No fuss, no muss in custom Organizational House at Homearama in Suffolk

Custom Organizational HomeA drawer in the laundry room pulls out to reveal a small ironing board that conveniently folds out for use and then easily folds up so you can slide it back into the cabinet.

The stow-away ironing board is just one of 26 storage solutions you see in the Organizational House, sponsored by the Closet Factory of Virginia Beach, during Homearama in Suffolk now through Oct. 30. The showcase of nine custom-built, furnished and landscaped residences takes place at The Riverfront at Harbour View, just across the Merrimac-Monitor Bridge Tunnel in northern Suffolk. Hours are noon-9 p.m. with many special events planned.

“It’s a wonderful example of what we refer to as ‘whole house design,’ ” says Jeff Bruzzeki of the Closet Factory in Virginia Beach.

“Each room in the house serves a particular function. A good example is the study. To make the best use of space, we designed it floor to ceiling wall to ceiling and built everything in our factory. To make the space usable, we added a rolling library ladder.

“To add more function, we designed oversized lateral file drawers. For items to be hidden, we used four sets of doors and a credenza to match. To please the senses, we incorporated custom-routed sold wood alder glazed doors, faces and trim.

“It’s really stunning, with an Old World charm but with plenty of storage everyone today seems to need.”

Other organizational ideas in the house include built-in china cabinet in the dining room; butler’s pantry with built-in beverage fridge and silverware/dinnerware drawers; master closet with slide-out necklace hangers, drawer-hidden jewelry box and full-length mirror that hinges out when you need it; upstairs office nook with wall of cabinets; craft room with a desk that rotates to become a single bed; bedroom closets with organizers for all ages; and two-car garage with hang-up racks for yard tools and work bench and cabinets for projects and supplies.

The 4,200-square-foot house features four bedrooms, three full and two half baths, theater room with wet bar, mudroom with hidden storage for shoes, coats and odds and ends and a pool. The $698,900 house is under contract; it won the show’s most awards, including Best Home in Show Gold Award.

In addition to the Organizational House, other themed houses, priced $550,000-$750,000, at Homearama include the Get Pink house already purchased by a breast-cancer survivor; Social Media house with Facebook awareness and safety tips for parents daily; and Suffolk house with photos and accessories that showcase the city’s growth from its historic movie theaters to the greens of its many golf courses. Homearama houses, like many of The Riverfront residences, front a one-acre green space with benches and landscaping.

Get organized

If your home is cluttered with clothes and other household items, here’s how to get better organized with tips from the Closet Factory in Virginia Beach

Sort and purge. This may be the hardest action to take, but it’s the most important. If you sort and purge with a system, it’s easier. There are many systematic ways to choose from, including the three-box method that includes one labeled “Keep,” the second labeled “Donate” and the third labeled “Throw Away.”

Take an inventory. Again, use a system. Just as if you were taken an inventory in a warehouse, write it down. How many inches of long garments do you have? Short hanging garments? Shoes? Folded stacks of sweaters, etc

When you truly know what you have, only then can you appropriately plan storage and display space.

Determine the accessibility each item should have. For example, if you’re storing a rarely used evening gown in a daily use area, consider moving it to a different room.

Adjust inventory for items that do not need “daily use” storage.

Decide what you want to see and what you want to hide. This step is crucial to the outcome of the space plan and to the way the closet will function for you.

Work with the items you want to see first.

What is the most logical placement for you? Do you pick the top or the bottom of an outfit first? If it’s the top, place them just inside the door, and work from there, ending in the back of the closet.

Be sure to keep like things with like things.

By Kathy Van Mullekom,| 757-247-478

8:30 p.m. EDT, October 22, 2011