Put Family Fun, Work Spaces in the Spotlight

Over the past six months, remodelers have seen more people investing in home entertainment while adapting the spaces where we work and learn. What once was a temporary fix is now becoming a permanent adjustment to families’ lifestyles. And the reality is that some people actually prefer the new normal – if only their home was up to the challenge.

“Sometimes, thinking about what you want in a remodel is easier if you think about what’s not working,” says Christine Jurs, co-owner of Advance Design Studio, in Gilberts. “I think that’s key right now, because it’s not like we have to imagine how we want to use the space.”

A year ago, it was common to think of children doing homework at the island, and it was merely a good idea to add power outlets. Anymore, it’s mandatory.

“We can build them right into the islands, whether in a cabinet, under a ledge, in a drawer or in a pop-up right in the countertop,” says Jurs.

But the kitchen is just one option, and a more temporary one at that. Basements and spare bedrooms make ideal settings for a permanent workspace. Newer homes may have a dedicated space near the entryway. Other families are adapting unused dining rooms.

Storage is a major concern in these permanent workspaces, and cabinetry allows for some creative solutions. Combine base and wall cabinets with a countertop for the desk, then add cubby holes or hide-aways that disguise papers, cords, keyboards and servers.

With everyone home more often these days, family time is becoming a big priority, as well. Improving your entertainment spaces requires a closer look at what the family does together and how they use the space currently.

Earlier this year, the Advance Design team equipped one family’s basement with a movie theater, full kitchen, built-in bunk beds and a playroom. It was designed to maximize family get-togethers.

“Going forward, what is COVID going to do to the way we vacation and travel?” says Jurs. “We’re not all going to just snap back. So, how else are we going to entertain our families when our choices are limited?” ❚

Advance Design Studio is located at 30 Railroad St., Gilberts, (847) 836-2600, AdvanceDesignStudio.com.