Real Estate News

Design excellence comes to laundry rooms

OK, raise your handif you enjoy doinglaundry. Yep, thoughtso. Don't get me wrong- Ilove my wardrobe and takepride in the care of myclothes. I just do not enjoy thetask of doing laundry. Part ofthe problem, for me at least,is the laundry facility in myhome is less than ideal.

I dream of a light and brightlaundry room. A modern andstylish space with new, efficientmachines for washingand drying clothes, dryingracks for the stuff I do notwish to put in the dryer, plentifulcounter space for folding,a built-in ironing center, andlots of storage for cleaningproducts and other stuff.

Like I said, that is my dream.Unfortunately my reality issomething totally different.The space I now have is darkand cramped. It is not a spacewhere I want to hang-out. Iplan on renovating the spacein the future, and when I doundertake that endeavor Ihope to utilize all of the latesttechnology available and designtrends popular today tocreate an efficient and attractivespace. I want a laundryroom that will make the job ofwashing and sorting clothesmore enjoyable.

If you are planning a newhome or renovating an existingone, give your laundryspace some thought. Somethings to consider are:

LOCATIONIf your home is large try toplace the laundry facilitiesclose to the bedrooms andbathrooms. Chances are youwill be washing more clothesand towels than tableclothsand napkins, so it would makesense to have the washer anddryer near the bedrooms insteadof the kitchen or garage.If the house is a two-story,place the washer and dryerupstairs to save the task oflugging heavy laundry basketsup and down a flight ofsteps. A recently completedproject I designed in WindmillHarbour actually hada second washer/dryer setlocated in the walk-in closetof the master bedroom. Howmuch more convenient canyou get?

APPLIANCESThe advancements intechnology for washers anddryers have come a long way.The new machines are muchmore quiet as well as energyand water efficient. Manyhigher-end units feature asteam-clean cycle that is lessdestructive to clothing fibers.Along with the better technologiesare more options forthe finishes, including stainlesssteel and other colorfulmetallics. Front-load unitsallow the machines to beplaced under countertops tocreate more usable space forfolding clothes. A front-loadmodel also allows stackingof the units, helpful if spaceis tight.

STORAGEBuild-in as much storage asyou can fit inside your laundryroom. Work with yourarchitect, designer, or cabinetsalesperson to customizecomponents to suit yourneeds. How about a built-inclothes hamper? Or perhapsconsider a dedicated cabinetfor the vacuum? For one ofmy clients I had a specialcabinet designed to househer cats' litter box.

LIGHTINGConsider adding task lightinghidden under the uppercabinets to help illuminatethe countertops and supplementthe overhead lighting.If the room is an interiorspace, look at adding a skylightto add some naturallight during the day.

FINISHESCabinets, flooring, countersand backsplashes, as well aswall finishes, can echo thelook and feel of the rest ofthe dècor in your home. Justbecause the laundry room isa utilitarian space does notmean it has to look like one.Have some fun and expressyourself.

EXTRASIf you have the space andbudget, why not install asink? A cleverly placed hangingrod over a sink will allowyou to drip-dry items notmeant for the dryer. Anotherclient of mine wanted a sinkfor the sole purpose of washingher beloved dog. A builtinironing board is anothergreat thing to plan for in anew laundry room.

With our ever-growing interestin good interior design,advancements in technology,and our desire for better living,the laundry room is beinggiven more attention inour homes. Instead of beingtucked away in a dark closetlike an after-thought, thisimportant space is being elevatedto a more integral partof our home. I cannot wait tobring my laundry room intothe 21st century.