Whether you're moving into a new place or renovating your current one, we can all agree maximizing your home's storage space is a necessity. While you can opt for pre-built furniture, it's often more sensible to choose custom-built cabinetry that takes your space and its challenging layout into account. Recently we checked in with style expert and lifestyle blogger Stella Leo of Stylishly Stella to find out how her custom-built wardrobe has transFORMed her home and which NYC hot spots we need to add to our to-do list.
Why did you first reach out to transFORM?
We were in the middle of a gut renovation on our NYC apartment and our new living room turned bedroom area needed closets. transFORM came highly recommended by a friend and I liked that they had a showroom here in NYC that we could shop and view materials from.
Why were you interested in having a custom wardrobe built for you instead of buying a pre-made one?
We did consider pre-built options but wanted to maximize our space and utilize every inch we could. Pre-made options were too short for our high ceilings and didn't offer the width we could have filled our wall with. transFORM helped leverage all the potential storage space we could in a vertical and horizontal manner while helping us deal with irregular corners and wall areas that jutted out. Plus the idea of having something custom-sized, measured out, and built for us in this highly stressful renovation period made a whole lot of sense as well.
How has your custom wardrobe improved your life?
I love not having to fight my husband for closet space. By maximizing our vertical space with the custom wardrobe, he and I both got enough shelving and rods to accommodate our clothes. Of course, I have more closet space than he does, but isn't that how it always works out between husband and wife? He's lucky he got any, right?
Recently you did a closet cleanup. How important is it to go through your wardrobe and decide what stays and goes?
It is absolutely necessary. Space is limited in Manhattan and we have not stopped buying through the years. So seasonal edits, purging, donating, and selling is a constant process. Out with the old so we can rationalize in with the new! I actually prepare for birthdays and Christmas by reviewing our belongings and editing knowing we are going to accumulate new items.
As documented on your blog StylishlyStella.com, you love to visit fun places around the world. Where are your favorite places in NYC?
I love Battery Park City's Esplanade for long strolls with our little one. It's within walking distance from our place and such a beautiful, tree-lined pathway along the Hudson River. I feel like I'm on vacation with this view. We start at the southernmost tip and walk towards Brookfield Place which offers so many fantastic dining and shopping options as well as tons of outdoor seating for sunset and people watching.
I also love walking down 5th Avenue starting at 59th street and ending at 48th st. especially during the post-Thanksgiving holiday window season. The trick is to go before December, before all the tourists arrive and cause major traffic and sidewalk rage. The window shopping is spectacular, (you start at Bergdorfs, and end at Saks) and I always like to stop for eats at one of my two favorite Asian restaurants along the way. I prefer Joe's Shanghai for a casual scene (have you tried their soup dumplings??) Or at the southern part of 5th Avenue's famous shopping street sits Wu Liang Ye, a delicious Sichuan spot at 36 W 48th street which is across from Rockefeller Center.
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