Bringing Calm to Chaos
By taming some of the most chaotic parts of the home, Closets By Design creates tranquil spaces clients never want to leave.
by Bill Donahue

Just about every homeowner in America can relate to having a disheveled closet or some other room in the home in need of TLC, organizationally speaking. And it’s in these spaces, the most intimate areas of a person’s home, where Closets by Design’s professional designers and installers work their magic.

Walk-in closets, guest bedrooms, pantries, garages—these are the rooms few people will ever see. But after Closets By Design has completed its work, homeowners often want to show off these reordered spaces to friends, family and just about anyone who steps foot in the home.

“We’re taking calls seven days a week, with homeowners telling us, ‘I don’t have enough room in my closet, and I need someone to come out and take a look,” says Charles Waterman, owner of Closets By Design, which is headquartered in Exton. “We compartmentalize the closet and organize it so it feels more put together, so the homeowner can save time and make their day more enjoyable.

“It’s funny,” he continues. “When we get feedback from clients, it’s less about the functionality and more about the form. People tell us all the time, ‘I love it, and I don’t ever want to leave. It’s not just a closet; it’s a room that’s all about me, and being in it makes me feel good.’”

A Better Way
Waterman says it’s common for someone to peer into the chaos of a disordered closet, wishing they knew how to make it better but resigned to the idea that, “This is the way it’s got to be.” But a simple phone call can turn the tide rather quickly, according to Waterman.

The path to undoing the chaos begins when one of Closet By Design’s professional designers—trained by Waterman, an industrial engineer who is certified in efficiency improvement—visits the prospective client’s home for a complimentary walk-through. The designer will view the space in question to understand the homeowner’s morning routine and to inventory the individual’s wardrobe. This essentially becomes an opportunity for homeowners to make key decisions on their wardrobe: what to keep; what to rotate; what to donate.

“Most people don’t think about it, but a disorganized closet can affect other people’s impressions of you, and you only get one chance to make a good impression,” Waterman says. “We find that many people will take the clean clothes from the dryer or dry cleaners and put them right back into the same part of the closet. They’ll end up wearing the same clothes over and over, which can cause those clothes to look beat up, and people will notice.”

The next step in the transformation: Closets By Design will provide a detailed rendering of the revised space, with clients able to choose colors and style preferences, as well as options such as hardware, to customize the space to their own tastes. Add-on options might include a hamper or the installation of an ironing board, for example, to simplify the homeowner’s everyday routine.

After that, it’s time for the installation. Closets By Design custom makes components of the new closet at its Exton headquarters, and the company’s full-time installers put everything into place. Before long, homeowners will have a “dream closet” that adds variety and style to their wardrobe—often organized by work wear, weekend wear, athletic wear and formal wear, among other categories—all without the individual having to spend a single penny on new additions to the lineup.

“Before the installation, people tell us they have a closet full of clothes but they feel they have nothing to wear; they’re always grabbing from the same six to 10 inches of clothing rod,” Waterman says. “After we’re done, they feel they have more variety, because everything is compartmentalized and organized according to its proper use. That’s the functionality coming into play, but often it’s the form people talk about most—that we’ve created an experience similar to what they find in a boutique clothing shop, right in their own closet.”

Going Back for More
Despite its name, Closets By Design specializes in more than just closets. Closets may be the “way in,” but Waterman says most customers are so thrilled with the experience that his team winds up tackling other areas of the individual’s home, such as the garage, the home office and the pantry. With each room, Closets By Design takes the same methodical approach, understanding how the space is used and then providing a result that adds organization, enjoyment and a sense of tranquility to the client’s life.

“We find ourselves going back to a lot of the same clients’ homes,” he adds. “We also have a lot of instances where we get calls from the same customer but at a different address. After we’ve already done everything in their home, they’ve purchased a new home but don’t want to move in without having all our systems in place. We’re also doing people’s second homes, maybe down the shore or up in the Poconos. They keep coming back.

“We’re flattered that people would invite us into a room in their home that nobody else goes in,” he continues. “These are people’s most private places, and we’re very discreet and understanding, but the rooms we’re doing for them usually end up becoming showpieces. Sometimes we’ll see something on Facebook or Instagram, where people will write, ‘Look at this amazing closet.’ And I’ll think: Hey, that's one of ours." 


For more information on Closets By Design, call (610) 644-4143 or visit



Photography courtesy of Closets By Design


Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life Magazine, May 2018.