Large walk-in closets are welcome and coveted features, but if you really want to tap into your buyers’ wants and needs for storage, so much more can — and must — be done.
In the kitchen, cabinet pantries simply won’t cut it anymore. Buyers today want walk-in pantries — the bigger, the better! Beverage storage is often overlooked until after move-in, and many buyers end up with a second refrigerator in their garage. Why not make the kitchen large enough to include a beverage center or a second refrigerator—inside, where it’s convenient? A local builder makes pantries large enough to hold a second refrigerator or freezer.
For essential small appliances, such as coffee pots and toasters, consider a “messy kitchen”. As opposed to a formal butler’s pantry, the messy kitchen helps keep the main kitchen clutter-free — and is ideal for entertaining!
Using vertical space is a logical way to enhance existing storage. In walk-in closets, start with double hanging rods and double shelves; the second row of shelves is great for bulky suitcases. If ceilings are higher than 8 feet, add six shelves instead of five in the pantry and linen closets.
A second row of upper kitchen cabinets is a perfect way to display collectibles or tuck away seldom-used items such as that big lobster pot.
In many markets, homes don’t have basements, so holiday decorations and other seldom-used “stuff” ends up in the attic. But accessing them with a flimsy pull-down stair isn’t easy, convenient or safe. Instead, consider a permanent stair to the attic storage over the garage. Make sure the garage is deep enough to receive the stairs without impinging on vehicles.
For two-story homes, capture space under the stairs. But instead of a cupboard sized for Harry Potter, make a home for furry friends who are happy with sloped ceilings — as low as 3 feet. Don’t stress out about having to cut down a door; a barn door makes a real statement! If your buyers don’t have pets, it’s another handy place for suitcases or even a small child’s playhouse.
Laundry rooms are a super place to pump up storage options. Consider using 18-inch deep cabinets above the washer and dryer; these deeper cabinets work well for storing bulky bottles of bleach and detergent. They also are easier for shorter adults to reach. Build in double rows of wire shelves to hang delicates to dry. And don’t forget to create a space for mops and brooms.
With the advent of flat-screen TVs, the giant TV armoire in the great room is a thing of the past. However, many buyers have wireless components to connect to the Internet and to play music, movies and games through the TV. A low row of base cabinets along the wall is an elegant way to hide all the hardware; make sure the cabinets are at least 18 inches deep and have access to power.
In the home office or bonus room, bookcases are a timeless touch to display art — or even (gasp!) books. One very clever storage idea is incorporating a wall bed behind the bookcases. This is a wonderful solution for those who don’t use the spare bedroom often, but would like to accommodate guests when needed. It also is quite the conversation piece!
Of course, storage doesn’t have to be strictly utilitarian. A 12– to 16-inch recess in a hallway is perfect for displaying wine, collectibles or photos. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.
Train your sales staff to showcase all the clever storage possibilities, especially since many of them will be not obvious. What a great way to win over shoppers!
The original article, written by Deryl Patterson, was featured in the Winter 2017 issue of Best in American Living.