When is a room not a room? When it's a special space. Today's lifestyle
seem to require many specialized spaces for functions that don't
require an entire room, but which need a degree of separation and
Once upon a time, when homes were smaller, they often had more of
these mini-rooms - such as cozy sitting nooks built around a fireplace,
benches inside an entry, butler's pantries, and built-in bookcases
serving as room dividers. But as homes became bigger and builders
looked for ways to reduce construction costs, many of these charming
features were stripped away.
For example, people often want a place to keep household management
information handy to the kitchen. A home command center can integrate
a desk and computer with security and home management hardware in
one convenient place. It can either be built into the kitchen, or
in a small room by itself.
Most homes don't have space for a dedicated library. But a mini-library
can fit into a 5'x8'space and provides a quiet and convenient space
for study and reading. Often these pocket libraries can be placed
in otherwise wasted space such as hallways or stairway landings.
Adding one foot of depth to the landing allows enough space for
the bookcases, and provides convenient access to both floors.
A butler's pantry is a special space that seems to be gaining in
popularity. Originally designed as a place to keep food and silverware
convenient to serving dinner, it provides a transition between the
hubbub and efficiency of the kitchen and the relaxation of the dining
room. Even in the modern age, when few families have butlers, it
recalls an earlier, more elegant time.
Exercise rooms can be installed in niches adjacent to the master
bath. Entertainment centers can provide a place for family to relax,
as well as a focal point for a larger room. Small kitchenettes can
be added to master bedrooms and family rooms for greater convenience.
And all of these can be done without adding a great deal of expensive
floor space to the home. When you add these special spaces to a
house, you add both livability and delight to the home, and increase
its resale value.