Home » Features

Flexible & Functional

Sneller Custom Homes & Re­modeling, along with Chairma Design Group, created this unique wine room with ample seating making it an ideal gathering space for any occasion. (Photo – Brenda Denny.)

Specially designed to get the Most out of every space

By Mara Soloway

It’s only natural that we want our living spaces to be functional and beautiful. When we realize that rooms in our home aren’t reaching their full potential, we begin to plan how they can be remodeled to give them more purpose. Here are some trending special function rooms that cure mundane spaces while providing great functionality.



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 in 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 playroom / game room / media room all in one. You could even add your workout equipment. Connectivity – and electrical power – are key to making it all work in harmony.



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.



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.



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 workhorse 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.➝



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 oasis. Imagine one 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.

Not to be left out, men also seek a space that reflects their passions. The man cave is where remodelers show their flair for creative construction, pulling together numerous functional elements in one space that complement the range of guy themes – sports, vintage cars, rock-n-roll, military, etc. Unique features can include curved bars with sinks and beer taps, wine storage, media components, and built-in display cabinetry. 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.



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, laundry rooms can also incorporate the functions of a mudroom with hooks for backpacks and jackets, ample shoe storage, and a charging station for electronic devices. Functionality is the key.

Here is a clever and creative use of space under the staircase by Sneller Custom Homes & Remodeling and Chairma Design Group: a dog sitting room en­closed with a see-through sliding door. Here, the dogs can be contained if needed but still feel included. Photo – Kolanowski Studio.)


In this stunning gameroom, by Morning Star Builders and Chairma Design Group, a brick barrel ceiling with ambient lighting creates the perfect atmosphere for those playing billiards or sitting at the card table. Rustic sliding wood doors open to a large wet bar and lounging area. (Photo – Analicia Herrmann.)


Sneller Custom Homes & Re­modeling, along with 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. (Photo Brad Carr, B-Rad Photography.)

Comments are closed.