SPACE-SAVING SUPERSTAR

by ALAENA HOSTETTER

As decluttering fever sweeps the nation, largely thanks to Marie Kondo’s smash Netflix series, Tidying Up, based on her New York Times bestselling guide to organizing, there is no better way to hop on the organizational bandwagon than with an expertly designed closet by California Closets Miami.

Whether clients are firmly planted in Kondo’s minimalist camp or have closets full of clothes and keepsakes that “spark joy,” California Closets Miami can accommodate any project with precision—even counting and measuring entire shoe and handbag collections—to create an organizational system that fits all of a customer’s belongings, with room to spare.

“We’ve seen closets where you’d think the person was a hoarder and we need to get rid of half of it, but the designers fit exactly that and more. It’s like a magic trick,” says Julie Shvedyuk, marketing and trade development manager for California Closets Miami.

And designs aren’t limited to closet organization. California Closets Miami completes a wide array of projects, including libraries, media centers, garages, mudrooms, laundry rooms and more.

The 26-year-old Miami franchise covers territory from Key West to Aventura, with nearly 50 employees dedicated to design, production, installation and coordination. Its 10 staff designers come from backgrounds in architectural, interior and product design— sometimes from competing organization companies—and must complete a comprehensive three-month training program.

On-site meetings with clients are complimentary. The designers take measurements and input all pertinent information into California Closets’ proprietary CAD program, which allows customers to visualize the finished project and manipulate the design.

“It’s the best thing,” says Shvedyuk. “Compared with our competitors, which often still use the old-school method of sketching on paper, customers can see their design in 3-D, open and close drawers, hang clothing on it—it’s really amazing. And, they get to see the pricing.”

Unlike its competitors, which charge for their plans, California Closets’ prospective customers receive their plans free-of-charge, whether they decide to hire California Closets or not. “That’s how confident we are in our design,” says Shvedyuk. “Clients are free to take the plans and comparison shop. But, they’re not going to get the same customer service, lifetime warranty or the attention to detail we provide.”

How did California Closets become that confident? Besides the 40-plus years of tried-and-tested product experience, the Miami franchise works very closely with the New York California Closets franchise. The two branches not only collaborate on ideas, they also share clients, as many of their customers have homes in both New York and South Florida.

Because the franchise is dedicated to offering beautiful organizational designs to the South Florida market, management travels to Italy yearly to pick out new fixtures for the showroom. “There are a lot of pieces we like from over there,” says Shvedyuk. One was a fancy shoe carousel, the likes of which are seen in movies like Clueless and Overboard, according to Shvedyuk. “It’s a crowd-pleaser; everyone goes crazy for it,” she says.

Another frequent request is for hybrid office-guest rooms that incorporate a discreet, foldable wall bed, also known as a Murphy bed. “The Murphy bed is becoming more popular now because people don’t want to waste space,” says Shvedyuk. “This one project we did had bookshelves flanking the Murphy bed. It came out beautifully; it looks modern and sophisticated.”

Whether it’s a minimalist design with a one-day install or a massive project—as in the case of one enormous library in the Keys—California Closets Miami is ready to help any homeowner become an organizational, space-saving superstar. No Marie Kondo needed.

Alaena Hostetter is a Dallas-based journalist who writes about all of her favorite things: art, design, culture, music, entertainment and food.