Designing a Laundry Room You'll Want To Spend Time In

How To Design a Laundry Room

Today we're all busier than ever. That's why many homeowners are seeking to improve the workflows in their home as a way to enhance functionality and reduce the time needed for doing chores. Many are choosing to incorporate a laundry/utility room into their home's floor plan.

Did you know that Americans spend more time in the laundry room than in the bathroom – an average of eight hours a week, doing a collective 35 BILLION loads of laundry a year! And still, in most homes, the laundry is often relegated to the basement, separated from the daily flow of the house. 

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Whether it's busier lives or the need to multitask, homeowners are adding laundry rooms that are better integrated into the home. A first-floor laundry room can serve as a command center – a nook near the family room where parents can watch their kids play while folding laundry, or a room off the kitchen where it can also serve as a home office or hobby area. On the second floor, stackable, whisper quiet front loading machines can be tucked into a hall closet or guest bath.

If you're considering adding a more centralized laundry room to your home, here are some tips for designing a functional laundry room that you'll actually enjoy spending time in!

Think About How You'll Use The Space

When planning and designing your laundry room, you'll need to consider some factors as you begin the process. First, where is the most convenient location? Do you have multiple children? If so, a second-floor laundry room or guest bath might make the most sense. It's just a “balled up shirt toss” from the bedrooms and makes it easy for the kids to deposit their dirty laundry on the way down the stairs. 

If you're planning a kitchen remodeling, adding a dedicated laundry area that can also serve as a mudroom, hobby center, or command center might be the right choice. Think functionality and easy access first. Whatever you choose, it's important to create a space that you'll enjoy working and spending time in.

Creating a Functional Space

Think about all of the tasks surrounding the laundry. You need to sort whites and colors, wash, dry, fold, and iron. A functional space will provide you with enough room to accomplish all of these tasks. That means along with a washer and dryer you may want to include separate hampers for sorting for colors, whites, and delicates, a table or low shelf for folding, hanging racks and an ironing board for finishing shirts, skirts, and blouses, and a sink for pre-soaking stained game jerseys. You'll also want to include closet storage space or a utility cabinet for holding bleach, fabric softener, detergent, spray starch and more. 

Don't forget Aesthetics!

Just because your laundry room is a functional space doesn't mean that it can't be beautiful! After all, if you're moving it up from the basement and incorporating it into your living space, it should be beautiful as well as functional. If you're adding cabinetry, consider a colorful finish to add some visual spark! Using a man-made material like quartz for the countertops can add functionality, and it's non-porous and durable, so spills are not a problem. 

Wallpaper is a hot trend that can add a fun visual element to the space and combining a whimsical wallpaper with a fun flooring material can make this an area where you'll enjoy doing your household chores! 

Laundry Room Features To Consider When Designing Your Space

There's more to a laundry room than just a washer and dryer. Here are some ideas for accessories and features to consider that can make your daily chores a pleasant experience!

• Task Lighting
Adding elements like under-cabinet strip lighting can help to illuminate specific work areas. Ambient light, whether it's natural light from a window or skylight or a ceiling fixture can brighten the room.

• A Soaking Sink
A separate sink in the laundry room can be a real time saver. It can function as a hand-washing station, a place to soak dirty sports gear, even as an area to pot herbs for your kitchen garden window!

• Hanging Racks
Hanging racks are the perfect place to air-dry delicates, hand shirts straight from the dryer, or hang ironed shirts. Choose either a fixed steel bar, a retractable clothesline, or even a fold up rack to conserve space.

• Varying Counter Heights
A raised surface over the washer/dryer can be the perfect height for folding clothes fresh from the dryer, while a standard 36” counter over the sink is a great place to stack folded clothes.

• Cabinetry and Open Shelving
Closed cabinetry can keep detergent and cleaning supplies, and ironing board and iron, pull-out hampers and more out of sight. Open storage above the counter is the perfect place to keep folded linens high and dry. Adding low cubbies can encourage the kids to drop off dirty clothes and pick up clean laundry themselves.

• Sewing Drawer, Retractable Ironing Board, Pull-out Hamper Oh My...
Depending on your needs you can add helpful accessories that meet your requirements. If you love to sew, a sewing drawer and hidden machine can make mending clothes or replacing buttons a breeze! If you need to save space, a retractable ironing board built into the counter can make an appearance when required, and remain hidden when not in use. Placing a concealed canvas hamper in a drawer under the retractable board can hold clothes in need of pressing. 

• A Home Office
If your laundry room is large enough, adding a work area can turn it into your homes command center. Rather than dedicating a guest room or portion of the kitchen to bill paying and web surfing, a spacious laundry can host the perfect home office. 

A dedicated laundry room is less of a luxury and more of a necessity in today's hectic world. With a little thought, a careful examination of your needs and a bit of creative vision, you can create a laundry room that is not only functional but fits in perfectly with the rest of the house. 

If you're considering adding a dedicated laundry room to your home's footprint, and you live in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama area, give the experts at Toulmin Cabinetry and Design a call. We can help you to design the perfect laundry room to fit your busy lifestyle. 

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