Multi-function spaces struggle with telling a good story. One of our questions is "What story does the space tell?" This comment needs a bit of unpacking though. If we follow the spirit of "Form follows function" we are left to understand that a stranger should be able to walk in and see what purposes the multifunction space provides. What if space is at a premium, and the way you live is not single purpose. Do we want the entertainment space, which is more dining room/gathering place to communicate that it is also where laundry is done? No. While our European and Asian friends are very comfortable with laundry being handled in the kitchen, it is not a common practice to see the washer and dryer in the formal living spaces. In this instance we want to practically conceal such function, sometimes this is like trying to hide an elephant in a closet.
In the space featured, we were asked to remove a deck and enclosed porch, and the clients had a laundry list of things they wanted to add new. They wished for a screen porch, wanted a bigger kitchen, and also wanted to figure out how to do laundry. What they weren't sure about was if they wanted a dining room, or a family room, but they wanted to connect with their yard also. For us this meant a series of discussions with the client, in these talks we created scenarios, and worked to increase both the clients understanding of what they wanted, and our understanding of the different ways we could create a space. We all settled on a multi-function space at the center of the remodel, and it would flow on three sides, connected to the kitchen, in an open concept layout (this made sense cause both spaces are humble,) there would also be direct access to the yard, and in a big way, with light and visuals being a big focus. There would slso be access to the yard.
The thing about this multi-function space that is really interesting is that all parties understood that, while we had to work a laundry room into the space, we were leaving the room open to be either a dining/spillover space for the primary clients, with the understanding that they would rent it and the space for others would be very suited as a family room. With space at a premium and three sides leading to another room, we couldn't do a room, create a hall, or leave the washer and dryer in the open. So after playing with some concepts, we settled on the "buffet" as our solution. This concept also went through some iterations before we settled on a vision.