How to Design the Perfect Laundry Room

Interior designer Mark Dalton on creating a modern, multitasking space.

By Marsha Fottler March 2, 2015

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Interior designer Mark Dalton on creating a modern, multitasking space.

“In new or renovated homes, the laundry room is bigger, about the size of a small bedroom. Part of it can be a craft center, sewing area, potting shed, even a small home office or exercise space. Washing clothes is just one of the activities that’s accomplished here.”

“In many homes, two laundry rooms are the ideal, especially in two-story homes of more than 3,000 square feet. I often put a small second laundry area on the upper floor near the master bedroom or even in the master closet area.  I use a stacked washer-dryer, and clients love it.”

“My clients want the same cabinets, counters and backsplash in the laundry room that are in the kitchen. Homeowners want high-quality cabinets that extend to the ceiling. They want granite, marble or quartz counters, a decorative backsplash and a pantry for storing cleaning supplies. Ideally, the closed pantry should have upper shelving, but the bottom half would be equipped with deep, pull-out drawers. Also, the fold-out ironing board is back in style.”

“A large center island is common, along with a deep sink for doing hand washing or bathing a pet. If the sink is against the wall, I put a bar above it (which can be concealed by molding) for drip-dry clothing you don’t want to put in the dryer. And I always suggest a pocket door made of solid wood for sound control.”

“Most people leave the laundry room open, so it should be painted or papered. Go a little bit wild with a vivid color that you love. Washers and dryers come in a wide range of colors, so you might be able to key your wall color to the appliance shade.”

“If you have a window or skylight, or French doors that lead to the garden or side yard, lucky you. But if the space is enclosed, you want the best and brightest lighting you can get. I recommend LED can ceiling lights. They’re only three inches deep but they make a world of difference in creating a bright and welcoming space. And put in a TV or a sound system so you can listen to music while you wash, sort and fold.”

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