You know the feeling of something so close, yet so far? That's how I'm feeling right now about our upcoming move. I've shared all of our new house's decor and design plans except for one very important room - the laundry room. I've never really given much thought about a laundry room until I realized how much of a pain it's been with a basement laundry here at the rental. Had this been a bungalow, it wouldn't have mattered. But our rental is a 3-storey townhouse + basement, and that makes putting away our clean laundry back up 3 flights of stairs quite the workout. Needless to say, I've just gotten worse in falling behind in this department constantly.
We had a great sized laundry room at our old house, and spoiled that it was upstairs with our bedrooms. Most people prefer the laundry with the mudroom downstairs, but I may be the exception. It's so convenient to have it upstairs, and makes laundry less of a chore... and a workout. Though admittedly, I didn't think of it that way.
Luckily, the laundry room at the new house is also on the bedroom floor! It is probably 2/3 the size of our old laundry room, so I'm determined to make it as functional as possible.
No upgrades were made with the builder for this laundry room. We just couldn't justify the prices they charge for the optional upper cabinets and to have their favourite plastic utility sink fitted in a cabinet. Plus, we didn't want to be limited by their cabinet selections nor the positioning for what I have in mind.
I have a simple wishlist... but after having done laundry in the basement, these seem like luxuries:
- lots of task lighting
- countertop as folding station
- ample storage
- drying area - hang drying and lay-flat drying
Nice and bright lighting
The smell of fresh laundry would be more enjoyable in a brightly lit laundry room. Back at our old house, the laundry room lacked natural light and was dark, lit only by the builder's dome light fixture that we never switched out. At the new house, my first priority for this laundry room would be installing task lighting. This photo from Rambling Renovators below is my inspiration for bright task lighting. Even though this laundry is in the basement, it's nice and bright with the pot lights.
Folding station countertop
We had a long folding space at our old house's laundry room, but it was under-utilized since it was another dumping spot for miscellaneous household items. I'm paying for that now, as I miss that dearly and would love to have a folding counter at our new house!
A popular trend is to build the laundry room to function like a small kitchen, minus the cooking part. Pull-out hampers, built-in ironing boards in cabinets used for kitchens, and of course, a countertop as the folding station, just to name a few.
This photo below is my all time favourite. It's such an elegant space to do laundry! I also love how the countertop above the washers/ dryers is beautifully equipped with laundry supplies.
My plan is to run a countertop from the laundry sink and across onto the washer and dryer as the folding station. That should provide lots of space for folding and decorating :-)
Storage and lots of it
To avoid another dump site at the new laundry room, I need to designate a place for everything from the get go. You know, the usual suspects of light bulbs, extra cleaning supplies, vases, containers, etc. Don't know how they always found their way onto my laundry counter back at the old house.
I love this combination of closed storage and open shelves with baskets. The open shelves make the backsplash area look higher than it is, and in turn make the ceiling look taller. Open shelves would be an ideal spot to store frequently accessed items, such as towels and other linens.
This set of closed storage with frosted glass labels is super cute! The glass doors also help to reflect light in a small space, making the laundry room appear brighter.
There just never seem to be enough room to hang dry our delicates here at the rental. I'm just drooling over the hanging space above the counter in these photos:
I was back and forth on the location of the hanging space. If we do install the hanging rod above the counter, our hanging garments will face the entrance of the laundry room, I'm not sure how well that'll go with the clean and uncluttered look I'm after.
My best option is to leave the wall above the machines only for storage cabinets, facing the entrance, and install the hang drying racks on the wall beside the doorway, like so:
This way, the hanging garments are "hidden" from sight when you look in. I've already gotten this collapsible hanging rod to go on that wall. It'll be folded in when not in use to minimize the space it takes up.
And these foldable drying racks from IKEA can go under the rod, collapsed when not in use also:
While the wall with the drying racks won't be too attractive, my plan for the opposite storage wall will hopefully make up for that. My dilemma is whether to match the base sink cabinet fronts to our graphite set of machines, or to choose a wood toned front to add warmth. These are currently my coveted choices from IKEA's SEKTION kitchen series:
These horizontal wall cabinets, also from IKEA's SEKTION series, would be great for the upper storage. We can run them along the length of the wall, leaving out the bottom door for the combination of open and closed storage options mentioned above.
As for the countertop, this slab of Caesarstone in White Shimmer with pieces of mirror chips in it would pick up the white shimmery lines of our builder's floor tiles.
To add visual interest, the curvy lines of these moroccan lantern backsplash tiles create an interesting juxtaposition against all the flat surfaces in the laundry room.
Since the Mr. is a visual person, I've put together this design board to help him visualize what's in my head.
Designing the laundry room to function efficiently is a must, making it pretty is a bonus. Don't know about you, but laundry is my most dreaded chore. I'm hopeful that beautifying this utility room will help me get back on track with our ever growing mountain of laundry. The logic is simple: happy laundry room --> happy wife --> happy life ;-)
Which base cabinet option would you choose?