How to design a more sustainable laundry room

Neat stacks of fluffy folded linens on a wood folding table with a potted plant and laundry carts underneath
When Home52 reached out for tips on how to design a home laundry room, Theresa and Corinna were happy to share their thoughts on how to do this sustainably, based on their experience with Celsious' buildout. Hopefully you can incorporate some (or all!) of these tips into your home laundry setup:
Do you have any tips for designing a laundry room that is more sustainable?
If you’re designing (or redesigning) a laundry space, try incorporating second-hand materials and items. Craigslist is a treasure trove of usable goods—you can find everything from tiles for a backsplash (leftover from someone else’s project) to lightly used garment racks and shelves. Local vintage stores and estate sales are always fun to visit too, since the items you find there might be truly one-of-a-kind.
When it comes to outfitting the room, look for ENERGY STAR certified equipment. Upgrading to a front loading washer saves water and energy, and if it’s ENERGY STAR, it’ll use up to 45% less energy and 50% less water than a top load agitator washer. Add a special filter like PlanetCare’s to your washer or toss a Cora Ball in with each load to reduce the amount of microfiber shedding (from synthetic fabrics) that gets flushed into waterways.

If you have ample space, consider creating a dedicated area for stain treating. Pre-treating stains allows you to wash on cooler temperatures, which helps preserve fibers and supports material longevity. Having an area for hang drying (instead of always relying on the dryer) will also help save energy.

Are there any lessons homeowners could learn from your laundromat?
Even though we often see laundry rooms styled in cool tones (grey, blues), we chose warm colors as accents to create a more cheerful atmosphere. We installed good lighting above all work areas (where we sort, stain treat and fold) and above the equipment. We also brought in lots of plants to reduce dust and noise.
We were able to source durable materials like ceramic tile and granite (remnants from local projects), which aren’t sensitive to moisture (in case of spills or leaks). We suggest avoiding particleboard and other materials that quickly become unsightly in high traffic areas. You don’t want to have to be too precious while stain treating, hand washing or flat drying.

Zero VOC epoxy flooring is an easy DIY project to upgrade outdated tile flooring, plus it’s waterproof. Theresa recommends 100% Solids Epoxy by Norklad. If you’re building your laundry space from scratch, you might even consider adding a floor drain. Hopefully you’ll never need it, but if your washer should ever leak, it’ll save you a lot of hassle!

When it comes to storage, we prefer closed storage to open shelving—it’s more hygienic (think: lint and debris from sorting), plus it allows for less visual clutter, which lends to a more calming space.

Any advice about how much and what type of storage you should include?
Having enough storage is key to keeping a laundry room organized. Everything you use—or plan to use—should have a home, otherwise it’ll become clutter.
Ideally, you’ll have enough hampers or bins to collect laundry so that it’s all pre-sorted by color and material. A quick glance will let you know whether you have enough to run a load, plus, it’ll be much easier to do laundry if you’re pinched for time.

You’ll need storage and organizational solutions for all your laundry day essentials like wool dryer balls, delicates bags, folding boards, pill removers, irons and steamers. And let’s not forget about your stain fighting solutions like vegetable soap, white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and oxygen brightener. You can reuse clean jam and pasta jars to neatly store loose products in a pull out cabinet organizer. Hopefully you’re choosing mostly biodegradable, phosphate-free and non-petroleum products to stock your laundry room, but in case of anything hazardous, make sure the storage solutions are child-safe.

Are there other extra features you like to add to a laundry room?
Having a sink is great for pre-treating stains and soaking (if deep enough). When it comes to drying, a good foldable drying rack or a flat drying rack, as well as a rail to hang dry items on hangers is always nice to have. The rail will also come in handy for steaming.
Make use of height with a wall or ceiling mounted rack, rail, drop-down ironing board or folding table (a step stool will help you access these safely). And don’t forget to add texture to your laundry room with machine washable rugs and curtains! Not only will this personalize your space, but it will also swallow sound if you have noisy machines.

Tips by Theresa and Corinna Williams
Edited by Mutia Adisoma
Photo by West Elm (taken at Celsious)
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