Ac­ces­sorize with stor­age

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - REAL ESTATE -

“Tile is the best pick for a high-mois­ture en­vi­ron­ment like a laun­dry room,” Cen­tella says, “es­pe­cially a laun­dry room in a base­ment where flood­ing is a more likely sce­nario. Porce­lain in par­tic­u­lar is ex­tremely wa­ter-durable.”

Pat­terned floor tile is def­i­nitely hav­ing a mo­ment. Stone likes porce­lain and ce­ramic tile for floors be­cause they of­fer a lot of color and pat­tern op­tions.

Stu­art Nordin, a Rich­mond, Vir­ginia, de­signer, says you can never go wrong with clas­sic white sub­way tile, even if it’s just for a back­splash: “It el­e­vates the over­all look of a room and adds an­other layer of di­men­sion and in­ter­est.”

Have fun with the walls

Don’t just paint the walls white. Wall­pa­per can turn a tiny room into pure eye candy. If you worry about the hu­mid­ity in your laun­dry space, Nordin rec­om­mends Chas­ing Paper. “They make re­ally cute re­mov­able wall­pa­pers that I’ve been us­ing in some laun­dry rooms and bath­rooms,” she says. “They are bud­get-friendly and easy to take down.”

New York de­signer Sheila Bridges is a big fan of us­ing wall­pa­per for im­pact. “One of my fa­vorite things to do in a small laun­dry room is to in­stall a bright and cheery wi­peable wall­pa­per,” she says. “No rea­son to make do­ing laun­dry a chore, even if your laun­dry room is in a base­ment.” In her own Har­lem apart­ment laun­dry station, she used a Har­lem Toile de Jouy wall­pa­per of her own de­sign in robin’s-egg blue.

Hil­dreth some­times takes a hint from old Bri­tish manor houses when de­sign­ing laun­dry spa­ces. “Give it a Down­ton Abbey look,” he says. Such de­tails would in­clude adding tra­di­tional bead­board or wain­scot­ting to dress up and pro­tect walls. And look for big wicker bas­kets, he says, as op­posed to us­ing plas­tic laun­dry bins.

Bridges likes bas­kets for de­ter­gent and laun­dry made of var­i­ous ma­te­ri­als in­clud­ing sea­grass from West Elm, re­cy­cled plas­tic from Ser­ena & Lily and wa­ter hy­acinth from the Con­tainer Store. She’s also fond of us­ing indoor/outdoor rugs that are wash­able or wi­peable and won’t get dam­aged if they get wet.

“Go for any­thing that makes laun­dry less of a chore,” says Meg Wittman, a Neat Method pro­fes­sional or­ga­nizer. Wittman says some of her go-to laun­dry prod­ucts are the Con­tainer Store’s iDe­sign Li­nus clear plas­tic bins, Steele Can­vas rolling laun­dry ham­pers and West Elm’s Bam­boo But­ter­fly dou­ble ham­per.

Cen­tella loves us­ing trays to help cor­ral sup­plies. “Even a bunch of ugly soap bot­tles can look more con­tained and pretty on a nice tray,” she says. She of­ten uses a flip­down wall hook (the Stain­less Steel Lanca Valet Flip-Down Wall Hook from the Con­tainer Store, $29.99), which folds down to

If you have a side-by-side washer and dryer, con­sider putting a counter on top. If you’re do­ing a lot of ren­o­vat­ing, you might use the same counter ma­te­rial as you have in your kitchen.

For those with stack­ing units and no ex­tra counter space, Nordin says to try a wall-mounted col­lapsi­ble ta­ble, such Isasar’s Wall-Mounted Fold­ing Ta­ble ($179.99 on Ama­zon). “Put a paint­ing or photo on the bot­tom so it mas­quer­ades as a framed piece of art when not in use as a fold­ing station,” she says.

Make an ef­fort to make your fold­ing area at­trac­tive. “Even in an old, dark base­ment, there are things you can do with­out spend­ing a lot of money,” Hil­dreth says. For a nice fold­ing sur­face, he sug­gests find­ing an old farm ta­ble at a yard sale or flea mar­ket, or paint­ing an old din­ing ta­ble. It’s nice to also up­grade the light­ing (es­pe­cially in a base­ment): A new fix­ture, Hil­dreth adds, such as the retro-look­ing Re­ju­ve­na­tion Car­son or Abi­gail flush-mount lights, would make the area brighter and cheerier.

Make it mul­tipur­pose

When square footage is at a pre­mium, laun­dry rooms can be mul­tipur­pose, com­bined with an en­try­way, util­ity room, home of­fice, gift-wrap­ping station or pet­care area. Build in room for bulk sup­ply stor­age or places for house­hold ba­sics such as light bulbs or tools. Con­sider how you can use the space most ef­fi­ciently.

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