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Temptresses of Tidy
Jennifer Sergent | Photo: Malek Naz Freidouni | December 30, 2013
Catherine Zinn and Raelynn Johnson take a novel design-centric approach to room organization.
A common quip among interior designers is that you want to have your work photographed before the clients move back in, lest that perfect tableau get marred by cereal boxes on your handpicked Carrara marble counter, or keys and mail become strewn across the custom console.
That’s precisely why DC designers are turning to Neat Method, a new concept in professional organizing that puts a premium on storing things as beautifully as the rest of the home is decorated.
“We want to put a fresh spin on what has become a stale industry,” says Catherine Zinn, one of the two fashionable women who recently founded the DC outpost of the San Francisco-based company. It’s a luxury service for well-heeled clients and their interior-design teams. “It’s a notch up,” adds Raelynn Johnson, Zinn’s partner.
Designers swear by them. “I’m addicted,” says Lisa Puchalla of Lily Mae Design in Washington. It’s not simply folding sweaters or stacking shoeboxes, she says. “It’s merchandising a closet. You could have no doors on a closet, and these women help create a look that resembles a store window. That’s a life-changer for clients.”
Designer Christopher Patrick says Zinn and Johnson have helped his clients at a critical juncture: when returning to newly renovated and decorated spaces. The team’s keen eye has helped clients use their spaces more efficiently, whether that calls for a baking nook in the kitchen or boutique-like jewelry displays in the bedroom.
“It’s helpful to have someone in your corner who’s going to show you a way to use this new space,” Patrick says. “They set up a space so it works for clients the way I’ve designed it to work for them.”
Form Finds Function
Learn how to live happily ever after once your interior designer meets the organizational mavens.
Trust the Vision
Neat Method’s Catherine Zinn says working in tandem with an interior designer is the linchpin of gorgeous spaces. “We find a solution that complements the aesthetic that your interior designer creates. Trust the team, and live comfortably, beautifully and wisely in each room.”
If you’re dreaming of, say, a functional yet soaring foyer that still rivals a gallery for looks, accept changes that work in conjunction with how you really live. “We create sustainable solutions that fit your lifestyle,” says Zinn. “Don’t clean up before we arrive. Be honest, and let us see the worst of the worst.”
Complete the Look
If your goal is a luxurious kitchen, don’t skimp on finishing touches—yes, even behind the mahogany cabinetry. “Let us pick up—and overlap—where the designer leaves off,” says Zinn. “That means following through on assembling spices and cutlery in their proper places as they were envisioned. Much like a photo shoot for a magazine, it’s so important to finish the look.”