Wellness Friendly Laundry & Mudrooms 2024 Home Trend Forecast
The house I grew up in in the 1930s had laundry machines in a dark, unwelcoming basement, two flights from our bedroom closets. Today’s laundry rooms tend to be brighter, more welcoming, more functional and usually better located! This is a great benefit for both young families and older homeowners who may have difficulty hauling loaded laundry baskets up and down stairs. They also serve as a significant enhancement to the functionality of the home, which is one of the five aspects of wellness design.
Home improvement platform Houzz predicts that laundry spaces enhanced with mudroom features will be a strong trend for 2024. I agree. So do many of the home improvement professionals I surveyed via email and through social media groups.
“Combining a laundry room and mudroom is a natural move for homes that see a lot of clutter at the entryway,” notes Mitchell Parker, senior editor at Houzz. “This increasingly popular setup allows homeowners to place dirty sports uniforms, muddy winter jackets and sandy beach towels directly into the sink before they track the dirt into the home,” he adds.
“The popularity of the wash and mud co-trend is no coincidence,” comments Tommy Libby, a custom home builder in the San Antonio area. “By seamlessly integrating two rooms with similar physical needs, we not only simplify the construction process, but we also reduce square footage, simplifying the often hectic nature of our lives.”
The imperative of flexibility
Flexibility is key for Scott Tjaden’s St. Louis-area laundry and mudroom projects, designer says. “You use it frequently and this is where you should spend your money on quality machinery, workspace flooring and any type of paint or wall covering. The paint should be wipeable and of high quality, and so should the wall covering.
Flexibility is a criterion for New York-based architect Havard Cooper as well. “I use stainless steel, tile or concrete for sinks and countertops because they are durable and easy to clean. The selected appliances are aesthetically pleasing but also robust, energy efficient and capable of handling high volume laundry jobs. To combat moisture, materials such as waterproof paints and backsplashes are used to protect the walls from water damage.
Tjaden also suggests a large, curved water tap. “Some people prefer an attached hose. If the laundry is near a back door, people will sometimes use it to clean and restock,” he notes.
Flexibility is mandatory for the agricultural clients of Central California-based interior designer Wendy Glaister. Their homes are “surrounded by orchards and farms and a lot of dirt,” she muses. They also prefer durable materials like antimicrobial stainless steel for sinks, especially when you need to use strong stain removers that might harm other materials. Glaster specifies vinyl plank and ceramic flooring for flexibility and cleanability, she says.
Pet friendly multitasker
Flexible spaces such as built-in laundry and mudroom areas are ideal for busy households. “Having everything in one place makes it easier to multitask,” Parker comments, which can include household tasks, hobbies, and pets. “Mudrooms can be a convenient pit stop for dogs, whether they include a space for your pet to eat or a storage area for walk-related items to grab on your way out the door; many homeowners on Houzz also incorporate a pet shower into their mudroom to ensure no access Muddy foot prints to the main house.
Ottawa-based cabinetmaker Deborah Gervais is certainly seeing more pet features in her area, including “dedicated washers for animal blankets and clothing (for people with livestock and/or horses) so they don’t get mixed up with everything else.”
The “tilted tub” can double as a pet washing station for small dogs, suggests Jan Brownhill, owner of the New York-based remodeling company. Atlanta-based designer Stephanie Ives would love to see a pet door and litter box space with an exhaust fan and built-in kennels and feeding areas. She also likes to include space for recycling management and robot vacuum charging stations.
Mudrooms can also be the perfect place to store outdoor sports equipment, such as wall-mounted ski racks, hat and helmet compartments, and spaces under seats for boots and boots, Parker shares.
You must own it
If this is the direction you’ve been considering for your home, there are some elements you’ll definitely want to include. Parker cites a utility sink with a pull-down faucet for easy hand-washing and rinsing of muddy gear. Hooks, sorting space, supply cabinets and storage are a boon to these utility spaces as well.
Las Vegas-based interior designer Patricia Gaylor includes a bench in the landing areas located near the home’s family entrance. “Built-in low seating with open compartments for removing shoes before entering the main part of the house” These spaces help keep the home clean. A small shower area can also be helpful in this regard.
Nice to have
“Radient underfloor heating is a benefit, especially in cold climates,” comments a Houzz editor, noting that it not only keeps feet warm, but also helps dry shoes.
Parker also suggests incorporating a workstation if there’s room. This can be used for folding laundry, wrapping gifts, handling package shipping, and hobbies. “Having everything in one place makes multitasking easier,” Parker points out. Glaister likes to have space to hang and dry hand-washable items, and Gervais suggests a built-in ironing board and extra pantry storage.
Cooper suggests incorporating a home automation panel. “This feature allows homeowners to control laundry appliances, lighting and security systems from the laundry room.” He points out that laundry sorting bins are also helpful. “Technology enthusiasts will appreciate the integrated phone charging stations and robotic docking stations,” he adds. Many designers include device charging stations and family calendars in their projects.
New York designer Isfira Jensen cites “beautiful, layered lighting” in her exquisite acquisitions. “This means having a nice central light fixture to provide ambient lighting and layering it with task lighting in the form of wall sconces or LED strip lights.” She also recommends ventilated drawers for shoe storage.
Boulder-based interior designer Megan B. Daughtry suggests having “a designated basket and walk-in closets for each family member to store their gear.”
One trend we’ve seen for a long time around the home is customization. The fact that they are appearing in these utilitarian areas speaks to their increasing importance to homeowners and their families. “Photos of popular mudrooms on Houzz showcase eye-catching patterns, smart built-in cabinets, eye-catching furniture and decor, and bold colors,” Parker shares.
Brownhill sees “fun tiles and printed wallpaper.” She notes that these high-traffic areas benefit from busy patterns that hide scratches and wear. Daughtry creates personalized calendars and boards to track family activities and children’s growth. Ives says she has started receiving requests for digital family calendars.
The style improvements certainly make washing a more enjoyable chore. I think my late mother would have enjoyed many of these features, but luxury laundry didn’t occur to her at the time. Right now, my house has a small laundry closet, but flexible space for a laundry and mud room is definitely on my next home wish list.
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(tags for translation) Tommy Libby