As you may or may not know, we offer free staging to our listing clients. Some of the homes we represent require little staging and others need a complete makeover. As a stager, as well as a real estate agent, I enjoy staging some rooms more than others and the laundry room is near the top of that list.
I’m not sure why – it’s not because I love doing laundry so feel an affinity to the room. It may be that it’s the room most commonly neglected, so the “before” and “after” results are quite dramatic.
Even if you’re not selling your home in the near future, the following tips will help make using the laundry room more pleasant and will wow those summer house guests.
Clear it out and clean
All staging begins with a clean slate and the laundry room is no exception. So, pull out the baskets, bins, soap, dryer sheets and anything else you have stored in the room.
Wipe down the ceiling and walls first. It’s amazing how much lint gets tossed into the air, ending up stuck to every surface in the room.
Next, clean the appliances, shelves, cupboards and floors.
Assess the space
Now stand back and take a good look at the room. Decide whether or not to paint it and, if so, what color. Laundry rooms should be light and bright, so choose a light shade of the color you’ve decided on and consider a semi-gloss paint.
Semi-gloss finishes are easier to clean and they are highly moisture-resistant. The sheen also reflects light, making the room appear lighter and brighter.
Speaking of which, if you need to squint when sorting the black socks from the navy blue, it’s time to buy new lighting for the laundry room. Lighting experts suggest that you aim for a lighting solution that is as close to natural light as possible.
“ . . . the two kinds of lighting you’ll find in laundry areas are ambient overhead lighting and task lighting, and this scheme usually takes the form of a ceiling light or two and under cabinet lighting,” says Tom Sowders of pegasuslighting.com. He goes on to suggest that a semi-flush mount ceiling light or a chandelier will take care of the overhead lighting and LED rope lights work well under cupboards. Pinterest has some very cool laundry room lighting ideas.
Next, determine what other items you’d like installed in the laundry room. From a closet-like rod to hang-dry items that don’t go in the dryer to cabinets and shelves and the items that sit in and on them (boxes, bins, tins, etc.), purchase and install these items after painting but before moving everything back into the room.
Move it back in
In staging, we aim to advertise each room’s purpose. Therefore, don’t put anything in the laundry room that doesn’t pertain to laundry. In other words, nix the gardening equipment, broken appliances and oversized pots and pans. Return only those items that pertain to doing the laundry.
If you won’t be installing cupboards, use attractive bins or baskets to hold the bottles of detergent, fabric softener, stain remover solution, etc. If you use the giant economy size bottles of these items, it’s even more important to hide them or pour into smaller, more attractive containers while the home is on the market.
Store the hangers and laundry baskets as well, at least when a showing is scheduled.