A lit­tle laun­dry space can go a long way

Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - CHARLES MACPHER­SON

When we think about lux­ury con­do­mini­ums we of­ten have im­ages in our mind of great spa­ces, liv­ing with care­free main­te­nance and fun ameni­ties and ac­tiv­i­ties within a few feet of our front door. That’s the ro­man­tic side, but what about the prac­ti­cal?

What about laun­dry day, for ex­am­ple? Is this a topic you should even con­sider be­fore mov­ing into such a space? Yes, it ab­so­lutely is. It will po­ten­tially af­fect your life in a good or bad way on a weekly ba­sis.

In the early ’80s, a friend moved with his par­ents to one of the first real lux­ury con­dos built on Bloor Street East in Toronto. His fa­ther was an ar­chi­tect and de­signed a full walk-in laun­dry room in an area of dead space near the front door of the apart­ment.

How times have changed. To­day when I go to my mother’s condo, her laun­dry room is a closet that is so small it can’t even hold an iron and iron­ing board.

Do­ing laun­dry well takes space, and space costs money. You need a place for the equip­ment, a sink for hand-wash­ing gar­ments, stor­age space for the de­ter­gents and such, along with an area to hangdry cloth­ing and to store dirty laun­dry.

So what are the op­tions? Let’s look at the lux­ury apart­ments on Park Av­enue in New York City. Surely, the rich and fa­mous don’t do laun­dry in their liv­ing rooms. As these apart­ments are of­ten ren­o­vated with each new owner, to­day’s most com­mon ad­di­tion to these units is a small pantry room off the kitchen.

The pantry has cup­boards for ex­cess kitchen items, and func­tions as the laun­dry area. It al­lows a ded­i­cated laun­dry space to hold the ma­chines and space to phys­i­cally do the laun­dry.

When square footage is limited not ev­ery­one can al­lo­cate the space for a proper laun­dry room, so it is im­por­tant to make what­ever laun­dry area is pos­si­ble as large as it can be. What­ever space you may think you will need, you will al­ways need more.

In Europe, they put laun­dry ma­chines un­der the counter. When space is at a pre­mium, this might be an op­tion (many re­tail­ers now sell smaller, Euro-sized ap­pli­ances). This lo­ca­tion al­lows ac­cess to wa­ter and drainage, and the kitchen be­comes multi-func­tional.

I was re­cently in a Toronto apart­ment where the laun­dry area was in a guest bath­room, and it made a lot of sense, given that the guest bath­room is rarely used. This gave the owner a ded­i­cated space for the ma­chines, ac­cess to a sink, and the bath­tub area for hang­ing clothes to drip dry.

Now this is us­ing limited space wisely.

Dar­ren Stone/Vic­to­ria Times Colonist

When space is at a pre­mium, one area — such as a closet or guest bath­room — can dou­ble as a laun­dry room.

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