Whether your washer and dryer are housed in the basement or in a bathroom closet, chances are you’re spending a lot of time looking at them. The average American family pops in anywhere from 300 to 400 loads of dirty towels, sheets, clothes, and workout gear a year. So what’s stopping you from making your laundry room as inviting as possible? Here are six easy ways to straighten, brighten, and upgrade your laundry room today.
Unclutter your work area. If space permits, install open shelving or hanging cabinets above your washer and dryer so that supplies are within arm’s reach. And include a small table or countertop that’s at a comfortable height (34 inches is standard) for folding. Corral detergent, brightener, fabric softener, and dryer sheets in pretty fabric bins, wire boxes, or wicker baskets. Also install a small wastebasket, and use glass or plastic jars to store clothespins, lint brushes, and stain sticks.
Go green. Potted plants are an easy, inexpensive way to spruce up any laundry room—whether it’s got greenhouse-quality natural light or nary a window in sight. Plus, given that you’re doing wash at least once a week, you have no excuse not to water them. Consider philodendrons, African violets, and ferns, none of which require a lot of upkeep.
Skip the white walls. If your space is small, experiment with color and graphics. Paint thick stripes on the wall, hang brightly patterned wallpaper, or use letter decals or stencils to spell out witty sayings like “It all comes out in the wash.” You won’t tire of it, the way you might, say, a lime-green living room—and it’ll brighten your mood every time you throw in a load.
Scent the air. A great-smelling laundry room can make washing dirty laundry less of a chore. To avoid sensory overload, choose fragrances that you enjoy and that complement one another.
Surround yourself with sound. Even the most arduous task is tolerable when you have good tunes or an audio book to listen to. Install a digital music player or portable radio near your folding station so that you can sing while you sort.
Show your personality. Don’t give your laundry room short shrift when it comes to design. For an unexpected dose of luxury, suspend a sparkly chandelier or a vintage pendant lamp overhead. And add more fun to your fluff and fold by hanging art you love—whether it’s a paint-by-number canvas, black-and-white photographs, or your child’s latest masterpiece.