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Don't Overlook the Design of These Impactful Small Spaces

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Don't Overlook the Design of These Impactful Small Spaces

August 11, 2021
laundry room
Photo: Iriana Shiyan | stock.adobe.com

Kitchens, great rooms, and owner’s baths hog all the attention when it comes to home building and design, but the small, compact rooms throughout the home have the potential to make an equally important impact on the buyer’s decision and lifestyle. Architecture firm Housing Design Matters says the powder bath, laundry room, garage entry, linen, and coat closets are not given the attention they deserve, resulting in design shortcomings when they could have improved the occupant’s life if given the opportunity. The powder bath can wow a guest and make them feel welcome, and it can also be used as a statement room. 

After the kitchen, the laundry room is the most used chore space. Just because doing laundry is a chore, doesn’t mean the space should add to the misery. Honor those who slog through piles of dirty laundry by giving them adequate space to sort and folder clothes. If you can include a window – even better. Instead of that cheap fiberglass “tub”, why not offer a large farmhouse sink? The take rate on that option may surprise you.

I am also a huge fan of wet hanging space – since I don’t like to put my yoga pants in the dryer. A simple rod and shelf can make a huge difference in the usability for laundry geeks like me. Add a ceiling fan and you’re golden. Lastly, don’t forget to include more than enough storage for laundry supplies and other cleaning supplies as well.

Of course, where you locate the laundry room is key! Shouldn’t it be close to where the clothes live? If you can connect the laundry room to the owner’s closet, you have just cut the travel distance for dirty clothes to be washed and hung back in the closet. Now, let’s talk about where NOT to put the laundry room.

Years ago, it was considered acceptable to enter the house from the garage through the laundry room. All the focus and attention were given to the formal foyer. But ask yourself: Are our guests more important than the home buyers who live in the house? Do our guests only come through the front door? If they were riding in the car with you, do you make them walk through the front door or walk in through the garage with you? Do you really want you and your guests walking through your chore space? What about the wet hanging? In addition to yoga pants, most woman do not put their bras in the dryer. Is that what you and your guest should see upon arriving home?

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