Start Loving Your Laundry Room Again with a Custom Renovation
Frequently asked question – can you make me stop hating laundry duty?
The answer is simple -- NO! ... Unequivocally NO!!
But, we can help you love the room you do it in! Chores are chores no matter how you look at it, but why does the laundry room make it feel like you’ve been sent to the dungeon? Well, perhaps you have -- The traditional laundry room was in fact placed in the basement – usually in an unfinished area, because well… water is wet and mishaps can happen!
Now aren’t we grateful that washing machines have advanced over the years, and we no longer feel compelled to put the laundry room in the furthest area away from where clean clothes are stored. Since laundry is not usually anyone’s favourite activity, planning is the key to creating an efficient but inviting space. Re-designing your laundry room through a custom renovation can make the chore seem like less of one. After all, function is always at its best when combined with form. Homeowners do this in all other rooms, but the laundry and mudroom are probably the most neglected rooms in a house.
When designing your custom home or renovating your existing one, these are some of the many key elements to consider:
Practicality and Suitable Layout: Choose a laundry layout that suits the manner in which you and your family function.
· Perhaps your laundry room simply needs to be a reach-in type closet size area that houses your machines and a storage shelf for your supplies.
· You may have a need for a more elaborate set up in a much larger space for a larger family.
· This space may need to allow you to combine activities while you do your laundry (e.g. hobbies or other chores).
Location: Combine a mudroom with a laundry area or adjacent to one another.
· When outdoor clothes need laundering, it is possible to avoid carrying them through the house and dropping dirt, snow, or water through the house.
· If you hang clothes outside, this is the perfect area for your laundry room, close to an exit.
· A laundry off the kitchen area can allow you to complete other chores between loads, or be a part of the hub of the home even when you are doing chores.
· Being located close to a home office may also be beneficial for double duty chores.
· If your laundry is in your basement, you may want to consider moving it to the main floor where you spend the most time or perhaps you would prefer to have it near your bedrooms so that clothes are easily put away in bedrooms.
· If you do want your laundry in the basement, consider incorporating a laundry chute from your bedroom areas. This may help your family keep bedrooms and bathrooms organized and may reduce the stress of carrying loads of laundry to your machines.
· Keep in mind that if you do laundry at times when a family member is sleeping, despite the improvements in appliances, the noise may be disturbing.
· Do not share a laundry and bedroom wall.
· Consider how many floors you will have to carry your laundry to and from when designing your space. It may not be a big deal when you are young, but if you plan to stay in your home at some point it may be an obstacle.
Necessities: There are a few necessities to include in your laundry room:
· Most obviously, a properly installed and working washer and dryer are a must. Follow your manufacturer’s recommendations in the Use & Care book regarding the safe use of your washer and dryer, and any appliances you use and ensure that dryer venting is inspected and cleaned regularly and often.
· Ensure that you incorporate a sink in your laundry room design for soaking items or storing wet clothes before washing.
· A durable countertop is a must.
· Shelving or cabinet for storage of laundry products.
· Storage for an ironing board and iron, or possibly a steamer, sewing kit or sewing machine.
· Flooring should be durable, easy to clean, and non-slip in case it gets wet.
· You may even want to consider a shower stall if any member of your family including a pet may need to wash off the mud and dirt on a regular basis.
Lighting: Task lighting is necessary, but if possible and in your budget, design this space with a chandelier and a window.
· Task lighting in an area for sewing, folding and ironing is a must.
· Natural light provides a sense of tranquility that can certainly make a chore less tedious if you can enjoy the view.
· A little bling never hurts! Decorate this space like you would with any other room…things that make it functional but with your own personal flair. Don’t go over the top—After all, a designer laundry room is nice, but it is still a laundry room… Choose carefully for ease of maintenance, but a nice light fixture can add the ‘WOW’ factor for you.
Organization: A well-designed laundry room can incorporate shelves and/or cabinetry to store more than just your laundry detergent/products.
· Ironing boards can be incorporated into built-ins and laundry hampers can be hidden in deep pull out drawers/doors.
· Make sure you establish a folding and ironing station that is convenient, safe and ergonomically designed. Remember life happens.
· Utilize this space to store household cleaning supplies or items that you do not have another storage area for.
Colour and Design: Colour does inspire mood, so choose colours that are inviting, calming and tranquil to you.
· Decorate in a manner that is easy to clean. Wallpaper will not usually hold up well to the humidity or heat from the washer, dryer, steamer, etc. and paint should be washable.
· Cabinets with doors help to reduce clutter and keep dusting to a minimum, rather than open shelving. If you have young children, or plan on it, doors can be lockable to prevent accidents.
· While fine art should not go in the laundry room due to the humidity and heat, you can still decorate with inexpensive artwork, some of your favourite travel finds, and durable things that make it feel less utilitarian and more like the rest of your home. Be creative!
Appliances and Measurement: Ensure that you consider appliance size, door swing and distance when designing this space. Being able to utilize your machines properly is vital.
· Appliances are not just white anymore. Be a little daring and choose a colour that makes you happy.
· If you have a larger family or intend to have one, or your job involves some serious dirt, you may want to consider having additional appliances incorporated in your design. That is not a factor for everyone…but may be for you.
Technology: Incorporating music or a television can help to make your chores less tedious. Consider your layout carefully to incorporate the amenities you prefer.
If you are interested in a renovation or custom home build and live in the Niagara Region, call the experts at Vanderzalm Construction Inc. at (905)562-4463 or (905)684-5823. You may not like laundry, but you can still love the room.