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November 27, 2023

Doubling Up on a Good Thing

My friends Dan and Terry grew up in northern Wisconsin and both of their childhood homes had one bath. Yes – there was a time when that was acceptable. Now, of course, two baths are the minimum. Their homes also had a one car garage. Yep – now a two car garage is the minimum.

It seems that when there’s a good thing, we want at least two! Let’s look throughout our homes to see where this has occurred.


As soon as we got used to two baths, we had to have two sinks in the bath. First, it was just for the owner’s bath. But pretty soon, buyers started looking for two sinks in the secondary bath.


Did anyone grow up with a house with just one strip closet in the owner’s bedroom? Probably not. As soon as a walk-in closet was offered – we had to have two. Same is true for linen closets – one for the master and one for the secondary bedrooms.


Once upon a time, there was one large sink in the kitchen – it lives on today as the farmhouse sink. But pretty soon we had to have a double bowl kitchen sink, which eventually turned into adding a second sink – either in the kitchen or Messy Kitchen. Let’s not forget the almost-mandatory double ovens. While we’re at it, double dishwashers are sounding particularly tempting after Thanksgiving…

Of course, my favorite thing to have two of in a kitchen is two refrigerators. After all, our kitchen’s have a drinking problem with all the different types of beverages we like to consume. Recently, we’ve seen double islands in larger kitchens. We just can’t get enough of a good thing.


Back to my friends Dan and Terry. When they were growing up, they had one, black and white TV. I recently walked a model home and counted five TVs in the game room, one TV in the loft, one in the family room, and yet another in the covered outdoor living.


There is a certain drama to double doors. It could be double front doors or it could be double doors leading to the master suite. Remember when sliding glass doors just had one operable panel? It is not uncommon to find multiple operable doors today.

Home Office

One Work From Home (WFH) space is no longer enough for two wage-earner households. I’m told one in three buyers are looking for two WFH spaces. I like them on separate floors for acoustical privacy. Interior designers have stopped showing the back-to-back partner’s desk – that concept doesn’t work for today’s web based meetings.

Washer & Dryer

It’s becoming more common to add a second washer and dryer to the plan. Most often, this second set occurs in the owner’s closet as a stacked unit. But I have also seen one laundry upstairs and one laundry down in houses designed for large families.

Outdoor Living

Everyone loves the look of a front porch – but how many actually use them? Most of our outdoor entertaining happens in the back, and our rear outdoor living has grown to accommodate.

Just One?

With all this doubling up – our houses are growing at a rapid pace. Fortunately, there is one area that we’ve cut back or eliminated altogether. Buyers have embraced the idea of one casual dining space.

And while the living room has gone away, a second entertainment space has crept into our plans in the form of the second-floor loft or game room.


Since we are addicted to our cell phones, we simply can’t have enough outlets. A duplex outlet on either side of the bed has been replaced with a quad outlet and a USB port.

What’s next?

Obviously, we seemed to be obsessed with having two of our favorite things. Is it any wonder that houses have gotten larger over the decades? What’s next? Shoot me an email with your thoughts.

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This post was written by Housing Design Matters