Let’s Do Some Laundry: Welcome to my “Lady Cave”

While the debate on the best place in a home for the laundry room continues, here is our story…

The average builder-grade home here in Ontario has the laundry room situated on the main floor, together with the mudroom. It is considered by most the ideal location, and our laundry room used to be on the main floor, too. In my mind, a dream laundry room in a mudroom would look like this:

Laundry in Mudroom


However, our laundry/ mudroom was far from this. It looked like… are you ready? … this:

Laundry Before

What mudroom? No place to hang a coat, a pile of shoes on the floor, and that counter?… please…

When our old appliances said good bye to us, it was time to fulfil my dream. The dream involved a spacious and fresh-looking laundry room, as well as an elegant mudroom. Reality prevailed, and I soon realized that this is impossible to achieve here.

My inspiration photos, as well as lottery homes and estate model homes I visited had large laundry rooms in the basement. And I thought… why not our home? It wasn’t hard at all to bring my husband on board, after all, he did all the hard jobs. Thank you my darling… 🙂

And now your invitation to my basement Lady Cave, where I will share with you some tips to achieve a spacious and fresh-looking laundry room.

Tip #1 – Find a clear wall, or a corner in the basement to host whatever your heart desires in a laundry room. Once you know the measurements, you can start designing.

ALGOT IKEA Laundry Room Lady Cave | Livia Drennan | Interior Design Oakville

New Laundry Room in the Basement – My Lady Cave

Tip #2 – Make sure you allow for a spacious counter top, as big as possible – this was the first priority on my list: I was tired of sorting and folding washed laundry on our dining table!

Laundry Room Lady Cave|Livia Drennan | Interior Design

Tip #3 – Paint the walls in a light colour. Basement laundry rooms don’t have to be dark and dreary. If you have one like this, paint it in a light colour immediately; your desire to perform this chore will increase drastically 🙂 We used Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams here, it is such a lovely and calming blue-green. I would use this in a bathroom as well.

Laundry Room | Livia Drennan | Interior Design

Tip #4 – Bring in lots of light: This one was the second priority on my list, so we installed enough lighting to bring to life the colour on the wall and work space areas.

Tip #5 – Have sufficient storage: A place for hanging shirts as soon as they come out of the dryer, a place for drying flat, pull-out baskets… In my case, this was up there with generous counter space. The room was built using IKEA ALGOT units, which you can mix and design to your needs. I had fun designing this space, and made sure there is storage for more than laundry objects. Oh, and don’t forget a place for the ironing board.

Photo 12

Tip #6 – Keep the cabinets, or the shelves and the counter white or a light colour, and inject one or two accent colours to make your heart skip with joy!

Laundry Room Lady Cave | Livia Drennan | Interior Design OakvilleTip #7 – Bring in some cute art and humour. Laundry can be fun, too 🙂 The LAUNDRY sign is from Taps Boutique.

Laundry Room | Taps Boutique | Interior Design Oakville

Tip #8 – Use pretty baskets to organize and hide not-so-good-looking objects. When I found the basket below at Home Sense, I knew it had to come home with me – nothing wrong with some French injection… La Blanchisserie… doesn’t it sound sophisticated? 🙂

Laundry Room Lady Cave | Livia Drennan | Interior Design

Tip #9 – Display pretty objects that have meaning to you. There is little natural light in the basement, and this pitcher holding dry lavender was the next best thing to natural flowers.

Laundry Room | Lady Cave | Algot Series IKEAI have to confess that doing laundry feels now less of a chore. I smile every time I enter that room, and it is a breeze to fold the laundry and put it away. I swear it takes less time, specially when you have some help:

Laundry Room | Livia Drennan | Algot Series IKEA

If you are wondering what happened to the old laundry room, it is on its way of becoming an elegant mudroom these days, you will see it soon.

I hope this post inspired you a little and now you can dream about your own Lady Cave :). I would love to ‘hear’ your thoughts below.


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  • Jo Galbraith - Love your new laundry room! I too had a first floor laundry room slash mud room that was teeny tiny and very inefficient in my last home. Great idea to create a new one in the basement. Laundry rooms are an important room! You have done a great job creating a lovely fresh space to work in.ReplyCancel

    • Livia Drennan - Thanks Joanne for your comment. I am so happy I have made this decision, it really changed my life 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Anca D. - Incredible! You transformed a common space in a house in something that has personality. I love it!ReplyCancel

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