Finishing Touches, Function, Mud Room, Organization

A Hardworking Home

Happy 2019!

This week I am inspired by Joanna Gaines’s book, Homebody.  She has some amazing photos, sure.  But what really inspired me is her philosophy on design:  every nook and cranny of a home should be special, and work for you.

If you think about it for a second, it makes a lot of sense.  As homeownership evolved, and homes started to be kept not by a staff, but by the owners themselves, there became the idea that we would keep some parts of our homes to show others, and other parts would be closed and private.  We started to really buy into the concept of public and private spaces.    But then we took it a step further and started to pick out private places that were not worthy of investment.  Laundry rooms were in a dark corner of the basement.  Mudrooms were in the garage.  Pantries were shut behind closed doors adjacent, but not visible in, the kitchen.  Why?  Why did we take the tasks that people enjoy the least (laundry, gear organizing and putting away the groceries) and make them even more tedious by making the working environment they exist in so deplorable?

Thankfully, we are in a time of design where these spaces are being reconsidered.  I see plenty of second floor laundry rooms (depending on how you feel about that 😉 ), show stopping mud-rooms, and large pantries with spaces to sit and hang out.  But not many people have room for all of that.  So what I want you to take away from this is one small concept…make it intentional.

I love this laundry space…a counter top finished off the appliances.  Further, the homeowner brought in a lamp, a potted plant and a couple of other touches to make this space feel finished.  It’s especially important to finish these spaces when it’s the primary entrance to the home for your family (ie, it’s how you get from the garage into the home).  That first greeting the house gives you is so important, make it clean and inviting!

Here is another intentional space for a plant lover, I assume.  This is a great example of a space that more than likely brings the homeowner great joy, even if it isn’t each and every one of our’s dream laundry.

From this space, just admire the intention.  Fun cabinet hardware, friendly tile work, unique lighting, a throw rug.  These little touches make a space feel special.

For a pantry, consider clear containers to make the space more intentional.  It keeps food fresher, longer, and looks more uniform on the shelves.  If you don’t have a dedicated space for a pantry, these containers look fantastic on a high shelf in the kitchen.

And I have featured mud rooms before, but what I want to point out is that even a small hallway can be a mud room.  A few well anchored hooks, a couple baskets to toss smaller objects, and a small place to sit to put your shoes on, and you have a mud room!




Function, Organization

The Drama of Laundry

Today might not be the day to tackle this subject, because my 11, 13 and 15 year olds have been on summer break (translation: home and available for copious transport) for about a month now.  The build up and excitement of the Fourth of July is behind us, and this morning it seems like I am seeing my house for the first time in a month.  Where in the heck did all of these socks come from?

Admittedly, my dog Phillip likes to relocate them around the house.  But when you are a dog owner, you learn to take certain precautions:  don’t leave a plate of food on the coffee table, keep the bathroom doors shut, and (I thought we knew) keep your socks put away/on your feet.  Apparently not.

But further, various High School/summer sports mean wardrobe changes.  Many, many changes throughout the day.  Apparently, those changes must be executed on the first floor, which makes for a light dusting of various items of clothing through out the main living spaces.

Organization and function is always on my mind, so I start with the things that I cannot change, and the one big immovable truth of my home is that I have a first floor laundry room.  Back when we built our house, it was popular to have the laundry room on the second floor.  We opted not to do that, instead, positioning it off of the garage and off of the locker room, the main thoroughfare into the house.  I have never regretted that move, especially when we bought our front loading washer, who’s spin cycle rivals the decibel level of a jet engine.

As the kids have aged, I find that they are very good at packing clothing for themselves.  Meaning, the clean clothes put neatly away are easy to grab and take with them on the off chance they are needed.  But when they are faced with the daunting task of taking an unworn item back to their rooms to hang up, or just tossing it into the laundry room, well, it gets tossed.  This.  Will.  Not.  Do.  Aside from the fact that it’s not green to be washing unworn clothing, tossing it in the laundry so that mom will fold it and take it up grates my nerves.  Maybe now that the kids are older, a second floor laundry room is the answer?

This weekend I asked my ‘squad’ this very question.  Those with second floor laundry rooms swear by them.  The theory there is that the laundry never comes downstairs.  I am not convinced.  My fear is that my family will start to dress out of the laundry room.  Idea being, it’s all folded or hanging up in there, why move it?  I will have to do more research, because next month we go to Maine for a week.  And I think it will be hard to convince me it’s a better idea to drag those sandy, sea watery messes through the house and up the stairs than to drop them one foot inside the door.  At any rate, here are a couple of laundry rooms that I would GLADLY wash obviously clean clothes in…

I like the function of this room.  It’s gorgeous and white with a bit of bling, but I love the hanging bar.  I really feel like you can’t have enough hanging space in a laundry room.  Drying clothes need room to breathe!

This one makes me so happy to look at, the tile floor, adorable light, blue cabinets, reclaimed wood.  So freaking adorable!