Laundry Room Design

- Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Okay, raise your hand if you enjoy doing laundry. Yep, thought so. Don’t get me wrong, I love my wardrobe and take pride in the care of my clothes. I just do not enjoy the task of doing laundry. Part of the problem, for me at least, is the laundry facility in my home is less than ideal.

I dream of a light and bright laundry room. A modern and stylish space with new, efficient machines for washing and drying clothes, drying racks for the stuff I do not wish to put in the dryer, plentiful counter space for folding, a built-in ironing center, and lots of storage for cleaning products and other stuff.

Like I said, that is my dream. Unfortunately my reality is something totally different. The space I now have is dark and cramped. It is not a space where I want to hang-out. I plan on renovating the space in the future, and when I do undertake that endeavor I hope to utilize all of the latest technology available and design trends popular today to create an efficient and attractive space. I want a laundry room that will make the job of washing and sorting clothes more enjoyable.

If you are planning a new home or renovating an existing one, give your laundry space some thought. Some things to consider are:

LOCATION – If you home is large try to place the laundry facilities close to the bedrooms and bathrooms. Chances are you will be washing more clothes and towels than tablecloths and napkins, so it would make sense to have the washer and dryer near the bedrooms instead of the kitchen or garage. If the house is a two-story, place the washer and dryer upstairs to save the task of lugging heavy laundry baskets up and down a flight of steps. A recently completed project I designed in Windmill Harbour actually had a second washer/dryer set located in the walk-in closet of the master bedroom. How much more convenient can you get?

APPLIANCES – The advancements in technology for washers and dryers have come a long way. The new machines are much more quiet as well as energy and water efficient. Many higher-end units feature a steam-clean cycle that is less destructive to clothing fibers. Along with the better technologies are more options for the finishes, including stainless steel and other colorful metallics. Front-load units allow the machines to be placed under countertops to create more usable space for folding clothes. A front-load model also allows stacking of the units, helpful if space is tight.

STORAGE – Build-in as much storage as you can fit inside your laundry room. Work with your architect, designer, or cabinet salesperson to customize components to suit your needs. How about a built-in clothes hamper? Or perhaps consider a dedicated cabinet for the vacuum? For one of my clients I had a special cabinet designed to house her cats’ litter box.

LIGHTING – Consider adding task lighting hidden under the upper cabinets to help illuminate the countertops and supplement the overhead lighting. If the room is an interior space, look at adding a skylight to add some natural light during the day.

FINISHES – Cabinets, flooring, counters and backsplashes, as well as wall finishes, can echo the look and feel of the rest of the décor in your home. Just because the laundry room is a utilitarian space does not mean it has to look like one. Have some fun and express yourself.

EXTRAS – If you have the space and budget, why not install a sink? A cleverly placed hanging rod over a sink will allow you to drip-dry items not meant for the dryer. Another client of mine wanted a sink for the sole purpose of washing her beloved dog. A built-in ironing board is another great thing to plan for in a new laundry room.

With our ever-growing interest in good interior design, advancements in technology, and our desire for better living, the laundry room is being given more attention in our homes. Instead of being tucked away in a dark closet like an after-thought, this important space is being elevated to a more integral part of our home. I cannot wait to bring my laundry room into the 21st century.

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