13 Functional Ideas for Your Dream Home

Although theme, style, and curb appeal are definitely things to consider, making your dream home functional is arguably the most important part of planning. All the bells and whistles are meaningless if you can’t use them to make your life easier. I compiled this list for those planning their dream home but also for those who already live in their dream home but could use a little more function in their current space. You can turn all of the must haves into functional spaces with the ideas below.

13 functional ideas for your dream home

Built in Ironing Board in Master Closet

Don’t forget to complete the add on with a built in outlet to plug the iron into. A friend of ours has this and says they love it! Who want to trek back and forth to the laundry room or try and find space to set up the iron board some where else inconvenient? A built in ironing board set-up is definitely a functional addition to any home. If it won’t fit in the closet you can also add one to the laundry room and finally get rid of the collapsible space stealing ones!

Functional built in ironing board


Give Yourself an Extra Foot

Measure and remeasure space you want for walk ways in areas such at your kitchen, pantry, and closet. Adding a foot to walk-in closet could mean the difference in fitting between your clothing racks or not!  A foot in the kitchen could mean having this dishwasher and the cabinets across from it open at the same time for unloading dishes. I’ve been in plenty of closets that look like they have a lot of space only to find that you can’t use all the bars because they overlap or the clothes would touch. Make sure your home is functional by planning for enough space.

Put in a Produce Sink

A produce sink in the island can really give a custom feel to a kitchen. They don’t take up much counter space and it can be a great way to keep germs away from your healthy snacks. You can easily keep your prep areas and clean-up areas separate in your kitchen this way. For a functional kitchen to work like a well-oiled machine it’s important to have separate spaces for prep, cooking, and clean-up.

functional produce sink


Put a Closet in the Office

If you are going to have a home office or study.  Adding a closet will help it sell in the future because it can be easily converted into a bedroom. The people who purchase your house in the future may have more kids than you. Fun fact: any room with a closet can be considered a bedroom!  So plan ahead and put a closet in there. You can use it as a storage space for files, extra office supplies, or really any item that needs a home. Then when you are ready to move it will help your house sell for more money.

Window Seats Where Appropriate

First of all window seats are so adorable!  Secondly, they make a great way to add extra functional storage space. These can be added into your plan early on if you are building or you can create your own after the fact or for remodels.

functional window seat

Source for DIY

Guest Bathtubs or Showers?

Consider which rooms need bathtubs, showers, or both. Our guest sweet will be a shower only. We believe that’s a good match because our family and friends that visit are most likely not going to be soaking in our tubs. Also, our parents are getting older and a walk in shower meets their needs much better. Our other spare room (which one day will become a nursery) requires a bathtub for future kiddos.  So we still have the options and everyone’s needs (either present or future) can be met in the safest and best functional ways.

Designate an Outdoor Grill Space

You don’t have to plan the entire space until after your house is built. You can always build something with the space you already have as well. Consider future additions you may want to add: pizza oven, outdoor sink, or mini fridge. Of course to make it even more functional you will need outdoor seating as well. We almost forgot about this as we were designing our backyard because we’ve never had an outdoor entertaining space before. We figured we still need to plan to have a grill since we will have a pool and be spending much more time outside at our dream home.

functional outdoor space


Plan for Home Audio/AV

A built in AV nook may be a great option for you. The hubs wants to wire for speakers throughout the house and found the perfect little niche on our plans to put the AV equipment. He has such a good eye. Also, wiring ahead is way cheaper than going back in after the fact. Being able to hear the game on TV while in the kitchen can make a world of difference for house parties or other events.

Built-in Hampers

In the master and children’s bathrooms at a minimum. My granny had a built in hamper in her bathroom. It makes perfect sense – I don’t know why more people don’t do this! Laundry baskets are an eye sore and don’t do much to keep the dirty clothes out of sight or wrangled. A built-in hamper can keep the clothes all in one spot when you are ready to make the rounds with the laundry basket. Out of all the tips on this page I believe this to be one of the most functional as both a way of organizing and keeping the house clean.

functional built in laundry hamper


If you already live in your dream home and wish this was an option for you – your wishes have been granted. Check out these plans for a DIY closet hamper..

Private Entrances

Many space in your home can utilize a private entrance. A home office, guest suite, and pool bathroom could all function better with their own door. These will allow more privacy for your home and for your visitors. Plus it will help with keeping the house clean (less people/opportunities to bring in dirt and such).

 Utility Room

Consider a bigger laundry room than you think you need.  My husband swears I need a crafting space in our laundry room.  I think he has forgotten who he’s married to because I am not that crafty. However, every year we make at least 1 or 2 homemade gifts with the kids for Christmas. Plus I think he also remembers the mess I tend to create when I do get that crafty buzz going.

functional utility room


My bonus daughters are going to have school projects to complete and crafts that will need places to dry so we opted for a few extra square feet to keep it out of the way and organized. He really does have great ideas y’all!  And he appears to know me better than I know myself! A functional space for sewing, crafts, hobbies, and even gift wrapping can definitely be useful.

Walk Thru Pantry

Most homes either have a pantry entry close to the garage or inside the kitchen. We decided to go with both. We figure the least amount of effort it takes to do something the more likely it is to be done (and the quicker). With both doors unloading groceries and cooking both become more efficient and functional. Some call it laziness. I call it genius. Our pantry will have a garage entrance and a kitchen entrance to make it as functional as possible.


Mudrooms are becoming a vital addition to new builds and many current homes are being remodeled to include one. Visit my Ultimate Guide to Creating the Perfect Mudroom for the most comprehensive list of ideas, suggestions, and more. Mudrooms are functional spaces by providing space to keep shoes, backpacks, sporting equipment, coast/jackets, and other daily necessities organized and out of the way.

13 functional ideas for your dream home

What was your favorite functional dream home idea? Do you have another option you would add to the list? Leave a comment below if so! Don’t forget to sign-up for my newsletter before you leave.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This