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Updating the laundry room

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The laundry room is often ignored, relegated to the basement or garage; but it can also be much more than just a spot to wash and dry clothes in.
Here’s a few ideas:

  • There are now washers and dryers that are not only functional, but also aesthetically pleasing (either blending in well with the surrounding décor or making a décor statement onto itself). And with the newer shapes and sizes, a laundry room can now be located in other rooms of the house (like an upstairs closet, underneath a stairway or even in a breakfast nook).
  • A laundry room can be a multipurpose area; if there’s enough space, consider adding some shelves and perhaps even an extra small to medium fridge to create a food-storage pantry. Got a large countertop in this location? It can also be a gift-wrapping spot. Or create a combo laundry/craft room (for sewing projects, etc).
  • It’s very important to select appliances that offer the features you need and want. And be sure to find those that will fit into the space you have. Have a very small house or apartment? Consider getting a stackable unit, in which the washer and dryer are literally vertical. Love bright colors? There’s a wide variety to now choose from. Optional: You can always paint the entire laundry room, or just a wall (or two). It’s up to you!
  • To make room for dirty clothes, hamper bins can be raised off the floor, suspended from a rod above the washer. Or it can be tucked behind a curtain or tucked into a cabinet to maintain a neat appearance. Or you can buy a sturdy cloth or canvas laundry bag (easily available at any dollar store) for each bedroom, where it can be stored inside a closet, underneath the bed (if there’s enough room) or other designated spot until wash day.
  • If there’s not enough cabinets, shelves and/or drawers in the laundry room-or there’s none at all-add a few. And you don’t have to be a master builder to achieve this. Just go to a couple of your local dollar stores and thrift shops; there you will find cabinets, drawers or shelves (and then some-often one-of-a-kind pieces) that will not only provide more storage, but will give the laundry room character. And you’ll save money! How cool is that?
  • If you’re really broke right now, start small. Use the top of the washer and dryer (or a small fold-up table) to fold and stack clothes and sort out dirty ones. Keep the laundry liquids, detergents and other cleaning supplies in a neat group on the small table after you’re done or in a neat group on the floor, until your situation’s better.

Source: “How to design a laundry room”-Special to the Vindicator-Valley Homes, April 2013

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