Welcome to “At Home with Tom and Sandy.” Sit back, relax and enjoy. Here we are, readers, continuing to move at warp speed – whooshing, zooming and rocketing, as I like to say – with the New Year just a blink away.
Sandy: Well, another month has passed, it is definitely colder and our holiday season is full steam ahead.
So, this time I am going to pick a room in the home, any room, and you can lay your expertise out for all to see and read! You up for the challenge?
Tom: You bet I am! You know I love talking about the home.
Sandy: Okay then, my choice is the laundry room! Bet you weren’t ready for that! So let’s love our laundry room!
Tom: Well, that is a surprise. We don’t talk about this space very much and we really should spend some time chatting about it.
Sandy: Well, it isn’t the first room people talk about when designing a new home, I bet, but do people remodel laundry rooms with any frequency?
Tom: Good observation and yes, people do remodel the laundry room. Usually, it is part of a larger project such as the kitchen or garage conversion, but the laundry room does get remodeled often.
Sandy: So, I imagine many of us have laundry rooms that need some love. The laundry room is a pretty important room in the home and needs to be laid out well, be functional and probably should be a space that we enjoy.
We know the clothes washer and a dryer are pretty standard fare and I am sure there are other uses. Tom, what is your experience? What do you see in laundry rooms to conquer clutter and make laundry feel like less of a chore and more exciting?
Tom: With the remodeling we have been doing, the washer and dryer are making their way into being featured more prominently in laundry rooms. Laundry rooms are no longer dark rooms in the corner of a home. Some homeowners are devoting a large portion of the laundry room to show off the washer and dryer.
Sandy: I bet the color of the laundry room has changed – no longer cloud white. My laundry is a beautiful sunshine yellow.
Tom: Yes Sandy, we are painting laundry rooms light bright colors with even exciting flooring that does not match anything else in the home. At Renovations, we have the philosophy that laundry rooms can help you think, plan, dream and relax.
Sandy: Tom, are you saying laundry rooms have become Zen?
Tom: Today’s modern laundry room can certainly be more calm and serene than a yoga studio.
In reality, next to the kitchen, the laundry room might be the most used room in the home and the least celebrated. I have found the room’s location in the home dictates what the other uses are.
Sandy: That makes sense. In some homes, such as mine, the laundry room is my entry point from the garage and then into the kitchen.
Tom: You are right, Sandy, and where it exits into the house even further dictates how the space is utilized. By way of example, if the pass-through leads to a hall by the bedrooms, then it would most likely serve as storage space for household items not used everyday such as a vacuum or broom.
Another favorite location for the laundry room is adjacent to the kitchen. This makes it handy.
Sandy: Tom, you are so right. Being the multitasker I am, I’m cooking and washing clothes at the same time, just a short step away and the fluff cycle is on.
Tom: I get it. And also, if space allows, it becomes a place for food storage, such as a pantry or a larger freezer or wine storage.
Sandy: Now, that would be even better. Tom: LOL. The wine cellar will be another topic for another room. It certainly surprises me with all that this room can do. I guess we never really think about this space.
Sandy: As you mentioned earlier, Tom, some laundry rooms have pantries. My laundry room has my large pantry, which is cool. Bring the food items into the home and into the pantry they go without having to walk through the kitchen. I can even see a laundry room being the “mud” room as well. Boots, shoes, jackets and hats all at the ready on wall hooks or hanging up.
Tom: We see that a lot. If space allows, there is usually a cabinet above the washer and dryer and an adjacent counter that acts as a folding counter and a catch all for Items as we pass through the space.
Sandy: I would love, love, love a folding counter in my laundry room; however, my catch-all is the top of the washer and dryer that acts as my folding table.
Tom: Many folks use the laundry room as a junk drawer of sorts and I have seen the laundry room acting as a holding place for lots of things. “Just put it in the laundry room for now,” is a phrase I have heard and used many times.
Sandy: That gives me an idea – what about laundry room basket storage? Shelving would be critical. Easy storage and easy accessibility.
What else goes on in this room that we haven’t talked about yet? A soaking sink or a fold-down ironing board would be fantastic in a laundry room.
Tom: Sinks are becoming the “in” thing in a laundry room and I would like to say to anyone remodeling, “Do not limit yourself with a small sink.” A farmhouse style sink can be used for countless purposes, a drop spot for wet towels, rain gear, snow gear and the occasional dog wash for a small doggie, of course. In larger remodels, we have relocated the laundry room adjacent to the kitchen. This makes it handy, where previously the laundry rooms have been in hallways adjacent to baths.
Sandy: Tom, you guys have your “man caves,” I think we need to change the name from laundry room to “she cave,” no longer just a laundry room, but a room for maybe some quiet time, where the sun comes in through windows, maybe adding a desk to create a retreat where she can get crafty, look through cookbooks, arrange flowers and work at her computer.
Tom: As a reminder, laundry room size doesn’t matter. A good design can make the very best use of a microscopic space. So remember, regardless of how much or how little space you have, there are always innovative ways to use the laundry room space to its utmost.
Sandy: Laundry room design can run from eclectic to avant-garde or to modern or simple and streamlined. If you have an entire room or just a corner to devote to laundry, there are a multitude of ideas and ways to make that happen. You can turn that utilitarian laundry space into something cool!
Thanks, readers, for stopping in and reading “At Home with Tom and Sandy.” You’re in good company and we love sharing educational, fun and important information with you. QCBN
Tom Reilly, Architect, Contractor, Renovations 928-445-8506 renovationsaz.com
Sandy Griffis, Executive Director, Yavapai County Contractors Association. 928-778-0040.