While most homemakers would not consider the laundry room their favorite place in the home, there is no doubt that an efficient, well-planned laundry space can make necessary chores easier.
If your existing laundry is a walk-through passage from the garage to the kitchen, or a room that serves as the back-door to your home, you might yearn for a dedicated laundry room that doesn’t feel like a traffic circle.
On the other hand, if your washer and dryer are now tucked away behind doors in a small closet, you may dream of a room that incorporates a separate sink, ample storage and counter space for folding.
Planning a Functional Laundry Room
The key to planning a laundry center is to decide on its location. Placing it near the kitchen can be efficient because it is near the work core of the home, and it’s often easy to tap into existing water and drain lines. A laundry center near the bedroom wing, however, has the advantage of saving steps both in gathering dirty laundry and returning clean clothes and bed linens to their point of use.
A basement laundry was once the norm, and can still be functional and efficient, particularly if your plans call for space that does double duty for other needs — a hobby center, perhaps. Finally, a closet for stackable appliances on the second floor is a huge convenience, especially if there are teens in the home whose clothes constitute the bulk of the laundry.
The Laundry Room Checklist
If your Chicagoland laundry room falls short in any category; what essentials should you incorporate in a renovation? Here is a Baker’s Dozen list of things to consider, according to design professionals:
1. Convenient Location
2. Size and Layout
3. Clearances and Traffic Patterns
4. Type of Appliances: Front-load or Top-load washer, Stackables, Single Stacked Unit, Gas or Electric Dryer
5. Safety Factors; The proper kind of hoses, ductwork and connectors
6. Storage: Type and Kind
7. Energy Efficiency Ratings
8. Hampers and Storage Baskets
9. Utility Sink — or Not?
12. Flooring and Wall Finishes
13. Extras, Special Needs, Wish List Items
Laundry room decor should be bright and cheerful, but there are also basic needs for noise insulation, ventilation and heat dispersal from the dryer and insulating against noise. You may not want to hide your modern appliances, but you must be aware of safety concerns, and protect against the possibility of noise, fire and flooding.
Unique Laundry Room Amenities
Truly unique laundry rooms feature much more than just a washer and dryer! Once you decide on the type of washer and dryer you prefer, there are many other amenities you might want to include in your laundry center. A pet shower, drip-dry closet, built-in ironing board, steamer or dry-cleaning unit, or a separate utility sink that can double as a gardening clean-up center and flower-arranging station are just some of the ideas available.
In addition, many things can make wash day easier. Pedestal bases for new appliances raise front-load washers and dryers to a more convenient height, while the option of stackable units saves space but eliminates surface area. Ample open shelves and storage closets or cabinets with plenty of counter space for sorting and folding, should be a part of the plan. Windows not only let in light, but can supply fresh air. Well-planning lighting is as important as for any other room.
The laundry area might also serve as a craft and hobby center, or it can become the true “utility room” of your home, with planned storage for vacuums, sweepers, brooms and even gardening equipment. As an alternative, homeowners might love the convenience of a small desk with a laptop, or even a comfortable chair with a small television. Today’s laundry rooms have become very personal spaces.
Just as the rest of your home decor should be appropriate for your family, your laundry room choices should meet your needs and reflect your personality. Keep it cool and efficient, or fill the walls with vibrant art. The Kitchen Master staff consultants will help you plan the perfect space. Just call for an appointment, and we’ll help you get started on plans for your laundry room remodel.