Navy blue cabinets from Ikea create beautiful storage, says interior designer Lisa Canning. Photo: Dan Tardiff for The Home Front: Transforming the neglected areas of your home by Rebecca Keillor [PNG Merlin Archive]
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There are certain areas of the home that are often neglected, says interior designer, television personality and mother of seven Lisa Canning. And the laundry room is the top of the list.“Every room in our house can bring us joy and make us want to spend time in them,” says Canning. But she says laundry rooms are often thought of as dirty or “in the basement”.“You go in there to clean clothes,” she says, “so let’s start with a clean space.”Laundry room design is something Canning focuses on quite a lot, and jokes it probably has something to do with the number of children she has. (They range from seven months to 10.)Canning recently designed a laundry room for Mississauga firefighter Alison Noble, and says that as with any rooms she designs, she started with its limitations. In this case, it was small and short on storage.“I went with as much storage as possible,” she says.
Firefighter Alison Noble and her daughter, whose needs are both catered for in this laundry room design Photo: Dan Tardiff for The Home Front: Transforming the neglected areas of your home by Rebecca Keillor [PNG Merlin Archive]
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Canning used “taller-than-normal upper cabinets — in navy blue from Ikea — to provide storage for everything from linen, to toilet paper, art supplies for Noble’s daughter and cleaning supplies.“They’re probably the thing I’m most proud of in this space,” she says. “I really like to, where possible, use cabinetry that’s not custom, but make it look like it’s custom.”Canning used a front-loading Maytag washer-dryer set with a butcher block counter on top to create a folding station.“There are two folding areas,” Canning says. “The area above the washer-dryer unit, and then this large secondary folding space that we put next to the window that her daughter also uses as a craft space. Extra folding space is always essential in a laundry room.”
Interior designer, television personality and mother of seven Lisa Canning knows a thing or two laundry (and how design the best space to deal with it). Photo: Dan Tardiff for The Home Front: Transforming the neglected areas of your home by Rebecca Keillor [PNG Merlin Archive]
Canning says she used the butcher block because, as well as being durable, it adds beauty to the space.“I really wanted the contrast and warmth of wood against the navy blue and white elements,” she says.Hanging elements are often overlooked in laundry design, says Canning, adding she’s guilty of this herself.“You’re doing your laundry and then you have a piece that’s wet and you think ‘Oh, where am I going to hang this?’ It ends up on the back of a door or on a chair, or you’re too lazy to bring out the folding wire thingy. We recognize in design that we are busy, lazy people sometimes, so to incorporate things in the design things like hooks or things like a clothes line that can be retractable is just very important.”When choosing flooring material for a laundry room, Canning says she is careful to use water-resistant products.“Vinyl sheet has made a total comeback,” she says. “You can now get vinyl sheet that has a beautiful pattern on it and that can be really fun in a laundry room.”In mudrooms and laundry rooms, Canning says she always goes with under-floor heating, which can help to dry wet boots in the winter.There are a lot of products out there to help you maximize your laundry room space, says Alexa Battista, public relations specialist for Wayfair.ca.“One laundry room accessory that is ideal for small spaces and will come in handy is an over-the-door ironing board,” she says. “Traditional ironing boards can be big and bulky, so if you’re tight on space, the over-the-door option will be a game changer.”Using glass jars and bottles to store bulk items like detergents and soaps is also a great idea in laundry rooms, says Maja Boricevic, communications specialist for Ikea Canada.“It allows you to easily see how much you have on hand, and when you need to stock up, which means less waste of old detergents, and detergent bottles.”LED motion sensor kits are also a good investment in laundry rooms, says Boricevic, because we often have our hands full when we’re coming and going from these rooms.“They help to save money by shutting off when not in use,” she says.Related