Call us crazy, but we’d rather discard our muddy boots and wet raincoats in a pretty place. We’d prefer to put away our groceries in a well-organized and picture-perfect pantry. We’d favor folding laundry in a clean room with plenty of counter space.
Well farewell, cramped and cluttered spaces. Hello, pretty practical spaces!
“When planning out these spaces, we ask the question of how are you going to live in your home. We account for and accommodate all the needs you may have: pets, kids, grown-ups. How can the space be utilized to make it more functional?” Alan Looney, owner of Castle Homes, tells us.
Today, Alan walks us through pantries, butler’s pantries, mudrooms and laundry rooms to show us just how practical (and pretty) these spaces can be.
“Over the years, pantries have evolved to be more than a space for food storage. Now they accommodate the overflow of dishes and things you don’t use day to day,” Alan explains. By providing plenty of storage in the pantry, the kitchen can remain spotless. “Cabinets are beautiful in a kitchen, but with a pantry, you can have less of them. There are ways to display the pantry where it is more organized — and more accessible,” Alan says.
In order to accommodate the number of drawers and cabinets necessary for ample storage, pantries have grown in size. “When pantries are well-organized and finished attractively, they complement the design of the house. Pantries offer another level of customization to fit your needs, and everyone’s needs are different.” Alan and his team are responsible for designing and laying out the space, but he often turns to professional organizers in helping homeowners get organized. While the pantry is an extension of kitchen storage space, the butler’s pantry is an extension of kitchen entertaining space. Again, the butler’s pantry is designed to fit the needs of the client.
“Mudrooms typically lead to the laundry room, and these spaces have also gotten much bigger and functional,” Alan tells us. As the home’s first line of defense against muddy shoes, rain-soaked coats and overflowing backpacks, leaving the mess in the mudroom spares the rest of the home. Thoughtful design and storage solutions mean this mess is easily maintained. Mudrooms offer a less formal entry to the home and are one of its hardest working rooms. Every good mudroom has hooks to hang coats and backpacks, shelves to stack shoes and cabinetry to store odds and ends. But a focus on durability and practicality doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on style. Alan proves this with the mudrooms below.
The Laundry Room
Laundry is a chore no one loves, but having a space to toss, wash and fold your clothes makes it a bit more bearable. “You don’t want a laundry room to just feel like a laundry room,” Alan believes. “Why not make it aesthetically pleasing and multi-functional? Sometimes, there is space for an additional sitting area or desk area, making it more of a work center.” Alan is seeing a rise in what he calls the “Command Center.” Typically connected to the kitchen, the laundry room can be the hub of productivity. Another rising trend is having laundry rooms on both the first and second floors. In all cases, counter space and storage make these spaces more practical — and therefore, more enjoyable to use!
Did you ever imagine we’d leave you dreaming about pantries, mudrooms and laundry rooms — and all the possibilities for the practical spaces in your home? There’s always a first …
All images were taken by the talented Reed Brown.
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