Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Reader's Questions: Open Closet = Moths?

Danielle asks: " I used to store my garments on a rack, which was beautiful and very convenient, but then I started to find holes in my clothes! I've been told these were definitely caused by silverfish or moths (my home is very clean! I just like fresh air and keep my windows open most of the time). From that point on, I stored my clothes in cheap wardrobes and it's quite ugly. My question is how do you cope with moths and such? I would be too afraid to ever store my garments outside of the closet without closed doors..."

First, are they holes or tears? Natural fibers tend to break, to tell, grip the fabric to try to 'close' the hole by bringing the fabric together. If there's a piece missing that's a hole and you may have moths, but you may not. I have tears in several of my pieces but I've never had moths. Clothing moths usually create several holes next to each other and you'll see the cocoons or dead moths that look like sawdust near the holes. Did you see any dead moths or casings on your clothes?

Clothing moths are not like other moths that are attracted to light; they like dark, closed, humid spaces and are attracted to what we leave behind on natural fiber clothing such as our oils, hairs, and skin cells. They love it when we wear something once or twice then put it back in the closet or drawer not to be touched for a while. 

Do you have wall to wall carpet? I had a client who's home was also very clean but had moths living in the carpet. They tend to be near the baseboards where you don't spend too much time really vacuuming (corner of closets, behind furniture). Another client has a reoccurring problem and we suspect someone in a nearby apartment is infested and they're coming into her space.

The point is that having your clothes out is not the problem. Keeping your space and clothes clean is the only solution. If you really think you have clothes moths you need to have ALL your clothes cleaned; dry cleaned or laundered as needed. I'm assuming you didn't clean ALL your clothes when you suspected you had moths. I assume this because most people don't because it's annoying and expensive but it's the only way.

Edit out the pieces you don't love and wear and make sure you regularly clean the clothes you do have. For most I generally don't recommend cleaning clothes after every wear, but definitely at the end of the season even if you've only worn it once. But for those who have had moths in the past, regular cleaning is a must. 

But you may not have moths. People see a hole and they immediately think it's moths (silverfish leave stains not necessarily holes). Not sure what clothes you have but that can make a difference. My wool and cashmere get tears because I don't have a lot of clothes so things get worn a lot. Vintage clothing can tear because over time fibers break down. And if you tend towards fast-fashion (like from H&M, Target, Forever 21) the inexpensive synthetic clothing breaks down much faster, usually after a few wearings. 

Let me know what you think Danielle, I hope this helps!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Weekend House: Floor Plan

After studying the pictures, and thinking about their needs, here's the proposed floor plan. Working with this and the budget, I sourced pieces, some temporary (dining table, sofa, living area rug) while others are hoped to be kept long term (dining chairs , dining area rug). The budget is nice but modest so the goal is to make it look, feel, and function nicely as soon as we can so they can really start enjoying the space. 

They sent me the progress shots (shown). The next step is to finalize choices of the pieces we're missing and figuring out new solutions for those pieces in the proposed floor plan that didn't work once they measured things out in the actual space (which you MUST do before buying anything) like the desk in the back room and the dresser in the bedroom. 

The next post will show you the paint colors we selected. From there, then we can talk about the details like pillows, window treatments, etc. Oh! they tossed a sheet over the bay window in the dining area since it looks directly into their neighbors house. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Dream (mine anyway): The Weekend House

living area

 view to front door from dining area
 dining area

I was so happy when former clients, a married couple, called to say they purchased a small weekend house in Jersey and wanted my help getting the place together. 

The showed me pictures of the home (with the former owner's furniture, shown) along with about 100 images on pinterest they gathered for inspiration. We discussed budget, how they wanted to 'live' there, and the overall feeling they wanted to space to have. We decided 'beach chic' summed it all up and took it from there.

After giving me a floor plan with dimensions, I created a furniture plan to figure out what pieces they needed and what sizes would actually fit the space which you'll see it in the next post!!