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