Laundry rooms in homes are often overlooked by other rooms in the house like the kitchen, the master suite, and the garage. We seem to forget when buying a home that inevitably we will spend time in the laundry room. We tend to put it on the lower end of our “house priority needs” list. The fact is we need the laundry room in our homes; it’s part of life. And while most of us despise doing laundry, it can be made more enjoyable if the room is properly laid out and decorated. Read on for simple tricks to make your laundry room a more organized, user-friendly area.
Capitalize on Space – Most laundry rooms are small in square footage thus the need to capitalize on every inch of space you can. While most times you can’t control the area needed for the washer and dryer or where they must go, the room around them can be used to your advantage for your family’s needs. Build in floor to ceiling cabinets around the appliances for storage or incorporate a small island to fold clothes on with under-the-table cabinets for laundry necessities. Work the ceiling and utilize the empty space above the washer and dryer for hanging clothes to dry, family photos, or for storage of items you need around but don’t necessarily need to reach daily. Use under-cabinet drawers for hampers and baskets and hang as much as you can on the walls to open up the floor space. Think about using the back of your door to hang clothes to dry or using a small pull out cart between the two appliances for detergents and sprays. Also consider making use of shelves above the laundry table for storage, hanging the ironing board behind the washer, and using a pull-out laundry basket on wheels with multiple compartments under the table for organizing the laundry before going in the wash.
Double Usage – If given the space, incorporate a second room into your laundry room. The area can also serve as a mud room, a storage room, an office and/or a linen closet. In remodels, we have worked with clients who wished to add in a “craft” area into their laundry room and even have worked with a remodel to build in a 3rd bathroom to serve the needs of party guests and garage goers. Refer back to our note about capitalizing on space – if working with a small home, use the laundry room in as many ways as you can to fit your family’s needs.
Keep it Light – While some of you may be lucky to have windows in the laundry room, most contractors build laundry rooms into areas deep in the house or off the garage where no natural light is present – thus the commonly grim mood when doing laundry. Darker areas make us more depressed and upset. So, why not combat this? Keep the walls and cabinetry a light color. Work in subdued blue and greens or pastels and whites for a more relaxed and fresh vibe. If you are planning to build in cabinets or shelving, opt for a lighter wood shade. Also consider using under the cabinet lights or overhead track lighting to make the space brighter. A more relaxed and lit essence in the room may make you less reluctant to wash and fold the clothes.
Style it Up – Because it is the chore center of your home does not mean it is to be the most boring room in your house. Personalize the space with family photos or treasured pieces that will lift your spirits. If you have the space, incorporate an arm chair to sit when you fold clothes and use a bright throw rug for underfoot. We’ve often also seen the use of flowers and greenery in the laundry room to bring the outside in and the use of backsplashes to bring in some vibrancy and dimension. Incorporate whatever you dream of – the goal is for you to not despise stepping foot into the room. Make it a place you want to be.