Multi-Functional Laundry Room

Redesigning a laundry room may seem like an insignificant project, but this one was certainly complex. The homeowner had a lot of “must-have’s” on her wish list, and we were able to creatively arrange them into one small space. The room is 7’4” by 8’10” and includes a dryer, washer, sink, clothes line, bench, folding table, toilet, multiple laundry baskets, cubbies, and cabinets. Let’s first go through these practicalities and then I’ll give an overview of the design.

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The owner of this home recently installed a backyard pool, but because the first floor powder room is on the other side of the house, she hoped to make a toilet more accessible for swimmers. We moved over the original door opening so as to install a pocket door, creating privacy for the bathroom function while saving space by not having to accommodate a door swing. Adjacent to the toilet is the folding table where laundry baskets fit snugly underneath. Included in this table is a drawer that serves as a dryer for delicate clothing. (Nice that you can hide those “unmentionables” while they’re drying, right?)  Between this table and the far wall, is a bench with cubbies underneath–great for putting on winter boots. Directly across the room the dryer is stacked over the washer and a cabinet is included above. Next to this is a serviceable farm sink, with a skirt to soften the hard lines of the room, and hide more “stuff”.  In the last corner of the room is a full height cabinet with a built-in vacuum duct underneath, completing this multi-functional space.

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Given the dense and dual nature of the room, we had to think creatively to make it more than just practical. Some design features we added are crown molding around the cabinets, porcelain floor tiles, and a backsplash above the sink.  The walls were painted a soft green and the cabinets stained gray, which both compliment the leathered granite counter-tops. The gray also blends nicely with the washer/dryer.  This room serves as an entry to the backyard, a laundry room, a storage room, and a bathroom. It is attractive, orderly, and modern with many homey final touches.

Cabinets and carpentry by the Renovo Group.

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Floor Plan

 

Furniture Arranging 101

If your furniture is arranged against the walls around the perimeter of the room and that’s not working for you, try the following:

Ignore the walls and try to arrange a seating group that is no more than 10-12 feet apart.

Consider where the focal point of the room is. Try not to have a sofa or loveseat with its back to that focal point if it’s a TV or fireplace. If you don’t have a TV or fireplace but do have a large window, try bringing the seating group out from the window with the seating perpendicular to the window. Use an area rug to anchor the pieces, as well as occasional tables.

Mix up the seating components, as in one sofa and two chairs, or two loveseats and two chairs. You won’t get much more in the seating group, but that’s okay. If you have a very large room, you may need more than one grouping, or you can have a table and chairs, pool table, etc.

If you have the budget to do so, add architectural interest to the room. Consider a gas fireplace, built-in shelving, a mirrored wall, or a combination of elements.

This is a typical living room in an older colonial-style home in Chester County. The temporary “fix” for this room cost under $100. It was just a matter of rearranging the furniture and adding lamps to the sofa table. I designed the space for a future remodel when the budget permits. A beautiful gas fireplace and new windows will add more natural light and a new focal point to the room. With shelving and a comfortable seating arrangement, this room can become a lovely library/retreat away from noise, TV’s, etc.ImageImageImageImageImage