What’s the key to successfully downsizing?
In 2019, More Space Place Austin owner Joanna McDonald and her husband John found themselves contemplating their spacious 3,500+ square foot home. After their grown kids graduated and moved out, they took time to carefully assess the space they used on a day-to-day basis.
Their goals were to reduce the amount of space needed for their day-to-day activities, to reduce the footprint that required heating, cooling and maintenance, and transition to a home closer to their workplaces and daily activities. Finding something with a smaller square footage in a more central Austin location was an ideal solution.
While down-sizing is often a challenge, Joanna credits her laundry room and utility space as the key to creating a functional smaller home that flows well and reduces the amount of congestion throughout the house. “Having a utility room that’s spacious and functional really makes a smaller home work,” Joanna said.
What were the goals for building the laundry space?
In Joanna’s new home, the kitchen is the heart of the house. She wanted the kitchen to remain clear, open and full of light. The same goes for her home office.
As a busy business owner, Joanna needed easy access to work materials so she could complete tasks from home when appropriate. However, she didn’t want her office to become a focal point within the home or a distraction during day-to-day living. She wanted the main living spaces of the home to be serene and relaxing; she didn’t want to see her office supplies out in the main area of the home even when she was relaxing or entertaining.
The laundry room was intended to support these areas and to create an organized, well-thought-out space that would take pressure off the main living areas.
While many laundry rooms and utility spaces become cluttered catch-all’s, Joanna wanted to make sure this space was thoughtfully designed, so there was truly “a place for everything and everything in its place.”
From a design aesthetic, Joanna wanted to keep consistency across the house. She wanted the laundry area to maintain the home’s midcentury modern style while including modern conveniences that make it operable and comfortable. She achieved this look by combining classic cabinet finishes with a white penny tile backsplash and dark grout.
What’s in Joanna’s laundry room?
As they completed the renovation Joanna thought carefully about the features and functionality she wanted in a laundry room, and how they could take pressure off the kitchen and living areas. As a result, her laundry room and utility space are more than a room for washing and drying clothes. In this space, Joanna is able to do a little bit of everything from making coffee to potting plants!
Joanna can readily wash clothes in her modern laundry room, which accommodates a full-size stackable washer and dryer. Accessories to make the most of the laundry space include a pull-out shelf for storing laundry detergents and dryer sheets, while an added laundry hamper neatly tucks away into one of the cabinets as a catchall for dirty household towels.
Open counter space
The open counter space doubles as a workspace for the many projects of a busy couple, business owner and family. From knocking out a load of laundry, to staging serving pieces for a dinner party, or tweaking potted plants for the front porch, this utility work surface adds so much functionality that remains out of sight from the living area.
A coffee bar
In keeping with Joanna’s goal of having a sleek kitchen area, she chose to locate the coffee bar within the utility room. It keeps her kitchen counters tidy while also allowing easy access to one of their family’s most commonly used appliances. As an added bonus, it makes it easy to grab one last cup before heading out the door for a busy day at the More Space Place Austin showroom!
Joanna and her husband aren’t completely empty nesters since they have two sweet pups as roommates. The laundry room/utility space is the control center for all their dogs’ needs. Beds, food, and treats all have their own designated spaces, and it’s also the perfect place to keep leashes, harnesses, and waste bags, so they can head out together on a walk at a moment’s notice!
Shoes, coats, bags and keys
A mudroom bench doubles as shoe storage, thanks to open shelving included beneath. The shelves can hold about a dozen pairs of adult shoes. Above the mudroom bench, a space is available to place keys, jackets, bags and more and to allow Joanna an
d her husband to literally leave their baggage at the door. Everything is in its proper place, which also reduces the clutter in other areas of the home – no need for keys to be tossed on the counter or for a purse to be found next to the sofa.
Printer and office miscellany
As a business owner, work often extends to after-hours, making it necessary to have all the essentials in place to respond to work demands. While a small and beautifully designed work nook graces the living area, the necessary office equipment is out of sight in the utility area. File drawers, desk jet printer, charging stations and office supplies have their designated spot in the utility room.
Can This Multi-Purpose Laundry Room Concept Work in Your Home?
It took some imagination and some thoughtful design to make the room come together. Joanna chose some custom closet cabinetry from the More Space Place collection, so she was able to ensure she was getting the ideal combination of style and functionality. For example, she was able to select cabinetry that included a charging drawer, keeping their family’s collection of devices (phones, earbuds and more) off the countertops.
In addition, Joanna noted several of the room’s other fun features were also sourced from More Space Place’s extensive collection of design accessories.
- The pull-out laundry hamper, which reduces the need for an additional bag or basket to be kept in the home
- The under-sink swivel trash can, which makes composting coffee grounds an easy one-step process.
- The pull-out cleaning supplies drawer, which makes it easier to store and access bulky items like laundry detergent
- The mudroom hooks, which incorporate seamlessly into the décor and add needed functionalityfor a busy couple (and their walk-loving pets!)
Most of us don’t think laundry room when we envision the space we love most in our home. Then again, most of us don’t have a multipurpose laundry room that’s as thoughtfully designed and laid out as Joanna’s.
If you want to make your laundry room more functional and give it a starring role in your home, we can help. Stop by our showroom to learn more about the space-saving options we offer for your laundry
room and for other spaces throughout your home. Our design team is available to answer questions, discuss your options and help you make the most of the spacein your home.