Maximize Your Closet Space: Expert Melanie Charlton Shares How

Melanie Charlton – fashion enthusiast, author, and founder of the New York–based luxury closet design company, Clos-ette – lets Rue in on a few space-saving and closet-transforming secrets.

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Rue La La: What’s the first question you ask clients who want a closet makeover?
Melanie Charlton: How many times a day do you change your clothes? Lifestyle questions about now and the future. Then we do our inventory. That is a large part of the secret sauce to our designs.

RLL: What’s the best way to keep a closet tidy?
MC: It’s all about tight folds, hardware, and skinny hangers. Maximizing your space by using shallow wall space to hang accessories using surface-mounted hardware. Utilizing a slim hanger to maximize vertical and horizontal hanging space. And keeping folded items uber neat with sweater-folding boards.

RLL: How do you help clients maximize or create space in a closet?
MC: Edit or cull out the clothes they don’t wear. Storing larger accessories like shoes and handbags in an efficient way. Buy our book, Shop Your Closet, to get all our tips on how to edit and organize!

RLL: How can a small closet be made to feel luxurious, like a walk-in?
MC: Decorate it. Display your jewelry, color-code your wardrobe, use all the same hangers. Fold items neatly, and use organizers – like shelf dividers – to create customization. Add a rug, lighting strips under shelves, or even a chandelier, if there’s space.

RLL: What are some organizational musts that are obvious to you, but not always obvious to clients?
MC: Organize clothes into like items. For instance, shirts with shirts, pants with pants, dresses with dresses, clutches with clutches. Color-code within each category left to right and light to dark. It’s a merchandising trick because the eye follows color. It’s all about turning your closet space into your very own shoppable boutique.

Our Clos-ette Boutique opens Friday, October 4, at 3PM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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October 4, 2013