Inspired décor and functional home design go hand in hand, which is why we’re pleased to release a new series on the Normandy Homes blog, “Yours, By Design” featuring Christina Wilcocks, Normandy Homes’ Director of Design. Here Christina will share ideas on how well-thought-out spaces can create the perfect backdrop for a home that you can truly make your own, plus highlight design trends to help you create the ideal blend of function and style.
With most Dallas-Fort Worth area families sending their kids back to school this month, an organized space for backpacks, sports equipment, and extracurricular items helps families stay on track for this busy time of year. A “drop zone” like mudrooms or other designated spaces for storage can help make your mornings and afternoons more seamless.
“The key to setting up an ideal organizational space is to think through your day-to-day routines first, then get creative on storage and personal design elements,” says Christina Wilcocks, Normandy Homes’ Director of Design.
Normandy Homes designs our floorplans with busy families in mind, including conveniently located mudrooms or spaces for entry benches, laundry rooms with ample storage and cabinet options, and craft/hobby rooms that can serve as study rooms and ultimately serve as an organizational center of the home.
Ultimate Mudroom Ideas
Kids often drop their stuff in the most-trafficked part of the house — shoes, backpacks, instruments, athletic gear, and electronics can really pile up. Mudrooms or benches and cubbies located directly off the garage mean the mess stops there. Normandy Homes offers options in many of our new homes that include a bench with cubbies and hooks that homeowners can then personalize for their needs.
“Adding labeled baskets helps with organization, then decorating with throw pillows or low-maintenance plants really incorporates design into the area,” says Wilcocks. Giving each child a hook for backpacks, a bin for shoes, and a basket for miscellaneous items assigns responsibility and takes away the guesswork when getting out the door. Wilcocks notes that hidden storage conceals the clutter while it serves a functional purpose.
If your home doesn’t have a designated mudroom, some Normandy Homes feature optional mud benches or valets that serve the same role. Or once you’re in your home and you figure out the flow of your busy days, you can purchase standalone hall trees with cubbies to meet your needs. Check out some ideas below.
Hobby Rooms and Flex Spaces
Many Normandy Homes floorplans offer flex spaces like optional hobby rooms. These can serve as multi-purpose rooms for organization, crafts, homework, and more.
“When designing these spaces, I think of the way my family functions,” says Wilcocks, specifically noting the model home at Estates at Shaddock Park. With four large drawers under the window seat, each child could have a dedicated drawer for a backpack and all things school and sports related, like gym bags, football pads, soccer cleats, and more.
“I have four kids and dream of having a room like this one,” Wilcocks continued. “Most parents want a designated space where the kids can easily put their stuff and it’s hidden and contained.”
In addition to storage, many of these rooms have space for built-in workstations, standalone desks, cubbies, and/or a hobby table. This keeps arts, crafts, and projects contained to one area that you may not want spilling out onto the kitchen table.
“For today’s school kids, you can’t forget about charging stations for chromebooks or school laptops. Create a designated spot for charging overnight,” advises Wilcocks. Finally, keep everyone organized and on track for project deadlines or upcoming events with wall-mounted calendars and message boards.
No Mudroom? Alternate Organization Solutions
If your home doesn’t have a designated mudroom, no problem! Plenty of options exist to create your ideal organization zone. Scour Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration, says Wilcocks, then purchase a system that works for your space and your family. For example, if you typically enter the house through the garage, you can set up a shoe rack and hooks inside the garage itself. Including a bench can help kids as they put on their shoes while rushing off to school in the mornings.
If your family uses the front door for coming and going, consider setting up a hall tree in the entryway or hallway that includes a bench, hooks, and cubbies. Countless storage options exist that can match your design aesthetics and fit your space, no matter how wide or narrow. Remember that contained, labeled storage solutions help keep day-to-day clutter hidden from guests who come through the front door.
Laundry Room Storage
Another smart alternative to a designated mudroom is laundry room storage. Many Normandy Homes floorplans offer spacious laundry rooms with an optional sink and choices on cabinet and shelving configurations. Laundry rooms are typically on the main floor, so it makes it a convenient place for sports equipment, hooks for backpacks, and bins for shoes and more. And washing those post-practice or post-game uniforms becomes a priority for sports families! Beyond just the function of a laundry room, you can easily utilize this spacious area to house school items that you don’t want cluttering up other areas of your home.
An ultimate mudroom or storage hub provides the ideal framework for an organized home. You can start with the great options in your floorplan, then truly make the space “Yours, by Design.” Use these tips below to help you get — and stay — organized.
- Think function first, then design. Incorporate matching baskets for hidden storage and personalize with warm accessories, such as throw pillows, pictures, or small plants.
- Designate spaces for each family member’s items.
- Label the hooks, baskets, and bins.
- Get every family member involved and habitually using the space for its intended purpose.
- Have convenient charging stations, and remember to charge necessary electronics overnight.
- Create a nightly routine that makes the next morning run more smoothly. Review the next day’s calendar and get backpacks, electronics, shoes, and extracurricular items ready to go.
If you’re in the market for a new home, check out our Normandy Homes communities to find a floorplan and neighborhood that you’ll love. If you’re settling into your new Normandy Home, incorporate some of the organizational ideas above to make your back-to-school days a breeze.