This is the first post in our new “How To” series that will share fresh ways to bring more style into everyday life. Wait, do you mean to say that you don’t always have this much fun doing laundry?! Wish I could say that I did, but let’s face it: we all probably spend a bit more time in our laundry rooms than we’d like to. When I was designing this space in my home, I decided to make it as pretty and light-filled as possible in an effort to make the hours spent scrubbing, folding and ironing just a little more fun. From the appliances to the storage solutions to the products you stock it with, a little planning on the front end goes a long way towards making this overlooked space super functional, and look beautiful, too! Last week, I partnered with Electrolux to share my laundry room design tips on morning news stations around the country, and the viewer response made me realize that this is a space a lot of people would like to freshen up in their homes. Thought I’d better spill the details here on the blog, too! Keep reading for my keys to an organized, serene and super hardworking laundry room.
1. Appliances should be as hardworking as they are sleek. I’ve got to admit that I’m usually tempted to go for the prettiest appliances that will blend seamlessly with my interior design… but especially in the laundry room, you’ve got to have form and function. Thankfully, my Electrolux front load washer and dryer has both. The washer features the ExpertCare wash system which results in a superior clean, while the dryer has a feature that I love – the Perfect Steam setting – which actually removes stains and wrinkles from my clothes so they look brand new.
2. Designate specific areas of the laundry room for the tasks you know you’ll be doing there. I have “stations” setup for folding laundry, ironing clothes, polishing shoes and cleaning leather. And in each place, I have all the products to complete each task that I know I’ll need. It makes things super efficient when you know you can head into the laundry room and be totally equipped to get the job done.
3. Maximize a small space with creative storage solutions. When we designed this room, we had cabinets installed that stretched all the way to the ceiling. I keep the items that I rarely use on the top shelves (with a step ladder handy), and the items I use frequently are within arm’s reach. These cabinets are where I stash my large serving pieces, craft supplies and vases — those items that you want to keep out of sight, but that have to be accessible when you need them.4. Design the space like you would any other room of the house. Most of us spend loads of time in the laundry room, but rarely do we add the decorative touches that we would to other rooms in the house. Why not make it a zen-like retreat where we actually feel more serene when we walk through the doors? While building our house, I fell in love with this Imperial Trellis wallpaper… only problem was that Adam was set on minimalist white walls throughout the main rooms of the house. As a compromise (and since, let’s face it: I spend quite a bit more time in the laundry room than he does) I used the paper on one dramatic wall in the laundry room that adds a welcome pop of color and still makes me smile when I walk in.
5. Add a few pretty details. I love to transform my detergents into decorative objects by decanting them in refillable clear containers, then applying a chalkboard label and writing what’s inside. I always have a big pretty woven basket that I use for corralling supplies and transporting folded laundry to other rooms of the house. And plants are probably the easiest and most economical way to add a feeling of freshness to the space. In addition to adding beauty, bringing plants into the room actually increases oxygen levels, removes toxins from the air and has been shown to decrease fatigue, colds and headaches. How’s that for creating a positive atmosphere?
I’d love to hear how you guys approach laundry room design! Do you keep it strictly utilitarian, or have you added pretty touches to make it an inviting space? Any great organizing tips?
*photos by Chad Wadsworth