Our Favorite Room: Closet Makeover!


It was almost a year ago—last April to be exact—when Colorado Homes & Lifestyles and Closet Factory Colorado got together and dreamed up the “From Messy to  Marvelous” closet makeover contest. CH&L readers sent in pictures of their messy, disorganized closets (as well as a quick explanation as to why they should win) for a chance to receive an incredible $25,000 makeover. After peeking into lots and lots of cluttered closets, we proclaimed Janet and Peter Brophy of Greenwood Village the winners. “I’ve wanted to redo our closet for awhile, but it’s always been overwhelming to me,” Janet Brophy says. “When I read about the contest, I thought, ‘Why not?’ I feel so grateful to have won.”


Closet Factory Colorado president Polly Lestikow, interior designer Shannon Harris of Ashley Campbell and contractor Bob Koelbel of Robert Koelbel Homes took charge of the transformation. “The original closet was designed so poorly, but that’s what made it interesting,” says Lestikow of the 12-foot-by-15-foot space. After spending some time learning about the homeowners’ needs and taking lots of measurements, Lestikow used CAD software to develop initial layouts.

Several specific elements were worked into the design to fit the Brophys’ lifestyle. The big one: An island. “It’s basically a built-in dresser to store items like T-shirts and socks, and a very efficient way to use all that space in the center of the room,” Lestikow says. The island, topped with a Chroma Quartz countertop from CAPCO Tile & Stone, offers plenty of drawer space as well as a hamper.

Other practical features include tie and belt racks, slanted and flat shoe shelves, and valet rods that pull out from the cabinetry—great for selecting tomorrow’s outfit or keeping a pressed suit pristine. Cubbies under the window recapture wasted space and Peter Brophy’s “locker” provides hooks for a bathrobe, pajamas and sweatshirts.

Once the pieces were in place to make the closet work efficiently, it was time to add some style. Enter Harris’s design expertise. Working with Lestikow, the designer worked up a scheme she calls “earthy elegance,” choosing cabinetry that features a slightly distressed finish, topped with traditional molding and accented by natural seagrass wallpaper and rustic hardware and lighting. “Once we got in the space and saw the [recently remodeled] adjoining master bath,” says Harris, “it was easy to see that a soft, slightly contemporary look would work.”

But before order and beauty could be restored, a less-than-tidy step was necessary: demolition. General contractor Bob Koelbel was master organizer, working with various subcontractors to do the dirty work. Koelbel’s team removed the old storage systems, making way for the team from Destiny Electric to add electrical outlets and new can lights. South Valley Drywall followed, repairing the ceiling for paint and readying the walls for wallpaper. “My responsibility was to coordinate all the subcontractors in a sequential manner,” Koelbel says, “so that everyone could get in, do their job and get out before the next person arrived”—a tall order, with so many moving parts. Not surprisingly, a glitch came when the new window, which the Brophys had already planned to replace, was delivered in the wrong size.

“Glitches happen,” explains Koelbel. “As long as you can see the big picture, you can work through them.” And work through them they did. Clean shell (and correct window) in place, cabinetry was installed, wallpaper was hung, carpet was laid and finishing details were placed.

The result? A beautiful, functional closet that will bring these lucky homeowners years of enjoyment. And Lestikow knows the value of such a gift: “You start and end your day in the closet; wouldn’t you want that space to be calm and organized?” Janet Brophy agrees. “It feels good, no doubt about it. We’re working on remodeling other parts of our home, and this is truly motivating.”



There is a whole portfolio of furnishings and features you can add to make your closet as well designed—and stylish—as the rest of your home. How about glamming it up with a chandelier? And if you have the space, what would be more convenient than adding a washer and dryer? No more lugging laundry through the house. Or a breakfast/coffee station? The possibilities are endless. A good contractor will be able to tell you if these kinds of options are possible—and make sure your upgrades are to code.


CLOSET DESIGN & MATERIAL Polly Lestikow, Closet Factory Colorado, Denver, (303) 690-6901, closetfactory.com/denver INTERIOR DESIGN Shannon Harris, Ashley Campbell, Denver, (303) 996-6195, ashleycampbell.com GENERAL CONTRACTOR Bob Koelbel, Robert Koelbel Homes, Denver, (303) 662-0655, koelbelhomes.com ORGANIZATION SERVICES Sheryl Hadley, NAPO Association Partner, Organization & Relocation, Denver, (303) 447-6903, organizationandrelocation.com WHIRLPOOL & WASHER/DRYER Ken Jensen, Builder’s Appliance Center, Englewood, (720) 895-1787, 4bac.com WINDOW TREATMENTS Brian Workman, Blind Corners & Curves, Denver, (303) 755-5000, bccblinds.com WARDROBE STYLIST Liz Finkelstein, Mile High Style, liz@milehighstyle.com WOOD FLOORING Jeff Kellogg, Floor Coverings International, (303) 997-1544, floorcoveringsinternational.com GRANITE Rod Sayler, Capco Tile & Stone, Denver, (720) 982-2729, capcotile.com GRANITE FABRICATION Len Brzezinski (Capco Tile) / Aspen Fabrication & Design ELECTRICAL WORK David Sjaardema, Destiny Electric, (303) 229-6871, destinyelectricservice.com DRYWALL Paul Barrett, South Valley Drywall, Littleton, (303) 791-7212, svdw.com PAINTING Don Puhlaski, Rocky Mountain Painters, Denver, (720) 839-6401 DOORS Thad Walton, Sun Mountain Door, Berthoud, (970) 532-2105, sunmountaindoor.com WALLPAPER Rocky Begano, (720) 436-7719 LIGHTING Janelle Lind, Illuminations by Design, Littleton, (303) 948-9936, illuminationsbydesign.net

Categories: Interiors, Landscaping & Gardening