It’s the “custom” part of custom closets that sets The Closet Co. apart. This locally owned family business has been creating custom organization and storage solutions for Nashville-area clients since 1984, and owner Adam Floyd knows that one size definitely doesn’t fit all – especially when it comes to storage spaces.
“We get all of our materials in whole sheets, and manufacture everything for each customer’s specific job right here at our shop in Berry Hill,” says Adam, who grew up in the business and bought The Closet Co. from his dad last year. “Because we do it all right here, we can engineer things exactly for a specific customer, their space, and their needs. We rarely have to say, ‘No, we cannot do that.’”
That’s a significant service in the closet industry, where much of what’s available comes in standard sizes. “This is a franchised industry,” Adam says “We compete with the local franchises of big, national companies.” From a business standpoint, that often means more overhead, which affects pricing, as well as standardized practices and materials, which affects design. “The closet franchises have all developed different corporate standards in manufacturing, installation and materials over the years. Many simply ship standard sized parts out to all their locations from central manufacturing plants. All of this is designed to save the company money.” Adam says. “Their customers are limited right from the start and don’t even realize it.”
The Closet Co., founded by Adam’s father, Frank Floyd, prides itself on both its personalized service and its ability to create one-of-a-kind custom storage solutions for closets, garages, laundry rooms, mudrooms, pantries, home offices and more. And because the team builds all of its products from scratch, there’s not a corner that’s too wonky for them to work with or a storage problem too difficult to solve.
The Closet Co.’s clients benefit from a wide variety of materials and construction methods. In a master closet, for example, that might mean cabinetry and shelving constructed just like any other built-in. “We are the only closet-based company in town that builds with cabinet-grade veneers with face frame construction.” Adam says. “If you envision a painted built-in in a nice house, that’s the construction method used. Customers love having that option because they get the quality of high-end trim work or cabinetry but don’t have to pay those prices. Another option is custom-stained hardwoods. Usually we stain for projects in rooms like a home library or study. In a closet, though, stained wood can be stunning.”
The Closet Co. designs and implements storage solutions in all types of spaces, not just closets. For example, one of Adam’s favorite projects was a complete renovation of a garage in an older Belle Meade home. Before its redesign, the garage was dingy and dirty – an overall uninviting space. The homeowners, in fact, planned to sell the house and move on after making some repairs and upgrades. The Closet Co. lined every wall of the garage with cabinetry, and also integrated a work surface, refrigerator, sink area and even an oven. “It’s a phenomenal space now,” Adam says. “The (owner) was super involved in the process, and as it ended up, they still live there. He spends a ton of time out there now that the garage is so clean and nice. Everything is behind doors, and there is absolutely no clutter.” In fact, when the family has company over for holiday dinners or other big gatherings, they now set up tables in the garage for extra dining space. Adds Adam, “The garage is nice enough to use for Thanksgiving dinner!”
In another century-old Belle Meade home, a client asked The Closet Co. to help them create an upstairs laundry area with space for multiple machines and a sink. “It was a long, narrow space but we were able to incorporate four large machines, a trash pull-out, and a lower and upper cabinet all with massive countertop space. The other side has a curved sink nook with cabinets that were painted in a deep navy blue.” Adam says. “It looks so good that it gives you chills walking in.”
In laundry rooms, in particular, individual homeowners’ needs vary widely. Some people use baskets to collect laundry, while others prefer hidden pull-out storage. Some people line dry items, while others rarely hang clothes to dry. Some people need a folding surface, while others want space to hang clothes straight from the dryer.
“All of those are elements that go into the calculus of a design,” Adam says. “It’s funny –you’d think everybody does laundry in basically the same way. Not true – folks develop habits around laundry that are very unique and they don’t want you to tell them to change it up. So, we try to create a design that enhances the way they do their laundry instead of trying to change the way they do it.”
No matter the type of space, Adam and his team ask detailed questions to tailor the storage solution to the needs of the client. Pantries are another type of space that might not be used the same way by one client as by another. For example, Adam’s team recently completed a pantry project in Brentwood that brought new versatility to the homeowner’s lifestyle.
“The owner loves this room, and we had fun designing it.” Adam says. “There’s a fridge and sink, tons of appliance, service and flatware storage, but also a traditional pantry section. It’s more casual than the kitchen and butler’s pantry just through the door. It’s designed to be where they have the have a midnight snack, make coffee, and leave the dog’s food in its bowl. Even though it’s relaxed, it’s not under-built for such a nice home because of the design and materials we used.”
For homeowners looking to implement a custom storage solution, Adam advises people to first shop around. Often, he says, a truly custom solution is as or more cost-effective than a standardized solution by a national closet design retailer. “Educate yourself on the industry and the products,” Adam says. “My best customer is one that comes in my shop with a stack of bids from the franchises. Those customers come to us thinking they have to deal with all these limitations in material and construction. It’s neat – as they look around, sometimes you can see the exact moment when they realize don’t have to compromise and settle for something. On an apples to apples basis we are usually priced less than the franchises by a good amount, and that’s really important to offer that value. Just as important though is being able to give our customers what they want, not something that’s ‘close enough’.”
Because The Closet Co. doesn’t advertise much or carry much overhead, they’re able to be competitive with pricing, he adds. And because they build their own products, they’re also able to work in any size space. “There’s really nothing too small,” Adam says. “The $300 or $400 reach-in closet is something we are grateful to do any day. We also get opportunities to work with some of the most talented custom builders, interior designers, and architects in the country.” Their projects, in fact, can range in cost from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. “I don’t take any customer for granted. You can’t if you want them to be your customer over and over again.” Adam says.
And Adam wants The Closet Co. to maintain its personal, family feel. “Our business is growing as Nashville grows, but we’ll always be a local, family-owned shop.” he says. “My customers have a direct line to me, and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure they are happy at the end of the day. I want them to call me for their next project without thinking twice. It really is as simple as that.”
This article is sponsored by The Closet Co. All photography provided by The Closet Co.