The Room That Wears Many Hats
Kitchens and baths may be at the top of most homeowners’ renovation lists but you might be surprised to know that laundry rooms are garnering a lot more attention than they used to, especially if there is an opportunity to incorporate “mudroom” features. Gone are the days when this room was overtly utilitarian, used for the sole purpose of housing the laundry machines. Today’s laundry rooms are high-traffic, multitasking zones that help homeowners stay on top of chores (pet grooming, garden activities, crafting, gift wrapping, home office duties, storage) and organized.
Trends in laundry room/mudroom design illustrate that homeowners are seeking a seamless transition from the back entry of the home that is functional, aesthetically pleasing and tailored to their lifestyle. Key to these desires is to use every inch of space and incorporating high-durability, low-maintenance materials.
As with any remodel, the proof is in the planning. The following is a guide to assist you with planning a laundry and mudroom remodel that can streamline your household tasks while providing a nice springboard for your entry and exit from your home.
First decide what functions you would like your laundry/mudroom to perform. For example:
- Laundering clothes (machine washing, hand washing, machine drying, air drying, etc.)
- Storing laundry supplies, cleaning supplies, dry goods, pet food, etc.
- Grooming and feeding pets
- Wrapping gifts
- Gardening (starting seedlings, arranging flowers or washing veggies from the garden)
- Creating a butler’s pantry or “dirty” kitchen (a place for dishes, food and beverage storage, as well as staging area for entertaining, complete with kitchen appliances)
- Doing household paperwork (bill paying, scheduling, completing school papers, etc.)
- Staging a landing area for shoes, coats, purses, backpacks and charging personal electronics
Once you’ve established the primary criteria for the laundry room, it’s time to determine where the laundry/mudroom will be located. It’s a given that certain considerations will dictate that the room be situated on the entry floor, but exactly where may be up for negotiation.