Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A bigger laundry room

The "ideal house" category is our place to catalog our hare-brained ideas and dreams for the house that we'll maybe build one day, as well as a forum for venting frustrations about the lame building and design choices of our current suburban box.

My bedroom is covered with clothing. Part of this is an aesthetic choice -- my room is the one part of the house that I keep closed off from visitors at all times, so if there's laundry unfolded it gets dumped in row of baskets in front of the dresser. But it's also a storage necessity. As I fold clothes, I sort through them and pack away any that the girls have outgrown and store them in boxes -- which live in my room so that I don't have to schlep down to the garage with every t-shirt or skirt that needs to be put away.

My current laundry room is about five feet square and just big enough to allow the washer and dryer to be opened and to hold a folded up ironing board, and a trash can. In my ideal house, the laundry room would be big enough to contain boxes of clothes in storage and a table for folding clothes. And a rack for hanging drip-dry items so I didn't have to balance hangers on the door frame or use the shower curtain rod in the bathroom. And a window would be nice.

I do like that the laundry room is upstairs so that I don't have to haul everything downstairs.


Catholic Bibliophagist said...

I agree with you on every one of those except that I would add a small utility sink.

Also, I don't care for having the laundry room upstairs because sooner or later the washer will leak or overflow.

mrsdarwin said...

A utility sink, absolutely! Thanks for reminding me. I'm hoping that people will leave comments mentioning things I've forgotten or why some ideas aren't so great (such as the possibility of leakage upstairs, which I hadn't thought about because it hasn't happened so far).

Ben said...

In the custom homes I build, we try to make the laundry room about the size of a small study or, say, large walk in closet. The laundry room is directly adjoining the Master closet (which is usually directly adjoining the Master bath), and has a second entry that adjoins a hall from the other bedrooms.

The only constraint is that the laundry room has to be either on or near an outside wall, for the exhaust of the dryer. (And I'm not even sure that is a must, perhaps that's just the way we've always assumed it must be?)

The main idea is to keep all laundry out of sight of the kitchen and living areas.

mrsdarwin said...

Ben, our laundry room is in the middle of the house, but I think it vents upwards through the roof.

Jennifer Fitz said...

Put a drain in the floor for leakage. Even downstairs, you really don't want your house flooded.

Ginkgo100 said...

Yes. Me too. What makes my cramped laundry room/mud room even worse is the fact that it's the only practical place to keep our cats' litter box. I am not really thrilled to have that on the floor near the clean clothes. And a floor drain and utility sink would be a must!

Actually, I am intrigued by the idea of a floor drain in the kitchen. It would limit one's choice of flooring material, though.

Have you heard of the "family closet"? My sister, who has seven kids, loves hers.

Melanie B said...

Mrs D, What great ideas! That sounds like heaven. I love the idea of putting clothes storage in the laundry room. Right now I have all the kids' clothes in Isabella's room because there's no room in our master bedroom for the boxes what with all the baby gear.

In our part of the country it seems all laundry rooms are in the basement. What a pain it is to schlepp all the clothes down there. And it's damp and dirty and full of spiders and bugs. And big puddles form whenever it rains. I have a utility sink but am afraid to go near it as I don't think it's been washed anytime in the last decade.

One thing I'd add is a big table for folding and sorting clothes. I find I'm much more likely to fold if I do it as I take things out of the dryer. Once things go into a basket, it's so much harder to get around to sorting them.

Melanie B said...

Oh and I love the family closet idea. That would really only work if your laundry room is on the same level as the bedrooms, though. Can't see the kids treking down to the basement to get clothes.

Barb said...

The laundry room is one room where I wish I could do something different in our house. I do have a clothes rack to hang things's wonderful.
But I wish the room was bigger and I really wish it had a pocket door. I have to open the door into the room and it always gets in the way when I'm doing things in there, so I end up going in and closing it behind me.

LogEyed Roman said...

Okay, good, you have Ben, a reader who builds custom homes, knows what he's doing, and cares about his customers.

The only idea I have at the moment is one my brother and others have used as part of a remodel. A remodel can sometimes give you what you are looking for for lest cost and/or a better location. And if the lot is big enough and the local authorities will let you, one thing to do is build a second garage on the property. The idea is to make one of them attached and one detached. Large, of course. The attached garage can then be used for the laundry operation and have most of its space available for other uses. It can be a dandy place for a pantry, including a second fridge and/or a chest freezer. You can put in carpet and drywall and a lightweight ceiling (with storage above it!) Add a simple sheet metal garden shed for the "dirtiest" garden supplies etc., and maybe for paint and solvents, and you have a huge amount of "utility" space in both garages that really don't have to be as fully carpeted, walled, curtained, etc., as the rest of the house. For laundry, a pantry, and other uses (library stacks comes to mind), you can get fully satisfactory space inside a garage for much less money per square foot than inside your house.

Just a thought.

LogEyed Roman