Design laundry + more room

Ott2February 23, 2012

Hello! Thanks for looking.

I am working on the laundry (+more) room for a new build. We will break ground in April. We will be in this house "forever". Couple of kids in college and one starting high school, so we will be empty nesters in too few years. I want the "laundry" part of my room to be very functional. The "more" part of my laundry room is to do with as I wish. I wish to make this space call to me to come spend lots of hours producing something meaningful out of the 25 years worth of pictures that have piled up. I have about 40+ photo storage boxes packed (in no particular order now) with photos ranging from our childhoods through our children's childhoods. I have another few thousand photos on my computer from more recent years. I would like to set up my laundry room to efficiently handle all of the muddy Boy Scout stuff from camping weekends, routine laundry, etc., and at the same time be my "happy" room where I can paint the walls any funky color I want, hang my favorite old kid pics even if "outdated", and go to town tackling my chaos.

I want my computer/scanner/printer/etc work area to be part of the design.

Below are two clips from our house plans with alternative laundry room configurations. Right now, I can still change any of the configuration inside of the laundry room perimeter walls. Just outside of the laundry room, at the entrance from the garage, there is some mud room type hall open storage for coat hooks, back packs, keys, etc. I can possibly change this area a bit as well, although it's to my advantage to leave the hall space as functional as possible to keep incoming clutter from finding the kitchen. One of the plans below shortens the hall storage to make the laundry space more functional..., but I hate to lose the hall storage. There must be a better solution? Both plans below (from the architect) show a closet, but neither closet seems right.

Any ideas? I am idea'd out, and just see a big open space. I can add shelving, counters, cabinets (glass front or not?), some sort of an island, and/or a bigger/different/additional closet as needed.

Thanks for considering my future play area!

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I wouldn't want the doors opening in the path of the washer/dryer. If you are doing front loaders you are going to have the path obstructed when you are using the machines.

Leave the wash/dry set up like noted on the first sketch. However, move the door over towards the powder room. Then take the space between the dryer and door and use this as your folding table. Put cabinetry below to sort your dirty laundry.

The door outside would be aligned with the door from the hallway. Again wrap the cabinet, up to the door, and put the sink on the outside wall. You would then be able to use the other L shaped corner for your crafts/pictures.

On the outside wall, if you have room, I would drop a window on each side of the door. One over your sink and the other one over your new craft area. You can never have too much light. Also think of installing some kind of task lighting in your crafty area.

Last thoughts. If this is a two story home I would put in a laundry chute. And have you thought about cabinetry for an ironing board and also maybe cable for TV/internet?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 11:18PM
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Hi Ott2,
If the mudroom hallway feels important to you then I think you should keep it as in the first diagram. Hopefully there is room there for trash/recycle so junk mail and stuff brought in from the car doesn't make it any further. (But maybe that's just my problem!) I don't think the placement of the utility room door would be a significant problem - most of the time you're not standing in front of the appliances. I wouldn't move the doors over. Avoid a view from the Master hallway that looks through the utility room and right out the back of the house.
What I would change about the first diagram is that I'd put the sink at the end of the W/D run toward the back door, instead of that closet. A sink at the end of your big L workspace counter would be inconvenient. If you use front load W/D then you can have a counter top over them for folding and shelves or cabinets above them for laundry supplies.
Put a closet in the upper corner next to the powder room as in diagram 2 if you think you'll need a closet, or maybe that's where a built-in drop down ironing board or laundry sorting station would be useful.
The L shape counter will provide a lot of workspace. You could add shallow book shelves along that closet/powder room wall that the L counter ends on.

I wouldn't put upper cabinets on the outside wall of the room. Instead I'd put in a bigger window - double what is shown in diagram 2. Something I could see out of while seated. I'd put a low shelf below that window but above the counter top to hold pretty containers of crafting tools and keep those up off the counter workspace but out where I could reach them. If you live in a super cold climate make sure the window is double or triple pane glass and well caulked, the wall is well insulated, the outer door is weatherstripped and the work counter area has good heat. You won't regret more daylight -Natural daylight is always appealing. Can't beat an inviting workspace with lots of light and a private garden view!
Wish I had a space like this!

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 12:52AM
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housefairy: Thanks for your note! I realized after I read your note that because we have so much glass in this house, I had assumed that the door on the outside wall of the laundry was glass. That was a bad assumption on my part! It IS now a glass door thanks to your comment about enough light!

honeybea5: Love your recycle space idea for the "mudroom" hallway. Will do that. Also, love the bookshelves idea for the wall behind the powder room. We will have a library in the new house, but I have lots of frequently used reference books that would fail the "library quality" test. Now they will have a home. I have moved the sink to the end of the W/D run, and the close will go elsewhere. I will re-think the window configuration. What about a window that runs the length of the workspace, but is only about 2 ft tall? A window shaped like this would mimic a high window on the wall opposite the garden area. The opposite window is actually too high to see out of, but the rest of that room is almost all glass. A long, low window in the laundry+more area would get a lot of daylight, but not a lot of direct sun because of the depth of the overhangs from the roof and the direction the window faces. Winters are mostly mild here, but summers can be BRUTAL. I could put high storage and/or shelving above the window? What do you think?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 4:05PM
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