Fitted means built in and that’s the direction laundry rooms are taking these days.
When I was designing my laundry room I knew I was going with front loaders because my main priority was the longest possible counter for folding clothes. During the previous year before the renovation, I’d had a laundry room with no counter and a freestanding plastic laundry sink that’s now been repurposed as the slop sink in the basement. And because our laundry room is also the mud room entered from the garage, it is arguably one of the busiest and heavily-used spaces in the house. It had to look nice and function well.
Lately, I’m seeing even larger and more elaborate laundry set ups like this palatial one in a Long Island show house [top]. There, Hampton Design installed a trio of front loaders under a deep marble counter with a small flat-screen mounted in the corner. Adjacent to the machines is a separate section with a single drawer – the perfect built-in sewing machine table. In the center of the room, an imposing table adds another big surface for sewing or projects.
The opposite wall has open storage and cupboards with ample place for linens. And while the large marble laundry sink with matching counter strikes me as gorgeous but impractical, it’s part of making the laundry as appealing as a kitchen.
While this laundry is technically fitted, the concept is rooted in kitchen design. There’s an under-mounted sink, a backsplash of Walker Zanger stacked modern subway tile, and the Absolute Black granite counter. Because the jumbo machines are deeper than the cabinets – and actually stick out from under the counter when you look closely – this isn’t the most sophisticated design, apart from the superb yellow and white cement tile floor. But closed upper and lower cabinets are a boon for storage and the placement of the sink next to the machines is a plus.
In some homes, the only space for a washer dryer is in the kitchen. And while I would not personally want them as close to the dining room as these are, the attention to detail makes it work. Here, the cabinet housing the machines is built out to cover the tops fully adding extra depth on the counter where it’s needed. Open shelves are versatile though they demand a high level of organization since painting them white against such dark walls creates a focal point above the machines.
This minimalist laundry space has a washer and dryer in disguise behind cabinet panels. European front loaders like these are designed to be stacked but I rarely see this configuration which essentially makes the machines disappear.
Who could resist the charm of this attic (or basement) laundry, with its classic checkerboard floor. With such a low, angled ceiling, it’s smart to build machines into a counter with open space on one side and a handy shelf above. This approach is basic, practical and timeless.