Space: The Final Frontier

Closet Rescue

Debbie’s stellar solution for morphing my closet into a guest room: Fold the table up, pull the larger panel down, and voila! a twin bed set lengthwise, so visitors can close the louver doors for privacy. A retractable valet, hidden behind the tall cabinet at right, becomes a mini closet for guests. As for reaching the highest cabinets? All I have to do is stand on the bed.

Debbie grins as she turns to option three, and as soon as I see the sketch, I do, too. Cabinets and cubbies occupy the top half of the design. A panel stretches across the bottom. Pull the panel down and a Murphy bed appears, positioned sideways so guests can close the louvers for privacy. Fold the Murphy bed up, and a smaller panel folds down to create a good-sized table.

It’s everything I asked for, so you’d think I’d be satisfied, but I’m not. I’ve fallen in love with the valet, which is absent in option three. Worse, the cabinets start four feet from the floor and stretch to the ceiling. Cue the jetpack.

So far, Debbie has schlepped to my house in the Ha‘ikū boonies, surveyed my closet’s chaos without flinching, created three designs and estimates for fabrication, delivery and installation. (Estimates for my requests range from $2,000 to $4,600.) I apologize for being finicky, but she assures me it’s fine; we’re still in the figuring-it-out stage.

She thinks for a moment, then picks up her straight edge and sketches a fourth design. The Murphy bed and worktable are still there, but the cabinets start lower, and she’s put the valet back in, along with space for a lamp next to some low shelves.

It’s perfect. And Debbie thought of it on the spot.

“Designing is the fun part,” she says. “I’ve done this for twenty-eight years, and every design is different, because every client is different. We’re not trying to change your habits, just give your habits a better home.”

Maui Closet Company, 310 Hukilike St., Unit M, Kahului | 871-7996 |



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