Compared to hotspots like the kitchen and living room, the laundry room is one of the rooms in the house that seems to get much less love. Despite that, having a clean, organized and highly functional laundry room can seriously boost your quality of life, so why do we leave it with the short end of the stick?
It probably has something to do with the fact that the washer and dryer are often installed in the dark, damp depths of the house, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Even basement laundry rooms will feel practical and even enjoyable with a few easy upgrades.
A laundry room has a lot of moving parts—literally. But if you just make a few basic decisions, everything else will come together.
Start with the heavy lifters
The centerpiece of your well-appointed home laundromat is, of course, the washer and dryer unit. Here are some things to consider when selecting your washing machine and dryer:
Orientation: With side-by-side, two-in-one and stacking units available, there’s a configuration to suit your specific situation. A stacking clothes dryer/washer or a combination unit will save a considerable amount of floor space if square footage is limited.
Loading: Do you prefer front- or side-loading? Front-load styles tend to be more energy efficient, but they may be more expensive than top-load styles. Spend some time determining your preferences before you buy.
Smart Features:If you fancy yourself a techy person, make sure to opt for a washer and dryer that connects to Wi-Fi. These units are often controllable via your smartphone and will alert you when your load is done so you don’t waste time checking on still-damp clothes.
Aesthetic: Like all home appliances, aesthetics matter in the laundry room. Options include ultra-trendy slate and black stainless steel, as well as more retro and classic options like white, red, or even blue. With bold and subdued selections, you can even design the room around the units.
Oh, the places for all your stuff to go
Want to make your laundry room uber-functional and versatile? Install kitchen counters and cabinets. Having a place to sort, fold, iron, and store all your accoutrements will help ensure the space stays neat and clean. A folding table and some shelf space can also make the room double as a craft area or home office if space is limited.
Many kitchen cabinetry designs work equally well in the laundry room, so find a style you like and creatively reimagine how you might arrange them. Overhead cabinets are great for frequently-used items
A solid foundation
Be sure to choose enduring floors. There’s no getting around it: Laundry rooms can be wet, especially if you live in an old house that’s not fully waterproofed. You’re going to want to stick with a smooth surface that’s water resistant. Sealed concrete works if you like an industrial look. Otherwise, tile is the preferred option.
You can get around the “cold” feeling of basement concrete or tile by adding indoor/outdoor rugs that are durable and water-resistant. Create a plush feel underfoot without worrying about water damage with synthetic options or washable rugs that you can toss right in your machine, as needed.
Create space to hang your clothes
Washers and dryers get better and better at cleaning our delicate clothes every day, but there are still some things you may prefer to dry the old-fashioned way. And, when you’ve got garments draped all over everything willy-nilly—a chair, the utility sink, the counter—it can make the room look super messy. Invest in some designated clothes drying racks to keep everything neat and clean as you dry.
Don’t forget lighting and décor
Here’s what takes your laundry room from utilitarian to high style. Décor and lighting can bring a sense of warmth to the space, so you’ll actually want to spend time there. Whether it means adding a pop of color to the cabinets, installing trendy pendant lights, or jazzing up the walls with laundry-themed hangings, a little décor goes a long way in this area of the house.
Customize the space to your needs
One of the things professional interior designers and home-builders often get wrong when designing laundry rooms is personalization. Only you know how you like to do things, so you’re the best person to put together all the pieces in creating a well-appointed, highly functional laundry space. Let your preferences and needs guide you, and you’ll wind up with a pro-level laundry room that the most dedicated neat freaks will envy.