We dared our design team to reimagine important spaces in our homes and unlock the potential hidden inside.
Our homes should support our needs and interests — the key is finding the best way to make that happen while working with what you’ve got. With the help of Empire designers Liz Combs (pictured: above, left) and Lindsey Wooten (pictured: above, right), these four spaces were transformed from under-utilized to practical, feel-good rooms bursting with personality.
Pictured: The Erin model home at Empire Wyndfield in Brantford, Ontario.
1. Room Challenge: The Laundry Room
We spend a lot of time in hard-working spaces like the laundry room, but they often don’t take priority in our home improvement plans. The good news? Small updates go a long way to maximize functionality. “We wanted to keep the laundry room light and bright, but add in a few fun decorative features like the chandelier, brushed gold accents and a dusty blue runner so the room wasn’t purely utilitarian,” says designer Lindsey Wooten. “Since the main focus was to add more storage, we improved functionality by adding wall cabinets, floating shelves and pedestals under the washer and dryer.”
The Problem: Space that wasn’t being utilized to maximize storage and functionality.
The Vision: Balancing style with organization for an inspiring yet efficient space.
The Solution: Additional options for storage and hanging clothes, as well as upgraded fixtures.
Pictured: The Cambria model home at Empire Landings at NoDa in Charlotte, North Carolina.
2. Room Challenge: The Rooftop
Private rooftop space is hard to come by, so when you’ve got it, use it to its full potential. Have your outdoor space support how you like to unwind and entertain with a few simple elements that will make it feel just as good as it looks. “We envisioned the rooftop terrace as a space for family and friends to gather together for events, and by adding a dining table, it provided more comfort,” says designer Lindsey Wooten. “The bar cart allows for additional storage for food and drinks while also providing another decorative element. The greenery wall is a fun feature that can also be used as a herb garden, and the string lights create a great ambience for evening entertainment.”
The Problem: A blank slate in need of a practical revamp.
The Vision: An entertainment zone to host gatherings big and small.
The Solution: A dining space made inviting with colour, greenery and accents.
Pictured: The Addison model home at Empire Buckley in Buckhead, Georgia.
3. Room Challenge: The Foyer
A foyer gives a welcoming first impression of your home, but that doesn’t mean it only has to look good. Carve out a creative way to double this otherwise untapped space for a satellite office. “With many people now working from home, this design allows for a small office space,” says designer Liz Combs. “The chair can be removed when not in use, and the trim detail added to the entry wall ensures that there’s still a place to hang dog leashes, coats, keys and so on. A moody paint colour on the walls provides a dramatic yet budget-friendly focal feature.”
The Problem: A lack of functionality in a high-traffic part of the home.
The Vision: An entryway with greater potential, and office space for those that need a WFH option.
The Solution: A non-traditional office space that still functions as an entryway.
Pictured: The San Saba model home at Empire Blackhawk in Austin, Texas.
4. Room Challenge: The Flex Room
Having a flex room in your home is a game-changer. It’s easy to neglect or relegate it for storage, but the additional square footage can meet endless needs, whether it’s relaxing with the family on movie night or getting your daily workout in. “A home gym combined with a sophisticated entertainment space is unexpected, but it proves that you can merge multiple features and functions in the same room,” says designer Liz Combs. “The sofa with a bar-height console and barstools provides greater seating options and a surface for dining. The size of the space allowed us to add a Peloton bike and treadmill.”
The Problem: A large pool table took up the majority of the room, limiting other opportunities for use.
The Vision: To provide a more multi-functional space for work, play and relaxation.
The Solution: To segment the large room into specific zones personalized for a number of needs.
Looking for more design inspiration? Explore our design page on our blog that explains everything from how to create a cool kids’ space at home to how to create a spa-like bathroom on a budget and 5 clever ways to repurpose spare rooms.