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INSIDE & OUT : Space Age


In most homes, there is never quite enough closet space, and what space there is could probably stand to have its molecules rearranged.

Enter the StorMate track furniture system by White Home Products Inc., designed to maximize storage space in existing closets. The cabinets and shelves move easily from side to side on tracks that are installed in front of rods and shelves.

"The track system works just like those in a library or hospital file room, but we toned it down for residential use," said Pamela Jules of White Home Products, the Georgia-based company that specializes in the manufacture of the storage systems.

The tracks fit any width closet and the multifunction melamine cabinets and shelves are tip-proof. The system (about $900 for custom tracks, in 15- or 18-inch depths, two cabinets and four drawers) is also available without cabinetry.

Another option: the automated Closet Carousel, a state-of-the-art conveyor that works like the belts used by dry cleaners. The carousel (prices start at $1,450) eliminates the need for aisles in walk-in closets and uses all available space.

For the kitchen, White Home has recently introduced a custom pantry carousel. At the press of a button, shelves come to you at counter level, giving easy access to the contents, a boon to anyone with limited reach or in a wheelchair. It sells for $5,500.

For more information, call (800) 200-9272.

Light Touch

Dimmer switches are no longer simply setting the mood in the dining room: Lighting controls are moving into the bedroom, the garden, the kitchen and bathroom, too. They are being used to enhance architecture and furnishings as well as provide safety and comfort.

Using new technology, Pennsylvania-based Lutron has introduced three new switches for the home.

The Ariadni features a toggle switch and a small sliding dimmer. Its controls have true three-way switching, so the switch never loses its ability to dim. The Diva features a sliding dimmer on a paddle switch.

The Maestro is a multilocation dimmer that allows full-range dimming from up to 10 locations; indicator lights show preset levels and glow to act as a night light in the off position. The Maestro also has a fade feature, which allows for a three- or 10-second delay between when a light is switched off and it actually goes off. The feature allows time to exit a room (or reach the bed) before it goes dark.

All the switches have lightning surge protection and the solid-state dimming.

Lutron products are available in Orange County at electrical wholesalers, lighting showrooms and home decorating and remodeling centers.

Knowledge in Store

Need help with your latest do-it-yourself home improvement project? You may be able to find it at the newest branch of the KCET Store of Knowledge, which opened this fall at Fashion Island in Newport Beach.

The Store of Knowledge has an extensive selection of videotapes, reference books and coffee table books on gardening and home improvement.

"Some of the more popular books include Martha Stewart's 'Renovating With Style,' a handyman book by Reader's Digest and a series of videos on gardening," said assistant manager Tony Lavagnino. "We have a huge selection."

The KCET stores, created as an alternative way for the public television station to raise money, has several departments--including home improvement, arts and crafts and gardening, and a holiday theme area.

For more information, contact the store at (714) 760-8400.

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