Designing your dream laundry room
Remember when the washer and dryer were automatically banished to a dark corner of the basement? Well, no more. Laundry rooms are now not just any room, but a designed room. Doing laundry is now an experience, with top-end appliances, drying racks, linen storage, granite counters and marble backsplashes.
I must admit I approve of this metamorphosis; doing laundry was always such a grim but necessary chore. Having the right tools to do a great job applies to this job as well as any other, and a dedicated room fully kitted out is a wonderful thing.
So what makes not just a stylish room but one that works well? Looks are important but not as important as workability. Think through the process: where are the soiled clothes stored?
If you have side-by-side appliances make sure the doors open the right way; you don’t want to be loading the dryer over the door of the washer. Each should open in the opposite direction so a clear inner space is formed. Shelving for laundry soap, bleach and such should be above the washer and dryer but high enough to allow you to use the top of each appliance as counter space if you are in a small room. And let’s not forget the ironing board; you need enough space to comfortably put up the board and an installed rod to hang up finished items. This rod is also great for drying hand-washed delicates.
Interior designer Marlene Bourque of High Design works with John Friswell of CCI Renovations on many of his projects including laundry rooms.
“This last laundry room we worked on was originally an office on the main floor of the home. We had room here to put the washer, dryer and sink, etc. on one side of the room and a linen closet on the other which left lots of room for an ironing board,” says Bourque. “This is a family with young children so having the laundry room on the main floor made great sense. Having lots of storage in a laundry room is a great luxury.”
If your laundry room is small, installing closed upper cabinets could feel confining. Think about open shelving with attractive baskets. Old-time ceiling drying racks are back, somewhat sleeker in design but still doing the same job of drying clothes in an environmental way. Steal an idea from the garage and install a wall-mounted storage system; it gets everything up off the floor and, done properly, can look quite chic.
One thing I love in a laundry room is a very deep sink, again just like the old days, in which you can do many things, from leaving items to soak to washing the dog.
This is one room in the house where you can go a little wild with great coloured walls, maybe some wallpaper and let’s not forget a TV. to help with the ironing. Why not?