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Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 3:09 pm | Fair 69º


Today’s Laundry Room Trends Elegantly Raising Profile of Utilitarian Spaces

While washers and dryers get the job done, there’s a whole new world of features to make your chores easier

For this Santa Barbara home, Cathy Haslem and Julie Pickert of Duet Interior Design transformed a spare but cluttered laundry room into an efficient, inviting and comfortable work space. Click to view larger
For this Santa Barbara home, Cathy Haslem and Julie Pickert of Duet Interior Design transformed a spare but cluttered laundry room into an efficient, inviting and comfortable work space. (Duet Interior Design photo)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Anyone who has ever carried a heavy load to a laundromat knows what a joy it is to have a laundry room at home. Lately, however, some homeowners are taking that happiness to another level by putting serious thought and money into these utilitarian rooms.

Based on photos posted by viewers, Mitchell Parker of Houzz.com — a website for home remodeling and design — has compiled a list of this year’s top trends in laundry rooms.

By far the biggest buzz is about pets, Parker notes, and particularly pet-washing stations. If that seems like an extravagant use of space, try getting a muddy, 80-pound German shepherd into and out of the family bathtub. And then try to clean the tub well enough that you would like to sit in it yourself. Be sure to leave enough time to wipe off the floor, walls and ceiling as well, after the clean dog shakes off all that water.

Because the washing machine already requires the same water pipes and drains, it makes some practical sense to put a pet-washing station in the same room. People planning a new home can build the idea into their design. Some homeowners who have remodeled their laundry rooms have made space for the pet-washing station by stacking their washer and dryer.

Another popular feature is a drying rack, or more than one. Some racks are rows of rods that fold down from a wall or from under a cabinet. Others pull out like drawers to reveal a screen that is perfect for laying a garment flat to dry.

Third on Parker’s list are cubbies of all sizes. In tight spaces, perhaps they’re just big enough to hold laundry supplies. In larger rooms, some people have created spaces big enough so that each cubby can hold its own laundry basket. By labeling each basket with the name of a family member, the parent who does the laundry can teach the kids to take their own clean clothes back to their rooms and put it all away.

Also climbing the popularity charts are pull-out and other bonus features. In addition to drying racks, some of the favorites are hanging rods, additional storage, and tables and ironing boards that stow away neatly when not in use.

Also popular are features that add a little charm to a utilitarian space. These include natural light, upgraded floors, rich paint colors and “statement backsplashes” to lighten the mood for the person who spends countless hours on a never-ending chore such as laundry.

Cathy Haslem and Julie Pickert of Duet Interior Design recently transformed a laundry room/pantry project at a Santa Barbara-area home. Originally, the long and narrow room had no shelving, no work counter and no lower cabinets — conditions in which disorganization flourished.

“We gutted the room and designed custom upper and base cabinets with pullout drawers and bins for storing detergent bottles, pet food bins and other bulky items,” Haslem told Noozhawk.

New flooring, tile, countertops, paint, under-cabinet lighting and new shelving with bead board for the the pantry completed the makeover. A wood counter over the washer and dryer was a simple feature that added to the ambience.

Noozhawk contributing writer Dave Bemis can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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