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Multipurpose Magic

At Home In Arkansas

Date: July 30, 2022 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Steph Smith


One galley-style room checks all the boxes for laundry, pantry, catering kitchen, and more



The laundry room of their west Little Rock home had long been a sticking point for designer Mara Malcolm and her husband, Mark. “It was tiny and burdensome,” she says of the area that housed their washer and dryer. What’s more, the family’s food storage was less than optimal with their kitchen cabinets holding dry goods and a garage fridge serving as overflow for drinks and cold staples. Mara knew there had to be a better way to maximize space and storage.

Thinking about their needs, she found a solution in one space that was under-utilized. “The room directly behind our washer and dryer was designated as an office on the floor plan but had more recently become home to our Peloton,” the designer says. Willing to part with the space in that form, she sketched out a plan to eliminate the laundry’s back wall and take in the office’s square footage, creating a true working pantry with a nook for her washer and dryer along with loads of other amenities.“We always said if we built a home we would do a prep kitchen,” Mara says. The newly created galley room allowed for this with an abundance of concealed cabinetry and open shelving as well as a refrigerator, oven, microwave, and dishwasher. Zones dedicated to entertaining, baking, and cleaning maintain order and keep the mess out of the kitchen hub. “This is a space that really works and has made our lives so much more efficient,” Mara says. “I always say if you can check both the form and function boxes, then it’s a win.”


To be such a hardworking room, it’s really a very happy space.” —Mara Malcolm

The New China Cabinet The couple frequently host family and friends, so storage for entertaining wares was a priority. “I’m sort of a hoarder when it comes to dishes,”Mara says. “Before, many of my patterns were in the basement, so when it came time to plan a party, I couldn’t even see them.”


Pretty Print

For the window shade fabric, Mara selected “Eden” by Thibaut. She notes the colorful scene offers a starting point for other accessories and brings a bit of joy to the functional space.


Classic Base Since cabinetry extends throughout the room, Mara opted for timeless selections, including polished silver hardware and white quartz that covers the counters and carries up the backsplash.


Visible Storage After living without a dedicated pantry, Mara was eager to have a space where they could easily see what food was on hand. Open shelves allow for this, while wicker baskets hold items grouped together for easy access.

Design Resources Contractor Caleb Milam, RQM Homes Interior design Mara Lamb Malcolm, Lamb’s Interior Design Appliances Triple A, Johnston Home Center, and Metro Appliances & More Art M2 Gallery Cabinetry Moody Cabinets Countertops and backsplash Pinnacle Granite Co. Fabric and lighting Lamb’s Interior Design Paint Sherwin-Williams Painting and millwork RQM Homes Tile The Tile Shop Window coverings Linda McNeill


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