Who uses this space: A couple with three grown children
Size: 104 square feet (9.7 square meters)
Designers: Rosa Plaza Dest, principal, and Ande Barriola, assistant, at Rosa Dest InteriorsThe laundry room works hard for these North Carolina homeowners. Besides washing clothes, the couple use the space as a bill-paying area and a cleanup station when entertaining in the nearby kitchen. They didn’t want to do these activities in a boring space, so they hired designer Rosa Plaza Dest to give the room a new look. Although the footprint of the room stayed the same, Plaza Dest designed the space to maximize its use and keep it open and fun.Laundry area. Before the redesign, the room had white walls, no window treatment and a bench below the window that accumulated random belongings.
The Fisher & Paykel washer and dryer are still running after 20 years, so for now the couple want to keep them. Cabinets above them give the family ample storage for cleaning supplies and office extras. A sink sits to the right of the appliances.
Valance fabric: Thibaut
Touches of whimsy. Plaza Dest gave the room a feeling of playfulness with small but intricate details, such as the knobs on the cabinets above the washer and dryer. They feature images of little laundry items, such as socks.
Color. Plaza Dest’s design approach is bold, collected and colorful. The laundry room “has great natural light, but it’s small,” she says. “So we had to accentuate the positive attributes through color and accessories.”Color inspiration came from the adjacent kitchen, where blue is prominently featured. Orange was a great contrasting color, and it keeps the spaces balanced. The Moroccan Berber rug, which has orange and blue in it, also helped Plaza Dest choose the palette for the room.It can be hard to make the abstract idea of “happy” a reality in design, but she believes that with color, pattern and scale you can achieve that feel.
You might consider the bold wallpaper the star of this design, but Plaza Dest says everything works together. Each element and accessory supports the other to make the look feel complete.More than just souvenirs. Reminders of past adventures appear throughout the room. The plate on the wall was created by Moroccan artisans from recycled plastic bags, while the ceramic table lamp is a former wine jug from Morocco.
Cabinets. Before the custom-built cabinets were installed, a window seat sat next to the small desk. Instead of relaxing on it, though, the family tended to throw everything from jackets to sports equipment on top of it. With the new cabinet, the family can store its items without creating a mess.
“Uh-oh” moment. The wood cabinets were custom-made, but they were also pre-drilled for hardware before Plaza Dest chose the knobs. To cover the holes and fit the scale of the cabinet, she had to choose the hardware carefully. Fun and colorful hardware, like this beetle drawer pull, play right into the whimsy she set out to create.