Laundry rooms are often the last source for design inspiration, and 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; meaning they spend a good part of their day, in the laundry area.

When designing a laundry room it is important to get the necessities in, and make it functional, but why not make it inspirational, and fun?

Last Friday I met with some clients 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, all in an effort to do laundry.

 

How do you think they feel about doing laundry? {Not real good.} It is a hassle, hard to move around, 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, especially the unsexy parts of a home.

 

Remember that post I just did on a glamorous life? Well it is the simple luxuries, like a fabulous laundry room, that make life glamourous. And depending on where your laundry room is located in your house, such chaos could be affecting your relationships, creativity and wealth. Design that is not functional zaps our energy, and sets us up for unsurmountable procrastination – which in turn, creates a cycle of more chaos.

7 design tips to improve your laundry room | GatesInteriorDesign.com

Let’s get out of this cycle and kick this laundry room in the butt. Here are my 7 design tips to take charge of your laundry room:

 

  • 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? In the example above, we removed the bifold doors, replaced them with drapes and installed a pocket door. We also updated the toilet for a smaller, more efficient model.
  • Give yourself as much storage as the space will allow, no matter how unique your storage needs are or little the space is, there are always ways to create wonderful nooks and crannies for your stuff. You can never have too much! Think about how you will use the space and how you can make it better. Add shelves, remove doors to existing cabinets, and if you have the room, add furniture for extra storage.
  • 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 months ago and chandeliers and sconces were in laundry rooms everywhere and I thought it made a beautiful and unexpected surprise!)
  •  Add electronics to your space like a TV, or a place to sit and do work on the computer. I’ve even added a small chair to a few laundry rooms that were big enough so the homeowner could thumb through a magazine. 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!
  • ALWAYS put in the biggest utility sink you can. It needs to be as deep as possible, and prepared to handle war! Homeowners often want “just a sink” in their laundry room. But I swear to you, if you put the biggest, largest sink you can find in that room, you will thank me!
  • 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.
  • 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 three years ago with a colorful photo of a large laundry room. They were building a custom house at the time and she loved scrap booking. So we duplicated the room down to the tile, and included a large island for her to do scrapbooking on. Because the room was so colorful and fun she LOVED being in there.

Not all of us have the opportunity to build a new space from the ground up. If you are working with an existing space, many of the tips above can be incorporated. I myself have a very teeny, tiny laundry room that shares a door with the garage. In an effort to maximize every square inch, I had cabinets built to the ceiling. I also maximized the space right outside the garage door. The ceilings are over 11′ high – a perfect spot for additional storage that I don’t need access to everyday. Combined with beautiful lighting, fun paint and a small TV, my space is exactly what I need for my household.

What are some of your clever laundry room tips?


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