In the Fold
A dedicated space to fold and organize clothes after they’ve been washed is critical to the functionality of any laundry room. Don’t have a built-in countertop? Iron out the problem with the addition of a table. To save space, consider a foldable option that can be removed when not in use.
Control the Chaos
Cabinetry and shelving allow for organization and less clutter. If you choose open shelving, you can elevate your aesthetic by transferring items like detergent and fabric softener into pretty glass containers.
The sink is as much of an essential laundry room worker as the washer and dryer. Stain emergencies, kids’ messes, pet cleanups, and even soaking of kitchen pans are just a few of its beneficial functions. A laundry sink is typically deeper than a kitchen sink and should be larger, if possible. For maximum functionality, opt for a faucet with a pull-down spray.
On the Line
Every laundry room needs a space to hang delicates that must air-dry. Instead of a freestanding drying rack, opt for a built-in drying rod as it takes up less space. Just be sure it’s positioned far enough away from the wall to leave room for hangers.
Resources: Designer: Yolanda Crawford, Ellis Architects, ellisarchitects.com Architect: Brian Brooker, Ellis Architects Builder: Smitherman Construction, 205.316.8589 Walls: Repose Gray, Sherwin-Williams Washer/dryer: Maytag from Ferguson, ferguson.com Sink and faucet: Ferguson
Practical & Pretty
An organized and functional laundry room doesn’t have to be strictly utilitarian. Perk up the space with an inviting design and finer finishes. Bring on the drama with bold walls or cabinets, or create some calm with a serene palette. Add in woven baskets or a pretty rug for warmth and texture.
Tough it Out
Quartz countertops are stain-resistant and can withstand practically anything (even harsh chemicals like bleach). For natural stone, consider granite or quartzite (though they must be sealed for stain resistance). For flooring, nothing tops maintenance-free porcelain tile, though the texture of natural materials like slate or flagstone are more slip-resistant.
Resources: Architect/Designer: Sissy Austin, Austin and Co., austinand.co Builder: Fry/Jones, fryjones.com Sink, faucet, tile: Fixtures & Finishes, fixturesandfinishes.com Cabinets: JLP, Inc., 205.599.4424 Walls: White Dove, Benjamin Moore Cabinets: Green Smoke, Farrow & Ball
Wide Open Spaces
There’s no standard size for a laundry room, but the “bigger is better” approach certainly applies. Think through your laundry room goals and map out the space during the design process so that it comfortably houses everything desired. A clear vision upfront will better ensure the space not only works, but also makes laundry less of a chore.
Large families can benefit from double washers and dryers. If going that route, think stackable units to save space. A second-floor laundry room has become a new trend and certainly has its benefits: no lugging the laundry up and down steps and more loads going at one time.
Today’s appliances feature high-tech options that wash away the laundry room woes. Save time checking on laundry with a wi-fi-enabled washer and dryer that can notify you via app when the cycle is complete. Many washers and dryers also offer steam options that let you lose the wrinkles without the work. And the real game-changer: a pedestal sidekick washer (thanks, LG!) that helps with those forgot-to-throw-it-in items.
To the Dogs
The laundry room is prime real estate for housing the family pet and all of his (or her) belongings. When designing, designate a built-in space specifically for your pet’s crate, food, toys, and other essentials. To really pamper your pooch—and keep unwanted pet hair out of the sink or tub—add a grooming station for bath time.
Resources: Designer: Sumner Starling, Starling Interiors, IG: @sumnertstarling Architect: Paul Bates Architects, paulbatesarchitects.com Builder: Mimikakis Construction, mimikakisconstruction.com Cabinets: Parsons Custom Cabinetry, parsonscustomcabinetry.com Oak countertop: Evolutia, evolutiamade.com Plumbing fixtures: Fixtures & Finishes, fixturesandfinishes.com Hardware: Brandino Brass, brandinobrass.com Topiaries: Shoppe, shoppebham.com Walls and cabinets: Shaded White, Farrow & Ball Island: Blue Gray, Farrow & Ball
Resources: Designer: Douglas C. Davis & Associates, douglascdavis.com
Builder: Jim Neighbors, 256.316.1755 Hardware: Brandino Brass, brandinobrass.com Cabinets: Clary Sage, Sherwin-Williams Walls: Alabaster White, Sherwin-Williams Quartz countertops: OHM International, Inc., ohmintl.com Sink, faucet, flooring: Fixtures & Finishes, fixturesandfinishes.com