Photography: Janis Nicolay | Design: Karla Dreyer
A designer renovates her parent's laundry room and outfits it in chic yet casual fashion.
As is the case with a well-considered outfit, it’s the details that often determine a space’s aesthetic. This laundry room Karla Dreyer designed in her parents’ Surrey, B.C., home is no exception. Akin to a tailored white shirt, the walls (some painted, some tiled), Shaker-style cabinetry and quartz countertop are crisp and clean-lined, while black accents like the roller window shade and distressed-look floor tiles call to mind sharp dark slacks. Yet the room is far from formal or fussy. Instead, it flaunts an easygoing flirty air. Using artisanal-feel textiles and accessories, such as a multi-coloured shag runner and shibori-dyed toss cushions, Karla built up this look from sensible to sensational. Here’s how.
1. She added specific elements for warmth.
Like a bathroom or kitchen, a laundry room can feel sterile, says designer Karla Dreyer. That’s why she chose to incorporate a butcher block counter atop the washer and dryer in addition to the white quartz on the sink wall. The wooden surface brings warmth, augmented by greenery, wicker baskets and botanical artwork. “The look is fresh and clean but also cozy,” she says.
2. She recognized the power of contracting extras.
“Contrast makes a room interesting,” says Karla, who elevated the space with the yin-yang appeal of black and white. But the play of opposites extends beyond tone to texture. Take the tile work, for instance. The dark floor has a matte barnboard-like finish; the pale subway wall tiles bear a subtle sheen. “The floor is grainy, while the wall is brilliant,” says Karla. “They work well together.”
3. She made the space airy by eliminating uppers.
Pre-reno, upper and lower cabinets wrapped around the room in a U shape. “I couldn’t reach the top cupboards, and they were full of junk,” says homeowner Janice Dreyer, who was keen to cut back. “I wanted roominess. I wanted the space to appear open.” Karla delivered. An L-shaped lowers-only design makes the room look twice the size and enhances its natural glow (courtesy of the existing window).
4. She used open shelving.
“I would say less is more, but I don’t feel like I have less,” says Janice of eliminating the upper cabinetry. Open storage strategies like woven baskets on the counters and the floating shelf are fashionable and functional.
5. She made it practical for the dual-purpose room.
The laundry room sits just off the garage, so it’s a main thoroughfare into the house. To make comings and goings convenient, Karla outfitted the bare wall with an elegant white wicker bench and wooden hooks that resemble funky stud earrings. Shibori-dyed toss cushions add light-hearted flair. “They bring in colour and pattern, but they’re not frilly,” says Karla. “You can’t put fancy pillows in a laundry room – that would look kind of ridiculous!”
Get the look:
- Muuto the Dots hooks, from $35 each, vanspecial.com.
- Front-loading W 1753 washer, $1,849, vented t 7634dryer, $1,399, miele.ca.
- Ceramic spa tiles, $0.50 each, creeksidetile.com.
- Rope sisley basket, $30, eq3.com.
- stainless steel lansa pull, $11 per pack of 2, ikea.ca.