Design Recipes: Creating a laundry room that works

Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service

In most homes, the laundry room is one of the most used spaces, yet often the most discarded. Laundry rooms are often small, dark and not seen as an opportunity for great design. With preplanning and organization, it’s easy to not only maximize the potential of the space, but also create more ease of use and functionality — the key to creating a great laundry room.

Getting started

Laundry rooms need to work on a number of different levels, with function being at the top of the list. Make sure your laundry room provides the function it is intended to. Whether your space is only large enough for laundry machines or if it’s a space where laundry is to be also dried and folded, set up your space with function in mind.

Maximize space

In many instances, smaller, more streamlined machines can perform the same tasks as the large bulky ones that take up more space (as opposed to providing a significant amount of increased load capacity). To maximize space, I tend to recommend stackable machines.


From your detergents to your clothing, there are several ways to successfully organize your laundry room.

Some of my top tips include:

■Hanging baskets to separate white and colored clothing

■Using a bookshelf filled with pull-out bins to house laundry supplies

■Using kitchen cabinets to create order and organization

■Placing clear bins on shelves so supplies are easy to find

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at