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May 13, 2024

How to Value Convenience in the Home

We live in a convenience-driven society. Some call it the law of the least effort. It is everywhere. Sitting on my desk is a book called The Convenience Economy by Greg Dickinson. It is chalked full of examples – including failed companies who didn’t embrace making things more convenient for their customers. Prime example – Blockbuster.

Here are just a few examples of convenience:

  • Ordering ahead on the Starbucks app rather than to stand in line.
  • Cup holders in cars
  • Semi-autonomous driving cars
  • Express lane passes for highways
  • Ready-made microwave dinners
  • TSA Pre-Check

Indeed, people will pay more for convenience. Food delivery through Grub Hub, Uber Easts etc. is super convenient and shoppers pay more for the power on that convenience.

Convenience in our Homes

Now, let’s look at home design. What are some added conveniences in the design of our homes that buyers will value?

Work From Home

Yep – easier to work from home than to get dressed up, jump in your car (stop and get gas), and go to work. Having an awesome, acoustically private workspace is more convenient.

Online Shopping & Grocery Store Delivery

Just like working from home, if you can get it delivered at the same price or with minimal extra costs, buyers love it. Obviously, Amazon has shown us that we love the convenience of home delivery. But if our precious deliveries are stolen off our front porch – the convenience factor is lost. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we had a place for our deliveries that was out of sight of porch bandits? And if that space was heated and cooled, our groceries could be delivered while we are out and about and stay fresh longer.


Small Kitchen Appliances

Our kitchens are full of small kitchen appliances designed to make our lives easier. My list starts with the coffee pot because only psychopaths can start their day without coffee. Which for me also includes a coffee grinder and a separate espresso machine (yes, caffeine is my friend). But then there’s the toaster, juicer, blender – you get the idea. Our kitchens are full of these time saving devices that are cluttering up our kitchens. Having to store them is not convenient – which is why I love the Messy Kitchen concept!

The Connected Laundry


For many of us, having the washer and dryer inside our home is taken for granted. Recently, our daughter and son-in-law moved to a new apartment that had a washer and dryer inside the home! Giant game changer in their daily lives. But let’s do one better. Let’s locate the laundry room closest to the rooms that have dirty clothes. How about connecting to the owners walk in closet to cut down on the time and distance for the never-ending task?

The Dishwasher

Another thing that many take for granted is the dishwasher. Back to my daughter and her New York apartment. You guessed it, her new digs include a dishwasher. Another game changer! Now let’s improve upon the convenience of the dishwasher with its location. Obviously, it should be near the sink for loading – but what about unloading the dishwasher? Too often, I have heard the dishwasher should be the right of the sink since more people are right-handed, but this sometimes results in the dishwasher being too far from the cabinets that will receive the clean dishes.

The theory about loading with only your right hand is overrated since this is not a fine motor skill. The dishwasher should always be closest to the dish cabinets and drawers – regardless of which hand of yours is dominant!

Second Refrigerator

It is common in larger families to have two refrigerators in the house – one for food and one for the many different beverages we consume today. But too often, this second appliance is randomly stuffed into the garage or basement. Why not include a second refrigerator in the kitchen or pantry?

Capitalize on convenience

Can you make the shift from simply listing the features in your homes to selling the convenience of your design? Can you learn from Uber Eats and charge more too? How much can you charge to make one’s life easier? I would love to hear your thoughts. Reply to this post.

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This post was written by Housing Design Matters