Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How to take charge of your laundry room
with these 7 easy steps

Laundry rooms are often the last source for inspiration, so few homeowner's put effort into making them special. But talk to any mom with a house full of kids, pets, and various other "life" happenings, and they will tell you that they do some serious laundry!

When designing a laundry room it is important to get the necessities in, and make it functional, but why not make it inspirational, and inviting? If you walked into the room above to do your laundry, wouldn't you be a little more excited to spend your day there?

Last Friday I met with some homeowners who have two kids. They do two to three loads of laundry a day, and share their laundry room with the powder room. It is a very small space. The toilet and door touch, and in order to get to the bi-fold doors, that house the washer and dryer, they have to walk around the door and shut themselves into the room....amidst a pile of clothes consuming the floor like Jabba the hut, just to do laundry. How do you think they feel about doing laundry? {Not real good.} It is a hassle, hard to move, and a challenge not to trip and fall with so much chaos. This is not a functional and happy place. But I see this ALL the time. And few people want to invest in a place that no one sees, and does such hard, and dirty labor. Remember that post I just did on a glamourous life? Well it is the simply luxuries, like a fabulous laundry room, that make life glamourous.
So what can you do to make your space better?

1) Plan your room carefully. Think about how you use the space. How much room do you have? Can you expand the space? How can you make the space better?

2) Give yourself as much storage as the space will allow, no matter how unique your storage needs are or little the space is. You can never have too much! Think about how you will use the space and how you can make it better

3)  Choose lighting that is appropriate for the room. Don't use harsh lighting if you don't need it and use fixtures that make a beautiful room. Layer your light, and put everything on dimmers. Laundry is not rocket science. If it has been a long day, you just need a little light to start the load, and a little light to fold. ( I went to Arizona a few years ago, chandeliers and sconces were in laundry rooms everywhere and I thought it made a beautiful and unexpected surprise!)

4) Add electronics to your space like a TV, or a place to sit and do work on the computer. These distractions can double as entertainment, and make doing laundry a little more fun. Especially if you can catch up on that guilty pleasure that you swear you don't watch!

5) ALWAYS put in the biggest utility sink you can. It needs to be as deep as possible, and prepared to handle war! 

6) If possible add a built-in ironing board or have a place to put one. Few people iron anymore, but it nice to have one when you need it, and they don't take up a lot of room.

7) Combine the room with something you love. Don't let the extra room go to waste. It can double as a craft room, office, homework station, reading spot, TV room, etc. A client came to me with this photo above three years ago. They were building a custom house and she loved scrap booking so we duplicated this room down to the tile. Because the room is so colorful and fun she LOVED being in here! Can you blame her? 

What are some things you could add to your laundry room? How can you make it better? 
And remember there are no rules when doing laundry! Unless you do it in public....

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  1. These are great inspiration pictures, Amanda! I have just enough room in my own laundry room ~ it's separate from other rooms and I have ample storage for what I need in there. I have a fold down table top and a fold down clothes hanger. If I had a bigger room to play with I would definitely do like your client and add crafts and gardening to that list.

    I have a client like the first one you mention in this post, whose laundry room is in their powder room {basically behind the bathroom door}. We haven't started her project yet, but we have to keep in mind that the laundry room is there {behind bi-fold doors at the moment} as we plan out what we are doing in the powder room. If I could avoid that lay-out myself, I would, but it is a condo, and I'll bet there are a lot of condo's that have this set-up.

  2. It is the most forgotten room in the house but one of the most important! I would give my right arm to have any of those spaces above!!

  3. I LURV when the functional is made beautiful, every one of these laundry rooms is soo amazing that way!

  4. I feel so depressed that my laundry corner is so uninspiring...the first few are simply lovely !

  5. I love doing laundry, but the room needs help. It's small and squished. I'm going to examine it with these thoughts in mind. *send help*


  6. Oh this makes me want a laundry room, but alas, my washer and dryer on in the kitchen - eurostyle so it all ends up on my bed. My friend has a Tiffany Blue laundry room and it's so cheery!

  7. Great post. Mine has too many doors that bump each other and no where for the dog bowls. And it's of course last on the list. :)

  8. Our new house has a really nice laundry room: space and location are perfect. One thing I notice here is that all the machines are front loading: my washer is top loading, and the dryer lint screen is on top also. So no nice shelf/counter on top is possible!
    I love the idea of the skirt for the sink! Ours is just like that one...
    Thanks for all the ideas: I have filed some of t hese away!

  9. Great and unexpected post! My laundry room is atrocious and the ones you featured are so inspiring! Thanks for these great tips - and I'm smitten by that adorable sink skirt!!

  10. I wish I could make a cute laundry room but our laundry room is under the stairs behind closet doors, so no one sees it.

  11. Our laundry room is the room I *hate* in the house. It is part of our unfinished basement (1940's colonial) and I just dread going in there. I'm hoping to move, and put my effort into our next laundry room instead!

    Great post! I will be linking to this on my blog's "Friday Favorites" this week. Thanks!

  12. I might, I said "might" want to do laundry if my room looked like any of those!

  13. I love this! Gorgeous pictures, and I agree. I have pretty baskets to hold cleaning cloths and cleaning supplies, and hang everything on hooks, I agree, a disorganized laundry room will make you crazy! XX!

  14. I think my heart just skipped a beat! I would gladly fold laundry in a room like these. Its like a peace zone:D
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. Note to self...In next home make sure you have a laundry room large enough to accommodate a tv! Fabulous ideas as always!

  16. Laundry room? Mud room? In the UK these rooms are mostly unheard of. I look on in envy!

  17. Wow, these pictures are stunning. I particularly like the last one, which seems to combine laundry with crafts and gifts.
    To be honest, I'm just grateful to have space for a washer and dryer (in a spidery corner of our garage). My first flat, in London, was so tiny that the kitchen had room for either a washer-dryer or a dishwasher, not both. The washer won, and we cooked very simple meals for 7 years to save making too many dishes!

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