Where does decor come into my laundry room?
You may think of your laundry room as an insignificant part of your home decorating budget- but think again. According to recent research conducted by Whirlpool Corp., 28 Million Americans are doing laundry related chores every day. That means we spend A LOT of time in the laundry room, especially those of us who are moms.
In the past laundry rooms were relegated to the cold, cinder block basement. Now more than 75 of new home-builders are including them in their home plans and putting them on the second floor. The function of laundry rooms seems to be changing. It is slowly evolving into a “family center” of sorts, a place for everyone to congregate. Are you having laundry room blues reading this? Don’t worry! Even if your laundry room is in your basement with no option of ever moving you still have hope. You can still make it a lively happy place that you and your family enjoy spending time in.
We are hearing stories of laundry rooms with custom marble countertops, dog cleaning stations, craft corners, TV and who knows what else. The opportunities are endless. Some of these ideas are smart and some are extreme but people will do what it takes to make the place they spend so much time in enjoyable.
Here are three important questions to ask yourself before attempting to change the “ambiance” of your laundry room:
- What do you do in your laundry room now?
- What do you want to do there?
- What, in general, makes you happy?
Spend some time answering these questions and see what you come up with.
No matter what you answer there are some rules that apply to everyone. A functioning laundry room must have certain components to make it welcoming.
1. Adequate moving space is number one. If you barely have room to open your dryer door don’t try to add in another cabinet.
2. Storage space- closed storage is always amazing but if you can’t have that than anything will do. An extra shelf above the washer can make all the difference in your organization. A rod for hanging wet clothes takes up virtually no space and is a real help. Don’t make shelves to deep or to shallow. To deep and your products will get lost, to shallow and everything will be a mess.
3. A place to fold and place folded laundry. You may have to be creative with this one but it’s crucial for a functioning laundry room. If you have space then a built-in cabinet where you can neatly organize the folded laundry according to room is fabulous, if not a shelf that can be folded up into the wall works great and is a real space saver.
Okay now that we have those covered let’s take a look at our 3 initial questions.
- What do you do in your laundry room now? Well, obviously you do laundry but what else? Do you fold the laundry there? Do you use it as a gift wrapping station? An arts and crafts room? Let’s say you use it for wrapping. Collect all your wrapping paper, scissors, tape, ribbons and glue and buy a big box which you can keep neatly organized and stored away in the laundry room. The same for arts and crafts or any other activity which takes place there.
Do you fold laundry there? Many women spend a lot of money on custom cabinetry for the laundry room but then dump all the clean laundry on the couch to fold while watching TV- there goes all that money.
- What do you want to do there? You may be that women who fold her laundry while watching TV. How about putting a TV into your laundry room? Or if you are looking for a better option of where to wash down the dogs the laundry room can be a great solution. I’ve seen ones that have a special dog washing area but what many people do is simply buy a laundry sink a size larger (this won’t work if you have a Bernese Mountain Dog, but for any medium to small dog its perfect). Dog hair, bubbles and water easily contained!
- What makes you happy? Bright colors, flowers, pictures of your family or friends. Whatever it is have it in your laundry room. This is the one room in the house that is only yours! No husband, no kids, and no guests- this is your work space and you’ll decorate it the way you like. So have fun and let loose.
Don’t leave the laundry till it hits the ceiling and no one has any clothes left. Make yourself a room you’ll want to hang out in and remember the most important rule- HAVE FUN!