Archive for July, 2011

Create a Linen Closet

So one of the things that drives many of my friends and clients nuts is the lack of storage in the majority of homes across the valley.  In Ahwatukee you need to get a tri-level to find yourself any semi-righteous storage space and even then you may find yourself challenged. I’ve seen some seriously creative use of normal dead spots, like pot shelves, open niches and, of course, under the bed and garage shelving. But if you opt for the latter, you often run into the problem that your garage is no longer big enough to pull in two cars and actually open the doors.

I recently faced this storage dilemma with the new move. Since I was ripping out so many things anyway, (including a wall) I got creative with the typical cabinets-with-counter-and-cabinets-above scenario (pictured below) we find randomly placed in hallways or upper stairway landings of many Tukee homes. To convert this to usable space I simply tore out the old cabinets (which will eventually get mounted in my garage) and created a closet using drywall, 22″ deep shelving, a light (really helps at night), some paint and a set of doors. Since the new closet abuts up to the door of my boys bedroom I didn’t want it to be a hard left turn around the closet when entering their room so we angled the one wall to give the hallway better flow.  You can see that in the photos as well.

One of our mistakes was making the very top shelf the same depth as the other shelves.  We had to cut it down to half the depth so we could actually get stuff past the top of the doorway opening and on to the shelf, otherwise there were only a couple of inches between the wall and the shelf itself.  You’ll also want to be sure to use magnetic door closures and not a full door handle that you have to actually turn the handle to open.  You want to just pull the doors open so the magnetic closure are installed at the top of each door. They sell them at any hardware store and they’re very inexpensive.

Check out the pics below to see the before and after

Before, Hall Cabinets

The one side wall is angled to create a better flow in to the adjacent bedroom.



Hall closet after, inside

Outside view of hall closet, after









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In December I purchased another home and it’s been fun remodeling it over the past several months.  Since it was a bank-owned home it had been freshly painted inside (nice cost savings there) but all the window treatments had been removed, as is often the case with a bank owned property.  In the winter months that was fine as there’s no real privacy issue based on the way the house sits and I loved all the natural light pouring in through the abundance of windows.  BUT with the advent of summer, holy cow.  I needed to do something – PRONTO.  My utility bills were climbing with every upward move of the thermometer and my furnishings and artwork were getting hammered with UV rays.

So instead of painting the exterior like I had planned, it became a necessity to cut down on the amount of sunlight and heat coming in through the windows.  I turned to Wes McLaughlin of Arizona Blinds to help me wade through the decision-making process.  He has helped my clients with their needs and can do everything from blinds, shutters, screens and roller shades to window tint, which is what I chose as a starting point based on my personal need.  Actual window coverings are the next budgeted item.

He measured all my windows and gave me a quote on the spot.  He was competitive with other pricing and I already knew their service to be excellent.  We elected to go with a Panorama window film in Slate 30 on the majority of my windows.  It blocks 99% of all UV light and cuts the actual heat by 63%, eliminating hot spots and uneven temperature fluctuations which is exactly what I needed.

It’s only been a little over a week but I’m tracking energy use via SRP’s online e-notification which emails me each time my bill is projected to be over a certain amount. I’ve watched it drop $50 over the past 10 days with each notification, a fun little game I like to play and highly recommend. I can’t say 100% of that savings is from the window tinting, I’ve done a few other things like a hard-core commitment to time of use and using black out draperies on a few windows, but in large part, the tinting seems to be helping.  I definitely notice that my furnishings and artwork aren’t getting pummeled by the strong rays anymore and the overall feel of each room is cooler.  Hopefully it won’t feel too dark come winter but given the fact we live in such an intense climate for so many months out of the year I’ll live with it!

If you would like to contact Wes for more information on tinting you can reach him at wes@azblinds.com or visit their website at http://www.azblinds.com.  Or, go the old-fashioned route and call them, 480-234-7209.



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