WRITER | GUEST DESIGNER: SHELLEY KNUDSON and NICOLE FOSTER, Chatham House Interior Design
Today’s Laundry Rooms
Mixing style with function
Did you know the average American household will do 300 loads of laundry per year? After the kitchen, the laundry room is the most used room in a home. No longer the dark and dreary afterthought they once were, today’s laundry rooms are coming out of basements and closets and into the spotlight. They are not only functional but full of color, texture and pattern, giving them a personality all their own. These bold, bright, organized designs can feel more invigorating and less like workspaces.
How do you create a beautiful and functional laundry room? Whether building a new laundry room, renovating or relocating an existing one, there are a few questions to consider.
Where do you want your laundry room located?
The location can make all the difference. Do you prefer a laundry room off the kitchen, since it is the hub of the home and easy to access? Maybe near the bedrooms where most of the laundry is produced?
Off the garage, where you can drop off dirty sports uniforms or sandy beach attire?
Remember that the laundry room may be noisy, so a location near a room where you enjoy
conversation or TV watching might not be a good idea. If your home is multilevel, sometimes keeping the laundry on the floor where you spend the majority of your time is best for multitasking or if possible, you may have more than one laundry room.
What will you be storing and organizing in this space?
Is it just a room for laundry or will it be a multipurpose space? The location you choose will often
determine what other needs the space will require. Do you need extra storage for holiday decor, cleaning supplies and paper products?
Other additions that work well in a laundry room space are a mudroom, dog wash, pantry, sewing room, wrapping station, seasonal clothes closet and sports gear storage. These are good things to think about if you are building a new laundry room to create a functional space plan. Open storage shelves
provide easy access, and closed storage stays cleaner from lint and dust.
How do you need your laundry room to function?
Do you fold clothes in the laundry room, where wide countertops or an island are needed? If it’s a
multipurpose room, maybe the island should be on wheels. Or, perhaps you want a TV in the laundry room. Do you soak clothes, hang them dry, steam or iron them? Think about wall-mounted drying racks, drop-down ironing boards or foldaway tables and a large sink. Do you have dirty clothes baskets in
bedrooms or will they be in the laundry room? What about a laundry chute?
How many people and pets live in your home? Will you need one or two sets of washers and dryers? Front-load washers and dryers can be stacked to save space. Taller people may prefer a top loader, so they are not bending over, or a pedestal can be added to elevate a front loader. Pedestals can also create a bonus space for laundry basket storage.
Additional tips to consider
• Lighting is important. Keep it bright so you can see stains and work efficiently.
• Electrical outlet placement. Always plan for extra. Think about all appliances you will use or charge in the space. Vacuums, phones, boot warmers, steamers, etc. are all items we commonly find in laundry rooms.
• Hire a space planner or designer. This can save money in the long run and guide you in organizing the space in the best way possible.
• We encourage our clients to think outside the box! Have fun with the space. Add unexpected pops of color and fun decor to keep the mood light.