Home Design to Reduce Annoyances

Some modifications I’m intending to make to our current home:

Translucent light switches with power to an interior LED so you can see the light switches in the dark.

Dedicated wall switch in every room to turn A/V equipment on or off.

Stack of spare TP rolls on their side behind wallboard, with neat hole in wallboard at bottom of stack (to grab spare TP roll), and opening at top (behind a picture frame) for refilling the stack.

For kitchen sinks: panels/cabinet doors for access to the plumbing on the back side of the sink, so you can work on the plumbing from a (relatively) comfortable position. (Possible even for sinks next to outside windows, although there are obvious security issues with this one, and possible code problems in new construction.)

There are lots of this sort of thing in Japanese design, especially in the infamous “rabbit hutch” apartments where space is at a premium and clever design is more valuable because of it.

Other clever ideas from readers would be appreciated.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Home Design to Reduce Annoyances

  1. Mollbot says:

    One of my former girlfriends’ apartments had shelving that was designed to slide out from corner cabinets (next to the sink/dishwasher/etc) so you didn’t have to reach 4 feet into the dark to find the one pot or pan you were searching for.

  2. Joe says:

    Kitchen counter at different height so that both tall and short people can find a counter top at a comfortable work height. Raised dishwashers that are easier to load go well with this.

  3. emdfl says:

    A lot of older houses had access panels on the outside of the kitchen for working on the sink piping. Ditto for the bathrooms.

  4. Rivrdog says:

    Ditto Joe, only in the bathroom. When I built my house 15 years ago, I had the tile and counter guy build the sink vanities at two different heights, varying by 8″.

    This has worked out marvelously.

  5. BadIdeaGuy says:

    On my “to do” list for this Summer: we live in a split level with stairs descending from the kitchen. We’re going to build a “between the studs” shelving area. Basically you cut into drywall and build shelving in the studs. The big-box stores have some nice trim that looks great and should be an easy install. Good for cans and stuff. The same principle could be applied in the kitchen (store glasses, spices).

    I’ve considered doing a “hanging storage” of the good cookware. If you’re short on cabinet space and have headspace, you can do this with a variety of things, the simplest being a heavy dowel with the screw-in hooks. I guess the drawback is if you don’t like a utilitarian look.

  6. Mikee says:

    While the LED lights for switches is an interesting idea, the universal solution for “finding” such panels in the dark is to position them uniformly throughout the home. On the left side of the entry to the room is one way to do it. As long as the positioning is the same throughout the house, this works.

    Speaking as a former parent-of-small-kids, window seats which double as storage chests provide perhaps the quickest way to clean up toys that cover the floors.

    Try to place your windows so they can remain open during rain. Placing them under porch overhangs or awnings provides protection from inclement weather.

    Install small shelves or bins for reading material next to the toilets. Better than piling up the last few issues of Guns & Ammo on the back of the toilet.

    Install access panel in the ceiling sheetrock, under the drain for tub or shower upstairs. Eventually you will need this access.

  7. Rachel Price says:

    i used to do DIY plumbing at home at my work seems to be on par with regular plumbers.-~.

Comments are closed.