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Garage OrganizationSpecial glasses? You understand it for a 3-D movie, but for a model home tour? Still, you’re intrigued, and you don’t want to be rude to the salesperson here in the home’s garage, so you accept the glasses and slip them on.

Then you see it. Funny, you hadn’t noticed it before. Along most of the garage wall, shelving – some open for easy scanning, some with bins. Then there are the hooks for garden tools and bicycles to hang from. You look back at the salesperson’s work area, but now what you see is a lawn mower, trimmer, edger, snow blower, garbage can, and recycling bins. You slide the glasses down on your nose, peering over the top. It’s all gone. There’s just a deep recessed area and bare garage walls. Now you get it!

Rear Foyer - Elise, Maggie

Rear Foyer Concept

You step into the rear foyer from the garage, glasses in hand. You see a partitioned bench. A little cabinet. A sliding door. You put the glasses back on. Directly in front of you, several pairs of shoes parked neatly under that bench. Great idea! A place to sit, remove and store shoes out of the way, and not track dirt into the home. Organized within one of the partitions, you see a backpack, jacket, gym clothes, and lunch container. The adjoining one is like it, except there aren’t any gym clothes but there is something that might be a science project? You realize the partitions above the seat work like open lockers, organizing everything your kids might need on their way to school. What a relief!

Drop Zone

Drop Zone Concept

You turn your attention to the cabinet and discover a paper shredder resting on the pull-out base cabinet drawer. Perfect place for a shredder and sorting mail. The pull-out drawer above looks like the junk drawer in your kitchen – the one with glue and tape, scissors and markers, flashlights and batteries – but this one’s not in the kitchen! There are even USB and AC charging outlets. The sign says, “Drop Zone.”

Your focus turns to the pocket door. Sliding it open reveals hanging for off-season coats and shelves with bulk packs of toilet paper and paper towels as well as baskets with gloves, stocking hats, and ball caps. Again, you look out over the top of those glasses. Hanging rod and shelves. Nothing else.

Drawer dividers

Photo courtesy: KraftMaid Cabinetry; Tony Giammarino/ Giammarino & Dworkin, Design: Marge Thomas

The unique double island and beautiful cabinetry catch your eye in the kitchen. No need for the glasses to appreciate that storage can be beautiful! But just for fun, you put the glasses back on. You open the smaller island’s base cabinet and discover the specialty organizers built in. Your foot seems drawn to nudge that drawer under the cabinet door and a toe-kick drawer pops out with baking sheets and cake pans. Twin tall cabinet doors in the corner of the kitchen probably lead to a four-foot by four-foot pantry, but you discover not only a well-organized long storage wall, but also deep base shelves and a counter top at the back along with small appliances plugged in, ready to use. Perfect!

These sturdy cabinet drawers can store heavy dishes. Removable dividers let you configure interiors. 

These glasses are wild! Walking towards the owner’s suite your gaze is drawn to a door next to the staircase. Behind that door, board games, children’s books, and a basket of toys. And as you turn around, a six-foot coat closet, so there’ll be no need to lay guest’s coats across your bed when entertaining.

The owner’s suite. You love that bayed window. But you are seemingly pulled towards the short, arched hallway leading to the bathroom. That walk-in closet has double rods and shelves, providing over 17 feet of hanging on each long side, along with a single rod and shelf for long hanging at the back. With that much room there won’t be any need to put clothes back in the dryer on “touch up” just to get wrinkles out. You realize there’s also a wonderful fragrance. It’s stronger back in that short hall. Sure enough, sliding the mirrored door on the off-season closet reveals it was lined with cedar.

Two vanity cabinets in the bathroom handle your storage needs at each sink and linen storage above the toilet is home to your towels and washcloths. But no storage for bed linens? They’ve done everything else right. Was that just an oversight?

As you make your way towards the front bedrooms, there it is. The hallway closet holding all the extra sheets, blankets, and pillows. To your surprise, there’s a second closet for bed linens in the hall bathroom as well as its own towel linen storage in the tub/toilet area. Equally impressive are the deeper closets for both secondary bedrooms.

Pretty cool, these glasses. Calling attention to, and helping you see all the storing amenities in this home. Oh wait, one more door. Ah, the laundry room, with shelving above the washer and dryer and folding counter. One more time you put the glasses on. In addition to all the laundry room supplies stored on those shelves, you see laundry baskets stored beneath the folding counter, and scrap booking supplies on shelves beneath the glass block window to the right of the regular window. There’s even a closet in that laundry room that opens to reveal storage for your vacuum cleaner, broom, and mop. You begin to wonder, what ever happened to broom closets, anyway? It’s not like we don’t have brooms!

With advancements in technology, we may not be too far off from having such “magic glasses.” Until then, Design Basics’ Livability at a Glance™ floor plan colorization can help you identify all of the (orange) storage amenities within our designs. Then, just envision how you would use those spaces to make that new home perfect!

Along with Entertaining, Flexible Living, and De-stressing, Storing is one of the four lenses women told us they typically use when looking at a home design’s suitability for her and her household. Design Basics' fun Livability at a Glance Quiz can help you identify which of these four lenses is most important to you. Of all of the people who took that quiz last year, Storing was the top priority for 70%!

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