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Interior Design Faux Pas: Why Your Kitchen Shouldn't Double as a Laundry Room

I have seen various design trends come and go, each with its unique appeal and drawbacks. However, one trend that has consistently proven problematic is the merging of distinct spaces, such as the kitchen and laundry room, into one. Interior design is a beautiful art form and science that takes into account not just aesthetics but also functionality, safety, and the lifestyle of the inhabitants. It is a delicate dance of balancing colours, textures, furniture and functionality to create a harmonious and livable space.

Interior design isn't just about creating a visually appealing space; it's about creating a functional, safe, and comfortable environment that reflects the inhabitants' personality while considering the building's architectural elements. As such, every room in a house has a unique purpose, and its design should facilitate that purpose.

When it comes to interior design, every single detail matters. From the colour of the walls to the type of furniture used, every element contributes to the overall look, feel, and functionality of the space. It's this attention to detail and the ability to balance aesthetics and functionality that sets professional interior designers apart.

dark blue laundry room

Importance of a Well-Planned Floor Plan

A floor plan, in essence, is the blueprint of a house. It visualises the layout of different rooms, their sizes, and their relationship to one another. The importance of a well-planned floor plan cannot be overstated. It is the backbone upon which the physical structure and the interior design of a house are based.

A well-planned floor plan ensures smooth movement within the house, adequate natural light, and efficient use of space. It considers the purpose of each room and the activities that will take place within it. Consequently, a kitchen, a laundry room, a bedroom, and a living room each have distinct design elements that cater to their specific functions.

Loft style Apartment

The floor plan also affects the efficiency of daily chores and the level of comfort in the house. Therefore, it is crucial to avoid common mistakes when planning the layout, such as combining rooms with incompatible uses, like the kitchen and the laundry room.

The Kitchen: More than Just a Cooking Area

The kitchen, traditionally seen as just a cooking area, has evolved to become the heart of the home. It's a space where families gather to cook, eat, socialise, and even work. The design and layout of a kitchen significantly impact the functionality and enjoyment of these activities.

The kitchen is also a sensory space, filled with smells, sounds, and sights. The aroma of food cooking, the sound of sizzling pans, and the sight of vibrant, fresh ingredients all contribute to the kitchen experience. The design, therefore, should enhance these sensory experiences, not detract from them.

cooking with grandma

Furthermore, safety is a paramount concern in kitchen design. With hot surfaces, sharp tools, and potentially dangerous appliances, it's important to have a design that prioritises safety. Combining it with a laundry room, with its own set of safety considerations, can lead to a compromise in this area.

The Laundry Room: Its Purpose and Importance

The laundry room, on the other hand, is a utilitarian space. It serves a specific purpose: washing, drying, and ironing clothes. The design of a laundry room should focus on efficiency, storage, and functionality. It typically houses potentially hazardous items like detergents, bleach, and other cleaning supplies, which need to be stored safely.

Laundry rooms can also be noisy and produce moisture and heat, which can affect the comfort and functionality of adjacent rooms. Therefore, laundry rooms are typically separated from main living areas and have specific design considerations to manage noise, moisture, and heat.

washer dryer

Combining a laundry room with a kitchen, therefore, can lead to a clash of functions, aesthetic considerations, and safety issues.

Reasons Why Your Kitchen Shouldn't Double as a Laundry Room

The primary reason why a kitchen shouldn't double as a laundry room is function. Both spaces serve distinct purposes that require different design considerations. For example, a kitchen requires ample counter space for food preparation, while a laundry room needs space for washing machines and dryers.

A kitchen doubling up as a laundry. Getty images.
A kitchen doubling up as a laundry. Getty images.

Another reason is aesthetics. The kitchen is often a social hub and a focal point of the home. Mixing laundry appliances with kitchen appliances can detract from the visual appeal of the space. Furthermore, laundry tasks, with their associated clutter and noise, can disrupt the ambiance of the kitchen.

Safety is also a concern. Kitchens and laundry rooms both have specific safety considerations that can be compromised when the two spaces are combined. For instance, the combination of water, electricity, and heat in one room can increase the risk of accidents.

Interior Design Mistakes: Merging Kitchen with Laundry

Merging a kitchen with a laundry room is a common mistake in interior design. It often results from a desire to save space in smaller homes or apartments. However, this solution often leads to a host of problems, from aesthetic issues to safety concerns.

For instance, having a washing machine next to a stove or a dishwasher can create an unsightly and confusing space. Laundry clutter, like baskets of dirty clothes, can also detract from the aesthetics of the kitchen. The noise and vibration from the washing machine can disrupt the peace of the kitchen, making it a less enjoyable space to spend time in.

cluttered kitchen with laundry included - dirty laundry basket

Moreover, the moisture and heat produced by the washing machine and dryer can affect the comfort and functionality of the kitchen. It can also lead to problems like mould growth, which is a health hazard.

Would you place the laundry in a kitchen?

  • Most definitely not.

  • Only when space is an issue.

  • I don't have a problem with it.

Case Studies: The Consequences of Combining a Kitchen and Laundry Room

I have encountered several cases where the kitchen and laundry room were combined, and the results were far from desirable. In one instance, a young couple in a small apartment decided to install their washing machine and dryer in their kitchen to save space. However, they soon found that the noise and vibration disrupted their meals and social gatherings. The heat and moisture from the laundry also made the kitchen uncomfortably warm.

mother and child doing laundry

In another case, a family with young children combined their kitchen and laundry room. They soon found that their children were at risk of accessing detergents and other harmful substances stored within reach in the same room where they were eating and playing.

detergent in laundry room

These cases illustrate the potential consequences of merging a kitchen and laundry room. They show why it's important to consider the function, safety, and aesthetics of each space in interior design.

Alternatives for Small Spaces: Solutions to the Kitchen-Laundry Problem

For those living in small spaces, there are alternatives to combining the kitchen and laundry room. One solution is to use stackable or compact washers and dryers that can fit into a small closet or bathroom. Another solution is to use a combined washer-dryer that can fit under a counter or in a closet.

You can also use design tricks to make a small laundry room more efficient. For instance, installing wall-mounted drying racks or pull-out ironing boards can save space. Using doors to hide the laundry area when it's not in use can also improve the aesthetics of the space.

laundry hidden in closet

It's also useful to use doors, curtains, or screens to visually and physically separate the kitchen and laundry area. This can help reduce noise and visual clutter. Remember to also consider ventilation to manage heat and moisture from the laundry.

Professional Tips for Efficient Floor Plan Design

As a professional interior designer, I advise homeowners to consider the function, safety, and aesthetics of each room when designing their floor plan. Remember that every room serves a specific purpose and requires a specific design. Don't compromise the function or safety of a room for the sake of saving space or following a trend.

modern farmhouse mudroom laundry

Consider the flow of movement in the house. Ensure that there's a logical progression from one room to another and that there's enough space for comfortable movement. Also, consider the relationship between different rooms. For example, the kitchen should be near the dining area for easy serving of meals, and the laundry room should be near the bedrooms for easy access to clothes.

Conclusion: The Importance of Proper Interior Design in Every Home

In conclusion, proper interior design is crucial in every home. It significantly affects the functionality, safety, and aesthetics of the space. As such, care should be taken to avoid common mistakes such as combining the kitchen and laundry room. Instead, consider the function, safety, and aesthetics of each room and plan your floor plan accordingly.

If you're unsure about how to design your home, don't hesitate to consult a professional interior designer. They have the knowledge and experience to help you create a beautiful and functional home that suits your lifestyle and needs.


Would you like to learn more about Interior Design? Or perhaps become an interior designer yourself? Follow my footsteps and study Interior Design with The Interior Design Institute where I could be your personal tutor. Click here to read more and receive a discount.

wabi sabi laundry room



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Hi! Thanks for stopping by.

I am Marieke, a Dutch Australian interior designer, business executive, tutor, content creator and social media influencer.


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