Armoire Apartment Hacks

With closet space at a premium in small apartments, urban home owners tend to think outside of the box when it comes to organizing their homes. Whatever built-in closet space apartments have are usually used for storing clothes, linens, and bedding – which doesn’t leave much room for other odds and ends. To combat this issue, many apartment owners opt for a closet system including armoires to increase storage capacity. However, an armoire can be used for more than just storing clothing and accessories. Here are a few apartment hacks that can be used to turn your armoire into a multi-purpose storage unit.

Cleaning Cabinet
An armoire makes the perfect cleaning cabinet. You can keep a vacuum (either canister or upright) in an armoire complete with all of the accessories. Mounting hooks on the back of the closet doors allows for storage of brooms, static dust mops, and other floor cleaning items. Place a hanging shoe organizer on the hanging rod and use the pockets to store all of your cleaning solutions. You can even store laundry detergent and extra paper towels and/or toilet paper on the built in shelf. These modifications allow you to have a complete on-stop shop for all of your house cleaning needs.

Holiday Cabinet
If your apartment is lacking in built in storage space and you don’t have any other storage options such as access to a basement, what do you do with all of your seasonal holiday stuff? Why not make a dedicated holiday cabinet out of an armoire? Holiday lights and decorations can be neatly stacked and organized on shelves in an armoire, fragile ornaments can be tucked away in drawers, and you can even store wrapping paper and other gift items all in one place. Organizing seasonal decorations in an armoire provides you with easy access at any time, even if it isn’t the season. You can even keep some non-holiday items such as birthday wrapping paper, gift bags, and greeting cards in the same closet.

Sewing and Craft Cabinet
Are you or someone you live with a rising fashion designer? Even if this isn’t the case, a lot of people work with fabrics and other craft items. Some homeowners are lucky to have a designated sewing room in their house, however not all of us have the luxury of turning a spare bedroom into a crafter’s paradise. An armoire is a great place to store all of your crafting needs. Place yarn, thread, and other sewing accessories in drawers. Hang your fabric in the closet on a hanging rod. You can even store your sewing machine, hot glue guns, and other crafting devices in the closet.

These are just a few of the many different uses for your closet system. We’d love to hear what you have turned your external storage units into. Feel free to leave a comment below!

Autumn Has Arrived, Is Your Closet Ready?

As the last few days of summer are coming to a close, a lot of us are changing our wardrobes for the season. Especially true for autumn here on the east coast, the change in season means a dip in temperatures. We slowly but surely pack up our shorts, swimsuits, and flip-flops, and start to pull out sweaters, sweatshirts, jeans, and jackets to get ready for the cooler days ahead. With this change in outfits, is your closet ready to handle the bigger, bulkier items worn primarily in the fall? If not, it may be time to consider investing in a closet storage system.

Although many dream about having a walk-in closet filled with shelves and endless hanging racks, a lot of people do not have access to such luxury. Instead, clothes tend to spill out of overstuffed standard sized closets or sit in stacks on top of dressers and storage chests. For those who own a home, an option would be to knock down a wall and expand a closet, or install additional shelving units. However for those renting apartments, the option to remodel isn’t available. Here is where a closet system comes in handy.

Gothic Cabinet Closet SystemCloset systems can be customized to any configuration. With a closet system, you can make the storage area as large or small as you want, simply by adding and moving pieces to create a set that matches your specific needs. At Gothic Cabinet Craft, our closet systems have many different components to choose from, including:

  • Armoires
  • Chiffoniers
  • Linen Closets
  • Single Door Wardrobes
  • Drawers
  • Storage Tops

Based on what your storage needs are, you can decide how many pieces you want in your closet system. Perhaps you need an armoire, a wardrobe, and a few sets of drawers. Or perhaps you need an entire closet system complete with storage tops that sit on top of the armoires and wardrobes utilizing more vertical space. The decision is up to you in how you want your closet system set up.

The benefit of a closet system is that they can be installed along any wall in your bedroom, spare room, or even in the hallway. Over time as your needs change, you can add pieces or remove pieces to create a new storage system for your clothes and other belongings. The best part, the closet system isn’t permanent. You can move them anywhere in the house, wherever you need storage.

Instead of trying to figure out where you heavier items such as wool sweaters and hooded sweatshirts should go, consider investing in a closet storage system. Not only do closet systems help keep all of your clothes behind closed doors, but they help to utilize the vertical space in your home. You can keep items you don’t regularly need in the storage tops on top of your armoire/chiffonier while keeping the clothes you wear all the time at arm’s reach. Closet systems aren’t just for clothes either. You can store toys, books, movies, even holiday decorations safely tucked away in the storage units. The possibilities are endless.

Types of Wood Furniture Guide

When it comes to buying furniture, there are a plethora of options to choose from. Choices include the style of furniture (classic, modern, contemporary), color, and even fabric. Even if you’ve narrowed down your choices to real wood furniture, there are still a lot of variations to consider. Here are a few of the most common types of wood and materials used in wood furniture. This guide can help you decide what type of wood would best match not only your design goals but your house and budget as well.

Birch
There are different species of the birch tree, which can result in variations in wood appearance. However, generally birch wood has a creamy white hue with patterns of brown sprinkled throughout. The wood is closed pore, which allows it to be stained and finished easily. When sanded, birch presents a nice and smooth finish. As birch is a hardwood, it is less susceptible to scratches and dents which makes birch wood furniture ideal for households that have pets or small children.

 

Oak
Oak is one of the most widely used hardwoods on the market. It is light in color, heavy, and strong. Thanks to rings within the oak tree, oak wood has a course texture and a noticeable grain. A favorite among craft furniture makers, Oak is the most popular wood for country-style American furniture. Because the oak tree itself grows slowly and has a long life-span the oak wood is incredibly strong and durable. Furniture made from oak is very durable. Although it is porous which requires an extra coat of stain or finish, oak furniture is not only built to last, it is just as beautiful unfinished thanks to its grain.

Pine
Unlike birch and oak that are both hardwoods, pine is actually a soft wood. Because of this, pine is verily easily carved and can be molded into a variety of shapes and designs. In addition to being easy to work with, pine is lighter in comparison to the other hardwoods, which means pine furniture is easier to move – which makes pine an ideal option for those in apartments and temporary housing who need to have furniture that transports well. Pine has a nice, even grain and is easy to paint and/or finish with wood stain.

Particleboard/MDF
Particleboard and MDF are popular building materials thanks to their low price point. Particleboard is basically wood chips and other wood waste products that are glued together and formed into sheets with a hot press. MDF is made the same as particleboard (wood materials glued together), but it is much denser. Particleboard is a staple material for ultra-low cost furniture stores and big box retailers. Usually particleboard furniture comes in pieces that the owner then has to assemble. Particleboard and MDF are weak building materials compared to real wood, and easily fall apart. Investing a little bit more in real wood furniture crafted out of materials like birch, oak, and pine will give you much more life and versatility than an economy grade particleboard unit.

My First Apartment Checklist – The Living Room

Fall is a time for transitions. In addition to the temperatures slowly falling and the leaves changing colors, the fall signifies the start of a new school year. Additionally September is also a busy month for real estate turnover. Many cities have apartments that start new leases on September 1st. For many college students, September 1st marks the start of their independent lives by moving into their very first off-campus apartments.

The moving process alone can be crazy. Follow this First Apartment Checklist to make sure you have everything you need for your first place. We’ll start with the living room.

Bookcases
Besides holding books, CDs, DVDs, and decorative items, bookcases also work to break up a room. For those living in a studio apartment that only has one giant room or an apartment with an open layout, bookcases can be used as room dividers. Adding a finished back to a bookcase allows you to set up the unit to separate the living area from the dining area of the office/study area from the living area. Plus, bookcases take advantage of vertical space, which helps maximize storage in the apartment.

Sofa or Futon
Besides the bed and the office chair, living room furniture gets an awful lot of use. From casually lounging and reading a book to having friends over for video game nights, the couch or sofa gets a lot of use. Because of the high traffic in the living room, you’ll want to make sure that your couch is made of quality materials and can withstand repetitive use. A lot of first time apartment owners will opt for a futon or a pull-out couch that converts into a bed for guests. Without the luxury of having an extra guest bedroom, the living room can serve as sleeping quarters for friends from out of town or mom and dad when they come to visit.

End Table
A living room set isn’t complete without a few end tables. Not only do end tables provide a space to place lamps for lighting, they provide a variety of storage options. End tables can hold magazines, remotes for electronics, and books. They are also a surface to rest drinks on when spending time in the living room.  Some end tables have drawers that can keep items such as stationary, pens, and batteries within arm’s reach, but hidden from plain sight.

Coffee Table
If your apartment is lucky enough to have a decent amount of floor space in the living area, a coffee table is definitely worth the investment. Not only do coffee tables provide a surface to hold drinks and magazines, but they can also serve as a focal point for entertaining. You can spread puzzles, board games, and card games across the table and play with multiple people sitting on all sides of the table. Or if the apartment doesn’t come with a specific dining area, the coffee table can be used as the communal eating area too. A coffee table will come in handy on Friday nights when you and the roommates decide to order take-out and rent a movie.

Back–To–School Furniture Essentials

Fall is almost here, so now is the time that many students are gearing up to head back to campus. Many upperclassmen move off-campus and into their first apartments. So in addition to purchasing pens, notebooks, and paper, they are buying their first pieces of furniture. Here are some of the must-have essentials for student apartment living.

Bookcases

The word student and book are synonymous with one another. Over the course of a semester, a student may have to read and reference dozens of books for multiple classes. The best way to keep books organized is to buy a bookcase. Bookcases come in many different sizes with options from two shelves to six or more. Some come with doors for hidden storage and others have adjustable shelves to accommodate large volumes or small paperbacks.

Bookcases can be used to store more than just books. The deep shelves are also great for storing DVDs, CDs, or even knick-knacks.  The shelves can also hold non-perishable snack items for snacking during study sessions. Students can designate certain shelves for certain items which turns a standard bookcase into a multi-purpose storage unit.

Desks

Living off campus in an apartment may afford a little more space than a dorm room, but living quarters still tend to be pretty cramped. Students need a work area to complete homework and other assignments, so the best way to build a work space in a small room is to build up. This is where a desk and hutch set comes in handy.

By taking advantage of the vertical space in the apartment, students can create a complete home office area in just one corner of a room. The shelves in the hutch are great for holding books, binders, printer paper, and other office supplies. Most desks also have additional storage drawers that can be used to organize files or store items out of sight. Many sets can be separated into a desk and hutch section, so after graduating from school, the desk can be transformed to accommodate new functions.

Beds

After a long day of studying (and a long night of partying) students need a good, solid bed to catch some shut-eye. For student apartments, a storage bed is a great investment. A real wood storage bed offers impeccable mattress support while providing tons of built in storage. Storage drawers under the bed are great for holding extra sheets, blankets, and towels. Some units even come with doors to store larger, bulkier items.

In a student apartment, space is limited. Plus sharing an apartment with roommates means that common storage areas are limited as well. Storage beds utilize space under the bed, that otherwise may go untouched, to keep personal items stored behind closed doors and off of the floor. If a storage bed isn’t your forte, you can always opt for a real wood platform bed. This type of bed still provides adequate access underneath the bed to place storage baskets or special “under-the-bed” storage boxes but gives the bedroom a traditional look and feel.

Visit Our New Stores: King’s Plaza and Riverhead

Gothic Cabinet Craft is happy to announce the opening of two brand new Gothic locations in Brooklyn and in Riverhead. The expansion of Gothic with these two new stores makes Gothic Cabinet Craft one of the largest chains of furniture stores in the New York City area with almost 30 different locations. Aristidis Zaharopoulos, President of Gothic Cabinet Craft is ecstatic about the opening of the two new locations. “Our new stores solidify Gothic Cabinet Craft’s place as the premier manufacturer of unfinished, real wood furniture on the East Coast.”

Flatbush Avenue at King’s Plaza
Gothic Cabinet Craft’s newest location in Brooklyn is actually the chain’s second location on the famed Flatbush Avenue. The new store, located at 2494 Flatbush Avenue, is located across from the Kings Plaza Shopping Center. The King’s Plaza location is Gothic Cabinet’s Brooklyn flagship store and is one of the largest stores of the almost 30 Gothic Cabinet Craft locations. In addition to having one of the largest selections of Gothic Cabinet Craft’s real wood furniture, the store is also a custom design center.

Getting to the newest store couldn’t be easier. The new Gothic Cabinet Craft location is just minutes from the Belt Parkway, exit 11 N. Additionally, the B2, B9, B41, B46 buses all stop at a terminal right on Flatbush Avenue by the Plaza.

Riverhead Store Showroom

Riverhead, Long Island
The new Riverhead store on Long Island is actually Gothic’s 6th location on the island. Located at 1076 Old Country Rd in Riverhead, NY, the store is a prime location for Gothic Cabinet Craft customers who are looking to furnish vacation homes out on the island. Long Island customers can visit the store with ease as it is conveniently located right off of I-495. The Riverhead location is a custom design center where customers can work with a Gothic design expert to create furniture that matches their needs, styles, and budget.

Zaharopoulos says that “It has been a difficult 5 years, but Gothic has not given up on manufacturing real wood furniture in New York City. Unlike our competitors, we have not moved our operations from the United States for less expensive sourcing alternatives. We are committed to remaining true to our identity as a local furniture manufacturer.” Since opening its doors in 1969, Gothic Cabinet Craft has been committed to serving the Greater New York City metropolitan area. All Gothic furniture is built in New York, and the stores not only deliver locally, but can ship across the United States.

Home Office in Small Spaces: Build Up

Technological advances over the past few decades have made it incredibly easy for employees to work remotely from the privacy of their own homes. Many employees who telecommute have a separate office set up in their homes either by converting a second bedroom or small room into a work area complete with a desk and file storage units. However, for those who are urban city dwellers, space is scarce which makes it very difficult to set up a home office. When it comes to setting up a home office in a small space, the trick is to build up, not out. By utilizing your vertical space, you can create a nice comfortable area for working from home. Here are a few tips on how to do so.

Desk and Hutch Combinations
A desk and hutch combination is an all-inclusive workspace solution for small spaces. There are a variety of options when it comes to choosing a desk. Some offer pull-out trays for keyboards, others have pencil drawers for stationary. Many of these desks come with file drawers where you can organize work and other important documents. The hutch that sits on top of the desk is ideal for holding books, copy paper, and software discs. You can add baskets to hold miscellaneous items or store decorative items on the shelves to add a little flair to the workspace. The hutch utilizes wall space, but unlike shelving, is a temporary solution. Should you decide to redesign your work area or relocate your desk, the hutch can be removed from the desk to be easily reconfigured.

Secretary Desks and Armoires
If you are the type of person who takes the “out of sight, out of mind” approach, a workstation with a door may just be the solution you need for your home office. A secretary desk is a great alternative to a traditional desk. The base of a secretary desk is a chest of drawers on top of which sits a hutch with a door that when pulled down turns into a writing surface. What is nice about a secretary desk is that when you are finished working, you can close the door to the desk, which creates a nice separation of work from your home. Whenever you need to go back to “office mode” you simply pull down the door to the desk. A secretary desk gives you a complete work station in a compact space.

For work-related storage needs, you can set up an armoire in your home office.  The armoire can be configured to hold files and office supplies. The insides of the doors are perfect for adding bulletin boards and a calendar to keep your tasks organized. When you are finished working, you can close the doors to the armoire keeping all of your work related items out of your living space. An armoire is a nice alternative to traditional shelving units and is especially ideal for apartment dwellers that can’t make adjustments to the original construction as they utilize vertical wall space without having to install hardware for shelving right into the wall.

Introducing the New York City Bedroom Sets

Gothic Cabinet Craft is proud to announce the newest addition to the Gothic Cabinet catalog, the New York City Bedroom Sets. These five new bedroom sets have been designed specifically with the needs of urban dwellers in mind. The sets feature better storage options and have more of a contemporary look than the rest of Gothic Cabinet Craft’s line of furniture.

Each set is named after well-known New York City neighborhoods in honor of the city where Gothic Cabinet Craft has called home since 1969. President, Aristidis Zaharopoulos, says that “We are honoring our home city of New York by naming the new bedroom sets after historic neighborhoods across the city.” Gothic prides itself on their commitment to quality, real wood furniture that is built locally but sold nationally. According to Zaharopoulos, “We have been in business here for over forty years, and all of our furniture is built right here in the city.”

New York is a city with neighborhoods that are as diverse as the people who call New York City home. Each set has its own flair and array of storage options that are perfect for modern-day apartment living.

The Five New Gothic Cabinet Bedroom Sets include:

Gramercy – named after the famous Gramercy Park and neighborhood.

The Gramercy set is built out of real wood birch and features a platform bed with up to 4 drawers, a headboard, nightstand with 2 drawers, a 6 drawer chest, a 8 drawer dresser, and a mirror.

Soho – the venerable “South of Houston Street” neighborhood home to a vibrant arts Soho bedroom setcommunity as well as a collection of shops and boutiques.

The Soho bedroom set is constructed out of solid and real wood birch and includes a platform storage bed with 8 drawers and 2 doors, headboard, nightstand with 1 drawer, a 6 drawer chest, an 8 drawer dresser, and a mirror.

Cobble Hill – named for the Cobble Hill Historic District in Brooklyn.

The Cobble Hill is a solid pine bedroom set that comes with a platform bed with up to 4 drawers, a headboard, nightstand with 3 drawers, a 6 drawer chest, a 9 drawer dresser, and a mirror.

Red Hook – named after the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, famous for its red clay soil and proximity to the Upper New York Bay.

Made out of beautiful red oak, the Red Hook set comes with a double storage platform bed with up to 8 drawers, bookcase headboard, nightstand with 1 drawer, chest with 7 drawers, a 9 drawer dresser, and a mirror.

Douglaston –home to Douglaston Hill, a historical district in the Queens Borough of New York City.

A real wood birch bedroom set, the Douglaston features a platform bed, nightstand with 2 drawers, a chest with 6 drawers, a dresser with 8 drawers, and a mirror.

All of the new sets are built with real wood and have been specially constructed so that the nail holes are not visible.  All the drawers feature metal glides for ease of use.  In addition to their sleek design, the sets are available in natural wood or can be finished in a choice of twenty colors.

View these as well as many other bedroom sets available from Gothic Cabinet Craft here, or swing by your local Gothic  Cabinet Craft store.

4 Different Uses for a Bookcase

Bookcases are very versatile furniture. Like the name implies, bookcases are primarily used to hold and/or display books. Many homeowners also use bookcases to store DVDs, CDs, and Vinyl Records as well as a way to show off decorative items. However a bookcase can be used for more than just media storage. With some creative thinking and a DIY attitude, a bookcase can be reconfigured in many different ways. Here are four different ways you can use a bookcase.

Cover Up
A bookcase is the perfect object to cover up a wall that is a little worse for wear. Perhaps you live in an apartment that has a “no paint” policy, but one of the walls has some discoloration. Or perhaps there is a small dent in the wall or even a hole left over from a light fixture that used to be installed there. Rather than spending money on repairing and repainting the wall, you can use a bookcase to cover up the spot. Bookcases come in all shapes and sizes, so you are bound to find one that is tall or wide enough to cover up the mark on the wall.  The benefit here is that this quick fix isn’t permanent. You can always move and re-purpose the unit if you decide to repaint the whole room.

Closet Organizer
You can use a bookcase as a way to organize a walk in closet. You can add wicker or fabric baskets to the shelves to hold shoes or small items such as socks, scarves, and gloves. Or you can fold sweaters and sweatshirts and stack them neatly on the shelves. A solid wood unit is even sturdy enough to hold multiple pairs of jeans. Is there a room in your home that has a small alcove you don’t know what to do with? Turn it into a makeshift closet! You can stack items on the shelf, and install a few small hooks for items that need to be hung.

Desk
A pair of small bookcases can double as a fantastic desk. You can take two or three shelf bookcases and lay a board across the top to create a workspace.  The bookcases play two roles here. They act as the “legs” of the desk, but also double as storage. You can keep office supplies, software, and printer paper neatly organized on the shelves. Plus with the open shelve design of the bookcases; you can keep an eye on when you are running low on items.

Room Divider
A bookcase can also double as a room divider. Large open spaces are easily broken up into separate “sections” by placing a bookcase perpendicular to a wall. When using a bookcase as a room divider, you will have to take one extra step to make sure you have a finished back for the unit. A bookcase room divider is ideal for studio apartment owners who want to break up the large room into smaller sections, and add a little bit more privacy. It is also ideal for large family rooms that want to set up a separate area to watch televisions from the area where the kids play.

Why Choose Solid Wood Furniture?

Furnishing your home these days is relatively easy. You can find furniture at most general merchandisers, department stores, big box furniture stores, specialty retailers, and (one of the easiest options) the internet. With so many choices, it’s hard to decide what type of furniture you are going to bring into your home. Before you make your final purchasing decision, make sure that you check out furniture that is crafted out of solid wood. Solid wood furniture has many benefits, and here are just a few of them.

Durable

Buying a bed, night stand, or bookcase from a major discount chain or one of those big box discount furniture stores may seem like a good idea due to the lower priced items. However with cheap furniture, you also get cheap materials. The majority of these types of furniture are constructed out of particleboard, which is basically tiny bits of wood glued together in board form, and then covered in a laminate finish to give it a unified look.

Particle board falls apart very easily, and over time the laminate can start to chip off exposing the wood panel underneath. Sometimes, joints become separated or drawers fall out because of repeated use. Particle board furniture is not meant to last long. If you are in the market for furnishing that are going to last you a while, solid wood is the route you’ll want to take.

Some Assembly Not Required

Most of the time when you order solid wood furniture, it comes preassembled. Gone are the days of lugging home multiple cardboard boxes, deciphering instructions that sometimes aren’t even in plain English, and using super glue and extra nails because you couldn’t get the parts to fit just right. Instead, a solid wood desk, bookcase, or dresser can be brought into your home, already built, with factory approved joints that are guaranteed not to fall apart.

Changeable Finishes

When you purchase a solid wood furniture piece, you are making an investment that will last you a long time. Five or ten years after your purchase your furniture, it will be in great shape. However, you may have outgrown the color scheme or want to go in a different direction style-wise. With solid wood furniture, you can easily have the unit refinished and repainted to match your home’s décor. You can even get new drawer pulls and accessories to change the look of the piece entirely. Don’t buy brand new furniture, when you can add a few new touches to give your older furniture a whole new look.