Christy Heitger-Ewings | Photos by Brian Brosmer
The hot new trend in newer home construction is creating a “landing area” for members of the household – a place that can not only store shoes, bookbags and coats, but also iPads, laptops, and chargers.
“Homeowners want a mud room on the first floor right off the garage,” says Kyle Nicholas, president of Nicholas Construction. “Incorporating outlets with USB chargers is requested because so many teachers these days require students to bring laptops or iPads to school daily. This way kids can put everything they need in one spot and it allows devices to charge overnight.”
Another popular item on a homeowner’s wish list is the convenience of positioning the laundry room closer to the master bedroom. Nicholas recently completed a project in which he moved the washer & dryer upstairs, building off of some dead space in the master bathroom to create a 200-square foot laundry room.
Another homeowner had an existing 6×12 foot laundry room with a closet that served as a catch-all for everything. It didn’t have a good shelving system, plus it lacked decent lighting, so Nicholas removed that closet and added floor-to-ceiling custom cabinetry that incorporated detergents, vacuum cleaner, and other household supplies. At the opposite end, he installed a locker system, complete with open shelving for book bags and shoes.
“Homeowners often request a mud room sink or laundry tub for cleaning dirty shoes or soaking soiled clothes,” says Nicholas, who loves recreating floor plans to make rooms more accommodating for families. He also enjoys installing custom cabinetry that matches a room’s purpose. For example, Nicholas notes that a large container of laundry detergent weighs approximately 15 pounds, so to lift that up and set it above a washing machine takes a good bit of muscle.
“We want to do anything we can to strategically place a cabinet that will make it easier for someone to dispense their detergent,” Nicholas says. “We also try to utilize any dead space in a house to make it more functional.”