The laundry room is traditionally the most overlooked room in the house. It doesn’t have the most beautiful flooring and walls, and it might not even be its own space. Whether your laundry room is a corner of your utility room or a tiny hole in the wall off the kitchen by the back door, you can transform it from a bleak space into a warm and inviting place. You probably won’t do any entertaining there, but it shouldn’t be hidden in shame from your house guests. By adding your laundry room to the list for your next home remodeling project, you can create a clean, functional and organized space that fits in with the rest of your home in style and comfort.
The laundry room doesn’t have to be the dungeon.
• Upper Floor – You can move it upstairs near your bedrooms – where the clothes are – for convenience. While there’s some noise associated with washing and drying, there are plenty of quiet models available. If you prefer to hide your appliances, you can put them in a vented closet.
• Lower Floor – Another option is to keep it close to your kitchen. You’ll have the convenience of being in a central area, sharing the water source and some of the plumbing lines. When located on the ground floor of your home, any water leaks or flooding issues are more easily contained.
The most prominent feature of your laundry room is obviously your washing machine and dryer. When consulting with your San Diego remodeling contractor, talk about energy efficiency, functionality and the primary uses for your laundry room.
• Washers – The top-load washing machine is being phased out. Yes, there are some models still available, but your choices are limited. The latest high efficiency washers are front-loading and use less water. It also takes less time to heat up the water you do use. Look for an intermittent toss cycle for night washing, or when you know your freshly washed clothes will sit for a few hours before you rescue them and pop them into the dryer.
• Dryers – Choose an energy-efficient model with easy-to-clean lint traps. Make sure it’s properly vented. Look for models with a steam cycle to refresh clothes that need minor attention.
• Set–up – You have a choice of stackable or side-by-side models. It’s a matter of maximizing your space. If you choose side-by-side models, you can use the space above for storage, as well as a holding and folding area. Some front-load models come with pedestal storage underneath. This raises the appliance’s door height to a more manageable level – something to consider if your back and your knees aren’t what they used to be. It also creates hidden storage space. Stackable models are ideal for tall and thin shared spaces.
If you decide on a dedicated laundry room, steer clear of the traditional dungeon effect. Bright colors, attractive flooring and beautiful countertops are among the latest trends for the laundry room. Don’t be afraid to go bold here. The more inviting it is, the more likely your family is to use it. The area should be well lit, with options for hands-free illumination and separate task lighting. Maximize natural lighting with energy-efficient windows. Take a page from your local Laundromat; add a TV and comfortable seating for better ambience.
A built-in countertop gives you a convenient place to fold clothes or create a workstation when you’re doing multiple loads of laundry. Choose a material that’s durable, moisture-resistant and easy to keep clean. Your counter space can also double as an ironing station. A flip-down or fold-out ironing board preserves the room’s theme of convenience and helps you stay organized.
Is storage space in your laundry room a high priority? You’ll need a place to store detergent, fabric softener and stain remover.
• Cabinets – You can also use cabinets and shelves for small appliances, pool chemicals and other items that don’t quite fit in kitchen or hallway storage. If you have children or pets, pay attention to accessibility of these items when you’re planning your home remodel.
• Open Space – Leave room for storing laundry baskets while your clothes are in the wash. Cubbyholes are also helpful. A hanging bar for items that shouldn’t go in the dryer promotes even drying and helps prevent wrinkles.
Your laundry room sink should have the versatility to handle the dirty jobs you don’t want to tackle in your kitchen sink. Use it for washing the dog, soaking stained clothes, filling up buckets and other utility room duties. Look into a pull-out spray nozzle and hands-free water faucets for added convenience.
When you’re planning a remodel for your San Diego home, don’t forget about the laundry room. It can improve energy efficiency, help you be more organized and let you enjoy one of the least used rooms in your house a little more often. Contact Lars Remodeling today to set up a design consultation for your next San Diego home remodeling project.