My laundry room is not pretty. Not even close. Honestly, you can barely even call it finished.
That would be a generous term to describe its state of...decor. Well, decor might not be the right word either, because there really is none. Truth be told, it's just a small area in my basement that houses a washer, dryer, a cabinet filled with laundry supplies and a few bins for dirty clothes.
Like I said, not pretty.
It is a very functional space. It's clean and organized with everything necessary to wash and dry our clothes and isn't that most important?
Well, it should be.
Of course, generally, I am a form over function gal. Visuals play a huge part in my design planning, but honestly, I am not a fan of laundry, this room is not a place I want to spend a lot of time hanging out and it's not room I want to spend any of my precious free time decorating.
Yes, yes, I know, if I have to be there it's worth making it lovely and that is exactly the mentality that had stopped me from adding a drying rack to the place for far too long.
For years, I lugged heavy baskets of wet clothes upstairs and draped them over the chairs, doors, knobs and handles. Every few days, my sweet cottage looked like a tenement house from the 20's.
I thought about adding the perfect drying rack to make my life easier, but the walls needed to be painted first and I needed to add a curtain to hide all the exposed plumbing behind the machines. The old metal cabinet needed to be restored and I needed to replace my plastic bins with baskets and label them with words like "hand wash" and "towels" on chalkboard tags.
What I needed was a place to hang the ton of wet clothes that cannot go in the dryer. Everything else was fluff.
Don't get me wrong, I love decorating and I truly believe that every room in my home, every closet and crevice should be pleasing to look at, but I also know when enough is enough.
And so I told my husband to grab a piece of wire shelving from the garage and hang it up, over the plain, white, Kmart baskets that I use to sort the laundry.
I'm not winning any awards for design or originality with this solution, but it works great. It was free and it took him less than fifteen minutes to install and change my laundry life.
I could've done all those things I thought I needed to do, the things that my design OCD kept screaming at me to do, but I didn't want to invest in pretty and in the end, it wouldn't have altered much except my bank account.
I went with practical and sometimes that's all you need.
Here's another practical laundry room idea. Years ago, when my husband partially finished this area, he added motion sensor light switches.
It was seriously genius on his part.
In the rest of the house, I have these basic switches...
...and when I'm holding a basket, I have to do this when I want to turn a light on or off. It's rare upstairs, because it's bright.
In the basement laundry room, however, it's dark all the time and we're always entering and exiting with full hands. So we have these motion sensor or occupancy sensor switches. They automatically detect movement and the lights pop on by themselves. They will stay on as long as the sensor notices some activity in the room. Then they go off automatically after a few minutes of stillness.
Again, the lights are just plain old hi hats, no fancy chandy in here, but I never have to fumble with switches or pull chains, I never walk into a dark room and best of all, I never have to ask, "Who left the lights on in the laundry room?"
The only thing that would make this room better now is someone to do the laundry for me.
Want to see the pretty part of my basement? I promise, it does exist. Check it out here.