The traditional architecture of the past can sometimes seem a long way from the modern, open-plan environments we enjoy today. But while some seemingly bygone upper-class room typologies like parlors, drawing rooms, and smoking rooms still exist by other names – dens, snugs, and man caves, to name a few – other architectural intricacies are more rarely replicated.

Back staircases, sculleries, and drying rooms, for example, were at one stage imperative for properties of a certain size and status to function. But just like a woolen jumper accidentally washed on the wrong setting, technology has reduced the size of laundry workspaces over the past century. Small homes like Under the Barao’s Sky Apartment in Sao Paolo, Brazil, for example, are now able to replace separate laundry rooms and pantries with all-in-one kitchen-diners that integrated small washing/drying appliances into an open kitchen layout, leaving more room for living.

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