Laundry Room Planning Makes Task Easier

by Claudia Johnson, Honest Abe Log Home Marketing Director

Oh, the lonely laundry room. It’s often the least considered room in the house. That is until a few dirty clothes become mountains of “fragrant” laundry. At Honest Abe we’ve noticed how our homeowners take their laundry room planning very seriously.

After all, most of our clients tell us their custom log cabin or timber frame home is the last place they’ll ever live. As one homeowner commented about her move, “The next time they move me it will be in a hearse.” Now that’s resolve! We’re glad our customers love their homes so much, but we really hope they get to enjoy them a very, very long time.

To help you dig out from under the pile of decisions you’ll be making about designing your laundry room, we’re sharing a few observations from our customers, design team and sales staff.
  1. The laundry room can have multiple purposes.
  2. The layout should accommodate the person/people who will use it most, including their height, whether they are left or right handed, if they have a disability, etc.
  3. Cabinetry, shelving and storage should never be afterthoughts.
  4. Care should be given when planning for the four zones: sorting, washing/drying, folding/handing and ironing.
  5. Build it with as many amenities as you can afford, like a utility sink, a bathroom/shower, dog washing station, sewing/mending area and workspace countertops.
  6. A simple closeted washer and dryer off the kitchen, bath or bedroom is more than OK, too.
Below you’ll find photos from the homes of Honest Abe clients who elevated the status of their laundry room from utilitarian to indispensable.

Make it pretty. Whoever said you can’t decorate in your laundry room and make it a pleasing space is just wrong.

Each room in your home deserves to be appealing to the eye, and the laundry room is no different, even if there is a mountain of clothes to deal with!

– Molly Cooper, interior designer with Cooper & Co. Designs

Shaneyfelt Log Cabin

In the customer-designed Shaneyfelt Log Cabin, the laundry room and mudroom are situated between the kitchen and double garage. Homeowner Roger Shaneyfelt made work and storage spaces from fresh red cedar, while wife Cindy sewed curtains and curated a gallery of cat art with paintings and needlework by her and her parents, who were each talented artists.

A new galvanized wash tub was repurposed by Roger into a utility sink. He also used pine boards to build a storage closet for cleaning and laundry supplies.

The native cedar clothes sorting and folding counter crafted by Roger has a convenient hanging bar to help keep wrinkles out.

The Shaneyfelts used tile in the laundry and mudroom for ease of cleaning.


Silver Point Timber Frame

In another customer-concept home Priscilla Head designed the laundry room to utilize every inch of space. She drew plans for cabinetry, custom crafted by a local supplier, to conceal coats, shoes and supplies.

This functional yet beautiful utility area is located in an enclosed breezeway between the main house and the garage.

There’s even a comfortable built-in bed for Blue, the four-year-old, 100-pound Weimaraner who shares the home with Priscilla and husband James.

Southern Grace Laundry & Mudroom

April and Nick Patterson designed their log home to accommodate their farming lifestyle. The first stop from the laundry room exterior door or garage is a full bath with shower. Wire baskets were converted to light fixtures, and cabinetry, which includes a wall of built-in storage in addition to the sink area, mirrors the distressed white cabinetry in the kitchen and baths throughout the house.

“If you’re one who irons everything you walk out of the house, think about installing wall unit ironing board. It is as easy as opening a door and pulling down the board and, when finished, closing it back up again. So much better than fighting with the traditional board all the time.” – Molly Cooper, interior designer

Country Cowboy Cabin

So that the utility room could serve multiple purposes in their compact cabin, Jimmy and Tabatha Clay included a commode and built a cabinet from a repurposed pallet around an oval galvanized tub fashioned into a sink.

Jimmy surprised Tabatha by creating a mirror using objects from her grandparents’ barn. The old washboard is a nice reminder how terrifying laundry used to be.

He maximized space by fashioning a shelf above the sink that’s perfect for candles, soap and other small necessities.


Homeowner Tips & Ideas

Lovie Sellers wanted a multifunctional design for her laundry room (above). She surrounded the washer and dryer with shelving to double as a pantry to the adjacent kitchen. The washer sits in a protective pan to preserve the hardwood flooring. Though completely practical, Lovey added a decorative shelf above the appliances.

“The average American family does 8–10 loads of laundry each week with each load, from wash to dry, taking an average of one hour and 27 minutes to complete.” –

“We farm, and my husband Richard comes home very dirty! I wanted him to be able to enter through the garage into the utility room, strip off his dirty clothes and walk right into the shower,” said Lucinda Riley, an Honest Abe homeowner in Kentucky, whose utility room is pictured above. “I also wanted our closet to be close to or a part of the utility room. This keeps him from tracking tons of dirt all over the house.”

The laundry room above is in a one-bedroom Honest Abe log cabin built as an AirBnB. Guests are allowed to use the appliances, and housekeepers have a convienent area for storage for off-season items, extra linens and cleaning supplies. There’s ample room for visitors to store luggage and vacation paraphernalia.

Expert Advice

“The washer and dryer need to be situated to make doing the not-so-fun job of laundry a little easier. Before you wash you’ll be separating the whites from the darks, the jeans and the towels, etc.cIf you are in the building stages either consider having built in sorting bins or leave space for a rolling sorter you have ordered from Amazon. After everything is all clean and ready to fold fresh from the dryer incorporate a folding area, this could be on the top of the sorting built in or create a table top if you have front load washer and dryer units.” – Molly Cooper, interior designer with Cooper & Co. Designs  

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