Home Management Centers are the New Trend

(ARA) - The humble utility room is finally getting the respect it deserves.

Most homes have it: That cramped entryway filled with gardening pots, or the dark basement corner cluttered with cleaning supplies. Spaces needed for completing those messy but necessary household chores. But why do laundry or cut flowers in a dark, dingy space?

“The utility room is one of the new emerging spaces in the American home,” says Diana Schrage, an interior designer for Kohler Co., a kitchen and bath products company. “It’s no longer just a ‘mud room’ entry between the garage and the kitchen. It’s becoming a larger, more carefully planned room.”

The evolution of the utility room reflects our changing lifestyles. “Think about the lifestyles of the '50s and '60s versus the ‘00s” says Schrage. “Many of us are working very hard, and we want our time at home to be spent as efficiently and pleasantly as possible.” By bringing many of the tasks that we used to do in the garage, basement or den into one convenient area, the new utility room makes completing a variety of household chores quicker and easier.

Homeowners are also beginning to demand more pleasant work areas. “People are now more aware of the impact of light,” says Schrage. “Natural light makes a room more pleasant, and spending time there is more enjoyable.”

Also, a typical homeowner now has more “things” than ever before, creating a need for more convenient storage space. And many of us want more indoor space for hobbies such as gardening or arts and crafts. Larger vehicles are taking up more room in the garage, creating a need for additional space elsewhere for cleaning and storing sports equipment.

No longer an after-thought, utility rooms are now integrated into the design of homes as comfortable and functional spaces. Redefined as “home management centers,” there are a number of innovative options for these rooms that will make home maintenance easier.

“If you are coming in from the lawn or garden or maybe even the beach, you would normally have to track dirt or sand into the kitchen or bathroom. One good option for a utility room is a Kohler in-floor sink that allows you to conveniently wash off mud or snow from your feet,” says Schrage. An in-floor sink also allows you to wash a pet, fill buckets without lifting them, or drip-dry cleaning rags and mops.

Another good option: a large utility sink. Unlike a typical kitchen sink, a utility sink like the Kohler cast-iron Harborview is shallow and wide, providing a roomy, multi-functional work space that doesn’t require bending over. With a grate, the sink can easily be converted into extra counter space. Homeowners can wash vegetables from the garden before they bring them into the kitchen, or easily water house plants without worrying about getting water all over the floor.

Placing a home management center in a convenient location allows a homeowner to complete tasks more efficiently. Laundry can be done at the same time that dinner is being prepared, and people or pets can clean up, or store equipment before they enter the house. And there is no reason to have to go down to the basement every time you need your humidifier or your vegetable steamer when there is plenty of storage space in an easily accessible location.

“We want design to reflect our lifestyle rather than the other way around,” says Schrage. “Well-designed space can elevate the quality of life.”

For more information on home management centers and Kohler products visit www.us.kohler.com.

Courtesy of ARA Content, www.ARAcontent.com

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