The laundry room has always been the poor cousin of the other living spaces in the home. It is often tucked into the most unworthy corner of a basement, poorly lit and unwelcoming. Not anymore! Laundry rooms are finally receiving attention as a room worthy of updating. Lets face it: it is a room that you must spend significant time in each week. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time in a space that allows you to relax, zip through the tasks at hand and leaves you feeling refreshed?
Making It Work: Organization
Taking your wash from dirty to pressed should be one smooth operation; saving you both time and energy. Focus on clearing clutter and ensuring that you have easy access to all the things you need.
Plan your room in terms of a work triangle: there is a flow of movement between the washer/dryer, the storage area/counter, and the ironing station. The path of activity needs to be kept clear and the laundry tools should be easily within reach. This area is the core activity space of the room.
Storage is essential to a workable laundry space. Invest in cabinets with furniture styling for both beautiful and functional storage. Regularly used laundry aids can be neatly stored in the cabinets or on shelves. Creating one clear surface for folding and organizing your laundry is a must. Look to add both hanging and flat dryer racks for hand-washables, a rolling laundry cart with sturdy castors and labeled baskets or boxes to organize your tools.
If your space is small, try to optimize the function of every last inch. Focus on items that can disappear when they are not needed such as a folding arm for items you will hang to dry, a fold-down ironing board, and rolling laundry carts that discreetly disappear into corners or the space between the washer and dryer. Consider adding shelving all the way to the ceiling to optimize storage. Edit down to the things you need the most and look for tools that do double duty.
Little things make a difference when you are pressed for time. You might want to keep a guide handy for the fabric care system, a stain removal guide, and a multi-compartment organizer where you can place homeless buttons and mate-less socks. Once the area is easy to work in, it becomes a much nicer place to be!
Bring It To Life: Décor
So what can take a laundry room from drab to fab? There are many easy ways to add a personal touch to the room. Create a space that appeals to your senses!
· Airy and fresh rooms entice, so brighten the window treatments using crisp colours. Lure light into the space by placing a mirror on a wall opposite, or at a 90-degree angle to, the window. Play with the placement of the mirror to make sure that it reflects a beautiful view.
· Paint is an inexpensive way of adding freshness to a room. A laundry space might offer the perfect opportunity to try the trend towards fresh, crisp colours.
· Art can be a personal and uplifting way to add interest to your space. A child’s artistic endeavors, botanical prints, a collection of vintage costume illustrations or a collage-wall of family photos will make the room entirely your own.
· Add task lighting to brighten work surfaces and accent the art in your space.
· Indulge in beautiful accessories to finish your laundry room.
· Add a CD player or a radio to the space so you can relax while completing the chores.
· Take entertainment a step further to add a small television on a wall-mounted stand and catch up with your favourite design shows. With your mind engaged, you won’t notice the repetitive aspects of your work.
· Catch up with friends during the rinse cycle! Reclaim some time from your busy week and use it to stay in touch. Use a hands-free portable phone with a headset and chat away the time spent ironing or folding.
· Awaken your senses with citrus candles! Candles invite the eyes and scent the room. For more info on using scents at home, read Aromatherapy At Home.
Indulge in the tradition of using linen water to freshen the bedding in the dryer or while ironing and folding. Make your own linen water, check out our handy project plan!
· Fresh flowers, or even a single fragrant blossom, will liven up the space and make it feel more like a room you want to relax in.
· You can define and soften the room by using an area rug. A soft, neutral-coloured rug underfoot will be a relief to tired feet and provide the room with a relaxed feel.
· A set of natural, woven baskets will add texture and visual depth to the room while organizing your tools.
· Add tactile fun into your space. What would you like your laundry room to masquerade as? Do you need a potting bench, craft workshop, or gift-wrapping corner? With a bit of creativity, the smallest corner can be transformed into a place to play.
Putting these ideas into practice in your laundry room will create a space that feels fresh and new. Add a few of your favourite things to your laundry routine. You will elevate your utilitarian laundry space to a mini-escape and a place you can look forward to lingering in.