26 Terrific Laundry Room Ideas for Aging in Place

26 Terrific laundry room ideas for aging in place by susan rains design fb2.jpg

While touring a new client’s home, I was struck by one room that is often the most forgotten, the laundry room.

 

I think what did it for me was the stark contrast to my laundry room. I have your typical basement laundry situation. An out of sight out of mind place that nobody wants to be in. I have to carry my laundry down two flights of stairs. It's inconvenient and not aging in place friendly. Hers,on the other hand, was one the first floor and it was bright and sunny with lots of storage, plants and personal touches.

Naturally, it got me thinking about what I would want in my laundry room if I were to remodel or build a new home. Taking it one step further I started to think ahead about what features I would want to incorporate to make life easier as I grow older? 

We spend a lot of time in our laundry rooms. The typical American household washes 400 loads of laundry per year, according to the Consumer Energy Center. Even when our households decrease in size, we always have laundry to do. It’s odd that a job that takes so much of our time, little time is usually spent on the design of the room itself.

Now that I almost want to do the laundry, I'm going to share with you more than 20 laundry room ideas with an eye on making the room it's most aging in place friendly.

Location, Location, Location

1. Adjacent to places where laundry accumulates like the bedrooms and bathroom.

2. Remove any clutter that can get in your way or cause you to trip.

3. Widen the doorway to 36" and keep enough open space for a wheelchair or walker if need be. 

4. If one big laundry room it's a separate room combination mudroom that opens to the outside.

5. Windows for natural light and views to keep spirits up while doing mundane tasks

6. If your bedrooms are on the second floor and laundry is on the first floor add a laundry chute. Carrying laundry up and down the stairs is awkward and can get heavy.  

7. Re purpose a hall closet with a stackable washer and dryer next to the bedrooms or in your master bathroom.

Laundry Room Basics

8. Front loading washers and dryers are the best. Not just because they are generally more energy and water efficient but because you can use the space on top as a counter or store things. 

9. Have your washer and dryer installed on a pedestal. That was they are higher off the floor making it much easier to reach the clothes inside to reduce back strain. It's also easier for someone in a wheelchair to use. 

10. Countertops that are close to your washer and dryer. That way you can easily transfer the clothes out of the dryer to where you'll be folding them.

11. Ideally, have two counter tops, one at standing height and one at sitting height with legroom underneath. This way the counter is practical and friendly to tired legs when doing things like craft projects or wrap gifts.

12. Drying Rack for your delicates.

13. Laundry sink with hands-free or lever faucet

14. Plenty of lighting both over work areas and additional task lighting in places such as the ironing board or countertop. 

Ample storage

15. I’ve seen a lot of sad laundry rooms. They are often dumping grounds for out of season coats, Amazon boxes and naturally piles of clean and dirty laundry. Ideally, the laundry room has lots of storage cabinets to stow all those things plus gardening supplies, gift wrap, pet cages, backpacks, suitcases and athletic gear. 

16. Make sure your cabinets have D shaped handles to make opening easier for everyone.

17. If you’re too low on floor space for cabinets, think vertically. Install simple but effective multiple levels of shelving for your storage needs.

18. If the shelves are going to be too high or too far away to reach install a pull-down shelving unit.

 

Secret Storage in the Laundry Room

19. There are all kinds of great storage gadgets to incorporate into a laundry room like pull-down ironing boards.

20. I don't think it's just me, but ironing feels like it takes forever, if I could sit down it would be a lot more tolerable. If you install a stowaway ironing board have it at a height that you can pull your chair up and sit down to iron. 

21. A window seat or bench can be a great way to incorporate additional organized storage space and a place to sit and put on your shoes.

 

A Place for Pets in the Laundry Room

22. I love the idea of incorporating a feeding station into the laundry room. I’d like being able to store my cat's food and then make the bowls disappear. If the dish could go away, I have a feeling it might help my cat keep his weight down too. You know what they say, out of sight out of mind.


23. If you have room, a custom washing station for your dog would be fantastic.

Bonus Tips

24. Include a rolling cart or hamper to help you transfer laundry to and from the laundry room.

25. Because of their size, mud and laundry rooms are often a great place to use leftover flooring material or paint. You could even create an accent wall by using flooring panels on the wall.

26. Add more of your personality with funky lighting, wallpaper, window treatments, pretty hardware and or a great backsplash.

 


Do you need help pulling your ideal laundry room together? Shoot me a message and let's talk about it. 

 

Susan Rains

Susan Rains Design, 408 Spring Road, Havertown, PA, 19083