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DECOR SCORE Here's a New Wrinkle: Love Your Laundry Room! PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 February 2011 07:40

Q: Nobody ever tells you how to make a laundry room look as good as it works. We are bumping out the kitchen, and there's space for both a laundry room and a bath. Or should we put them together and make it one big, all-in-one room? That way we'd only need one sink.

A: Don't be "penny-wise and pound-foolish," as the English would say, meaning, as we Americans say, "Ya get whacha pay for!"

You're talking about two very different kinds of rooms, both utilitarian but one public and the other very private. Trying to mix them is "pound-foolish." Buy the wall that separates them and spring for the second sink. A mere pittance compared to the overall cost of your remodeling project, it will return dividends for your family now and for the value of your house — should you be selling in the future.

That said, it's back to the first part of your question: How come nobody talks about beautifying a laundry room? Well, somebody has, as you can see from the photo. And that somebody is top interior designer Jamie Herzlinger (

She has conjured a laundry room so chic, sleek and sophisticated that you want to throw a party in there! It's all cool stainless steel, marble and mirrors, but no "smoke-and-mirrors" masking its utilitarian role in the household. The room works as good as it looks with ample closed storage cabinets that hold all the extras of clothing maintenance. There's space for folding on stainless counters, good lighting and easy-keep surfaces.

Taking advantage of the generous room, Herzlinger has added a feature any laundress would love: the open, hanging cabinet to the right that doubles as a drip-dryer.

Which reminds me to mention that there are many new, load-lightening conveniences available for the modern laundry room. One is a grand idea borrowed from the Scandinavians: a heated drying cabinet. Not to replace your regular tumble dryer, the cabinet comes with shelves, too, for shrink-proof drying items, like sweaters whose labels read, "Dry flat." One manufacturer to investigate:

Rose Bennett Gilbert is the co-author of "Manhattan Style" and six other books on interior design.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 February 2011 07:50