Laundry Rooms: 3 Steps to Form & Function

attractive laundry room

As someone living in a condo with a laundry closet in my kitchen (which doubles as extra pantry space), I envy these stylish large laundry rooms on the home improvement shows which combine both form and function. To achieve one of those beautiful spaces, follow these three steps.

Assess Your Needs

Don’t skip this important step: stop and think about what you need.  OK, you must include a washer and dryer, but what else? Here’s where the function comes into play.

Depending on the size of the space you have available, ask yourself if you need drying racks, overhead rods for hanging wet items, counters or flat surfaces for folding clothes, storage cabinets or open shelves for laundry supplies, rolling hampers or sorting baskets for whites and darks, a fold-down or pull-out ironing board, or maybe even a sink for soaking stained clothing or handwashing fine delicates.

Many of those outstanding laundry rooms in magazines and on television also do double duty as storage space, mudrooms and coat hanging areas, craft rooms, even pet care stations with crates and bathing facilities.

Do Your Homework

After determining your wish list, now you need to consult the professionals and/or do your own research on budget before calling in the pros.  Building or carving out place from another room, moving or adding plumbing, choosing custom cabinets and specialty accessories can all add up quickly.  The big-ticket items include the construction costs, cabinets, flooring and appliances. Plan ahead to achieve what you absolutely need and what can wait until funds allow them or what niceties you can actually do without.

Implement with Style!

I’m an interior decorator, did you expect something without adding style? Form over function? Well, sometimes; but you can always have both!

Ok, maybe your laundry room is in the basement, closed off behind a closet door, or tucked out of public sight in a private bathroom.  But, again you may position it in an open corner of your kitchen or in a wide hallway through which your family and guests pass to enter your home.  As budgets allow, don’t overlook the paint color or an attractive wallpaper, tile backsplash, baskets, area rug, plants, and artwork to adorn your space and add a spark of beauty to a utilitarian workspace. 

In my former home, my washer and dryer were housed in an unfinished basement with concrete walls and a wooden “backsplash” behind the appliances. I sewed a wall quilt depicting a country clothesline to make me smile when doing a boring household task.  So, plan for pretty!

In closing, this formula works for all design projects, not just laundry rooms.

Barbara Graceffa owns and operates Secretary of the Interior in Quincy, MA offering creative solutions at reasonable rates. Learn more about her services, workshops and quilt shows at, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram @secretaryinteriordecorating.

By Barbara Graceffa

Barbara Graceffa, CEO of Secretary of the Interior, serves decorating clients; assists with professional organizing, home staging and moving assistance; teaches on these subjects; and delivers quilt lectures and trunk shows.

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