The laundry room is often the last room in the house to be renovated, if it gets renovated at all. Many people overlook this space, choosing utility over attractiveness. However, a purely utilitarian laundry room can transform from eyesore to inviting space with a few simple tricks. Here are several ideas to improve the appearance and functionality of a neglected laundry room.
Move Around or Combine
If the laundry room is currently in an inconvenient location, consider relocating it to another place in the home. Depending on lifestyle, a laundry might be suitable if located near the bedrooms, combined with a mudroom near the entrance, or situated next to the kitchen.
If space allows, combine the laundry room with other household functions such as a broom closet or bathroom. Even an under-utilised hallway can be expanded to accommodate a washer, dryer, and cupboards.
Keep in mind that most standard dryers need to be vented to the outside. Since a shorter vent-pipe is preferable to a long one, place the laundry in an area with an outside wall. To save money when installing plumbing, place the laundry area adjacent to existing water pipes.
Small Laundry Areas
With good planning, it is possible to make something as small as a closet into a fully functioning laundry, and a stacking washer/dryer combo is ideal for a small space. Measure for standard-sized stackables first, but if they are too big, use apartment-sized appliances. Consider a combined washer-dryer, which saves additional space. However, using a combination model can take more time than two separate units, especially when drying.
In the remaining space, install shelves from floor to ceiling. For a consistent look, space the shelves evenly. To make better use of the space, fit the shelves to the items they will hold, especially if supplies such as laundry detergent are always purchased in one standard size. Make use of the closet door by attaching a fold-down ironing board or hooks for mops and brooms.
Larger Laundry Areas
Extra space means room for a countertop over the washer and dryer, lower and upper cabinets, and even a stainless steel laundry sink incorporated into the countertop. In terms of cabinetry, open shelving can be a useful option because it makes it easy to find things. These shelves also help avoid the accumulation of too much clutter.
Make It Personal
Regardless of size or location, decorate the laundry room to make it pleasant. Small rooms generally look best when decorated in light colours, white being the most popular choice. However, don’t hesitate to splash the area with bright paint or wallpaper.
The laundry is also an area where homeowners can add a touch of quirkiness. Since it is rarely seen by non-family members, add decals, whimsical art, or anything that generates a smile while doing laundry.
Here are some more laundry room ideas to try:
- Use wooden storage crates attached to the walls instead of standard cupboards or shelves.
- Give every member of the family a small basket for the treasures that get found in pockets, like change, toys, pocket knives, and so on.
- If there is room, use laundry sorting baskets to make the laundry process faster, and a hanging rack for wrinkle-free drying. Avoid built-in sorting bins, as they tend to trap moisture and odours.
- Much like a workshop, a laundry room is an ideal spot for a pegboard used to hang tools and storage bins for such things as clothes pins.
- Add an LED task light for treating stains or reattaching buttons.
The laundry room is often overlooked when homeowners redecorate, but it doesn’t have to be seen as simply a utility room. Try searching on sites like eBay for appliances and decorations. With a small investment of time and money, the laundry room can be both functional and attractive.