A well-designed mudroom is a delightful addition to any home. New or remodeled. From a simple row of hooks to the storage filled built-in shown below it will help organize the family entry point. Here are some tips to make the most of the space:
The room has to accommodate the people who will use it. Kids like open spaces; they’re more likely to hang up jackets if hooks are easily reached and niches are available for backpacks. If sports are a big part of everyday life, accommodations to stash equipment rise to the top of the must-have list. A more adult household might like a place to store briefcases, a place for outgoing mail and a charging station for cell phones and tablets. Oh…come to think of it, the kids would like that too.
Make the mudroom area as pretty as the rest of the home. Beautiful cabinetry in Waypoint’s beadboard style T06S shown in the photo are a good start Add a few accessories and a lovely wall color and the room will be a joy anytime of the day. The wainscoted back wall adds a charming country feel to the space.
Easy to clean surfaces are high on most homeowner’s needs when it comes to mudrooms because they are often, well…muddy. Look for washable paint and flooring. Even the cabinets shown have an easy to clean Thermofoil surface.
If you live in a rainy or snowy area, avoid shiny finishes on the flooring which can become dangerously slippery. Wood flooring can also be a challenge in these same climates. Wood and water just aren’t a good combination.
Seating is a nice addition to a mudroom too. Everyone will enjoy a place to sit down to put on or take off shoes or boots. The seating and adjacent cabinets shown in the photo also provides storage.
And don’t forget the family dog. Mudrooms are a great place to hang a leash or a toy for outdoor play.
Okay, so most of you are probably saying, “Never!” The fact is, sometimes a peninsula really is the better option. Gone are the days of view-blocking wall cabinets hanging over the peninsula. They were either too high to reach…. or too low and blocked the view anyway. Nowadays the area is wide open to give the open floor plan which most people still want.Here are some times when a peninsula might just be the best idea.
When there isn’t room for an island: A number of years ago I was measuring a kitchen when the husband came home at lunchtime with some of his co-workers. I heard them come through the front door and the conversation went something like this: Husband: “We’re in the process of deciding to have an island or a peninsula.” Chorus of co-workers: “Oh do an island for sure!” Now, none of the co-workers had any idea of what would fit or not and that’s usually is the problem.
Even a skimpy 24” deep island requires a minimum of 126” in room depth to allow for one row of cabinets, a 42” (48” when there are two cooks working at the same time) walkway between the cabinets, and a 36” clear walkway beyond the island.
Diverting traffic: Sometimes a peninsula does a better job than an island directing traffic out of the work area. It can act as barrier and keep children and extra guests out of the way. At the same time, open peninsulas can be as social as islands with snack stool or as a general hang-out area.
What is an attached island? Since an island is free standing and accessible on all sides, what do you call a work space that is attached to a wall? I have always called it an attached island for lack of a better name. It acts like a peninsula in many ways since it can only be accessed on three sides but perhaps gives a look of an island.
And yes, an island and a peninsula can be combined to make one wonderful space.
The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) wrapped up two weeks ago in Las Vegas where it was combined with the International Builders’ Show for the first time. Now referred to as Design and Construction Week attendees had the chance to explore over 650,000 square feet of exhibits. As part of the show student design competition awards were handed out. Waypoint once again partnered with Sub-Zero and Wolf to sponsor this event.
For the competition students were given a hypothetical project to challenge their design skills. This year, it was a new construction cabin being built on a lake in Nebraska and there were specific requests for the reconfiguring the kitchen and master bathroom. The students had to design within a given criteria which included lighting needs, appliance preferences and storage requirements. For this project, the look was to be natural with wood and stone as important design elements. The results produced by the students were spectacular. To see what the projects look like click here.
Judges for the competition were industry leaders including David Newton, CMKBD, Peter J. Albanese, CKD, CBD, Claudia McCabe-Cort, CKD, CBD, and Shelley Rubino, CKD, CBD.
Winners of the 2013-2014 NKBA Student Design Contest
Shown above are: Front Row left to right: Amalia Thomas of Santa Fe Community College - Second Place Bath Category; Samantha Weckwerth of Alexandria Technical & Community College who was awarded Honorable Mention in the Bath Category; Ashley McDonald from Alexandria Technical & Community College – Second Place Kitchen and Krista Savino of Lakeland College – Third Place Bath Category .
Back Row, left to right: Christina Sample from Century College – Third Place Kitchen Category; Michelle Tally of West Valley College – Honorable Mention Kitchen; Mark Dwyer from Great Falls College-Montana State University – First Place Bathroom; Susan Gordon from West Valley College – First Place Kitchen.
Not present were Elizabeth Lyon Purdue University who won Honorable Mention in the Kitchen Category and Megan McNaughton from Lakeland College – Honorable Mention in the Bath Category
We love what the future designers in our industry are doing. Don’t you agree?
A few weeks ago I covered the survey conducted by Houzz.com on kitchen trends. Now they have released a similar survey on bathroom trends. Houzz.com surveyed nearly 7500 homeowners in the U.S. and Canada who had either started a bathroom remodel (34%) or were in the thinking process (66%) about what they wanted in their new bathroom. They also looked at different types of bathroom remodels and preferences by age group. Overal,l it seems the game is all about upgrades with 49% saying that is the very reason they are remodeling in the first place. But there are some room-by-room specific preferences.
MASTER BATHROOMS: 60% of the participants cited the Master bath as their #1 focus. All age groups were creating en suite bathrooms from their master. In older homes that sometimes means annexing space from another room. Two basins are on the rise in the master bath…little surprise there. Interestingly, nearly half of the respondents are skipping a tub in the master. When they do decide to include one, it is often something right out of a spa… a free-standing or drop-in style. White painted cabinetry is the preferred finish followed by medium and darker wood.
POWDER ROOMS: These rooms are most often updated rather than the product of a total gut job. This is a room where choices can be bolder and may be the only room in the house where wallpaper is used. Hardwood floors are often found here where the traffic and usage are much lighter.
Two great trends are shown here: frameless shower doors and free-standing tubs. Photo compliments of Houzz.com
The survey found that some things are consistent in all bathrooms:
- Frameless glass shower doors for a clean up-to-date look.
- Silver-tone fittings are preferred with brushed nickel coming in as number one and chrome a close second.
- A new window is high on most people’s wish list. Good light (whatever the source) was a must-have.
- Seats in showers were desired by 42% of the participants. Seats are a very sensible addition to any shower large enough to accommodate one.
- Rain shower heads are preferred by the under 45 age group and hand-held showers by the 55+ set.
If you didn’t see my blog on the Houzz.com kitchen trends click here.
Whew….the workmen are gone and the place looks terrific. You find yourself standing in the doorway admiring what has just been accomplished, the house is quiet again, even the drywall dust has been banished. Now what? The work is not quite done. Here are six things you really should do to tie up the loose ends:
- Check with your insurance company to see if your improvements need additional coverage. It all depends on the type of work you did. Usually, a remodeling of an existing room won’t require an increase in coverage. However, if you add square footage that will certainly affect the value of your home and therefore its replacement value. There are several different types of home policies so check with your agent.
- Save significant pieces of siding, flooring etc. You never know when you’ll need a piece to do a minor repair. Find a place to store it out of the way and you’ll be glad you have it one day.
- Gather all the information and care instructions from appliances, light fixtures, faucets etc. Having the proper maintenance information will guarantee that your new products will look and perform at their best. If you did tile work, don’t overlook the manufacturer, type and color of the grout. I assure you; this information will come in handy someday.
- Send in warranty cards. While manufacturers won’t deny you service if you don’t, it will be faster if they have your information already on record. Besides that, registering your appliance will ensure that you receive word on any factory recalls.
- Label paint cans with the room name. If you used multiple colors in one room, note where each was used. Make sure the lids are on securely so the paint doesn’t dry out. I’d even be sure to have the paint name, formula and brand listed somewhere. Often this information is obscured by paint drips. Which leads me to…
- Create a folder to hold all this information. It’ll be easy to locate care information or the name of the paint you used when your best friend wants to paint her bedroom the very same color!
Wrapping up these loose ends will just make it easier for you in the future. Oh and pour yourself a glass of wine to celebrate.
You may have heard of a Partners Desk which is basically two desks built back-to-back with one work surface. It was originally designed for English bankers to work face-to-face. Perhaps the most famous Partners Desk is the Resolute Desk given to Rutherford B. Hayes by Queen Victoria in 1880. While it has been modified over the years, it’s still used in the Oval Office. Here’s today’s version of a contemporary Partners Desk. You’ll notice that a lot more storage is incorporated into the design. That;s just typical of modern design. We want as much storage as possible.
Now, if looking directly into your co-worker’s face isn’t your cup of tea, there are other options. And frankly, today we seem to like to have more separated spaces. Great for homework or at-home businesses, dual work spaces can make the most of a space when there is more than one person needs a work area.
I like the idea of making multiple work spaces in one area. Parents can keep an eye computer usage and help with homework when needed. Even grownups like to have separate spaces…much like the much-desired double bowl basins in the master bath. Togetherness is wonderful of course but sometimes having your own space is a relationship saver too.