To the joy of households everywhere, laundry rooms are finally coming out of the basement. Today’s norm in new homes is to locate the laundry room on the bedroom level, as that is where most of the laundry is created. No more lugging laundry baskets up and down stairs.
Creating a new laundry room on either the main floor or the second level of the home is a top priority for many home renovators.
The first thing to do is to find your laundry room. If you are working within your existing space, then you need to step back and look at all your options. It’s surprising how, once you start looking, you will be able to find a spot for the laundry room. For a main floor laundry room, a mudroom adjoining the kitchen is a great option, or adjoining a downstairs bathroom. Upstairs, you need to look at the space adjoining the bathroom (otherwise you’ll be running plumbing and increasing the cost significantly) to see where you could add laundry facilities. Look at the linen closet, hallway and adjoining bedrooms.
If you are building an addition, then planning a laundry room as part of the new space makes a lot of sense.
No matter what kind of space you have — large or small — planning is the key to making your laundry room work. Here are some renovation tips to help you make those decisions:
Figure out your needs first. Don’t just put things in wherever they fit for the sake of convenience; think through how you do laundry and what will work best for you. If you only have a limited space, then you need to maximize what you have with stacked shelving and innovative ideas, such as a flip-down ironing board that doubles as a folding shelf and a roll-out cart for supplies.
Let there be light. Make sure you have adequate lighting in your new laundry room. Put in a window, if possible, if one is not already in the space. Think about your lighting needs and where you will need the most light.
Scrub-a-dub. Remember to add a washtub for throwing dirty sports clothes for a good soak. Yes, it takes up space, but it is a necessity that you should not do without.
Think storage. Make sure to build enough storage space into your plan. The more you can put in a cabinet or in a basket on a shelf, the neater — and more efficient — your laundry room will be.
Build a counter. A countertop for folding will be well worth the extra work and expense. A space to fold makes the whole room work better. Things will actually get done if it is easier to do them.
Think form, as well as function. Yes laundry and laundry rooms tend to be a less than interesting part of most homes, but there are many ways to dress up your laundry room. Use fun containers for storing cleaning supplies. Add some color to the room, either on the walls or as accents. Put up a framed picture or add some funky ornaments to a shelf. You’ll be surprised at how a little effort will brighten the space.
Don’t forget the entertainment. More and more homeowners are putting a telephone, radio or television in the laundry room. It makes the dull task of sorting socks and folding shirts go by much quicker when there is something to take your mind off the task.