By Emily Griffin
Over 10 years ago, Betty Anne Mills, an interior designer, and her husband started a company called Inspired Closets. As an interior designer, Mills saw a need for closet revamping when she was helping her parents move into The Heritage at Brentwood, a retirement community.
“I found a small dealership and got started in that way by helping some of these elderly folks getting into The Heritage, because all they give them is wire closets, and they’re downloading from their lifetime home,” Mills says. “That’s kind of how it all started.”
The Mills began small, but when they saw the potential of these projects, they bought a bigger dealership and ended up buying a showroom in 2007; they called it Closets and More. At the beginning of 2018, they rebranded to the name Inspired Closets.
Inspired Closets is dedicated to creating a closet space that functions the way their clients need it to. That could mean anything from knocking down walls and expanding or simply reworking the space they already have.
“Basically, our clients contact us and we find out what they need, how they want this space to function for them, and what’s bothering them about their existing space,” Mills says. “We go through things like budgets and the functional stuff – we provide them with a three-dimensional design, rendered drawings and dimensions. We meet with them and review it and make changes as needed.”
Mills also makes sure all the little details are perfect. She collaborates with her clients to pick out finishes, hardware and any other bells and whistles they want in their closet.
“Basically our goal is just to give them a closet they’ll love, and to make it as easy for them as possible,” Mills says. “We do that for pantries, garages, laundry rooms, and home offices. So we do pretty much any space that needs an organization solution.”
With all the development in downtown Nashville, people are living in smaller spaces and want to make the most of it. Inspired Closets has solutions to turn these small rooms into functional, multi-purpose spaces.
“All the condominiums and that sort of thing, their space is very limited, so we’ve done quite a few wall beds and mixed-use rooms,” Mills says. “They typically only have wire shelving, so we put in shelving and hanging space and drawers. Anything they can get that’s built-in because that’s cost saving; entertainment systems are nice because they can be small, but they’re great for storage.”
Mills is incredibly dedicated to making sure her clients aren’t stressed and feel comfortable throughout the process.
“In terms of what we do, we do a lot of hand-holding, we give a lot of personal attention,” Mills says. “Our designers keep in touch with our clients throughout the process to make sure they know what’s going on … we give them a lot of reassurance and tell them exactly what’s going to happen step by step, and that’s how we make it a little easier.”
One of Inspired Closets end goals is to make their clients feel good about the start of their day with an organized and functional closet.
“We have a little saying, ‘Inspired days start in inspired closets,’ and they do,” Mills says. “You walk out of your closet feeling pretty good about yourself. It sure helps your days get started on the right foot.”