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Multi-Purpose Living Trends

Submitted by on March 1, 2017 – 6:55 amNo Comment

With the Houston skyline as the inspirational backdrop in this high-rise makeover by Steve Hood Builders, this home office is work ready. The wall of windows provides an abundance of natural light and the built-in bookshelves keep necessities within reach. Organizing projects is easy with this long built-in desk and credenza.

by Mara Soloway

Specially designed and dedicated spaces make life easier

It must be in our DNA that we seek to improve upon our living space. We crave the new and updated that reflect our tastes and market trends and provide great functionality. When we see a room that isn’t reaching its potential, we begin the remodeling process to banish cookie-cutter spaces and instead give them a purpose. Special function rooms are the cure for mundane spaces. Here are some that are popular with today’s homeowner.


The New Media Room

Builders say that media rooms on the ground floor get used more than ones upstairs do. That makes sense, since the traditional media room has been morphing from watching movies from theater seating into a space where the family can be together with several activities being pursued. The large smart television(s) networked with streaming options and gaming consoles make it a play room / game room / media room all in one. You could even add your workout equipment. Connectivity – and electrical power – are key.


A Room of Her Own

Virginia Woolf had it right: every woman needs “A Room of Her Own.” Separate sheds away from the house for crafting or yoga are trendy, but rising in popularity is the walk-in closet that is transformed into a dressing space. Imagine dressing in an oasis, complete with a chandelier and built-ins that can include glass doors, an island with drawers to store jewelry and, of course, shoe displays (and lots of them). Install a three-way mirror, and incorporate custom moldings, special finishes and dazzling closet systems. The room of her own can be as well-designed as any in the home.

Matt Sneller of Sneller Custom Homes
& Remodeling, along with interior designer Cindy Aplanalp-Yates from Chairma Design Group,
converted an unused office to add square footage for an expanded master suite, including this boutique-style master closet featuring a washer dryer and coffee bar.


Man Caves

Please, someone find a better name for these spaces that are anything but dark and damp. This is where remodelers show their flair for creative construction, pulling together numerous functional elements in one space: creating curved bars with sinks and beer taps, and adding personal elements like wine storage, media components, and built-in display cabinetry that complements the range of guy themes – sports, vintage automobiles, rock-n-roll, military, etc. Want a room that holds your pool table, displays your vintage guitars, has café seating to enjoy wine and cigars and has a different seating area with widescreen TVs to watch the game with friends and family? Dream it and it will become yours.

Dark stained wood, a center island and plenty of cabinets make this man’s closet, by John Gillette of Craftsmanship by John, a unique space. Details like the marble island countertop and deep, wide clothes racks allow for stress-free dressing. The built-in mirror provides an opportunity to make sure things are just right before stepping out.

This ultimate garage makeover, by Brandon Lynch with Keechi Creek Builders, is a man-
cave dream-come-true. Not only are all the floors and walls finished with appropriate and
masculine textures and art, there are super cool pendant lights, a built-in bar for entertaining and a separate space for tools.


Pocket Office

A pocket office will be well used for household administration and for work brought home that needs your attention. Perhaps the most convenient place to set it up is near the kitchen so that tasks can be attended to during food prep’s downtime. Plus, you can enjoy the great cooking smells. But wherever you might place it, functionality is gained with built-in file units, a desktop that folds up when not in use, drawers and shelf space or a table for a printer/scanner/fax. Have your remodeler put in electrical outlets that have USB ports for charging cell phones and tablets. A sliding door will save space but won’t offer the soundproofing of a regular door.


Wine Rooms

Whether you have fewer than 50 bottles or more than 200, the wine room must be built for proper long-term aging with consideration given to light, humidity and temperature controls. Ideally, it will be placed in the coolest and most humid room in the house, which is easier in areas where houses have basements. In Texas, temperature controls will work that much harder to compensate for being above ground. Insulate the door to the room to keep the cool air in.

Sweat the construction details to get yourself an outstanding and high-performing wine room. Lighting should be installed so it doesn’t interfere with racking. Dual-zone refrigerators can be built in: drainage and electrical power are considerations. Once the operational details are considered, move to the stylistic ones. Arrange different styles of wine racks in a visually appealing way. Comfortable seating and a granite-topped counter create an intimate space for wine tastings.


Dirty Kitchen

The dirty kitchen is a second kitchen in which the messy work is done. Think butler’s pantry – a small space near the kitchen that becomes the work horse of food preparation. It gets dirty so the big kitchen stays clean and pretty. Cabinetry, countertops, sink and dishwasher are reproduced on a smaller scale. A small fridge keeps cold ingredients handy.


The Laundry Room

Why shouldn’t these spaces be as functional as other rooms? Add a sink for hand-washing delicate clothing and other tasks, drying racks, folding space, abundant storage – including space for the iron and ironing board – and one of the latest trends: a dog washing station. These can be the step-in type for larger breeds or raised for washing smaller dogs and cats.

Depending on the location, the laundry room can incorporate the functions of a mudroom with hooks for backpacks and jackets, ample shoe storage and a small bench.

Matt Sneller of Sneller Custom Homes & Remodeling, along with interior designer Cindy Aplanalp-Yates from Chairma Design Group created a larger and more functional laundry/mud room/butler’s pantry by absorbing part of a garage.

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