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Supporting the Community

Both Bonnie and I feel that it is important to give something back to the community, especially where it concerns children and families in need. I recently had the honor to be asked, through NARI, to help out with some renovation work at the Ronald McDonald House in New Hyde Park, NY. I say honor because my experience there has given me a new perspective on the impact that the charity has on people. Vanity The funding for the Ronald McDonald House charity is donated, and much of the “staff” are volunteers. The families served are not charged for the time they stay at the house. They simply have a need to be close to an ailing child who is in the hospital; the house provides that and more. It becomes a sanctuary during a time of extreme stress. The house has a kitchen open to all, and provides “home cooked” meals for their guests. They provide wifi, and even video games. This year’s remodeling effort covered more than 20 rooms, and most of the materials were donated by everyone from lumber yards, flooring companies and supply houses, to designers, electricians, carpenters and their friends and families. My family helped with the installation of flooring in two rooms. We were all affected by the experience, and the satisfaction of knowing that our efforts went to such a worthy cause. Thinking of the experience now literally brings tears to my eyes. The aches and pains we felt over the few days after we worked there became a badge of honor.
 
About a week later,Hanging doors, closet, Built in closet, Custom built ins, Barn door, sliding door Symmetry was approached again. This time by Kelly Dall, and our friends at Artisan Design Build Remodel, to help finish a room by giving the guests a simple and attractive way to organize their belongings during their stay. The collaboration resulted in a closet and storage solution that is functional, attractive, and blends seamlessly with Kelly’s design. I’m sure it will be appreciated by anyone who stays in the room. I was grateful for the opportunity to be able to give more than just my time, and to partner with both a gifted designer, and a remodeling firm that always provides impeccable work. I truly believe that the sum of the work far exceeded our expectations. Bill Kahn – Vice President / General Manager
       

The Secret History of the Closet

Blog Written by Nancy Mitchell  apartment therapy You probably think of a closet as a little room where you hang up your clothes. But for much of its history, the closet has served a completely different purpose entirely.
Walk in closet, white shelves, white clothing, makeup bench, custom walk in, custom built ins, custom closet, Symmetry Closets

Modern Walk-in Closet

Come back with me, if you will, to the Middle Ages. In the Middle Ages having a bedroom was a bit of a privilege — most common folks slept either on the floor of the great hall of the manor where they lived, or in the single room that served them as kitchen, living room, dining room, and bedroom all in one. Only very wealthy people had bedrooms, and they used their bedrooms not just for sleeping but also for working and entertaining important guests. The bedroom, at this time, was not a very private place. So where could you go if you wanted a little time alone? Enter the closet. At the end of the Medieval period, well-to-do homeowners began adding ‘closets’ adjoining their bedrooms. The closet was a place to store treasured possessions, but it was also a place for prayer, reading, and quiet contemplation. It was by far the most private place in the house, and to this day the word “closet” can carry a meaning of secrecy and privacy. If two people retreat to a secluded spot to have a conversation, they can be said to be closeted together. A “closet racist” is someone who hides their views from the world. (This particular meaning of the word closet may have contributed to the phrase ‘come out of the closet’, although according to Mentalfloss this particular metaphor was not used by the gay community until the 1960s.)
custom walk in closets

Modern Walk-in Closet

In Europe the closet eventually disappeared, as houses grew larger and other rooms afforded opportunities for privacy. But the Puritans took the idea of a closet with them to the New World — although it had become by then simply a place to store things. Of course, closets are not nearly as prevalent in older houses. There might not even be one in every bedroom, because people then had a lot less clothing, and they were a lot more likely to store their clothes in a chest or armoire than hang them up in a closet. (The coat hanger, in fact, wasn’t even invented until 1869.) Today the closet is enjoying a bit of a zenith, owing to the fact that many modern Americans own (what would have been considered by the Puritans at least) simply enormous amounts of clothes. The mania for luxury closets has even led to closets outfitted with sofas, vanities, or desks, making them a sort of retiring room/boudoir in addition to a storage space. Which means that these closets have, in fact, come completely full circle. This post was inspired by and owes much to Lucy Worley’s fascinating book about the history of the home, If Walls Could Talk. It will make you, I guarantee, a completely fascinating dinner party conversationalist, able to wax eloquent about thing like how often medieval people bathed (spoiler: they didn’t) and historical attitudes towards beards. Author: Nancy Mitchell As a Senior Writer at Apartment Therapy, Nancy splits her time among looking at beautiful pictures, writing about design, and photographing stylish apartments in and around NYC. It’s not a bad gig.