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March 2014

A Win for New York

A fresh start begins with a better-organized dressing room

At Design Development NYC, it is our mission to make all of our clients’ homes more comfortable, welcoming, and functional. And in New York City, one of the surest ways to go about achieving all three of those goals in tandem is by introducing more attractive, better-organized closets, storage spaces, and wardrobes.


Yes, we know: For the Carrie Bradshaws of this space-starved city, a custom walk-in wardrobe and dressing room stocked floor to ceiling with frocks, faux furs, skinny jeans, and about $40,000 worth of Jimmy Choos, Manolos, Chanel, Dior, and St. Laurent represents the ultimate symbol of success.


But even the more practical-minded among us could benefit from the stress-reduction and saved time a little less chaos in our closets can bring. All that “spring cleaning” that goes on every year did become a tradition for a reason, you know.


In some instances, a big, brightly lit closet that allows for quick sorting and selection just might serve as the first stop on the way to a new career and life path. That is what we hope is in store in the two-room Professional Closet we recently built for Win, one of New York City’s largest nonprofit providers of housing, help, and hope for families in need of transitional shelter, job training, childcare, and the kinds of support families need to get back on their feet and live independently.


Last year, Design Development co-founders Chip Brian and Mike Daddio had the privilege of being introduced to the team from Win, which has provided women and their children in need with shelter and life-changing services and programs for more than 30 years.


When Chip and Mike asked the team from Win, “How can we help?” they received much the same answer our team hears from many other homeowners in this short-on-space city: Please build us a big, beautiful closet!


One of WIN’s family shelters was in desperate need of a well-organized space where the residents could sort through, arrange, and try-on the types of clothing they need for job interviews, new work assignments, and “bring your mom to school days.” Thanks to the generosity of corporate donors in New York’s fashion community, WIN had access to a fresh supply of new, never-before-worn skirts, blouses, dresses, handbags, belts, hosiery, and cosmetics designed to give the women new confidence in their appearance. So we created shelves out of pre-finished maple, added bars for hanging items, cubbies for stacked shirts, sweaters, and bags, and a custom vanity table with drawers stocked with confidence-boosting sundries ranging from cosmetics to undergarments.


All Win families include one or more minor children, and nearly all are headed by a single mother in need of a helping hand that allows them time to focus on developing the skills, motivation, support-groups, and self-confidence it takes to succeed. 

You can’t say “yes” to an interview until you know you have something appropriate to wear, a senior staffer notes. “It’s something we all take for granted—but it’s another difficult hurdle to overcome for families who have already been through more than most of us can imagine.”


The team from Design Development hopes we’ve been able to contribute in some small way to alleviating a bit of the chaos that creeps into the lives of families without a home of their own—and provide these neighbors with an opportunity to take their first steps toward establishing a new life.


This Spring, we’re all ready to make a fresh start.

Did you know that each night in New York City, almost 52,000 come ‘home’ from work, school, job searches, food shopping, and doctor’s appointments to a homeless shelter, because they have no other place to call their own? Learn how you can help.

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