When one conjures up images of the laundry room, we often think about the one we had in our home growing up. Chances are it was in a dark, damp corner
of the basement, had unfinished walls and ceilings, and the washer/dryer probably shared space with the deepfreeze, the furnace, the cat litter box, and every other bit of household junk we didn’t have a place for. More often than not, the floors were bare concrete with a rusty old floor drain and exposed pipes as the room’s “focal point”. Sound familiar? Maybe this sounds like your current laundry room. If so, you’re not alone.
Today however, the laundry room is transforming into a luxurious, carefully designed living space that homeowners are proud to show off. Often equipped with high-end, low noise “intelligent” appliances enveloped with custom cabinetry, granite countertops and European faucets, the laundry room is taking on the kitchen for the most-used room in the home.
Homeowners have come to embrace the idea of having a central place where they can consolidate the household activities previously scattered throughout the house. The new household “multi-tasking centre”, the laundry room can serve as the home office, workshop for arts & crafts, plant potting station, and a sleeping/grooming area for the dog. Many of these“gourmet laundry rooms” are outfitted with personal computers, media centres with TV and sound systems, refreshment stations and cozy furniture.
Fuelled by the nesting trend that has become prevalent in North America since 9/11, the “renaissance” of the laundry room is a logical progression. Influenced by the scary world they see on the evening news, more people are taking solace in their homes, finding pleasure in bringing style and comfort to even the most boring and neglected spaces. And the timing is right. With today’s aging population, the kids are often gone, creating opportunities to get the laundry room out of the basement into the space once occupied by the 3rd bedroom. They’re paying dividends too - Calgary realtors report that centrally located, fully featured laundry rooms rate alongside kitchens and bathrooms for renovations with the best payback at resale time.