As a residential architect and working mom, my mission is creating solutions that make our homes more user-friendly.
Laundry is a never-ending task by its very nature. The time for working moms to do laundry is compressed into nights or weekends. Personally, I’m dog tired at night and I thought weekends were for rejuvenation! In reality, weekends are for soccer and baseball games, piano and dance lessons, and volleyball – whatever the kids happen to be into at the time.
The key is to make laundry as efficient as possible so you can squeeze it in between activities. Enter the connected laundry! After my previous blog about family foyers, I hope we can all agree that entering the home from the garage through a pile of messy clothes is just cruel. Now that the laundry-to-garage umbilical cord has been cut, it can now be located closest to the source of the clothes.
Let’s say all the bedrooms are upstairs. Why not the laundry room as well? What if you could have two entrances to your laundry room; a hall access for kids and their clothes and a second access to the master closet? It might sound finicky, but think about the number of steps eliminated going between the master closet and the laundry room.
Now consider the mornings when you’re running late and that must-wear outfit is a little wrinkled – because, of course it is. There’s no way you have time to iron it. So instead, you toss it in the dryer on the fluff cycle while you continue to do your hair and makeup. Since it’s connected to your closet, you don’t even have to be dressed to dash to the dryer. Or you’re getting dressed and you realize the unmentionables are hanging in the laundry room from the night before to dry. No need to put on your bathrobe to retrieve this critical undergarment. Just walk in, grab it and continue onto your very chaotic day.
A note of caution; laundry rooms can be noisy, so connecting to the closet helps buffer the sound from your bedroom. Avoid pocket doors on laundry rooms as they don’t block as much sound. You may also want to add a lock from the closet side to keep curious kids from sneaking through your closet into the bedroom when mom and dad are taking a nap – or something.
Unfortunately, a connected laundry won’t reduce the amount of clothing a family goes through. It will, however, cut down on travel time to and from the room and make our insane mornings a little easier to handle. We have plenty of inconveniences to face throughout the day. Let’s design homes that minimize the stress and march to the beat of our own drum!