7 Must-Have Features for the Laundry Room
These seven features will take your laundry room from average to awesome.
Incorporating the right elements into your laundry room will not only make your daily chores easier, but also enhance the appearance of the space. Here are seven must-have features to consider.
1. Generous Countertops
Having adequate counter space in your laundry area makes all the difference when it comes to folding and sorting clothes. In fact, sometimes it’s worth opting for a front-loading washing machine and placing it under the countertop to free up additional counter space, or going with an all-in-one washer and dryer to create room for more countertops. Optimally, your counter space should be 25½ inches deep — 24 inches deep at a minimum — so that it can accommodate a good-size sink as well as laundry baskets full of clothes.
2. A Home for the Hamper
Laundry room plans often neglect to designate a spot for a hamper, which means soiled clothes will have to be stored somewhere else, adding clutter to other rooms of the house. Adding a pull-out hamper into your laundry room’s cabinetry that features divisions so you can separate darks, colors and whites is a popular solution that makes sorting laundry a breeze. Plus, it keeps dirty laundry out of sight. An easier and more budget-friendly option is to simply incorporate a recessed spot for a basket into the room’s design.
3. Drying Racks
Say goodbye to having multiple standalone drying racks all over your home by including drying racks or a drying cabinet in your laundry room design instead. Racks can be custom-made to your specific needs, or bought at your local storage retailer. Situate them over a heating vent to dry clothing, or into a cabinet purposely built for this function.
4. Clever Storage
Particularly when dealing with a compact area, you’ll have to plan carefully so that everything you need fits into the space. For example, if you want your laundry room to take on multiple purposes, like also accommodating cleaning items like brooms, mops, and vacuum cleaners, then you’re probably going to have to think about some clever storage solutions. This will most likely bump up your overall costs, but will also tailor the space and make it more efficient.
Another smart idea? Putting electrical outlets in the cupboard where your broom and vacuum are stored so you can charge any handheld devices while they’re not in use. It is absolutely essential to plan purpose-built areas in small laundry rooms so that these spaces function well. Examples include having a fold-away ironing board if you don’t iron frequently, as opposed to storing a large, full-size one; designating drawers or cupboards for pet items if they are fed or toileted in the laundry room; and making room for a laundry hamper so that dirty laundry doesn’t pile up on the floor.
5. Hanging Rail
Installing a hanging rod in laundry spaces, typically above a countertop, makes it really easy to dry shirts and minimize the ironing that needs to be done. For a simple and effective solution, consider either installing the rail beneath your overhead cabinets or hanging the rail from the ceiling. Just be certain that there is enough room between the rod and the countertop so that shirts can hang freely.
6. Tolerant Finishes
You want to include finishes in your laundry room that will resist and mask dings, smudges and scuffs — regular occurrences in such a hardworking area. This goes for all surfaces, including flooring. Tiles with a stone look or that feature a patina are a great choice for hiding imperfections.
7. Streamlined Design
As for fixtures, it’s important to reduce visual clutter as much as possible by concealing washing machine connections and using direct bypass draining. Pull-out hoses are a great choice for this.