By Erik J. Martin, CTW Features
Many homeowners often overlook the area where they do their clothes washing as an unimportant zone that merely needs to be functional. However, the experts agree that your laundry room should not be an afterthought or quickly dismissed space. It’s worthy of a design upgrade and some home improvement TLC that can transform it from a dull and drab pocket of your home to a more invigorating and efficient space that demonstrates your knack for organization.
“People often disregard laundry rooms, thinking they are just a functional space to wash their clothes and that’s it. In reality, I tell my clients this space is just as important as any other,” says Devin Shaffer, lead interior designer at Decorilla. “For the 21st-century laundry room to serve its purpose successfully, its design needs to be practical, modular, and visually appealing.”
Devoting effort and expense to this area is worth it, says Sean Hughes, senior interior designer with Mandil Inc. in Denver.
“Creating a space you will enjoy more is worthwhile, especially if you spend a lot of time doing laundry. Also, efficiency and organization are important so you don’t have to spend more time the necessary in that room,” says Hughes, who recommends updating your laundry room every few years, or at least when you next plan to modernize your kitchen.
“You should work to upgrade your laundry room every few years, aligning it with conveniences and design trends. It’s not just about making aesthetic improvements; it’s also about making functional improvements that add value to your daily routine, balancing style of practicality,” Shaffer adds. “You can improve storage, implement an ergonomic design, and add advanced appliances to help you save time and energy.”
Jennifer Verruto, founder and CEO of Blythe Interiors, recommends these laundry room updates:
- Add upper cabinets and/or open shelving if you have the space to maximize your storage opportunities. “Think vertical. Use the space above your washer and dryer for shelving and the open walls across from the machines for hooks,” says Verruto.
- Use attractive baskets, bins, and containers to give your open shelving or cabinets a cleaner and polished look. “Get rid of the original packaging and add items like detergent and dryer balls into cute containers to give your space a more curated look,” she adds.
- Employ a lazy Susan into a laundry room cabinet for easier access to products like detergent and bleach.
- Use dead space in the laundry room to store other cleaning items, including vacuums and brooms they can be tucked into corners or hung on the wall.
If you have the room, add in a base cabinet – a great place to conceal laundry baskets – adorned with a handsome backsplash and countertop, upon which you can more easily store, sort, and fold clothes.
“The laundry room is one of the only places where I will always recommend quartz or porcelain over natural stone for the countertop and backsplash. These surfaces need to stand up to cleaning agents and pooled water over the long haul,” suggests Los Angeles-based interior designer Kara Piepmeyer.
If you are concerned about your home’s resale value, choose a neutral cabinetry color and floor tile in the laundry room to create a versatile foundation that won’t date.
“New luxury vinyl tiles are durable, practical, affordable, and can be very stylish in a laundry room,” Hughes continues.
Ensure that your washer and dryer are at a comfortable height to avoid overstretching, bending, and straining your back.
“You want to organize everything within easy reach without cluttering the room,” says Shaffer. “Ideally, invest in a stackable washer and dryer.”
Space permitting, try to implement a work sink in your laundry room, too, and place a hanging rod over the sink to maximize room efficiency. Additionally, pick a paint color that’s soothing or cheerful to make the space more inviting and motivating, like a pastel hue.
“Think carefully about how you will use this space, and address the pain points to maximize its functionality,” says Shaffer. “Focus on quality, sustainability, and functionality; this way, you’ll be able to create a laundry room that looks good but also feels good to use.”