The Hardest Working Room Of The Home & How To Make It Work For You
What is the hardest working room in the home? We say it’s the mudroom/laundry room combos!
Every redesign we undertake for our clients, is like a giant puzzle we are trying to solve. Our main priority with utility spaces such as a laundry room or mudroom is to fit all of the client’s requirements into one neatly coordinated space. The more challenging task is to make these spaces look pretty and not like storage rooms where kids (or adults) have an opportunity to haphazardly throw their clothes and boots on the floor. If we can ensure that there is enough storage space that is easily accessible, then we can help curb this itch and keep the space a “trip free” zone.
We recently completed three projects where the main floor laundry/mudroom (or lack thereof) was a huge pain point for the client. In this blog post, we will divulge some of our favourite and “hidden” storage secrets below…
In this L- shaped pass-through from the garage, space planning was critical. There was a beautiful existing window which created a natural focal point for the sink space. It was also important for us to provide our clients, who are first responders, with a motion sensor faucet as soon as you enter the mudroom for ease of washing up before entering the home after long days of shift work.
On the opposite wall we wanted to achieve a full run of full-height cabinets with lots of coat & shoe storage for this large family of 5, and a utility cleaning closet where the client’s could hide their Dyson when charging. We stole 2’ from the previous living room that was no longer needed to make this happen and boy did it make the world of difference! This left a perfect corner for the compact stacked washer and dryer combo . We love the front load washer & dryer from LG that comes in several colours and is perfect for smaller spaces. The corner nook area is perfect for dry-hanging, a folding counter and a space for a roll-out hamper below. We added in some storage baskets to organize cleaning supplies up high and out of reach from the kids. The room was needing a pop of colour, and this gorgeous HomeSmith floral wall print was the perfect addition.
What may not be obvious at first glance is a perfectly tucked away folding ironing board that rests just below the countertop - this was a must for our clients and one of the main requirements that the room was planned around. Clearance requirements for this small ironing board were tricky to fit but we made it happen and what a meaningful puzzle this was to solve!
Plan, Inspiration & Renderings
Let’s just say the before and after photos for this project speak for themselves…
This basement laundry room was bare bones and tired. Our clients both love to do laundry (this may be a source of all long standing marriages but we’ve not kept a tally thus far) but the state of the room as it was made the process very unpleasant. Picture the type of room where you feel a bit uncomfortable when the sensor lights go out … or you keep checking behind you to make sure you’re not going to be attacked by some unknown intruder….
So while the bar was a little low “help the client not feel like they are going to be attacked while folding”.... Our aim, was to create a spa-like experience for these two love birds who actually enjoy laundry (!?!?!?!?!).
Thankfully we had a large square space here with one bright window to play with. The only stipulation with space planning here was budget, i.e. keeping the plumbing (sink & washing machine) and venting (for the dryer) where it was existing to help conserve budget allocation to the things we all love to think about - custom millwork & beautiful hard finishes!
One of the benefits of well executed millwork is that you can add TONS of storage while still maintaining a large feeling room which is what we’ve achieved here. Working left to right, we added full-height wardrobes for the clients & kids to keep seasonal clothing, opening up to a break in cabinetry with beautiful oak floating shelves to provide a space for styling / cleaning products used daily, with space below for the pull-out hamper and a countertop that runs through the bi-fold corner cabinet where the laundry and cleaning products you don’t want to show off can be easily hidden. Over the machines we incorporated a large folding counter space made of a durable lightly veined quartz, with a pretty side splash detail where it meets the sink cabinet to protect the millwork around the machines. We love being able to keep sinks under windows where we can so that clients can enjoy the natural sunlight we have so much of in Toronto (eye roll). On the opposite wall we hung some compact and functional wall-hung drying racks which are pretty enough that they feel like textural wall decor. If you were wanting more countertop space, adding a moveable island is a great way to do that.
What we love about the new space is that there is a ton of room for our clients to do their laundry in a serene space that they enjoy being in… wash, fold, store, repeat!
Plan, Inspiration & Renderings
Project Folkway was a laundry room that our clients wanted us to make into a mudroom/laundry room combo but keeping the sink was a must. So, we took down a poorly used hall closet and wall and were able to add in a floor to ceiling, custom cabinet to store shoes, coats, hats and sports equipment. Moving the sink over, also gave a better laundry folding area above the new washer/dryer and we were able to add in a drying bar, as so many of our clients are hanging over 40% of their clothing to dry! We blame the lululemon’s of the world.
The clients also loved the farmhouse sinks, so we put one in the laundry room, because…. Why not? The only thing to make sure of, when adding in a sink like this, is that the cabinet is custom made to support it.
If you want to add in a hang dry bar between cabinets and can’t find one that you like… look for a curtain rod! You can find different styles depending on your decor aesthetic which include transitional, modern and industrial/farmhouse.
Plan, Inspiration & Renderings
So there you have it, some tips to help your mudroom/laundry room work a bit harder for you and your family!
But before we leave you, my most frustrating part of laundry is how to keep track of mismatched socks. My recent attempt at order, is to put any strays into a cute basket and then once a month, go through the basket and reunite the pairs.
I’m loving these cute HomeSmith baskets right now!
We would love to hear from you! Feel free to share below what your favourite product was or any other pain points you have in your laundry room!