How to Solve Your Laundry Room Frustrations

French style laundry room

Do you have one of those laundry areas in a dingy, unfinished basement? Or do you perpetually have a big pile of dirty clothes on the laundry room floor, waiting to be sorted and washed?

I believe the state of your laundry room is directly correlated with your feelings towards doing laundry, and that laundry rooms no longer need to be unpleasant places to keep behind closed doors. Whether you are looking to create a place where you will enjoy doing laundry, or just make it bearable, the following pointers will help you to create a beautiful, well-organized space.

1. Sorting area

The fact that any well-organized laundry room should have a system for sorting is a no-brainer, but you may be pleasantly surprised at the many options available for sorting your soiled garments.

If you prefer open storage, how about shelves with some pretty bins or baskets:

Laundry room hampers

Photo by ReStyle Group Interiors

Or the old standby – neat and practical canvas bags:

Laundry room hampers

Source – Pinterest

But if you like to keep things hidden, the good news is that there are now innovative accessories that allow you to incorporate hampers into your cabinetry:

Built-in Laundry Room Hampers

Photo by Organized Interiors


Built-in laundry room hampers

Photo by The Kitchen Source

2. Drying Racks

I’m a dryer kind of girl – my preference would be to throw everything in the dryer and not have to worry about hanging anything up to dry. But let’s face it – certain things just shouldn’t be put in the dryer (I learned that the hard way). Having spent years putting up with one of those folding racks taking up space in the middle of my laundry room floor, I am thrilled with some of the options available now that are so much more space-friendly.

These slide-out drying racks are one great alternative:

Laundry room - pull out drying rack

Photo by Total Spaces Design

These fold-out ones are another favourite of mine:

Laundry room - fold out drying racks

Photo by Rabaut Design Associates

Last year we built a laundry room for a client and she had a retractable drying rack that I thought was really cool. When you’re not using it, it folds away and sits inconspicuously on the wall:
Laundry room - retractable drying rackLaundry room - retractable drying rack
Here is a similar concept:
Laundry room - retractable drying rack

Photo by Gary J Ahern, AIA

Or you could hide them away completely, such as in this specially built drying cabinet (we built something similar for a client a few years ago):
Laundry room - drying cabinet

Photo by Louis L’artisan


 3. Ironing/folding area

Do you iron and fold your laundry in the laundry room or do you take it to another part of the house? Perhaps you have practiced this style of interior decorating? (I know I have):

When you have one of those dingy basement laundry rooms, you really don’t want to spend any more time there than you absolutely have to. But now that you are going to have a bright new organized laundry room you are going to want to spend more time there. Let’s keep the laundry where it belongs and set yourself up properly with an area for folding and ironing.

If your space is limited, you may need to use the counter over the washer and dryer. Many people find this too high however – ideally you want something about kitchen counter height. While most laundry rooms aren’t large enough, I just love the the folding table in the laundry room:

Laundry room cabinets

Source – Pinterest

On the other hand, you may be really tight for space and need to squeeze out extra space wherever you can. How about this slide-out folding area:

Slide-out laundry room shelf

Photo by Schryver Design LLC

Closely related to folding is the task of ironing. Now, who wants to pull out a clunky old ironing board and set it up, especially if you are tight on space? There are a couple of space-saving options.

Here is one that folds down from a cabinet on the wall:

Laundry room - fold down ironing board

Photo by John Hall Custom Homes

This one hides away in a drawer:

Laundry room - fold out ironing board

Photo by Hardwood Creations

Or if you really can’t imagine parting with your traditional ironing board, then consider finding it a home where it can be tucked away out-of-sight:

Laundry room - ironing board storage

Photo by Tony Colangelo Photography

4. Bright and happy décor

Finally, in order to really enjoy your laundry room and want to spend any time there at all, it needs to be bright and the decor needs to be inviting. I love the clean, white look of this laundry room:

Source: Pinterest

But it’s your space so make sure it reflects your style. If you like darker wood tones, maybe this will catch your eye:

Laundry room - dark wood

Photo by Scott Christopher Homes

Or for those who like a more modern look:
Modern laundry room

Photo by Wonderful Kitchens

Just make sure it reflects you and your style, and is someplace where you will actually enjoy spending time (even if you may not necessarily enjoy what you’re doing!). We built this laundry room for a client who loved warm, earthy tones, which was reflected throughout her home. This laundry room incorporates most of the elements discussed above – there are open shelves for the the hampers, pullout drying racks (above the hampers and above the washer/dryer), a hanging rod for for drying, and a countertop for folding. But above all it reflects the client’s personal style and makes laundry a more enjoyable task for her. (Note the TV on wall too. Love that! Might as well be entertained while you’re ironing, right?)
Calgary laundry room cabinets

Photo by Casa Flores Cabinetry


Calgary laundry room cabinets

Photo by Casa Flores Cabinetry

A few final ideas

In parting I wanted to share another laundry room that we built for designer Suzette Toews a few years ago, which has some features that I absolutely love. It has a French Country flavour, with little decorative touches like the custom fabric valance over the window, the apron sink, and the decorative toekick on the sink cabinet. It really doesn’t look like a laundry room at all, does it? It’s so inviting.

French style laundry room - Calgary laundry room cabinets

Photo by Casa Flores Cabinetry

It has great storage accessories too:

Calgary laundry room cabinets

Photo by Casa Flores Cabinetry

But my favourite part is the built-in washer and dryer! Seriously – how would you even know this is a laundry room?

Calgary laundry room cabinets - built-in washer and dryer

Photo by Casa Flores Cabinetry

Do you need help solving your laundry room frustrations? We’d love to help. Call or email us today to book your free in-home consultation.

– Jolanda Slagmolen-Flores, AKBD

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