Laundry rooms needn’t be places of drudgery and disorganization. Most of us go through piles of laundry each week, but a little planning and love can make your laundry room a more efficient, stylish and pleasant place. It might even encourage the family to get involved in laundry day!
WHAT ARE THE LAUNDRY ROOM’S FUNCTIONS?
You might have your heart set on a picture-perfect laundry room design in a magazine, but remember you’ll need to adapt it to your needs. Good design starts with careful planning. As well as doing laundry you might want space to incorporate a mud room, pet corner, crafting supplies, study area, sports equipment and chemical storage.
INJECT SOME PERSONALITY
You can be bold with colors and patterns in small spaces. Try that quirky wallpaper you saw, go crazy with a bright tiled backsplash, or add colored appliances or painted cabinets. If color isn’t your thing, add texture and patterns with wallpaper or tiles. Whatever you do, make sure it’s all waterproof and durable.
SORT IT OUT
Take the tedium out of laundry sorting by having a portable laundry basket each for white, dark and colors. It helps if the baskets are on casters to wheel between rooms. You could also create a shelving unit with labelled pull-out baskets to store laundry waiting to be done or add tilt-out hampers underneath countertops.
Counter space is invaluable, not only for folding laundry but for other activities too. If you have a front loading washer and dryer, consider putting them side by side with a counter on top.
If you have a narrow room that requires stacking the machines vertically, include a little table beside them. This work area could also be used as a place to study or do arts and crafts between loads!
INSTALL A SINK
A sink in a laundry room is always useful for anything you mightn’t want to do in a kitchen sink. A large, deep sink is handy for cleaning shoes, paintbrushes, pets and soaking clothes with stubborn stains. Just make sure the sink itself is stain resistant. In a smaller room, a corner sink is ideal.
IRON OUT PROBLEMS
Ironing is a necessary part of the laundry process, so make sure you carve out space for your ironing supplies. You can mount a drop-down board onto a wall, or a pull-out board that slides back under a countertop. For a freestanding board, use those few spare inches beside your cabinets or machine to tuck your board in out of sight. A larger room could accommodate a multipurpose island including a table with a padded ironing board-shaped top. Why not jazz up your ironing board with a fabric that compliments your room?
FIGURE OUT YOUR HANG UPS
We all have clothes we prefer to hang up to dry. Make sure to include space in your laundry room design to store a collapsible drying rack or add a custom built-in solution for hanging clothes. A sturdy, built-in rod is perfect for hanging clothes to dry or for freshly ironed shirts. Pull out drying racks can be built into cabinetry, installed on a wall, or even hung from a ceiling. Or, get creative by finding an old wooden ladder from the thrift store and treat it with a lick of paint – instant colorful drying rack!
MAKE A STATEMENT WITH YOUR STORAGE
As with kitchen designs, closed and open storage is essential in laundry rooms. Keep household supplies in closed storage and frequently used items on open shelving, with a stool handy to reach high places. Use containers to complement your storage and style. Are you going to choose baskets and pails for a rustic look or wire and glass to give a contemporary feel? Or you could pair yellow storage boxes with black and white chequerboard flooring for a retro 50’s vibe. Detergents and pegs look good stored in labelled jars, especially mounted in space-saving wire racks or caddies.
TAKE INSPIRATION FROM OTHER ROOMS
As your laundry room is used as much as other rooms, look at what works around the house. Towel racks, umbrella stands, mirrors, wooden wine boxes, book cases, and funky chairs can all work in your multipurpose laundry room without creating clutter.
Light is always important, so include under-cabinet lighting like the laundry room design in New Hope pictured below, or add lamps or a very bright ceiling light (which helps to check and treat stains). Regarding sound, vibration pads will dampen the noise of a machine in motion and extra wall insulation could be considered. Basement laundry rooms need to be kept bright, and with the right machine-noise reduction, it could be turned into a great family room or kids’ play area. It could also encourage them to help with the laundry!
Last, but not least, as the laundry room is a busy place, it needs to be a safe place. Make sure detergents are kept safely away from pets and children. Avoid putting anything on top of machines as they can fall off mid-cycle. If pets are in the laundry room, make sure it is well ventilated and always check dryers before using in case a pet has climbed inside.
A laundry room doesn’t need to be large, it just must have a dedicated space for everything. Customized cabinetry with clever storage and personalized touches will make the room stylish yet functional. Check out more laundry room design ideas in our gallery or contact us to get started on transforming your laundry room today!