A Functional, Fresh Laundry Room

BY NANCY MATTIA ON APRIL 9TH, 2017

If you spend a lot of time doing the family laundry, you deserve a place to do it that’s not just functional but also a little fun. If you’ve never thought about your laundry room’s style (does it even have a style?), upgrades can be both easy and inexpensive, and will give the space real personality. Before long, you may look forward to laundry day.

First, paint the walls a happy color. Forget about using the leftover beige paint from the den makeover. A laundry room deserves a more cheerful hue like aqua or violet, especially when it’s in the basement. A vibrant color will elevate the room’s mood – and yours too!

It’s also important to make the room look seamless.

If the laundry room is on the first floor, forget cheerful and consider painting it the same color as the adjacent room to create a sense of continuity and flow.

Just like any room in your home, add interest to the walls. Never thought about putting tile in the laundry room? Consider a tile backsplash above the washer and dryer to give the room some charm. Another option: a durable vinyl or washable wall covering that can handle moisture.

Most laundry rooms have a storage cabinet that keeps the detergent and dryer sheets out of sight. Show it some love with a fresh coat of paint. If you decided to paint the walls white, treat the cabinet to a pop of color like robin’s egg blue, suggests Donna Mondi, president of Donna Mondi Interior Design, in Chicago.

Also, add a counter or table. Trying to fold laundry on top of the washer or dryer isn’t ideal. You need something with a flat surface to sort.

Mondi also suggests taking advantage of vertical space. That’s valuable real estate, especially if the laundry room is a small space. Install open shelving to store cleaning supplies and hangers if there’s no room for a freestanding cabinet.

Since laundry can be a less-than-fun task, it’s helpful to have tools that streamline the process. The essentials are a stylish laundry basket to carry clothes to and from bedrooms and other parts of your home, a rolling cart if you don’t have a storage cabinet, plastic hangers, and a plastic washbasin to soak delicates. And don’t forget an iron and ironing board.

Keep aesthetics in mind when you buy hampers for clothes waiting to be laundered. A textural material like woven rattan looks much more attractive than something made of plastic, Mondi says. If you have an available space, install a clothing rod like you’d find in a closet to hang washed clothes that you can’t put in the dryer.

And just because you’re in the basement doesn’t mean it has to have a dungeon-like feel. Put up a flush-mount ceiling fixture plus under cabinet lighting, suggests Mondi, to illuminate where you’re folding. “The blues and blacks can blend together,” she says.

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