Every home needs a laundry room and most homemakers spend a great deal of time in it so why not have a great one?

When designing your dream laundry room it would be wonderful to have unlimited space and money but typically this isn’t possible.  But with some planning you can make the most of the space you have and hopefully fit a few extras in your budget.

Laundry AreaCredit: gimmiemoore.blogspot.com

Let’s consider some of the important elements that should be included in a functional laundry room.

Appliances – This is pretty basic but when purchasing a washer and dryer to install in your laundry room you will want to do extensive research to get the most for your money and a set that meets your personal needs.  There is a wide spectrum of choices, styles, and price ranges for washers and dryers. 

You will need to determine your needs and take into account the following:

How many loads will you do a day?  A week?  This will be determined by how many people are in your family.  Do you do heavy, dirty loads or are they typically lightweight?  These questions will determine what size of tub you will want and the features you will need.  Visit your local appliance store and ask questions about every option available to you. 

If you purchase a front-loading set, will you put them on a stand with a storage drawer underneath?  Before doing this you will have to consider the size of your laundry room.  If you have a small room then you won’t have space for folding clothes you might want to keep your appliances the normal height so you can use the tops for a folding table. 

Lighting – It is important to have plenty of lighting in your laundry room.  A couple of fluorescent light fixtures are actually the best and will put off a lot of light for ironing. 

Folding Table – Will you have a counter top available for folding your clothes as you take them out of the dryer?  If not, you will have to use the tops of your appliances. 

Ironing Area – Add a wall-mounted built in ironing board to free up the space in your room.  It looks like a cupboard and has room to store your iron and with the extra light fixture will add an extra light when ironing.  Match the door to your cupboards.  Make sure you get an ironing board that swivels so you can easily move when ironing.  If you can’t have a built in cupboard make sure you leave space to set up an ironing board.

Built In Ironing BoardCredit: bonus.com

Clothes Bar – It’s nice to be able to hang clothes up immediately after ironing or as soon as you take the wrinkle-free items out of the dryer and using a doorknob just doesn’t work well.  I also don’t care for the over-the-door racks because they seem to be in the way all of the time, make it hard to close the door if clothes get left on it, and it looks messy!  If you have a closet pole mounted somewhere in your laundry room your clothes will stay nice and unwrinkled until you are ready to put them away in the bedroom closets.

Sink – It’s nice to have a nice, deep sink in the laundry area.  This sink can be used to soak dirty clothing or when hand washing delicates.  Just think of the convenience when you are preparing Thanksgiving dinner and now you have an extra sink for thawing the turkey and washing large pans.  It’s also great to have for messy clean ups like painting materials. 

Storage Cabinets – You can never have too much storage especially in your laundry room.  It seems like the laundry room ends up being the room where put all of those little things you aren’t sure where else to put them.  Suggestion:  Plan an open shelf above your washer and dryer to set your laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets on without having to open a cabinet door every time.  Add cabinets above the up above the open shelf. 

Dirty Laundry – You can include built in hampers, baskets, or my favorite, a rolling laundry cart that has three sections to hold dirty laundry.  With a rolling cart you can separate your dirty laundry by colors and according to the loads you wash.  A good idea is to design the room so that your sorting table has an open area under it to store the rolling hamper for dirty laundry.

Laundry RoomCredit: flickr.com

Clean Laundry – Include a couple of large open shelves that will hold baskets of clean laundry.  Each member of the family should have a basket so they can help by putting their own laundry away.  Include one basket for the kitchen and a basket for each bathroom to hold clean towels.  Choose sturdy colored laundry baskets or decorative wicker baskets for a more designer look. 

Laundry BasketsCredit: 1950satomicranchhouse.blogspot.com

Storage Lockers – Storage lockers for each member of the family is the perfect solution to lost boots and gloves and coats left thrown on the floor.  Provide a space for shoes, a basket for “junk,” hooks or hangers for coats, and a shelf for hats and gloves.  It’s nice to have a little bench to sit at while putting on shoes.  Make sure if you store shoes in the laundry room that you have a rug or container so the mud and dirt doesn’t get tracked into the rest of the room or house.   A piece of left over carpet is nice to use in the bottom of the lockers.  It makes for easy clean up, just take out and shake or vacuum and if it gets really dirty, pressure wash clean. 

Sewing Center – If you have a large enough space, the laundry room is a perfect sewing area because you have your ironing center and your folding table can be used for laying out patterns, measuring and cutting fabric.  A well-designed sewing center that you can open up and pull out is perfect in a laundry room.  When you aren’t sewing just push everything back in and the room looks nice and tidy.

Bulletin Board – A laundry room is a good place to mount a family message center and bulletin board to hold all of those pesky things you don’t quite know what to do with. 

Over-the-door-shoe-hanger - You know, one of those with a lot of pockets!  Hang one on the back of your laundry room door out of sight of visitors.  It makes a great little catch-all for those hard to find items like a lint brush, flashlight or spare gloves.