Tag Archives: Mudroom Lockers

Back-to-School

Ensure school year success with these home tips from Bartelt.

Summer is winding down, and while the kids may not be ready to go back, it’s important to ensure a smooth transition between vacation and the start of the school year.  We’ve compiled some ideas to make your home more efficient and life easier for back-to-school.

Study hard.Wauwatosa Homework Station

Big or small, consider setting aside a space dedicated to homework.  Include seating, supply storage, a desk, and other essentials for assignments or projects.  A “homework station” allows kids to be part of family activities.  Parents can also easily monitor computer use and ensure students are getting their work completed.  A home office is another option.  We’ve converted unused formal dining rooms and other spaces into functional dens.  Kids have room to spread out their papers and books and concentrate.  There’s also plenty of room for bookshelves and office gadgets.

Establish a family hub.Fox Point Mudroom

The mudroom is your family’s launch pad.  You can keep all out-the-door essentials right where you need them.  Incorporate lockers, assigning one to each family member.  When they come home from school or extracurricular activities, they’ll have their own space to stash their belongings.  The mudroom is a high traffic area, so it’s also the perfect opportunity to keep the family on-task with messages and reminders.  Consider a “drop zone,” or command center, for phone charging, file cabinets, a calendar, a chalkboard, mail storage, and other organizational tools.

Lighten the load.

We touched on this recently, but we believe this is important.  With the beginning of the school year comes more laundry.  Whether it’s part of the mudroom or near the bedrooms, a laundry room should include ample storage and functional features – custom cabinetry, a sink, counter space, shelves, and other elements to make laundry time more efficient.  Like the mudroom, we suggest incorporating cubbies, with a designated bin for each family member (or different clothing types), into the laundry room design.  This makes it easy to sort clothes and even easier for the kids to put them away.

Have a bite to eat.

Encourage your family to kick off the day with a nutritional meal.  A breakfast bar or nook – off the counter or as a banquette – is the perfect spot to enjoy a bowl of oatmeal, sip on a cup of coffee, or read the morning paper.  It often fulfills other roles, too.  Kids can sit there for an after-school snack and share the day’s events.  They can set up a temporary homework area.  You can use it for extra party seating or a buffet.

Find Oconomowoc Lower Levelspace to unwind.

Carve out space for the kids to relax and spend time with friends.  A play area with toy storage, bookshelves, and a table for projects is ideal for younger children.  A finished lower level or bonus room is a great space for teenagers (and adults).  Include a snack bar with a beverage refrigerator, games, a bathroom, and a home theater for the perfect “hangout.”

*As seen in the August issue of “Village West Living,” a publication for Elm Grove residents.

 

Quality over Quantity

Homeowners focus on the details rather than square footage.

As you look around your home, you may be thinking about the wish list you have for it – better storage, an updated kitchen, more usable space. Is the logical solution to make the move to a bigger home? Or should you consider an addition? Although these are both plausible answers, you don’t necessarily need more square footage to satisfy your list.

More and more homeowners are making the decision to update and upgrade their homes within the original footprint, focusing on better space planning and special details.

Smarter Space Planning

Unused Spaces

You need more space, but how can you find it without expanding? It’s important to evaluate how you live in your home. Are there areas you rarely or never use? Perhaps, it’s time to ditch those rooms and use the additional space in places, such as the kitchen, where you spend more time. For instance, many homeowners are getting rid of formal dining and living rooms to allow them to enlarge more functional areas of the home.

Open Concepts

People are also eliminating walls, doors, and other barriers to create open floor plans for a better flow between rooms. With proper space planning, an open floor plan can make the area feel larger and perform more efficiently.

Ample Storage

There are many creative storage opportunities to keep rooms organized and make them functional for you. Don’t waste any space. Make use of vertical space, incorporating cabinetry that extends to the ceiling. Consider systems, such as Rev-A-Shelf, that offer pullouts, racks, lazy susans, and other accessories to make use of dead corners. There are often pockets of space in areas – under the stairs, on empty walls, in an island – where you can seamlessly (and without taking up space) fit in storage.

Family FoyersWauwatosa Mudroom Remodel

Family foyers, or mudrooms, are a practical use of space and could possibly be the hardest working room in your home. It’s a great area to stash all the necessities for getting out the door in one convenient place. Many homeowners incorporate lockers into this area, assigning one to each family member to store coats, shoes, and backpacks. It can also include a “drop zone,” bench, additional storage, or laundry space. The possibilities to make the area efficient for your family’s needs are endless.

Personalization

Without the cost of extra square feet, homeowners have the opportunity to invest in quality products and finishes for their home. This allows you to not only personalize your spaces, so they aren’t “cookie cutter,” but also enjoy luxury items.

What are examples of products and materials people are investing in? Check out this brief list (the possibilities are endless).

In the Kitchen

High-End Appliances

If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, high-end or specialty appliances may be a great investment. Examples include stainless steel appliances, double ovens, warming drawers, large cooktops with griddles or grills, induction cooktops, steam ovens, and beverage refrigerators or drawers.

Beverage StationsHartland Wet Bar

We are seeing more people include beverage stations in their kitchen or family room. Wet bars are popular for entertaining, often featuring a sink, beverage refrigerator, and extra storage for glasses. Built-in coffee units are also becoming commonplace. The Miele Coffee System, for instance, is a built-in unit with a water reservoir or plumbed-in option. Now, homeowners can enjoy coffee, espresso, and cappuccino right at home.

Hot Water Dispensers

How often do you use hot water? Do you make hot beverages? Or enjoy oatmeal at breakfast? Do you cook pasta al dente? Or need to soak dirty pots and pans? Hot water dispensers allow you to do things like this instantly, saving time and offering convenience.

Custom, Furniture-Style Cabinetry

Sculpted toe kicks, corbels, faux finishes, crown molding – furniture-style cabinetry adds a personal, luxurious touch to your home. Custom cabinetmakers are also offering more “gadgets and gizmos” to make homeowners’ lives easier and more organized, including soft close hinges and drawer glides, tray dividers, roll outs, and spice racks.

Colgate Kitchen with custom cabinetry and granite countertopsCountertops

There are numerous kitchen countertop materials available. Soapstone, granite, marble, quartz, high-definition laminate, and concrete are just a few durable examples. Each has its own “personality.” For instance, granite and soapstone create a natural look while marble offers a classic feel. Your countertop is just another way to add character and introduce quality materials to your space.

In the Bathroom

Thermostatic Shower

A shower that features a series of shower heads and sprays, such as a rain head and hand spray, allows homeowners to feel pampered during shower time. A luxury shower can also include a thermostatic control valve, allowing the user to turn on all shower heads at the same or different times and regulate the temperature.

Around the House

Custom Millwork

Incorporating custom millwork – wainscoting, crown molding, arches, base boards, corbels – throughout your home creates an upscale look and adds architectural interest to an ordinary room.

Wauwatosa Foyer FloorQuality Flooring

It’s important to invest in quality, durable flooring. From custom hand-scraped floors to porcelain and ceramic tiles, there are many options for kitchens, family rooms, hallways, bathrooms, and other spaces. The floor is also a great place to have fun and display your personality. For instance, we used custom wood staining in a home to blend two hardwood floor colors in a foyer, creating a checkerboard pattern.

Home Automation

Many homeowners are turning to home automation for better efficiency and safety. Whole house automation is a central system that connects and communicates with appliances and systems in your home. It allows homeowners to instantly control their lighting, thermostat, entertainment unit, security system, and other objects. It’s just another opportunity to tailor your home to your lifestyle needs.