Melissa asked for a little perspective on the laundry area, so here is a very BASIC floor plan of the family room/laundry area when we moved in. In the laundry room, they had cabinets on one side and the washer/dryer on the other side. The back door was right in the middle of the back wall of the laundry room.
We decided that we wanted to open things up a bit. More on the opening up later...but for now, you can see that we took out the wall and doorway that were the old laundry room and just made a little laundry closet.