5 Little Home Additions that are Surprisingly Useful (and will make you Wonder How you ever lived without them)

If you are planning on upgrading your home, or giving it a few nips and tucks in 2015, this is the perfect time to think about additions that will make your home more functional and comfortable. We often say, “Someday we should…” or “if money were no object we would…” when it comes to discussing home renovations. However, if you want to get the most bang for your buck when altering structures and rooms throughout the home, don’t just stick to the basics. The following are a few simple additions that will prove to be surprisingly useful around the home, and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.

Mud Room

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Few things make a house look more cluttered than muddy shoes, snowy jackets, hats, mittens, and book bags strewn about the floor right inside the doorway. A small mudroom can go a long way in helping to tidy up the home, especially in an entryway at the front or back of the house. Choose flooring that is easily cleaned, such as linoleum or tile and provide ample hooks and hanger space. A rack for shoes is a good idea as well as cubby holes for shoe organization. If space allows, a small bench is a nice addition allowing for convenience in dressing for or undressing from the outdoors. You can also turn the bench into a storage unit to provide even more space in the mud room.

Designated Laundry Space

Many homeowners don’t have the luxury of a designated laundry room, so they stack a washer and dryer in a closet, in the garage, or next to the water heater. Whether you have extra space, or you add on an additional room, having a room devoted to laundry can really help you keep things clean and organized. Add some shelving to store laundry detergent and softener. Use small canvas totes to keep track of the random unmatched socks. If space allows, consider adding a clothesline outside or a drying rack inside. Professionals who specialize in major renovations in Regina suggest that you have an expert help you map out the room so you have the proper plumbing and electrical outlets that are required for a laundry room.

The Home Office

Organization is key to a well-managed home, whether you live alone or with a large family. Even if you don’t work from home, it can be extremely helpful to have a “home office” where you keep a shared computer, office or art supplies, important documents and bills, etc. Papers and mail tend to pile up on the kitchen table, and make the house feel more cluttered and disorganized. Even a small extra room can be transformed into an ultra-efficient, ultra-organized home office by adding a desk, chair, a few cork boards, and proper shelving or storage bins. All of those papers have to go somewhere, so give them a proper home rather than creating messy piles all over the house. Create a family “command center” where you work on important projects and keep essential papers so that your everyday responsibilities feel more manageable.

Outdoor Patio

The addition of an outdoor space for your own enjoyment and entertaining is invaluable. If you plan to install this area yourself, know your limits. Using something like flagstone can be accomplished relatively easily in a weekend with no special tools. As space allows, add in a grill or barbecue pit as well as some colorful chairs or a homey swing. This will be an area that allows for countless hours of enjoyment with family and friends, so make sure to add your personal style.

Walk-in Pantry

Kitchens are often a place families and friends gather to cook, eat, and socialize. They can also easily become overwhelmingly disorganized. The addition of a walk-in pantry will make food more accessible and life that much easier. Once you have the space, take time to organize. It is wise to invest in some plastic storage containers and tins to easily store and label dry goods such as sugar, flour, and cereals. By adding a designated pantry, you will free up much more cupboard and drawer space in the kitchen, providing a special space for each item and eliminating extra frustration when you are searching for something. Also if you are big into food storage, a pantry like this can be invaluable space.

These are just a few small suggestions for easy and relatively inexpensive home improvements that will increase efficiency and organization. If you plant to alter your home, make sure you plan ahead and implement changes that will make the home more livable and comfortable. You don’t need to wait for the ever elusive “someday” to get the home you want—get creative with your plans and enjoy the benefit of a well-designed home.

Erin Emanuel

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