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Custom Closets


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The biggest complaint we hear when we go into a home is the clutter," says custom-closet expert Michael Manfre. As owners of a busy Closets By Design franchise (70161 Hwy. 59, Suite G, Abita Springs, 985-871-9187) that sells, manufactures, installs and services custom closets, garage cabinets, home offices, craft centers, pantries, entertainment centers and other spaces requiring cabinetry and shelving, Manfre and his wife Vail spend their days coming up with attractive, creative solutions to the problem.

'Over the years, it's become the trend," Manfre says. 'When you go into a house, small and large, average and above-average incomes, people want custom closets." In addition to the fact that clothing closets have become more than storage spaces " they're also used as dressing rooms outfitted with islands, benches, built-in jewelry chests and workspaces " well-organized closets offer a variety of advantages.

'The upfront cost will save a lot on the back end," says Manfre. '"When you can see what you have, it saves time and can eliminate frustration. And the investment adds a tremendous value to your home."

With the post-Katrina surge in renovation and rebuilding, the demand for elaborate designer closets and the cache of a nationally recognized brand name, Manfre's business averages 20 jobs a week across Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf coast. Because it has its own production facility in Abita Springs, it has a short turnaround time of just two to three weeks and can handle changes and modifications quickly as well. Free consults can usually be arranged in two to seven days.

Customers can get an idea of the company's core designs by visiting the showroom or Web site (www. But Manfre stresses that tailoring each space to the customer's needs is the key to the company's success. 'We can do very standard designs or create a one-of-a-kind design to fit a unique space," he says. The franchise even works with local vendors to provide special orders like solid-surface granite countertops. And for the perfect finish, designed to truly make clutter a thing of the past, Closets By Design sells an assortment of baskets, hampers, tie and belt racks, jewelry trays and hardware.

'A well-designed space creates peace of mind with everything in its place at last," Manfre says.

Michael and Vail Manfre's Closets By Design franchise serves customers across Louisiana and the Mississippi gulf coast.
  • Michael and Vail Manfre's Closets By Design franchise serves customers across Louisiana and the Mississippi gulf coast.


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