Whether you're starting from scratch or making over an existing laundry room, some planning will ensure your finished space will be organized and inviting. There's a layout that's right for you and your family, whether it's a simple reach-in closet design that hides your washer, dryer and a shelf for supplies, or an elaborate work room that include spaces for potting plants, sewing, and doing crafts.
A great laundry room layout will include not only efficient spaces for all of your tasks and storage needs, but which will also be an attractive and inviting room you'll look forward to working in, even if laundry isn't your favorite thing to do.
A laundry room off a kitchen can become a family hub, including a computer corner for studying or a center for family messages and paying bills. If you have the space, a table in the center of the room can serve as a spot for crafts, gift wrapping or folding laundry. Corner shelves, cabinets and sinks can make smart use of spaces that might otherwise be wasted. An ironing board can be tucked inside a cabinet or hidden behind a false drawer front. Pull-out bins can hold dirty clothes, powder detergent and clothes that need to be taken to the dry cleaner. If you wash pets, or have family members coming in muddy from sports practice, a shower stall can make life easier (and a hanging rod in the shower makes drip-drying clothes a breeze).
If you like the look of "hidden" appliances, install your washer and under a countertop as part of your cabinet design. Cabinets or open shelves installed above the countertop or appliances can hold laundry supplies and other cleaners and household items.
One popular trend is to install a laundry center into a large bathroom or walk-in closet that is part of a master bedroom suite. Families with bedrooms upstairs may choose to have their laundry in a second-floor hallway for greater convenience in putting away clean clothes. New, quieter washers and dryers make running the machines at night less disruptive, although you still don't want them sharing a bedroom wall. If you do plan to install a washing machine on an upper floor of your house, it's important to check local building codes. You'll want to install a washing machine over a shower base with a floor drain or a pan that will funnel water to plumbing waste lines. No matter what floor your washing machine is on, make sure it is hooked up to an automatic shutoff valve. You also need to make sure there is enough space around your dryer to dissipate heat.
If your bedrooms are upstairs but you want your laundry room downstairs, you can incorporate a laundry chute into your design, eliminating the need to lug heavy baskets up and down stairs. Some homes have a laundry area on each floor, for the ultimate in convenience.