Planning a laundry room

aliris19July 17, 2012


I'm a veteran of the kitchen forum but pretty new here. At loooong last I've started to recover sufficently from the trauma of designing a kitchen to turn to the other needed design elements in our as-yet-un-finished-remodel.

Please forgive me if this is plain as day, but I am requesting pointers to some general points or posts about designing a laundry room the way such things are setup in kitchens, if they exist over here. Buehl's general pointers were invaluable bootstrappers in getting started on this process.

Are there any especially good threads or posts with thoughts about how to get started on designing for a laundry room?

What features are people using that work well?

I'll start taking a stab here at listing some with again, apologies if this is obviously out-there already:

� drip-zone; hanging bar or maybe mesh to go above sink for drippy wet stuff (bathing suits, &c; damp washed shirt to hang; sweater than might want to lay flat and would drip)? Any good design plans? Hooks? Mesh elfa baskets?

� Detergent - that presumably wants to go above the washer or maybe in a cupboard to the side?

� Folding shelf?

� Iron/ironing board? Anyone like those pull down ones? I love the cute space-economy of it but in practice I think they can be a pain, no, because space to the side and front must be kept immaculately clear.

� Sorting -- abc-something-or-other just posted nifty pictures with double shelves that hold plastic laundry buckets for sorting and storing. That looks terrific. Any ideas for this sort of thing in less space?

� Corners? Ideas for how to use them?

What other zones or usage do people incorporate in their laundry rooms? abc has kid-stuff-storage which I love (but happen not to have room for).

I guess a good question is: what zones do you have in your laundry room? What purposes does the room address?

Thanks for your ideas or pointers to where to find all this neatly addressed already.

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Here are some items ASKO has to offer in the way of what you're looking to accomplish:

ASKO HiddenHelpers

ASKO Drying Cabinets

If nothing else the above can provide you some ideas.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 5:52PM
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Hmmm... is ASKO the RevAShelf of the laundry-room world?

Or perhaps rather Walmart? ;)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 8:36PM
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OMG: $570 for an ironing board you can't even take with you when you sell the house? Don't think so ...

Doesn't RevAShelf have one? It's not cheap either at $200 or maybe $140.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 8:49PM
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Houzz Laundry Room

Regarding ASKO...who really knows until after the transition?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 9:02PM
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Laundry is my favorite household chore and I'm pretty picky about it!

Before you do anything, I'd look at how you do laundry currently. Do you hand wash a lot? Do you hang dry a lot? Do you do big loads or small loads? Do you spend a lot of time folding (we don't; we hang everything except underwear, socks and workout clothes!). Some households would greatly benefit from having two dryers, while others hardly need one at all (like me).

Furthermore, are there things you'd like to do that you are unable to do currently? I guess I'd make a list of must-have features, followed by really-would-like features and so on down to "meh" features ;-)

To address the questions you laid out:

-A drip zone is essential for me since I don't dry any of my clothes (except socks, underwear and linens). I hang most of it on plastic hangars and I'm good to go. The racks collapse when I'm finished with them.

-I nixed the ironing board since I rarely iron. I usually spray the wrinkled garment with distilled water and throw it in the dryer for a couple of minutes.

-If you buy your detergent in bulk, it's not great as a top-shelf location. Try a drawer or one of those sliding baskets if you have a big giant box-o-Tide.

-I don't fold a darn thing so not great for me, but a "hanging shelf" would be great for me if I had the room...

-Sorting bins would be nice but they take up a fair amount of space. Also, sorting only takes a couple of minutes to do right before the laundry, so having dedicated space for such a thing doesn't work for me.

It'd be great to know how much space you have to work with, as well as where it's located in your house (dedicated utility room, mud room, etc).

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 6:16PM
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ooo ooo, Brandkb -- thank you for being willing to enter into this dialog with me -- it will be so helpful!!!

Thank you!

Actually, we sound a little similar. I do a lot of laundry and don't mind it too much; it's kinda a Zen of Laundry for me.

I have no dryer. I have a FL that's pretty old by now but still works great. We bought a dryer from the house's former occupant when we moved in 16 years ago. It died maybe 4 years ago now and I just never replaced it. I only ever used it maybe twice a year before that. It probably just got arthritis from dis-use. I don't miss it. I know others might. If I should happen to need a dryer, there's a laundromat 3 blocks from me, but I've never even needed that.

So ... that gives a little more space! But you're right, folding doesn't really happen indoors; it mostly all happens outdoors.

What does happen indoors is lots of clothes get tossed on the floor of the laundry room. So ... I've decided I need a sorting area for them and I love the method of just having shelves that someone posted here recently. I think having two shelves for 3 each of my square rubber maid buckets will be fantastic. Really, I just have no idea how anyone gets through life without laundry buckets. I use them for everything, packing, ordering, sorting, etc.

Then I also have a couple other dirty-clothes piles, for dining-room stuff like napkins and dish towels, and for nasty dirty cleaning rags. Those will want their own separate holding bins. The other laundry nominally gets collected elsewhere so volume-wise massive space isn't needed for it, but practically speaking, it all winds up on the floor basically 24/7 anyway.

I haven't really ironed anything for 20 years either. But I feel guilty about it! There's the cutest little ironing board by RevAShelf that fits into a drawer that I thought about getting ... but really, that's probably pretty stupid. Fantasies about ever ironing and spending that money to this end are likely going to get zero bang for the buck. Old dogs don't really change their spots, IYKWIM.

I agree completely that a drip zone and a hanging shelf are essential. I want a rack above the laundry sink and a rod. I was thinking about using the elfa stuff on one wall above the sink but not on another wall where the laundry bucket shelves will be. Uppers there would be good storage and cabinets will do that better I think. Likewise, I have one small squirelly space I want probably to put a cabinet into for "stick" cleaning things - mops, dust things, etc.

Elfa has rods and also those wire mech and wire racks that I thought would be great for somehow getting atop the sink as a drip setup for, say, sweaters. I do want rod space for men's shirts because those come out of the FL nearly, but not-quite dry. They need a little time just to hang dry. So they may not need to hang dry over the sink as they're only damp, not dripping like, say, sweaters.

Good thinking about the detergent, I hadn't remembered to think about that. I do buy in bulk, #50 boxes that I decant into a #5 box. So that smaller box I was planning a open shelf for above the machine. But I hadn't considered the big box. Currently I store that in a room in the garage (aka "guest house", lol), but maybe I should keep on doing so. I don't really have to fill the small box more than 4x per year.

I have laundry sorting bag-things in two bathrooms for family laundry to accumulate. But still, again, it does also wind up continuously on the floor. So I do think it probably does make sense to dedicate the space to this.

I will post plans below that I have from fiddling with IKEA's software. I don't think I will probably buy from them as I had a plausibly-OK experience with a local cabinetmaker who I could use again. I wouldn't say that experience was pleasant, but it was OK in the end.

I'm having trouble, though, getting those plans off the internet so I may submit this and come back later once I lift them off.

Racks, yes - I have oodles of them. I thought I should plan a little space to store and easily access them but truthfully, they're almost always up or open or outside anyway. Still...

So ... the space is off the kitchen-family room which is a big large open space. And then also off that space is an office/music room. That music room is separated from the laundry by a pocket door into the laundry room. The laundry room has a regular door to the FR-K, and there's a third door which is just a passthru to a 3/4 bath (in theory the office can be a guest room and this a bathroom for it); that bath has a door to the outside which my husband fanatasizes about storing me and all my laundry via along the house's sidewall. Ha. We'll see.... He has yet to make a deck happen out there and though I've hated the idea all along, I'm actually kind of sort of starting to like it too: shhhh.... ;) But in the meantime, the outside is accessed through the FR where there's a French door.

The room is 86" x 106" and the mashing machine and sink are currently on the only wall with no door. I'll get my plans into here anon. Gotta run right now.

Thanks for be willing to think about this and share some ideas!! Have you any photos of your setup?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 9:51PM
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So I just resorted to screen shots and they seem to upload OK.

So here's a floor plan:

I'm not sure I can get the dimensions of the cabinets - though maybe I can...

And here are some mockups that come from their computer:

These mockups and plans aren't really the last word. I'm doing the best I can with the offerings of IKEA but I think it will be different from scratch, presuming I can afford it.

For example, the shelves will perhaps be made from one long open cabinet box with no door attached as a "floating" cabinet to the wall; no lower if you follow. That will allow buckets to go "inside" the cabinet and on top of it. Then there will be a long surface above this turning the corner and extending over the washer.

I'm thinking of trying to turn the sink at 90-degrees to the washer along the passthru wall, but I'm not sure whether that will be too tight.

The squirelly cabinet in the corner by itself for the cleaning "sticks" wouldn't look like it does here; that was the best I could do from the IKEA stuff.

The shelves would be deeper.

Not sure what to do about a corner sink cabinet. Maybe I could work something out with, say, half-moon (on clearance at RevAShelf) shelves beneath that sink that would permit me to utilize all that dead space back there?

Storage of racks could go on the floor to the right of the washer against the back, dead end of the corner cab?

To left of the washer perhaps a thin elfa set of drawers with mesh drawers for nasty rag laundry?

Overhead - I sort of made this up from available IKEA stuff there but I'm not wedded to it either; gotta think more about it.

So .... what do you think? Too tight for sink at right angle to washer? Any other ideas/thoughts???

Thank you so very much!!!!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 10:14PM
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That's a good space to work with! Sounds like sorting bins are a good idea for you. I know you've had some bad experiences with IKEA, but they do make a laundry sorting cabinet that's quite cute:
This is made for a bathroom so they're pretty shallow, but I bet you could get a cabinet maker to replicate it for you (or a husband who can make a giant hold in a cabinet door!). The holes are just open so you'd throw your laundry right in there, and there are removable bins inside. All that would be left is some label-maker fun and you'd be good to go! It's a little different than the shelf-setup you mentioned, but just another option. I'm guessing you want to make it as easy as possible for people to dump their clothes so they don't end up on the floor!!

You're right, I think the sink at a right angle with the washer would be pretty tight. A half-moon corner unit might just be big enough to separate the sink and washer, however. I'm putting together an IKEA kitchen right now and it takes up more space than I anticipated. That would be a great place for laundry supplies as well.

A common setup is to have a sink under a window (a lot like it is in a kitchen) and then put a drying rack above the window. That way you're using the dead space and the clothes get some air flow (even if it's a pass-through and not an exterior window). Where you have some of the open shelves, you could allocate some space to stack some sweater dryers, but that depends on how many sweaters you air dry... I have so many racks as well! I can only imagine what it was like for my husband... coming home and there's clothes hanging from every available surface in the house...

Gotta love that IKEA planner. It has its limitations but it's so helpful when you're trying to visualize.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 11:04PM
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Oh that is cute! Only, .... how does it work? I can't quite make it out online. But I really like it! But it looks huge; probably bigger than I need or can afford space-wise for the two categories of laundry I do intend to collect in the laundry room, linens and rags. Can't let the latter accumulate too long, they're too smelly. And the former are not numerous or large.

I haven't had such bad experiences with IKEA. I think you have to be careful about what you choose; some of their stuff is bad and expensive to boot, other stuff is just wonderful and cheap too. Sort of runs the gamut. The worst of it is that it's not always very clear what is which; sometimes it takes a while for a product's failings to become clear. But some of my very favorite possessions of all time have come from IKEA.

And yup, the planner is cool, yet with, as you say, limitations. Learning curve is kinda shallow too -- it took me a very long while to get that far though it would take less time now. But basically it took me practically a day to get very proficient. And then you wind up with the limitations! Like, for example, there is a very limited set of furniture you can use unless I'm missing something (entirely possible).

I have no window in this laundry room. And I don't use the tub all that much, so I'm wondering whether even if it's tight as configured, it's doable? In other words, if you can reach the sink, does it matter that it feels a little cramped?

Back to the IKEA stuff -- the specs don't seem terribly shallow. They say 15" x 15 3/4" x 70 1/2" -- that's big! If it were 35" I'd be happier and could maybe use it in that squirrely corner. But I think I can't devote 71" to these items. Wish I could! Very cute. Thanks for pointing it out. ....oh, I get it ... you're suggesting I make a cabinet with doors the right size and then just cut round holes in them as shown. Good idea!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 12:17AM
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