As my home goes on the market, our real estate agent will describe my house in ads. She will come up with a great description that may sound something like this: “You will enter this lovely Sun City home through double doors leading to a marble tile entrance way. The living room and dining room are flanked by two large columns and have 12-foot ceilings with crown molding. The home has a gorgeous view of a lagoon and woodlands.” There will be no mention of the utility room.
The utility room was the reason I bought this house in the first place. It was large and had great promise.
My utility room started out humbly, with just the washer and dryer, a utility sink and a few cabinets.
After my first few trips to do errands in 1999, I realized the closest grocery store was so far away you needed to pack a lunch. So I got a freezer.
Shortly thereafter, I set up my sewing machine in the utility room, on a card table that vibrated during use. Then I graduated to a large plastic folding table that was not much better but larger.
Years passed and I was elected to the Beaufort County Council; an office was a must. For two brief seconds Hubby considered letting me have his office. But I ended up working in the utility room. The County agreed to install a phone line and set up a computer, but getting a desk was my responsibility.
I started looking at desks, and then I had a great idea. I wasn’t going to be on County Council forever. So why not set up my office to be multi-purpose, for the long run?
I started looking at sewing machine tables. I could do my paperwork on one and after all was said and done I would have a great setup for sewing.
First I got a small sewing table that folded up into a cabinet and I moved the sewing machine into our Carolina room. Then I bought a large sewing table and a chest that would fit under one side. This made a perfect desk for the computer and a work area. I added two small filing cabinets and I was all set. Other council members might have had fancy offices but none could do laundry at the same time.
Years later, my office returned to being a utility room with two sewing tables and room for a sewing machine, embroidery machine and a serger (a machine that uses two needles and four threads to finish off the edges of fabric.)
More cabinets have been added. Storage shelves, reaching up to the 12-foot ceiling, cover one wall and hold bins of fabric and other household items. This is one awesome utility room.
In the past, if someone came to my home, I dragged her into the utility room. I could not pass up the opportunity to show off the best part of this house. The guest would roll his eyes a little, but understand that it was worth seeing.
Being that most real estate agents insist the owners vacate the property when they are showing a house, I will not be able to point it out.
I just hope they do.
Margaret Griffin has lived in Sun City Hilton Head, in a great house with an amazing utility room, for 17 years.