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Floor Plan Creation

My Top Floor Plan Regret

Published on:

3/16/22

written by:

Carrie Barker

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This blog post is a little different than my typical post … it’s more of a personal explanation of my top floor plan regret in my own custom designed home

Although this is a personal post about my own home build experience, I know it will help at least one person out there who is toying with the idea of doing what I did (and now regret 9 years later).

Before we go any further, I must tell you that overall I absolutely LOVE my custom floor plan and I have VERY few regrets … really almost none. 

However, there is ONE thing (about my house layout) that irked me SO much the other day that I decided to write a blog post about it so I can help YOU to avoid making the same floor plan ‘mistake’ I made. 

MY TOP CUSTOM FLOOR PLAN REGRET

A reader once told me (in response to a photo of my home) that she couldn’t understand why anyone would combine their mudroom and laundry room. Her argument was, ‘one room is meant for dirty shoes and the other room is meant for clean and tidy clothes’.

Very true. Yet at the time I didn’t necessarily agree with her that these rooms should be separated. Sometimes it’s a space/square footage issue and you have no choice but to combine these rooms. At least that’s why I did this very thing (i.e. combined my mudroom and laundry room) when creating my own custom floor plan.

In retrospect, combining my mudroom and laundry room has turned into my top floor plan regret.

This combined space isn’t terrible by any means … it’s actually a very nice room. I just realized over time that it wasn’t a functional layout for MY family.

THIS BECAME A PROBLEM OVER TIME …

My combination mudroom/laundry room honestly wasn’t a problem for the first six or seven years living in our home. It never bothered me to have clean and dirty in the same room. 

However … after 8.5 years in my home (and my kids growing up), I’m finally at the point where I’m just fed up and sometimes wish I had created dedicated rooms for my laundry and mud area.

When we built our house, our girls were little (ages 3 and 5 … such cutie pies!) and all of their stuff was little. We had little pre-school backpacks, little kid shoes (that fit perfectly in our shoe drawers), little tiny coats, and a little stuffed animal or two thrown into their cubbies.

Now my daughters are teen/tween girls and they have LOTS of large shoes (sizes 9 and 12), large school backpacks stuffed full of Chromebooks and binders, large travel volleyball backpacks, large coats, etc.

Their stuff no longer fits perfectly into their cubbies.

As my girls got older (and MUCH taller), their stuff got bigger. There just isn’t enough room in their cubbies anymore so things trickle out into the laundry side of the room. 

Their large shoes clutter the floor of our mudroom and have become a massive tripping hazard.

Also, we’re SO much busier now that the girls are older and involved in travel volleyball and school is a full-time deal (unlike pre-school when we built).

The last thing on my mind after driving to volleyball practice or spending a weekend at a tournament is to clean our mudroom/laundry room. Not happening!

WE STILL HAVE LAUNDRY TO DO …

On top of the fact that we have shoes all over the floor and stuff everywhere, we also need to do laundry in this room!

With four people (and a dirty dog), we constantly have a stream of laundry going. There are piles to be folded plus many of our clothes need to be airdried, so there’s always at least one or two drying racks set up and full of clothes.

It’s the hardest working area in our home and it’s just too cramped at this point to function well.

Psst … I took these photos on a non-laundry day so this room is actually cleaner than normal. Hard to believe!

THE REAL ISSUE …

Here’s the reality … it isn’t the fact that we have dirty and clean in the same room that is an issue for me. It’s the fact that we don’t have enough space for all of our stuff to fit nicely into this combined mud/laundry room.

I will most likely separate my mudroom and laundry room we build our next home, but for now, I’ll find the beauty in the chaos that is our insanely busy life with teen/tween daughters.

This chaos is VERY evident in the way our mudroom/laundry room looks ALL. THE. TIME.

As much as I’m excited to plan out the most perfect (separated) mudroom and laundry room for our next home, it also makes me incredibly sad because I know our future home won’t have our current chaos. The girls will be older and out of the house. I might actually miss the shoes littering the floor and the backpacks spilling out into the laundry side of the room. *Gasp* Did I really say that?!

When I built this house, I had no idea my little 5-year-old daughter would end up being 6′ tall by age 14 and wear size 11/12 shoes. If I had known that, I would have made our shoe drawers much larger :).

The moral of this long ‘story’ (a.k.a. blog post) … plan your home for now as well as the future.

If you want to dive really deep when it comes to thinking about the perfect floor plan for YOUR family, I invite you to download my *FREE* Floor Plan Creation Questionnaire. This guided worksheet includes 25 questions that will help you truly consider your family’s needs (both current and future) so that you end up with a home layout that is designed perfectly for YOUR family :).

You might also enjoy 11 COMMON FLOOR PLAN MISTAKES TO AVOID.

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a.k.a. Caroline on Design

I’m Carrie Barker.

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