A 2002 graduate of Kent State University where she majored in interior design, Bridenstine worked as an interior designer for a local architect until the dot-com bubble burst.
“I loved everything about it,” she said.
She launched a small interior design business, while subsequent jobs in merchandising and purchasing helped give her a solid business foundation. She opened Pure Design in 2012, followed by Tailored Living, a nationwide franchise.
“I love that you can order just what you need for your project,” she said of Tailored Living.
Bridenstine estimates that about 80 percent of Tailored Living installations are remodeling projects in existing homes.
She jokes that if your racks are falling down, and you can’t get your car into your garage because you’re using it as storage space, it might be time to consider installing a more efficient closet.
“There’s a lot to be said for taking an inefficient space and making it work really well for a household,” Bridenstine said.
Bridenstine uses 3-D computer software that she brings to clients’ homes so that they can design the new closet space together. Clients also have their choice of different building materials and colors. Cedar interiors also can be installed.
“The perfect closet is one inch per hanging item,” she said. “Most people wear 11 items on a regular basis. The rest are supplement pieces. And some are pieces which don’t even fit.”
People tend to hang onto the pieces that don’t fit in hopes that maybe someday, they will, she said.
Bridenstine said women seem to be more willing to part with items they no longer wear, “depending on the personality,” but that she was surprised to learn that men tend to have more shoes than women.
Well-organized storage space can be a time saver.
“People spend 50 minutes to an hour a day, looking for stuff,” Bridenstine said. “In a year, that adds up.”
The art of organizing and proper storage has propelled a number of bestselling books in recent months. Bridenstine has a blog, which offers tips and advice. Japanese organization consultant Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” reached No. 1 on the New York Times bestsellers list, and made her a star.
“People are starting to recognize when there’s just too much stuff,” Bridenstine said. “It’s hard to stay on top of everything when there’s too much to manage. There’s a school of thought—it didn’t originate with me—that if you get one part of your life organized, it soon applies to other areas of life. Some people have even reported losing weight.”To improve your storage space, Bridenstine offers these tips:
- Interior design trends:
• Bridenstine said the current trends in interior design are the use of grays and earth tones, which can help warm up and reduce the “coolness” in a room.
•“You also see a lot of reclaimed wood,” she said. “And wallpaper is coming back. It’s more graphic and bold, but selective in use.”
• Gone are the days of the “Paul Bunyan” bed. Furniture manufacturers are rescaling their pieces and making them smaller, Bridenstine said.
• “For many people, they’re moving into a house already built, where the (living) space is smaller,” she said.
• Bridenstine said she encourages clients to spend top-dollar on their “forever” pieces to ensure high quality for items they intend to keep.
• “For furniture, “ she said, “you really do get what you pay for.”
2. CLOSET: Tiered rods maximize space by keeping same-length items together, or group by use such as work clothes, evening wear or casual. In a shared closet, individual shoe racks for each person will keep shoe wardrobes organized and accessible. Custom closet solutions including shelves, drawers and pullout bins create beautiful, functional space for each user’s accessories. Use all available space. Incorporating creative storage ideas such as tall, vertical shelves, enclosed cabinets with drawers, under-bed storage, stacking bins and trunks will maximize room space and lessen the demands on the closet.
3. LAUNDRY: As with custom closet design, this maxim means “think vertical.” Regardless of your space constraints, installing custom cabinets and open shelves around and above your washer and dryer will provide handy storage for laundry needs. A countertop or table creates room for sorting, treating stains and folding clothes. Overhead cabinets keep all the soaps, whiteners, fabric softeners and other implements easily accessible. Open shelves can hold folded clothes neatly in stacks until they are put away.
4. HOME OFFICE: If your home office doubles as a guest or TV room, incorporate storage options that make transitioning from work seamless and easy. Enclosed cabinets to hide work paraphernalia and a built-in Murphy Bed instantly turn the office into a guest room.
5. GARAGE: Custom garage cabinetry designed specifically to fit the individual needs of your family is far and away better than any generic cabinetry you can find in store. Customize your garage storage cabinets to fit whatever seasonal objects and items you wish, such as sports equipment and gear. Gridwall and slatwall are designed to hold anything and everything against the walls of your garage. These garage storage devices are metallic grids that, once affixed on the wall, can be outfitted to hold anything from a box of tennis balls to your mountain bikes. Probably the most underused and underrated of all storage devices for a garage, overhead storage can be the perfect solution for seasonal decorations that you will only use a few months of the year. Overhead storage will keep your items up and out of the way, but still easily accessible when you need them.