Builders Design: Pantry and Closet Trends to Consider for a Clean, Organized Custom Home

Builders Design: Pantry and Closet Trends to Consider for a Clean, Organized Custom Home

There are few activities that are more satisfying than cleaning and organizing your custom home, especially in the spring. This time of year is synonymous with scheduling tedious, less-than-routine chores with the goal of giving your living areas a decluttered, clean slate.

In this month’s blog, Marnee Duffus-Eipel, a regional vice president in Florida for Builders Design, is sharing her insight on forward-thinking pantry and closet ideas you should consider for staying organized anytime. Lee Wetherington Homes partnered with Builders Design in creating the award-winning interior of the Solstice in Star Farms at Lakewood Ranch – and our model includes many of the amenities mentioned in this interview. Here’s what Marnee had to share with us about the latest design trends that last well beyond the season of “spring cleaning.

Q: Homebuyers are focused on entertainment features and enhancing their living spaces. How have storage options changed with the times?

The pandemic inspired an interesting evolution in home design and functionality. It essentially showed us (homeowners) that, with creative programming, we can do everything we love from within the confines of our own home. From hobbies, exercising, entertaining, and even working – all of these amenities have become “new norms” in home design.

In a post-pandemic world, a lot of homeowners have taken a hybrid approach: having the option to do what they love from within their own home, but also going back out to their favorite exercise classes, restaurants and more. This has really forced home design to be more thoughtful and dynamic in its approach.

More function inevitably means more “stuff,” right? As a result, we have seen many secondary spaces increase in square footage and function to allow for more storage options. For example, the traditional laundry room that was once a box of space positioned between the garage and kitchen has now evolved into this larger, stand-alone multifunctional room where all your storage needs can be met. We have also seen this trend move into the garage – a space that, with some creative planning, can be used for additional storage and home amenities, like a gym or hobby room.

Q: Why are working pantries increasing in popularity, and how can this feature make for easy cleanup any time of year?

There are probably quite a few drivers behind why working pantries have become more mainstream in recent years, but I believe a big reason is due to the popularity in open-concept floor plans. Kitchens are no longer guarded by four walls when guests come over. Rather, the kitchen serves as the heart of the home and is central to all other common areas.

In addition to that, kitchens were once just a place to cook. But now we’ve seen multiple roles emerging within kitchens, allowing this space to be the ultimate “hub” for families. As a result, we’re seeing interior square footage in home design being reallocated from public spaces to private ones, helping hide clutter and provide dedicated spaces of function. Alas comes the working pantry – a place where you can get back to the basics and simply prep, cook, clean and store without an audience.

Q: Regarding storage and spring cleaning, what innovations are becoming trendy in the kitchen and pantry? 

The luxury of space is certainly one of the biggest trends, as we’re seeing kitchens and pantries dominate in size. Walk-In pantries are a desired home feature across all generations of homebuyers right now, regardless of their budget.

ConcealedPantry Specifically in luxury real estate, a continuing trend is dedicating more space to the pantry to create a “prep kitchen,” where additional appliances can be incorporated into the overall programming. In speaking of larger spaces, we’re also seeing the kitchen island continue to increase in size for gathering and entertaining guests. We’re seeing the infusion of a lot of smart-home technology and sustainable materials in the kitchen, that do not sacrifice function or beauty. This trickles into spring cleaning, as many consumers are opting for refillable cleaning products and compostable or biodegradable cleaning solutions.

Q: What are a few trendy storage ideas for homeowners looking to add innovative features to their existing closet space?

Maximize space and quality of storage! Thinking through the spatial design of drawers, display boxes, rods and how to incorporate functional aspects into the storage, like a hidden hamper, are so important to closet design. And don’t be afraid to take the cabinets to the ceiling. This could make for great display boxes for expensive handbags, shoes or other fashion items that are only worn on special occasions. They don’t have to be easily accessible.

If the space allows, an island is a great anchor to a walk-in closet. Instead of a full-slab countertop on the island, consider making a shadow box on top of the island where jewelry can be on display.

Q: What are some of the most interesting designs you’ve seen incorporated into closets? 

The hidden room in the primary closet of the Solstice model in Star Farms is such a fabulous design feature, and one that we’re seeing as more of an up-and-coming trend. All customers want additional storage space in their closets. But having these concealed areas of storage, like a hidden room, adds an experiential element to the design. Functionally, it also adds a lot of practicality, in the consumer’s mind, because they now have a dedicated space to store their most valuable items.

HiddenRoom Other design trends we’re seeing is how the closet is evolving into more of a “dressing room.” Vanities with charging stations, smart TVs, and dedicated steam cabinets within the closets themselves are all interesting features that we’re seeing incorporated into designs.