Laundry Rooms that Work
If you’ve got a laundry list of complaints about the room where this basic household chore happens, you’re not alone. In many older homes, the washer and dryer were relegated to dark unfinished basements. Well, that was then.
Today, we want bright, cheery spaces that are easy to maintain and have plenty of storage and sophisticated accessories for the task at hand. Read on to start planning the laundry room of your dreams.
Photography: Eymeric Widling | CABINETRY, Atmosphere Interior Design (design), Majestic Cabinets (construction). LIGHTS, Richardson Lighting.
Designers Trevor Ciona and Curtis Elmy painted the cabinets in this laundry room grey, adding instant elegance. “It’s a room we walk through a lot,” says Curtis, “so we wanted it to be sophisticated and bright.” Storage is abundant, with double-height cabinets reaching up to the ceiling. Nothing says clean like white countertops and backsplash, while gold hardware adds warmth.
To limit carting clothes back and forth, the ideal location for the laundry room is near the bedrooms, where clothes are stored. But not all houses can accommodate a laundry room there, especially in homes where bedrooms are on a second floor. The next best location is near the home’s main activity area, a.k.a. the kitchen or bathroom. “It depends on what the home’s layout allows,” says Stéphanie Lévesque, cabinetmaker for Rona. “Accessibility is the key.” If the vibration of the machines interferes with family life, Stéphanie suggests adding insulating strips or soundproofing panels to the laundry room, which, she says, costs less than one thinks.
Planning for Perfection
Before tearing down walls to accommodate your new laundry room, make a detailed list of your family’s needs and how this task currently fits into your lifestyle, says professional organizer Mylène Houle Morency. “If we tend to fold clothes in front of the TV, there is no point in providing a nice folding counter. It won’t be used,” she says. Be realistic, she advises, then define zones based on function: laundry sink for hand-washing; baskets for sorting; appliances; folding and drying area. Get detailed – do you tend to have a lot of clothing that needs to dry flat or be hung to dry? Work those features into your plan. Don’t forget to include storage for soaps and other cleaning products, a broom closet, and perhaps a special closet that’s ventilated for sports equipment.
Photography: Alex Lukey | DESIGN, Jodie Rosen Design. PAINT, Sundance 2022-50, Benjamin Moore. FLOOR TILE, Stone Tile. BACKSPLASH TILE, Scale Benzene in glossy white, Centura. COUNTERTOP, Pure White, Caesarstone.
Even for those who don’t love laundry day, this happy-hued room would bring cheer to the task. “We wanted to offset the bright yellow with a more neutral graphic palette of black and white, which works with the rest of the house,” says designer Jodie Rosen, who thought of everything her clients would need. There are two washing machines and two dryers. The built-ins include a pullout hamper system, iron and ironing board storage and a broom closet. A combo fridge-freezer is handy for overflow of food and drinks. And there are all the basics, too: a deep laundry tub, plenty of additional storage and a ton of counterspace for folding.
Ergonomics & Efficiency
To make things easy on yourself, use simple ergonomic principles when planning the main built-in elements. Consider hiring a professional kitchen or bath cabinetry expert to plan the layout. If completing this stage yourself, make sure that every closet, cabinetry and machinery door can open without interference with the others, says Stéphanie. Imagine moving through the space with bulky items like laundry baskets, and include enough floor space for the ironing board. Plan out the folding surface carefully. “A comfortable height for a folding table allows you to rest your hands without having to bend your arms or your back,” says designer Audrey Kent-Bélanger. “It can be a permanent surface above the washer and dryer, and made of an easy-to-clean material like stainless steel or laminate.” It could even double as a gift-wrapping centre or potting table for indoor plants. In tight spaces, install a pullout surface for additional countertop space. “We like to put the counter in front of the window,” says Stéphanie. With or without a window, include bright lighting so it’s easy to spot stains on items before washing. Store heavy tubs of detergent at an easily accessible height to reduce lifting, and ensure the room has professionally installed electric and ventilation systems. Finally, to keep it spic and span, Stéphanie recommends flat-front cabinets and easy-to-clean flooring, such as laminate, ceramic or vinyl.
Storage & Style
Ideally, to avoid constant bending (not to mention mess!), sorting clothes shouldn’t happen on the floor, says Audrey. Instead, consider using baskets on wheels, shelves with cubbies, or cabinets (she advises making cabinets deep enough to store blankets). For air-drying, install a pole, clothesline or hooks for hangers. Mylène suggests installing two retractable drying racks, which double the drying space. And banish those garish containers of soap behind closed cabinetry – better yet, pour detergent or pods into pretty glass jars and place on the countertop. Just be sure to keep detergents far out of the reach of children.
Published at Mon, 01 Nov 2021 15:38:14 +0000