and cost of the work. Each of their proposal contracts should clearly specify all materials to be used such as the quality, color, size and brand name as it may apply. Each contract must be legible and easy to understand. Each of the three cabinet shops should hold a valid specialty license to install the cabinetry; California State Contractors license: Cabinets & C-6 - Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor and must have Workman’s Comprehensive Insurance for their employees and Insurance Bonds.

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*   California Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board (CSLB.ca.gov)(800.321.CSLB)

**  Federal Trade Commission (FTC.gov) - The Division of Advertising Practices & California Business and Professions Code (BPC) Article 6 - Unearned Rebates, Refunds and Discounts and Business and California Professions Code (leginfo.ca.gov)

 

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YOU ARE WHAT YOU WEAR

AND YOUR CLOSET CAN GIVE YOU CLUES TO WHO YOU ARE

Most every woman has found herself with a closet full of too many clothes or surrounded by brand-new items that somehow never get worn. Instead she gets stuck wearing the same few familiar pieced from a wardrobe that just does not feel "right." Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner argues that all those things are actually manifestations of deeper life issues. What if you could understand your appearance as a representation of your inner unresolved conflicts and then assemble a wardrobe to match the way you wish to be perceived? In this fashion guide that is like no other, Dr. Baumgartner helps readers identify the psychology behind their choices, so they can not only develop a personal style that suits their identity but also make positive changes in all areas of life. 

A unique book to assist the process of cleaning and clearing out one's closet. 

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Malka of RC Cabinets & Closets - San Francisco Bay Area

PATHWAY HOUSE OF YOUNTVILLE

We designed and installed the cabinets for the new intake center, offices and conference rooms in 2009. Formally called California Transition Center for Care of Combat Veterans, it was a supportive haven for the vets coming back from the war with PTSD. It certainly is an idyllic setting tucked away on a hillside in the vineyards of Napa Valley. 

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Forbes Magazine: "Increase the Value of Your Home"

According to recent article in Forbes Magazine, conducted by Houzz.com

  Why are American homeowners renovating?
  
					     Key Drivers    
				      Last year’s survey uncovered the surprising fact that an overwhelming majority of homeowners
are more interested in improving their homes to please themselves rather than the next owner.    The motivation behind both renovation and decoration projects is still overwhelmingly to
improve the look, feel, flow or layout of the home, but more people this year are also investing
to increase home value. This finding aligns with the large majority who are bullish on the housing
market.    Improve look, feel flow & layout and increase the value of the home.    http://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2013/04/10/home-improvement-projects-are-on-the-rise/     http://info.houzz.com/rs/houzz/images/Houzz%20%26%20Home%202013%20Report.pdf  
				    Artwork by:  www.michelleimbach.com (you have to write website in because this post is connected to Forbes) She is the greatest...

Why are American homeowners renovating?

Key Drivers

Last year’s survey uncovered the surprising fact that an overwhelming majority of homeowners are more interested in improving their homes to please themselves rather than the next owner.

The motivation behind both renovation and decoration projects is still overwhelmingly to improve the look, feel, flow or layout of the home, but more people this year are also investing to increase home value. This finding aligns with the large majority who are bullish on the housing market.

Improve look, feel flow & layout and increase the value of the home.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2013/04/10/home-improvement-projects-are-on-the-rise/ 

http://info.houzz.com/rs/houzz/images/Houzz%20%26%20Home%202013%20Report.pdf

 

Artwork by:  www.michelleimbach.com (you have to write website in because this post is connected to Forbes) She is the greatest...