interiors & styling

Room 101 : Laundry Room

Room 101 - Laundry Room It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with laundry rooms. I have no idea why I’m so attracted to them (probably because I’m a type-A neat freak), but I’ve always wanted a spacious, functional laundry room. To this day, I’ve never had a laundry space I’ve been proud to share. As we plan our renovation and a potential add-on, it’s definitely on the list! In the meantime, I’m kicking off our brand new series “Room 101” with one of my favorite spaces in a home… the laundry room. Click through because you’re going to want to pin allllllll of this. Lots of good info!

Get ready for a long (but uber informative) post. Some of these things might be basic and you might know everything, but my philosophy is to dumb it down and make it easy- just in case. I know lots of you are the DIY renovating type and I really hope this series helps answer many questions.

Laundry Room KEY QUESTIONS to ask yourself prior to updating a laundry space (answer truthfully):

  • How often will I be using this space?
  • Who else will be using this space (family, husband/wife, kids, pets, etc.)?
  • Will I keep this space looking neat, or can I close the doors and contain a mess?
  • Will this space serve a dual purpose for something else other than laundry (messy science projects, dog eating area, etc.)?
  • What are the primary uses of this room (laundry only, storage, pet area, mudroom, etc.)?
  • What is my budget for this space?
  • What are my NEEDS for this space?
  • What would be a BONUS this space might include if budget allows?
  • Is storage or square footage an issue?
  • Is there plenty of natural light? If not, how will you make this a practical workspace in regards to lighting?
  • What is the overall aesthetic you envision?
  • If you could guess… how might you feel about this room in 3 years? 5 years? 10 years?

Your answers should help you determine what your space will entail and help you hone in on a starting point. Whether you’re gutting and completely renovating, or tweaking what you already have, above all- consider function (like added hanging space below), budget, and aesthetic.

Excess Hanging Space FUNCTIONAL ADD-ONS:

To give you some ideas of highly functional additions to every great laundry room… feast your eyes on these great inventions:

Easy Drying Rack

  • A recessed or hinged ironing board (or at the very least, closed storage in which it can hide).
  • A drying rack.
  • Plenty of hanging space.
  • A decent size workspace (countertop for folding). If you have front loading, non stacked units, this can be built surrounding the machines.
  • Plenty of storage (cabinets).
  • Accessible outlets (think ironing, steaming, vacuum, etc).
  • A deep, durable sink (for washing and scrubbing bulky items).
  • Built-in laundry hampers.
  • Storage pedestals.
  • Speaker(s). Because who wouldn’t want to listen to music while they fold and work?

Soft Close Laundry Hampers Obviously it would be dreamy to have ALL of these things, but realistically, that’s just not feasible for most of our laundry rooms. Pick and choose what works best for your space and family!

Hidden Ironing Board THE GREAT APPLIANCE DEBATE:

These days, there are SO many appliance options it’s a little daunting. So what’s the best option? Here are some pros and cons for each…

  • Stacked Units
    • PROS: saves space, maximizes square footage, looks streamlined.
    • CONS: awkward laundry loading/unloading, no space for surface workstation, only certain models are stackable.
  • Front Loading Units
    • PROS: allows for countertop workstation, large variety on the market, gives the option for storage pedestals.
    • CONS: takes up a lot of square footage, may require pedestals, if you move or decide to stack them- some options aren’t stackable.
  • Top Loading Units:
    • PROS: easiest to clean and maintain, traditional and easy-to-use.
    • CONS: not as many options on the market, takes up a large footprint, little versatility.

That brings me to the next question… if you’re not stacking your units, should you add pedestals?

Storage Pedestals TO ADD OR NOT TO ADD… PEDESTALS:

This question is asked A LOT. Should I add pedestals beneath my units or not? Of course, there are benefits to having them.. and not. Check out arguments for both below:

  • With Pedestals: it’s easier to load and unload because the laundry height is at a more practical place- as in your back won’t break. Unfortunately, they look larger and take up more wall space, making the units the center of attention. However, they do offer lots of nice storage. An alternative to the manufacturer’s pedestals? Build your own that match the cabinetry style, like the image above.
  • Without Pedestals: You’re able to use the top of the units for folding and functional workspace. I love when a countertop or solid surface is built around the units, making them appear custom, built-in, and intentional. However, if your units break or become outdated, the entire configuration will need to be changed if you can’t find replacements to fit.

AREAS TO INSERT PERSONALITY:

Laundry rooms do not have to be boring and a dreaded area of your home. There are plenty of ways to insert your personality and make a statement. Here are a few ideas to get your brain churning…

Art in Laundry Room

  • Install wallpaper or select a bold paint color. Laundry rooms are typically smaller and the perfect area to try something a bit bolder than you’re used to.
  • Install art! Just because your guests don’t end up in your laundry room when they come over, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add art or accessories. Think about how much time you spend doing laundry. Would a beautiful work of art make you smile and add interest? That’s what I thought. Go for it!
  • Sync a speaker. I said it earlier in the post and I’ll say it again… music makes working and chores better. It just does. Whether it’s a small bluetooth option or a built-in variety, making sure your laundry room has music capabilities will make a difference in your mood. Trust me.
  • Think outside the box. If you answered “yes” to the question, “will this space be used ONLY for laundry?”, think again. If you have pets, consider adding a dog bath, or a hidden litter area. Laundry rooms have loads of potential to add something unexpected, but equally as functional.
  • Splurge on a beautiful hampers or linens that will be left out. The same goes for laundry soap and products. Nothing makes me happier than beautiful packaging and good smelling bath/laundry products. I swear by this cheap linen spray.
  • Don’t forget to accessorize. Bring in some objects to style your space (but remember less is more). A couple plants or decorative storage bowls or baskets go a long way… if you want proof, check out the above image.

Now that you’re filled with inspiration and ideas are floating around your head, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. You’re ready to start renovating and demo, now what? This handy chart is a must-keep. The numbers you NEED to know…

Room 101 - Laundry Room I know that’s A LOT of info. Definitely pin it for later, and comment below with any questions. Once you have your cabinetry installed- if you’re wondering how to position the hardware… this tutorial is also super helpful.

Hopefully your laundry room turns out as beautiful (and functional) as the one below, filled with amazing finishes you love!

Blue Laundry Room I could go on and on about why I selected the roundup items, but I’ll only do a few. For starters, the Blanco laundry sink (#7) is pretty much indestructible. It’s made of silgranite and is resistant to scratching AND staining – perfect for a laundry room. I use them for clients often. The clean / dirty AF laundry hampers (#9/10)… because why not add a little humor to a serious space? Ha! The wastebasket (#13) is the prettiest I’ve seen, and the natural hamper (#8) is the perfect size at the best price- only $35.

Room 101 - Laundry Room Roundup 01: professional iron // 02: european ironing board // 03: concrete planter // 04: laundry detergent // 05: linen spray // 06: laundry faucet // 07: blanco laundry sink // 08: hamper // 09: clean AF hamper // 10: dirty AF hamper // 11: professional steamer // 12: bamboo drying rack // 13: waste basket // 14: laundry bag // 15: wood bowl

Lastly, sometimes it’s necessary to get creative with a laundry area if you don’t have an actual laundry “room”. If your units must live in your kitchen or hallway, there are plenty of great options to hide them as a built-in behind closed doors… but this post is long enough and that option is pretty self-explanatory. What do you guys think of this series? Helpful? We’ll do one a month! Which room should we pick next?

image sources : cocorepublic | the ivory lane | the sunny side up | houzz | decorpad

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Emily
    March 14, 2017 at 1:12 am

    Such a great post! While I always love the inspiration imagery posts, I especially appreciate that you took the extra step and included actual planning and styling info, it’s refreshing. Love this new series!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      March 14, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      Happy to hear you liked the post, Emily! I’m definitely excited to share more in this series. xo

  • Reply
    Amanda
    March 14, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Love this series! Any tips you can include for renters who can’t do more permanent fixes would be great!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      March 14, 2017 at 4:47 pm

      So glad you like the new series, Amanda! Maybe I can come up with a separate post for renting- that is a tricky one! xo

  • Reply
    Amy Lynn
    March 15, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    Great post! I’ve been trying to plan out our laundry and I know I want a wall of built ins and a counter top over our washer and dryer (we have side by side front loaders). But like you pointed out, I will have to make sure we find ones with the same dimensions if we ever have to replace them, and since they’re getting old I’m betting that will happen sooner rather than later. And I’m so excited that I have a good sized window in there, that will make it much more pleasant to do my laundry!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      March 15, 2017 at 10:25 pm

      It sounds like your new laundry room is going to be beautiful! I’m glad you found this post helpful. Natural light is so important- you’re lucky you have a good sized window! I’m envious. xo

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