Welcome to Second Nature, a Q+A series with Jute founder, Ali Davin, that explores all things healthy living, with a fond emphasis on that thing she does best—interior design.
Does anyone actually like doing laundry? Then again, if you’re doing the wash in a dark, damp, unfinished space, that may have something to do with it. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to make this unavoidable chore a little less tedious?
It may not be the most glamorous room in your house, but it can still be a stylish one. Here’s how to design a laundry room that you’ll enjoy spending time in.
Everyone wants their laundry room directly next to the bedrooms, but when you’re inheriting a floorplan, that’s almost never the case—the laundry room is usually downstairs, next to the garage or kitchen. So we tend to turn a linen closet into an auxiliary laundry room with a stacking unit, and we’ll keep the main laundry room downstairs. But if you’re gutting the house and can do a proper laundry room near the bedrooms, that’s what we recommend, even if it means cutting your walk-in closet in half.
A great option is to combine the laundry room with the mud room, especially if you have kids who play muddy sports or ride horses. That way, everyone can take off their dirty clothes immediately and throw them straight into the washer.
Most people prefer a side-by-side washer and dryer below a countertop that runs the length of the room. You’ll want a place to hang up stuff to dry, some kind of structure that pulls out from the wall so it’s hidden when you’re not using it. We tend to do a lot of concealed hampers so you can throw linens or anything messy directly into the laundry room. Overall, the design is very light and clean.
You’ll need space for all your detergents, and sometimes clients will request a floor-to-ceiling cabinet if they need extra storage, but generally, people don’t want upper cabinets or shelving. We usually just do lower cabinets. An exception would be if you combine your linen closet and laundry room so that there are clean linens there—then there would be more covered storage.
We tend to use stone and wood, but it depends on the rest of your house—we generally use the same cabinets and hardware as in the kitchen, so the design is cohesive. The exception is if you have marble countertops in your kitchen; we’ll steer people toward a more forgivable stone like granite or quartzite instead. Floors are most likely wood, unless it’s combined with the mud room—in that case, you’ll want a stone or tile floor, which is easier to clean. But unlike kitchens, we rarely tile walls in laundry rooms.
The sink is usually smaller, more of a prep-size sink versus a kitchen sink, but sometimes we’ll do a custom sink for people who like to wash their dog there—you’d be surprised how often we get that request.
Laundry rooms can get moldy with all the humidity, so you want to have air flow. If you can, leave the window or the top of a Dutch door open when you’re doing a load. And whatever you do, stay away from wallpaper—the humidity from the dryer is not great for paper.
To make it seem less utilitarian, we’ll add unique pendant lights or sconces that feel more unexpected. Most laundry rooms have windows, so we’ll do a fun window treatment or cute Dutch door if it leads to an exterior. There’s usually no rug because that just gets in the way. Generally, this is a room where people like to keep the door closed and keep stuff hidden, and that’s ok.
Your laundry room should feel light, clean, and cohesive with the rest of your home.