Short of remodeling the house, what can we do?

Have you ever dreamed of reinventing the laundry room? Have you stood in that room that is expected to accomplish so much in a relatively small space and thought to yourself, “This could be so much better! This room is dedicated to keeping us clean and it’s a mess!” Well if you haven’t had that thought, I have! The home we lived in before Highland House was a recent build—2007 to be exact. It was truly a wonderful home, full of millwork fit for a small church sanctuary, but the laundry room…please! As I pulled clothes out of the dryer, I was always brushing up against wet clothes behind me on the drying rod, which miffed me a bit.
Ask the Experts
Now gentlemen, please don’t let me step on your most talented toes, but when it comes to designing a laundry room you need to seek the advice of a woman—a woman who has done her fair share of laundry. I’ve discussed this topic of an efficient laundry room with builders on many occasions—if only they would listen! Well, maybe if I put it in print a few of you wonderful home builders out there will take heed and see that we don’t like the laundry rooms you give us! This one room is expected to store the household cleaning products, store the brooms and vacuum, hold laundry baskets with clean and dirty clothes, and have enough room to fold not to mention the washer, dryer, iron and ironing board! And what do you give us in most cases? A room that, if we are lucky, barely holds the washer and dryer, an afterthought room! And then you put a primary traffic pattern through it, many times the main entrance off the garage. Believe me, there is a better way!
5 Features of the Perfect Laundry Room
What would my dream laundry room have? Well, I am prepared to tell you. Grab a cup of coffee and put on some lovely music and dream with me!
A sitting area. I would have a room with an upholstered chair and perhaps an ottoman, or better yet a chaise with a down-filled pillow, to lounge on plus a side table, a reading lamp and a TV in a cabinet. Why? How many of you have tried to time the ending of the dryer cycle to pluck the clothing right out of the dryer so that wrinkles don’t occur. You keep running back and forth trying to time it and you miss the buzzer, the clothes lay in the dryer and wrinkle. It makes me so unhappy. If I had someplace to relax, catch up on mail, search for recipes for that evening’s dinner or perhaps watch a bit of TV, I’d catch the dryer when it completes the process. How terrific!
An island for folding. So, where do builders expect me to fold—on the machine tops? How about an island in the laundry room! I want it large enough to lay out my sheets to fold, with cubby holes for the laundry baskets, drawers, and of course power to heat up my glue gun! This space would be perfect for messy kid projects, creating holiday wreaths or cutting fabric for new window treatments. While on that subject, how many of you lug the sewing machine out of a closet and try and find somewhere to place it to start a project? Tuck it away in the laundry island.
A soaking sink. I dream of a deep beautiful soaking sink with hardware like jewelry.
Pet accommodations. I want a perfect spot for pet food and water bowls, an out-of-sight place to store their food and a secluded corner for the cat’s litter box.
An outside door. One more little element I want in my fantasy laundry room: a door. And not just any door. I want a Dutch door so I can open up the top in the spring and fall and hear the chorus of birds in the trees and smell the lilacs by the porch that is off this wonderful room. Maybe I will even install a Murphy bed in this dream room. Well, perhaps that is a bit over the top, but dreaming is a wonderful thing.
I’m telling you, laundry-doers across the nation—be they single women and men, parents or college students—would be so delighted to spend time in this delightfully appointed workhorse of a room. I would even venture to say laundry would always be caught up and you would sit down to ironed napkins come dinner. My gosh, you could probably educate all your family members about “the joy of laundry” in a room like this! Put the baseball game on and park your husband in the laundry room to fold a load of towels. Now we’re talking about using our brains, gorgeous!
I realize the laundry room would probably double if not triple in size, but look how incredibly organized you would be. Items from all over the house can be stored conveniently in one well-appointed room. Once we all started to think about how much more efficient and comfortable kitchens could be, we redesigned them and made them the heartbeat of our homes. The kitchen and the laundry room are probably the two busiest rooms in our homes. So I think it’s time to put the same amount of thought into laundry room design that we put into kitchen design.
Short of remodeling the house, what can we do? Well, stop and think about what you can you do to make this room as efficient as you possibly can. Make a wish list that starts with basics and includes a long-term plan that you can keep whittling away at until you have a room that makes you whistle while you work! We do work very hard as women, and having a well-planned space to help us accomplish all that we have to accomplish in a day is not a luxury—it’s a total necessity! Really, don’t some of us think that we could use an extra 12 hours in our days? We are a one-woman balancing act, multitasking a dozen things at one time. And one thing we need is better laundry rooms.
So, I will leave you on this fine Saturday to contemplate your own dream laundry room! I will end with a funny quote from Laurence J. Peter!
HYPERLINK ""It’s better to have loved and lost than to have to do forty pounds of laundry a week.”
Come visit me next week. We’ll have something to talk about and it won’t be laundry!