"The popular trend for laundry room design is work space with upper cabinets for storage," say Robin Wilson of Robin Wilson Home. "Standard design includes a utility sink, bordered by a front load washer and dryer, which is typically more efficient. These newer models are available in more than basic colors and you can often see vibrant reds, blues and greens in the laundry room. More families are aware of ergonomics to prevent injuries -- and thus rooms are designed to ensure that heavy detergents are placed on lower shelves, laundry baskets are on wheels and ironing equipment is easily accessible."
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Though homeowners want convenience and functionality, style is also not forgotten. "Many clients want to combine their mud room with their laundry room," says designer Kristin Petro. "Or if they do have a separate laundry room, they want to add a second washer and dryer in the mud room. A linen closet in the laundry room, instead of the hallway, makes it easy to fold and store towels and sheets! And while doing laundry may not be the most exciting task in the world, my clients still want high style in their laundry rooms. So I always try to include a tile backsplash and decorative lighting in my laundry room designs."
Jill Valeri of The Welcome Home: Interior Design Solutions agrees that the laundry room must incorporate function and style. "A long counter for folding or ironing and plenty of closed storage are must-haves. Many people are also using this room as a mudroom and we include hooks for backpacks and jackets as well as shoe storage and a small bench if there is enough space. These spaces are becoming brighter and more cheerful. They are reflecting the decor in the rest of the house and are not being ignored. Lighting has also improved since most of these don’t have windows. We are also seeing more art and accessories in this space but always placed in a way that maintains the functionality."
Every designer that we spoke with talked about the importance of storage space. HGTV Design Star finalist Cathy Hobbs, founder of Cathy Hobbs Design Recipes says, "Laundry rooms should be full of cabinets. Big trends right now are built-in ironing boards with racks for irons and small items. Everything is in its own compartment and functional."
Brittney Fischbeck of Abodwell Interior Design says energy-efficient appliances are a must. She also
suggests a special sink. "Clients are asking for an air bath laundry sink that gently cleans hand washables with effective bubble action. They don't require a special size or installation."
While many designers mentioned the laundry room being incorporated into the mudroom, Denise Sabia of Painted Home Designs says that some clients are incorporating laundry in their home office. This could be extremely beneficial for those who work from home. "Clients want laundry rooms that are more like the other rooms in their houses and less of an offshoot of a kitchen or powder room," explains Sabia. "Some laundry rooms are even functioning as home offices or where homework spaces have been added. The laundry room spaces I've designed recently have a more cozy feel."
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