The Laundry Room – Fully Loaded

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For years, laundry machines have been hidden in basements, closed into closets, or stuck wherever water hookups were located. If you haven’t given a lot of thought to where the laundry machines in your home are located, an interesting statistic might make you think twice. An article in This Old House, states that Americans spend an average of eight hours a week in the laundry room, and do, as a nation, 35 billion loads of laundry every year.

When you consider how much time you spend washing and drying clothes, it makes sense create a space that is both functional and attractive. Rather than hiding laundry machines in hard-to-reach places, consider moving them toward the popular living spaces in your home, and even creating a room that allows for additional activities.

Designing a laundry room involves choices about style and functionality, much like designing a kitchen. Below are some ideas for creating a “fully loaded laundry room”:

Add a Sink: Have you ever rubbed stains out of clothing and rinsed them in the bathroom, then carried the items to another room for laundering? Adding a sink to your laundry room enables you to hand wash, soak out stains, empty dehumidifiers conveniently, and even pot plants – all within easy access of your laundry machines.

Add Functional Touches: Task lighting or under cabinet lighting, makes it easier to focus on what you’re doing, while varying countertop heights will make it convenient to switch from job to job. A raised surface on top of a front-loading machine (like the Vision™ Washer from Bosch, for example) is great for storage and folding. A sink, meanwhile, should probably be set at 36 inches. What other functional touches can you add? Be sure any countertops are water-resistant, just like the laundry room floors. Shelf space will enable you to conveniently store detergent and fabric softeners, and hanging racks give you an opportunity to hang clothes as soon as they come out of the dryer (so they won’t wrinkle in the clothes basket on the way to your closet). And what about a sewing drawer? Nothing could be more convenient when a button pops off during laundering, or if you notice a new tear.

Add Cabinetry: You chose your kitchen cabinets carefully, now what about the cabinets in your laundry room? Select styles that match the décor in the rest of your home, or that work with the colors of your countertops. You might not be storing dishes in your laundry room, but you need plenty of space for pullout hampers, sliding utility rails, and extras like an ironing board.

Add Color: Your laundry room (or closet containing stacked machines) can actually add color accents to your home. Maytag offers washers and dryers in white, oxide, granite, liquid silver, and even crimson. Why not make your space colorful and appealing? Remember, you’re spending an average of eight hours a week doing laundry!

Use Attractive Bins: Colorful baskets are both convenient and attractive, and can make storage tidy when neatly stacked.

Do Your Laundry In the Kitchen, Just Disguise It: Another idea is to hide your laundry machines behind cabinet doors in the kitchen, so that the whole area masquerades as a sideboard. When the counter area is not being used for folding, you can use it for serving dishes, buffet-style meals, or glassware.

Do Up the Garage: If your laundry machines must be stored in the garage, paint the walls a vibrant color, add a floating floor and a slatted wall for shelving – make the space attractive and functional, like any other room.

These are just a few suggestions for livening up your laundry room, or making the space where you wash your clothes a more appealing place to spend time. Every space in your home should be a space you enjoy – even if you’re ironing or folding clothes while you’re in it!

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