It’s time we liked the laundry room


At best, laundry can be a meditative ritual of washing, folding and drying in line. Most of the time, however, it’s just a chore to tick off the to-do list. Whatever the emotional content of the routine, the environment is probably the same: a set of machines tucked away in a corner; a sink, if you’re lucky, installed under a subway tiled backsplash; a basket that does not transport its contents as easily as it should; and baskets and storage which, by favoring access and order, seem to sacrifice aesthetics.

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It’s time for a luxury laundry room, a space as ambitious as the fashions it tends to and as expressive as the rest of the residence. At this fall’s Kips Bay Dallas Decorator Show House, designer Kathleen Walsh washed away old notions of industrial chic in a room dressed in Fromental’s hand-painted “Clef des Champs” wallpaper and beautiful storage that concealed elegant arrangements quilt rails and built-in elements. ironing board. “Think of the laundry room as a powder room,” says Walsh. “You’re only here little by little, so why not be more daring?” Fresh and clean doesn’t necessarily translate to white. What about the prettier hardware or a pearly finish on the ceiling? “

In other words, why not a laundry room?

The laundry room at Kips Bay Dallas Decorator Show House, designed by Kathleen Walsh.

Photo: Stephen Karlisch

For a laundry room in a home in Litchfield, Connecticut, architecture and design studio Dsgn first created a sort of blank canvas with walls in Arboro White Oak. These planks also covered the floors, which featured porcelain tile accents. But the real drama happened thanks to the expanses of the piece in Explosion Blue Quartzite, a bold, heavily veined natural stone that covered countertops, backsplash and even the windowsill. Kay Nolan, vice president of Ciot New York, the company that supplied the planks, tiles and quartzite, confirms that his company is increasingly helping designers with high-end laundry spaces. Porcelain can be a high choice for these spaces. “Inserting porcelain on the floors adds luxury while requiring no maintenance,” she says.

Designer Kara Mann reports that many clients are rethinking every square inch of their homes. “We have designed and renovated many laundry rooms,” she says, “to make them feel like another beautiful space in the house. I love using a large table with nice legs in the middle of the room. You can store baskets underneath as you fold. For Mann, the idea is to keep things not only neat, but also attractive. “My house was built in 1867, so there are a lot of traditional design features, including three vintage cast iron tubs,” she says. Mann placed the rough-rimmed tubs on sleek white rods for an almost postmodern character wetland that’s as easy to use as it is for the eyes.


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