- Stephanie Donnelly
Laundry & Mudrooms: When to Splurge and Save
Laundry rooms and mudrooms can be key for keeping your home organized. With racks for shoes, hooks for jackets and catchall storage, they keep the rest of the house looking decluttered and clean. What used to be a spot tucked away and only used for chores, has evolved into a multifunction space that is no longer just functional but also a stylish room that is aesthetically pleasing.
Many homeowners are more open to creating a bold design for these rooms that they may be hesitant to do in a main room in their home. The laundry room is most definitely no longer an afterthought. It is now an important design feature in any home renovation. If you're desiring a stylish and efficient space like this, be sure to browse through our tips on when to splurge and save when doing a laundry/mudroom renovation.
Storage is extremely important when it comes to the laundry/mudroom. This is a highly used, highly functional, and sometimes highly specific type of storage in this area of your home. Considering the frequency of use for this item, you want it to last. Cabinetry is such an important part of this space. There are very unique solutions for hang drying clothes, storage for pet food, iron boards, shoes, jackets, and tech, integrated dog wash stations, and so much more. With some rooms being smaller, you have to get creative on how to layout the cabinetry to maximize the space. This means it comes with a larger price tag. Some things to look for in quality cabinetry are dovetail joints, real wood fronts, and quality plywood. Cheap alternatives peel, bubble, and break much more frequently.
Good hardware can elevate almost any cabinet or mudroom. Hooks, bars, and handles can overhaul the style of an entire piece or room. When looking for hardware, you will want to choose something that is substantial in weight that holds up to repeated use. We recommend brass hardware, as there is a wide variety in tones and durability of brass finishes, and often spending a little bit extra will allow you to get a much higher quality look.
The key aspect to the laundry/mudroom is functionality, therefore it is important to understand what tasks take place in that space in order to decide if the current layout functions for you. A few of these tasks include, sorting, drying, folding and ironing. Anytime you have to move plumbing or anything major to completely reconfigure a space, it will cost you more. A great way to save is to look at your current dryer vent location and plumbing, and see if you can reconfigure the space without having to relocate those elements. Incorporating a sink, faucet, and even a dog washing station are the typical plumbing needs. They are valuable additions that allow you to hand-wash garments, or clean off dirt from kids or dogs coming in from playing outside.
The washer and dyer can consume a lot of power. This is why it is important to purchase good quality appliances. Washers and dryers can vary in size depending on the drum size. Before purchasing new units you need to take into consideration how much laundry you do in order to determine the capacity and dimension of your new washer and dryer. You want to ensure the appliances you purchase can fit into the space available. We love using stackable units in small spaces. We also recommend selecting your washer and dryer before designing your space. They are the most important items in this space, so you do not want to compromise the size because you laid out cabinetry first.
Something most of us tend to overlook when remodeling our laundry/mudroom are the cleaning items. We recommend splurging when it comes to upgrading your mops, brooms, cleaning supplies, etc. to the aesthetically pleasing and high quality versions, even if you put them in storage cabinets. Splurging for the pretty version that matches your home makes them more likely to be used if you like your items and and enjoy using them.
Marble and quartz countertops are eye-catching additions to any home, but think about where you want to really splurge to have these high-end materials. Perhaps you spend more money on the kitchen island but save money on the bathrooms and laundry room. Fabricators usually have remnants that are priced at huge discounts, so you can get a deal here on a "fancier" stone or stick with a budget friendly neutral for a timeless style. Make sure whatever you decide on makes sense for your lifestyle, resists breaks and heat, and goes with the style of the room.
Read more about how to choose the perfect countertop.
There are so many tile options when it comes to your space's walls, floor, and backsplash. We recommend selecting a material that matches the needs of the space, such as non-slip matte flooring. You can go a bit more pattern or "funky" in this space, but if you're tight on budget and still want a high end look, we suggest a less trendy pattern and more simple neutral instead. This will allow it to go with a variety of design styles.
As mentioned in our bathroom blog on when to splurge and save, there is so much to choose from when it comes to lighting, that you can find something at a great price that will look equally as good. When it comes to the laundry/mudroom, usually flush or semi flush mount ceiling lights are a good way to go. You want adequate lighting to see stains, and since the room is more utilitarian, function and needs to be the priority. A simple fixture that doesn’t over power the space will provide efficient lighting for your space, and they cost only a fraction of the price of other lighting options.
Not much decor goes into a laundry/mudroom compared to other spaces and most decor is functional to the space such as storage bins, jars, laundry baskets, and even soaps. Decor in these spaces is more utilitarian, but it still can be stylish! If you want a curated look, we suggest looking for artist crafted, vintage, and second hand finds for more unique items. These are the items that will best create this aesthetic and be easiest to switch out when you want a refresh.
There are great options at all price points that look high end. Instead of buying new, reframe second hand or vintage pieces for a modern look, or purchase artist prints. Your laundry/mudroom's style is a big inspiration for picking the best art for your space.
Area rugs are one of those home decor items with a wide range of prices. We recommend saving on rugs in this space of your home since it's such a high foot traffic area. Your best rug option for the laundry/mudroom is finding a jute, vintage Turkish, or wool rug that can be cleaned. These rugs will provide you with a softer underfoot, and adding a rug pad will help ease standing for long periods while ironing or folding clothes.
Laundry rooms are a lot of fun to design, it is a welcomed challenge to maximize the entire space and utilize ever inch in order to create to most function possible while keeping it stylish. If you have a laundry room renovation in mind, start a conversation with us! We’d be happy to talk to you!
~This blog was brought to you by S. Donnelly Interiors. Learn more about the interior design project process by following Stephanie Donnelly and her interior design services in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and the surrounding areas!