Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Combining the Old, New, and Not Yet

My husband is currently jacking up the Mudroom of our house! What does that mean?
For a year or two our back door is getting harder to open. The door is dragging across the
wood floor scratching it. I am so thankful to be married to man who knows what is wrong and how to fix it. There are so many things to maintain, add to, or change in our homes to make them functional.

Driving through the rural towns of New Hampshire, especially in the Fall season fills our hearts with joy as we enjoy historical as well as newly constructed homes nestled in our forests. What a variety we enjoy here!

Older homes require special care and the expertise to keep them beautifully functional. How about you? Are you in love with New Hampshire or Massachusetts old Colonials, New Englander's, Post and Beam Homes or barns converted into houses? Do you live in a family home handed down through the generations? We cannot rebuild as they did in years past. However, we can update them .  New kitchens, baths, mudrooms, bedroom or family room additions can be designed and built seamlessly marrying the charm of the old with the convenient function of new methods. New products complimenting and enhancing the beauty of  an older home create the updated technological improvements we all enjoy in 2017. 

One of the fun things about a career in remodeling is seeing so many of  historical homes with original features. Some have kitchen hearths and bun ovens. I have designed and coordinated the installation of kitchen additions fortunate enough to "keep" the historical items in place while designing and building a new kitchen with all the conveniences of this century within the same room or very close by. These homes take the warmth and nostalgia of our rich history to a higher level. Being invited to special Holiday Events by the owners of an Historical Home is truly a special treat!

Built in china cabinets, bathroom shelves and drawers surrounded with original moldings are still in excellent condition in some older homes. Many Craftsman homes have this type of built in cabinetry throughout the house.

Many of these Historical Homes are in some of New Hampshire's cities, some in the country, or little villages between the two. We are surrounded with a rich tapestry of beautiful homes of all sizes and design styles. The homes that happen to have acreage are especially beautiful. I love seeing gardens, horses, livestock, and family pets.

 Mud Rooms are an integral and important addition to New England homes. "Mud" being a very appropriate term, especially for homes with land, gardens, and animals to care for. Most animals do not enter the house. Dogs are the exception. I want to share some fairly new features many homeowners are considering and installing when remodeling these days.  Function is key yet cabinet manufacturers, along with plumbers and tile designers and retailers have met a need very creatively! What could that be?

Let me set the scene. Often the mudroom is near the kitchen entrance and pantry or laundry area. These "necessary " rooms, especially in New England are set apart from the living or dining room areas where you socialize with friends and gather as a family. These functional areas are perfect for receiving the homeowner after working outside. Generally located near a back door and or the garage they help keep other rooms tidy, neat, and clean. Mud Room is the perfect description.

What special features are designed for this space? For awhile now, designing a wall or corner configuration of cabinets to hang coats, hats, scarves, gloves and umbrellas has become very popular.
Since our winters can be raw we are in need of multi layers of jackets to heavy coats, hats, gloves, the more room you can spare for this practical space, the better! Here are a couple of ideas my clients have found key.
1. Seating that functions as hidden storage is perfect. It gives you a place to sit for ease taking off
2. Tall cabinets to anchor cabinets on two walls meeting in a corner allow more hidden storage.
3. Wall Panels like Bead Board add a country rural feel. If your home is more formal a Raised or
    Recessed Panel to match your kitchen cabinet doors works perfectly too. Picture the anchor Tall
    Cabinets connected at the base to the seating cabinets. The wall panels connect it all finished off
    with beautifully stained Solid Stock installed horizontally accessorized with sturdy coat hooks. The     final touch being crown molding on the tall cabinets as well as the expanse of the solid stock trim.
4. If the square footage allows, some deep "Pots and Pans " Drawer bases are perfect for hat, scarf,
    and gloves storage.
5. This is also a perfect place for some Trash and Recycling Cabinets.
6. A handy and convenient black board or bulletin board to keep track of dates for activities would be
    a great addition too.
7. I have actually designed a work space with shelves into Mud Rooms occasionally. They became
    excellent drop off points for the kids homework assignments , books , etc. The routine of  knowing     that is where everything is can help keep the kitchen counters and island less cluttered.
It may not be practical or possible to integrate all these options. It is a great idea to consider  what would be best for your lifestyle.

Okay, are you ready for a fairly new trend? I think the practicality of it will win you over, if you have four legged family members, especially big dogs. Recently there has been an interest in a new focus in these rooms as well. It is a practical "luxury" that also keeps the rest of your home free and safe from dirt or mud being tracked in by your pets.

Building in a corner doggie shower is the new rage! People who have them do not know how they managed with out them before! What? A dog shower? Okay stay with me, I will explain.
Have you had to clean up your bathroom walls, tub, shower after "finally " breaking down and bathing your dog? Yeah, how did you like that?

Adding a shower pan in a corner of your mudroom, with tile extending up the walls 3 to 5 feet is a perfect dedicated place to bathe your pets , "BEFORE" they walk  through your clean house with mud all over them or their feet. This is a mini shower with plumbing and a faucet you can extend to wash and rinse "Buddy" as you get all the yuck taken care of in one easy convenient place.

As I said , our clients who have them wonder why they did not think of this years ago! Once again the quote Necessity is the mother of invention" rings true!

If you have a mud room or any other area of your home, new or historical or anywhere in between that needs some updating and attention. Give us a call. We love to listen to your ideas, dreams, and wish list. Even better, we can , do and will help you make it all come true!