Today I had some “free” time (i.e. not a paying job and too cold to go outside) so I’ve been working on the laundry room design for the estate. Right now the room is a pile of clothes, baskets, ticks, and god knows what. Someday it will be organized and useful.
For inspiration I used a few resources such as the laundry room in our old house, www.houzz.com (which I’m now addicted to), and of course our new laundry room space. The contemporary farmhouse style of the old house laundry was inspired by an image in a Martha Stewart magazine the wife had. The new laundry room will be simpler by virtue of keeping costs down, taking our learnings from the old laundry room and because of how the new space is defined.
From a practical standpoint we’re ahead of the game already because our laundry space already has two full closets in it. While they are not overly organized, they can hold a bulk of the cleaning supplies and whatnot. One wall of the laundry is already defined because that is where the sink plumbing is as well as the washer and dryer hook-ups. Opposite that wall is an alcove that we’ll utilize for air drying clothes. Lastly there is the integrated ironing board that is already installed on the left side wall, as you walk in.
Air drying is a big deal for the wife, who does our laundry. As an aside, before you write me a nasty letter crucifying me for being a male chauvinist pig, my wife won’t let me do laundry because my idea of laundry is two piles – whites and colors. Anyway, I’m a guy so I take the quickest path from A to B which totally goes against how she likes to do laundry, therefore early on in our 13 years of marriage it was decided that she was in charge of laundry…and by default really, she’s in charge of or the primary driver and ultimate approver of the laundry room design. What you see in the computer rendering images is the approved design I generated today.
Laundry Room Design Notes:
- Sweater drying racks – wood framed “trays” with mesh inserts for air drying sweaters or other clothes by laying them flat. In old laundry these were on drawer tracks. For new room I simplified and the racks will just rest on 3/4″ strips of lumber attached to 3/4″ plywood, which in turn is attached to the wall. I’ll paint the supports wall color and the racks trim white. The mechanical racks in the old house were prone to falling apart. Simpler new ones will be fool-proof and unbreakable. I left the drying racks off the floor by about 18″ so we can store a basket full of hangers down there.
- Flip down drying rack – I wish I could have found my specs from the old house as this rack worked perfectly. I’ll try my best to replicate it.
- Hanging rods – for drying we’ll have one permanent rod above the sweater racks for hanging clothes to air dry. The cool part is down below where, just by making a few notches in the sweater drying rack 3/4″ side panels I’ll be able to store a second hanging rod that I can bring out when needed to double the rod space. Simply stow away the sweater drying racks and dry away on hangers. Note, all these drying features are easy to make, look cohesive when painted and mean we don’t have to search the internet for existing, often expensive, products.
- Upper trim – this is from Martha Stewart and we’ll execute this 5-1/2″ trim in the new room just as we did in the old room, placing it at about door height. It just feels “farmy”, ties everything together, adds a simple detail and is a great place to mount peg hooks for hanging shirts after they are ironed.
- Cabinets – all the cabinets will be stock units. A 30″ sink base and 15″ waste can base unit with and end cap just to the left of the washer and dryer. Upper cabinets are a pair of 36 incher’s flanking a 33″ wall cabinet. The leftover space will be infilled with trim and provide a landing spot for the upper trim terminating into the wall cabinets.
- Washer & Dryer – our old units are about 14 years old so they don’t have much life left in them presumably. The new units will be high-efficiency front loaders that use a fraction of the water and less energy. Water usage is important because we do a lot of laundry and we’re on a fixed water supply (rain, which is rare around here lately). The new units are 38″ tall and I’d like to put a counter over the top of them so we’ll terminate the sink counter short to make way for the washer and dryer. The good news is we can do everything then wait for the old units to die or be donated when we can afford new units…we just pop in the new ones and install a counter above, offset from the sink countertop.
- Hook ups – with the counter over the washer and drying being about 39″ off the floor our water and electrical hookups are in the way. We’ll have to cross this bridge when we get to it but suffice to say it’ll probably require something being moved down or up.
- Dryer vent – ugh, our dryer vent as is forces our dryer to be 8 whopping inches away from the wall. I’m going to goto Sears and ask about venting out the side of the Whirlpool dryer, which is a definite option. If that goes well I’ll just squish the washer and dryer to the left, and leave myself 8-10 inches to vent out the side. A valance panel up front will trim out that gap to the right of the dryer.
- Paint color – we love the light blue of the old place but we’ll mix it up a bit and choose off our Global Spice pallet – Garden Sage SW7736 will be the color, same as what we’ll do in our youngest’s bedroom someday. The green makes the room warmer visually, making laundry less depressing a chore.
- Hampers – we’ll place a two or three cell freestanding hamper under the flip down drying rack for sorting clothes. Next to that is the existing vacuum charging station. Win, win.
A rug, art and incidentals and the laundry room will be a warm an inviting place, add value to the house and be one more thing off the want-to-do list.