Image: Tracey Ayton, Stephani Buchman, Colin Way, Janis Nicolay
Is the laundry room your home’s dirty little secret? Far from hush-hush, these four stylish interiors prove the space can be fab and functional.
LOOK 1: CLASSIC LUXE
Who: An empty-nester couple
Layout: 235 sq. ft. pass-through with island
It’s hard to believe this space is in a basement, and that was designer Karla Amadatsu’s goal. “You don’t often see a laundry room this large with materials this high-end,” she says, specifying that the floor tiles, countertops and backsplash are all marble. Opting for different types of the natural stone, including Carrara and Arabescato, with varying degrees of veining, she created a super-luxurious monochromatic look enhanced by traditional cabinetry. The room also gets a vintage feel from the charming farmhouse sink and wall-mounted two-handle nickel faucet.
Get the Look: High-end appliances, classic fixtures and marble on marble define this aesthetic.
1 Cashmere brush & Stain brush, Soap & Water Everyday, $44 & $16; 2 Kitchen faucet, Ginger's, $365; 3 Tile, Ciot, $25 per sq. ft; 4 Washer & Dryer, Miele, $1,850 & $1,400; 5 Utensil holder, Crate and Barrel, $30; 6 Fabric softener, Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day, $12.50; 7 Kitchen sink, The Home Depot, $2,173.
Raindrops 30GG 83/006 PAINT, Dulux Paints.
Beauti-Tone Love Letters WB002-0 PAINT, Home Hardware.
LOOK 2: YOUTHFUL ZING
Who: A family of five with three small kids and a dog
Layout: 117 sq. ft. L-shaped
“You don’t spend a lot of time in a laundry room, and it tends to be in an out-of-the-way spot, so why not make some bold design choices you wouldn’t make elsewhere?” says designer Ali Budd. Invigorated with look-at-me glossy yellow cabinets, as well as graphic black and white patterns in the wallpaper and rug, this basement space feels bright and cheerful – a great fit for the young family who lives here. But fun does not come at the cost of function: The quartz countertop offers a huge practical work surface, while a long metal rod is ready to accommodate lots of hang-to-dry pieces.
Get the Look: Sleek chrome, splashy yellow and geometric black and white prints reign in this space.
1 Wallpaper, Chasing Paper, $40 US per 2' x 4'; 2 Wallpaper, Drop It Modern, $84 US per single roll; 3 Wallpaper, Jill Malek, $225 per single roll; 4 Rug, Bed Bath & Beyond, $100; 5 Shower rod, The Home Depot, $48; 6 Washer & Dryer, LG, $2,100 & $1,800; 7 Sconce, Canadian Tire, $70; 8 Kitchen faucet, Moen, $346.
Naples Yellow SW 9021 PAINT, Sherwin-Williams.
Babouche 223 PAINT, Farrow & Ball.
LOOK 3: MEDITERRANEAN FARMHOUSE
Who: A father and his two teenagers
Layout: 127 sq. ft. galley
Big and bulky, washers and dryers can overpower a small space, so designer Nam Dang-Mitchell confronted them head-on, literally starting from the ground up. “The patterned floor tiles make a unique focal point,” says Nam, who chose appliances with a mirror-like finish to multiply the bold effect. She built on the Euro look, creating a pleasing tension by juxtaposing time-tested formal and casual elements: Elegant Shaker-style built-ins feel approachable thanks to the farmhouse-style butcher block countertop, while rustic beadboard wall panelling gets an urban vibe from industrial- look light fixtures. “I wanted to create an authentic feel,” says Nam. Mission accomplished.
Get the Look: Artisanal tiles and old world-inspired lighting amount to pretty and practical.
1 Sconce, Rejuvenation, $199 US; 2 Tile, Clé, $15 US per sq. ft.; 3 Light fixture, RH Restoration Hardware, $475; 4 Hamper, The Container Store, $69 US; 5 Washer & Dryer, Samsung, $4,699 per pair; 6 Pull, The Home Depot, $14.
Black Pepper 2130- 40 PAINT, Benjamin Moore.
Olympic Quicksilver D51-4 PAINT, Lowe’s.
LOOK 4: STREAMLINED RADIANCE
Who: Family of five with three boys
Layout: 81 sq. ft. single wall
“This laundry room was not an afterthought,” says designer Ami McKay of the bright space, which shares the home’s second floor with four bedrooms. Aiming at the feeling of hygge – the Danish term for cozy, charming and special – Ami chose crisp white wall paint and light-toned wood finishes, which take on a pleasant glow in the afternoon sunlight from the unadorned west-facing window. The main attraction, a custom built-in oak storage unit, is as functional as it is beautiful, so a select few textural accessories like the plush vintage Moroccan runner are all the embellishment needed. “The room feels spacious and attractive, so the door will never need to be closed,” says the designer.
Get the Look: Complemented by textured elements, light wood cabinetry is warm and welcoming.
1 Bin, IKEA, $13; 2 Rug, Wayfair.ca, $87; 3 Detergent, Nellie's, $24 per 100 loads; 4 Hamper, Pottery Barn, $131; 5 Cabinetry front, IKEA, $7; 6 Washer & Dryer, LG, $1,600 each.
Bastille Blue 90BG 64/101 PAINT, CIL Paint.
Behr Morning Zen S380-2 PAINT, The Home Depot.