See how one hardworking space pulls triple-duty as a mudroom, laundry, and backup pantry.

By Katy Kiick Condon
September 09, 2020
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Los Angeles designer Stefani Stein reimagined a dreary, high-traffic laundry room to maximize its utility and give it a look worth tolerating daily chores. The setting: A 75-square-foot room connecting the kitchen to the garage and backyard of a traditional Spanish-style house.

Left: Photo: Courtesy of Stefani Stein
Right: Photo: Tessa Neustadt

In addition to serving as the family's everyday entry and laundry room, the revamped utility space had to provide extra kitchen storage and a home base for pets. Enter a stacked washer and dryer. At half the footprint of the old side-by-side pair, the unit opened up room for a dog bed and countertop workspace.

Stein revamped a wall of storage to include open cubbies and a row of cabinets with flip-up, soft-close doors. Each family member has a removable basket for folded linens or clothes, making laundry easy to take, put away, and return. Next to the washer is a pullout "closet" with hooks for brooms, mops, and a stepladder.

Left: Photo: Courtesy of Stefani Stein
Right: Photo: Tessa Neustadt

The Moroccan and Moorish-inspired patterns in the blue, white, and gray palette merged the homeowners' desire for a fresh, airy look with the existing Spanish-style architecture. Stein used quarter-round oak for tidy tile trim that ties in with the butcher-block counter.

For utility spaces like this, Stein calls on the Benjamin Moore Aura line. It's wipeable and mildew-resistant. On the walls she used Ballet White in matte; for the cabinets, Rodeo in satin.

Tessa Neustadt

Butcherblock counters are durable and add texture to a room of hard, flat surfaces. Plus, the material is relatively inexpensive. More savings came from using engineered hardwood flooring left from an earlier project. The dark wood blends with the neighboring kitchen floor. "The fewer flooring transitions, the better," Stein says.

Tessa Neustadt

Cabinet pulls of brown leather and copper are a modern take on the oil-rubbed bronze used elsewhere in the house. A cantilevered drying rack folds out of the way when not in use.

Left: Photo: Tessa Neustadt
Right: Photo: Tessa Neustadt

Forgoing a cabinet in the corner made room under the counter for Cooper's bed. Losing that extra storage was no match for being able to slide the bed out of the way. For extra convenience, Stein had an outlet wired inside the existing fold-down ironing board cupboard.

Tessa Neustadt

A low drawer kitted with stainless bowls keeps cat food safe from Cooper, a known thief. Around the corner, rerouting the original laundry hookups allowed for an easy-fill water bowl. A machine-washable rug takes the worry out of accident-prone pets. Ruggable rugs have a top layer that can be stripped off and washed.

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