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.

The Pantry

“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.

Practical Spaces Deserve to be Pretty, Too (Mudrooms, Laundry Rooms + Pantries)

There is something so calming about a well-organized pantry like this one.

RELATED: This Dream Home Won a Prize for ‘Most Livable.’ See Why!

Practical Spaces Deserve to be Pretty, Too (Mudrooms, Laundry Rooms + Pantries)

This pantry sits between the kitchen and the laundry room, making this the hub of the home. Often on display to guests, the pantry is kept spotless.

Practical Spaces Deserve to be Pretty, Too (Mudrooms, Laundry Rooms + Pantries)

In most butler’s pantries, wine storage is key.

The Mudroom

“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.

Practical Spaces Deserve to be Pretty, Too (Mudrooms, Laundry Rooms + Pantries)

The entryway leads straight to the laundry room and back stairwell. Instead of being tucked into a corner, the mudroom is part of the floorplan flow.

Practical Spaces Deserve to be Pretty, Too (Mudrooms, Laundry Rooms + Pantries)

We love how the storage in this mudroom makes a statement. Not only are the materials durable, they are stylish.

Practical Spaces Deserve to be Pretty, Too (Mudrooms, Laundry Rooms + Pantries)

Closed storage means you can hide the mess! These homeowners are able to keep things clean and organized, thanks to the built-in cabinetry.

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!

Practical Spaces Deserve to be Pretty, Too (Mudrooms, Laundry Rooms + Pantries)

Situated off the kitchen, this laundry room doubles as a workspace — and a stylish one at that!

Practical Spaces Deserve to be Pretty, Too (Mudrooms, Laundry Rooms + Pantries)

In addition to being space a to do laundry, this room also caters to the pets. A small doggie door lets them come and go as they please, and cabinetry provides storage for their food. We love the idea of a Dutch door in the laundry room.

RELATED: This Gorgeous Home is Filled with Neutral Colors & Natural Light

Practical Spaces Deserve to be Pretty, Too (Mudrooms, Laundry Rooms + Pantries)

Light-filled and well-designed, this laundry room has us eager to tackle our chores!

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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