No longer simply a utilitarian space, laundry rooms have been coming out of the basement and closet for years, moving into more convenient areas of the home, such as the master suite and off the kitchen and garage. In fact, most architects and designers are incorporating more comprehensive laundry rooms in their house plans so homeowners can create a comfortable and functional space for the whole family to enjoy.
The average person spends at least six hours a week in their laundry room washing clothes so it’s no surprise that homeowners crave a more organized, attractive, and functional space. New construction, new floor plans, and beautiful appliances are creating a desire for a multipurpose space and is moving homeowners to extend, renovate, and add-on to homes to achieve the space that best suits their household style.
Kurt Schusterman of California Closets says, “[These spaces] reflect the rest of the home’s style and where many essential activities for the busy household get done.” Experts agree laundry rooms share features and style that incorporate the space into the rest of the home.
Because several family members may share the task of doing laundry, accessibility of the laundry room is important.
Homeowners want the laundry facilities located in an area that has easy access to bedrooms and is inviting to all members of the household. The multi-purpose space, often located on the first floor of the home, is frequently a catch-all space where many essential activities of a busy household are done.
In this case, homeowners often opt for laundry stations in other areas of the house as Zsavonna Perryman points out, “Homeowners are creating additional laundry stations by tucking a smaller washer and dryer in a hall closet or inside the walk-in closet or a master bathroom.”
Jonathan Miller Architecture and Design
Doubling as a mudroom and often the household command center, a place to store the washer and dryer is no longer the sole focus of the laundry room. Emily Yoakum of Jonathan Miller Architecture and Design says, “We have seen a growing trend of people wanting a multi-functional laundry space that starts to interact with the rest of the living space, but still provides a space to hide the family’s day to day living mess.”
A space that can function as a mudroom, a drop-zone, laundry, crafts, and office space are all on the list of homeowners. Frequently, the laundry room is near a “mud room” area which may incorporate cubbies for gear such as jackets, book packs, dog leashes and coats, and more. Homes have begun to incorporate space into the laundry room to care for family pets, such as space for a dog bed, food dishes, and even dog-washing facilities.
Beth Haley Design
The goal is, as Katie Fudim of Beth Haley Design points out, each room should be designed, “specifically for the client’s lifestyle and how they live, or want to live, in their home.” She reports that laundry rooms & mudrooms provide ample storage, custom cabinets, and tailored amenities. This includes ample counter space. “Our clients see these ‘service rooms’ as key elements of their homes. Gone are the days when the laundry room is tucked behind accordion doors in the upstairs hallway,” Fudim adds.
Carbine & Associates
Mudrooms have become more stylish and smarter these days with the inclusion of more durable materials but, at their very heart, they need to perform their tried and true functions, says James Carbine of Carbine & Associates. “Our clients continue to prefer the choice of multiple cubbies, hooks, and storage, but they’ve added more stylish barn doors, tile that looks like wood, and drawers to conceal dog bowls,” Carbine adds that women prefer locating a mudroom off a garage entrance and by the laundry room.
These transitional spaces need to be multifunctional, including everything from cubbie storage and crafts to extra refrigerators and dog food, according to Beth Sturm of Carbine Realty.
Decorating Den Interiors
Bohnne Jones of Decorating Den Interiors says, “I think of a large laundry room as a necessary luxury. Lots of natural light, countertop areas for tasks, hanging space, and cabinets all add to the space’s usefulness. And while mudrooms are sometimes incorporated into a laundry room, they are showing up as separate spaces with a space to sit and remove shoes, charge electronics, hang outerwear, and more.” She adds that a recycling center also works well in a laundry room or mud room.
Hermitage Kitchen Design Gallery
Front-load laundry appliances have brought change, according to Carla Taylor of Hermitage Kitchen Design Gallery. “These appliances can be built under counters to add more folding space, or they can be put on pedestals and drawers to elevate them,” she says.
“Today’s laundry rooms don’t have a single look, except that they all contain a washer and dryer,” Taylor says. “Larger families usually require an actual room with space for collecting and folding laundry. We have incorporated desks, pet centers, additional refrigerators or freezers, and similar amenities. Everyone prefers a cheerful space with good lighting and hanging space,” she adds.
According to Stephanie Pierce of MasterBrand Cabinets, “Laundry rooms have taken on a greater presence in the home as a transitional space [that requires] storage lockers, laundry basket organization, and newer cabinet features.”
Catherine Henderson of CMS Designs says, “[Laundry rooms are] used for so much more than just doing laundry. They can be designed to be very large and grandiose or small and efficient. Shelving and cubbies have become a popular trend to provide more storage, organization, and to allow the space to act as a drop zone for items that are used every day.”
Although the laundry/mudroom is a transitional space for the family to transition from their day into family time—an area where members drop shoes and backpacks and other items—homeowners want the space to be beautiful as well as functional. Stansell Dye of Ferguson says, “Each function of laundry care should be addressed with appropriate lighting. Place LED lights under cabinets and over folding stations so you can easily sort garments. Bring more personalization to your space with the addition of a decorative chandelier in the center of the room or an accent pendant above a prep sink.”
Gerri Chmiel of Formica Corporation agrees that laundry and mud rooms are no longer spaces hidden away in basements and in the back of the house. “These spaces are being designed as functional family areas. Specially designed laundry cabinets and lockers have become increasingly popular as they are a great way to organize while hiding storage behind a door,” she says, adding that with Formica Writable Surfaces, homeowners can install Black Chalkable or Gray Chalkable surfaces as cabinet and locker fronts, using the locker and cabinet fronts as a place to communicate with notes, schedules, reminders and more.
Bold colors and designs are more frequently found in appliances, and recent colors have included Pacific Blue, Black Diamond, Wild Cherry, Emerald Green, Titanium, Ocean Blue, Tuscan Chestnut, and Champagne. Unfinished or stark white walls have been replaced by bright color.
Teresa Zilinsky Interior Designs
According to Teresa Zilinsky of Teresa Zilinsky Interior Designs, most women view the laundry room/mud room as a workspace and catch all area. “However, having the space flow and be a part of the family home is important. Function plus style is what most homeowners are seeking,” she says.
Ultimately, the goal of the laundry/mud room is to give the family a space to transition from their everyday life into the family unit. Space to not only do laundry but to create, relax, and breathe all have a place where clothes get clean.
There are a number of sources in the Nashville area for mudrooms/laundry rooms including:
Beth Haley Design
California Closets of Tennessee
Carbine & Associates
Clarksville 931/ 647-0276
Murfreesboro 615/ 890-5599
Nashville 615/ 385-3054
Hermitage Kitchen Design Gallery
Jordan Miller Architecture and Design
Superior Custom Homes & Remodeling
Teresa Zilinsky Interiors Designs