On any given day, 28 million Americans are doing laundry-related chores, according to research done by the Whirlpool Corporation. A laundry-room is a key focus for many homeowners, with purchases of high-end washers and dryers leading the way. In 2009 alone, manufacturers shipped more than 14.3 million washers and dryers to appliance stores.
An informal survey of NARI members (the National Association of the Remodeling Industry), revealed laundry-room projects that featured dog-washing stations; craft tables; lockers for each family member; smart-house technology with video cameras, speakers and telephones; and custom finishes, including marble counter tops, tile walls and custom cabinetry. Also, NARI reports that a majority of their customers want the convenience and family interaction of their laundry room being on the ground or second floors, rather than down in a dismal basement.
So what should you take into consideration when remodeling an existing or creating a new laundry room? First, obviously, since "laundry" is the key part of what is done there, make sure the room works for getting the laundry done. For example, if your room is quite small, make sure you have enough room to open the dryer door before you think about putting in shelves. Consider wall-mounted shelves that are higher up so you have clearance around the appliances and the ability to fit laundry supplies close to them.
Keep in mind your laundry habits -- will you be folding clothes in there so that some counter space is needed? Do you have multiple family members and want hampers for each? Do you have a lot of blouses that need to drip dry, thereby requiring a closet rod mounted above a utility sink?
If the laundry-room also doubles as part of the kitchen, pantry, or mudroom, then you may want cabinetry to hide the unsightly supplies (or even the appliances themselves). And feel free to decorate the space in a manner that is pleasing to you!
Make drab laundry chores more enjoyable by incorporating your favorite colors and your kids' artwork on the room's walls. You could also invest in pretty curtains for windows, and decorative lighting to make the room cheery. Speaking of which, make sure you have adequate lighting. The laundry room is a work area, and you need to be able to see what you're doing! If you're ironing or sewing, consider task lighting, such as a desk lamp with an incandescent bulb.
Changing your laundry-room organization may even change your attitude about laundry. If the room has all the conveniences to make your chores easier, and it features cabinetry, colors, and a decor you enjoy -- your relationship with your laundry room may very well change from hate to "love"!
Related Links: Gallery of Laundry Rooms