Custom home trends: Butler’s Pantry and upper-level laundry room

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In honor of the Parade of Homes, I asked fellow blogger Nina Lindquist of Homes by Tradition — a custom home builder in the Twin Cities metro area — to share with me a couple of the new home design trends related to appliances that she’s seeing.

Butler’s Pantry 

You know when you’re a guest at someone’s home and they say, “Help yourself” to you? Well, butler’s pantries are the physical manifestation of this familiar phrase.

For those of us (myself included) who want our guests to just enjoy themselves and stop meddling in the kitchen, a butler’s pantry is genius.

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Butler’s pantries are designed to be an extension of the kitchen but are areas mostly for food and beverage serving and servingware storage. I love this example from Homes By Tradition because it incorporates a refrigerator for beverage self-service that can also be used for overflow food when entertaining. Who couldn’t use this around the holidays?

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In this luxury home, the wooden floors continue and a soft arch is used to marry the butler’s pantry to the kitchen instead of closing it off with a door. Not only is this pretty, but it keeps access to the pantry convenient.

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Ceiling-height cabinets make a dramatic statement while squeezing every last drop of storage out of this room.

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See the empty wine rack? That’s about all that my kitchen and this amazing butler’s pantry have in common.

Also (don’t get me wrong, granite’s great, but) the dark stained wood countertop makes me drool. It’s just exactly how you would want to wow your guests, complete with warm, under-cabinet lighting to say, “Hello! Look at our gorgeous and distinctive custom countertops.”

Upper-Level Laundry Room 

You have two cars, so why wouldn’t you have two laundry rooms? OK, so maybe that’s a stretch (but try it on your significant other anyways). But when designing their dream home, many families create spaces that maximize their time and ultimately, happiness — which is why upper-level laundry rooms have become a must-have in new home construction.

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The rolling laundry carts, cabinet storage and super-capacity laundry pair heighten the convenience factor of this laundry room  by Homes by Tradition, which is more beautiful and spacious than my bedroom, by the way. Can I move in?

This is clearly not your standard, dank utility laundry room. The neutral colors really pop against the cheerful wall color, and it’s roomy enough to give a place for everything (and keep everything in its place!).

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The Parade of Homes runs through March 30, 2014 so hurry over to learn more info on Homes By Tradition‘s Spring 2014 home, which Nina blogged about this week.

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