Photography: Janis Nicolay
Two great laundry rooms, eleven terrific tips.
1. Durable countertops
The moisture in a laundry room can be tough on countertops, which is why durability should be the key consideration when choosing a surface material. For this laundry room reno, Toronto designer Jo Alcorn opted for a hard-wearing laminate that mimicked the look of natural stone. "Laminates have come a long way in terms of style," says Alcorn. "They're practical, water-resistant and an affordable alternative to granite and marble.
2. Treat yourself to a room with a view
The scenery outside serves as a welcome distraction from laundry duty, so Alcorn limited window treatments to a simple fabric valance.
3. Integrate the appliances
To give the new washer and dryer the polish of a built-in on a modest budget, Alcorn extended the laminate countertop over both appliances. The resulting surface makes an ideal workstation for folding clothes the moment they're pulled from the dryer.
Design, whitewashco.ca. Laminate countertop, belanger-laminates.com. Washer and dryer, whirlpool.ca. Cabinetry, cutlerkitchenandbath.com. Sink faucet, deltafaucet.ca. Accessories and artwork, bouclair.com. Wexford Fog 30GY 40/029 paint (on walls), cil.ca.
4. Opt for open shelving
A stack of floating shelves is a cost-conscious alternative to upper cabinetry and provides the opportunity to add a few decorative flourishes. Line them with baskets and bowls to serve as catchalls for loose change, receipts and everything else that's pulled from pockets before clothes are tossed into the wash.
5. Create a holding zone
There's no rush to iron freshly cleaned clothes in this house! When shirts that need pressing come out of the dryer, they're hung from this rod to prevent further wrinkling.
6. Showcase your suds
Detergent boxes are designed to stand out in a store aisle but look less than sophisticated in your home. To make them worthy of display on open shelves, transfer powdered soaps from their original packaging into pretty glass apothecary jars.
7. Multipurpose room
Make the most of your laundry room's reno by considering other ways you could use the space. An avid gardener, Surrey, B.C., designer Lisa Moody tailored her laundry room to serve double duty as a staging area for freshly cut floral arrangements.
Design, grapevinedesigns.ca. Cabinets and cabinet hardware, ikea.ca. Blizzard 2141 quartz countertops, caesarstone.ca. Washer and dryer, lg.com. Tile flooring, olympiatile.com. Open shelving, ADM Woodwerks. Lantern, robertabbey.com. Collingwood OC-28 paint (on walls), benjaminmoore.ca.
8. No window? No problem!
Create your own inspiring vista with a favourite landscape photo blown up and framed as art.
9. Chic commercial-grade faucet
There's no two ways about it: An industrial-looking spring-loaded faucet means business. The flexible hose allows complete control over the direction of the spray, making it ideal for spot-treating and rinsing suds down the drain. Faucet, canada.hudsonreed.com.
10. Splurge on the sink
Invest in a double basin so you can hand-wash delicates on one side while treating stubborn stains to a presoak on the other. Sink, ikea.ca.
11. Get into the swing of things
Before you commit to a new front-loading washer and dryer, consider the configuration of their doors. In a side-by-side installation, the doors should swing outward, opening away from each other, which makes it a cinch to toss wet clothes from the washer into the dryer.