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A Laundry Room With Bunk Beds and a Shower for Muddy Dogs

Article by: Mitchell Parker

Tom and Jamie Pumpelly’s four dogs like to get dirty. A lot. The couple and their dogs — two blonde Labs, a bichon and a rat terrier–Chihuahua mix — live on acreage along the Occoquan and Potomac Rivers in northern Virginia, and the dogs are always showing up at the side entrance wet and muddy. 

So during an extensive remodel of their home, the couple incorporated plenty of functional space for washing and drying their animals, and for containing them when guests arrive. Using a former bedroom suite vacated once their kids moved away from home, the couple worked with Leroy Johnson of Four Brothers to create a dog-washing station, laundry room, mudroom and dog-bed area.

BEFORE: The side entrance and laundry area had previously become run-down over time and needed new storage and flooring.

AFTER: Johnson helped reconfigure the poorly laid-out space, adding a dog shower and custom cabinetry that includes a doggie bunk bed for Levon and Lucy. At three years old, the dogs are sprightly enough to jump into the top bunk; the spot goes to whichever leaps in first. 

The doors don’t lock and can be easily pushed open from inside. The cabinets are cherrywood that’s extra thick to take into account the constant bumping from the big dogs.

A mosaic tile shower pan allowed a sloping design for drainage, and Johnson carried the material to the rest of the shower. A teak bench lets the dogs get into and out of the hard tile pan more easily and provides a place where someone can kneel while washing the dogs. The ledge is quartz.

The Pumpellys’ son, Stuart, who is a project manager at Four Brothers, is shown here.

Johnson cut into a regular interior door to create a trundle bed on four casters that rolls out for the smaller dogs. Maddie is seen here. He opted not to do a drawer for fear of wear and tear to the slides. And the casters allow the homeowners to roll the bed elsewhere as needed. 

And no, they don’t close the bed when the dogs are on it. 

A new laundry area with a quartz counter helps make quick work of washing muddy clothes and folding clean ones.

8 Ideas for High-Functioning Mudrooms

Mudrooms help us transition from our adventures in the great outdoors to the comforts inside our homes. But when packed with clever built-ins, space-maximizing storage and nifty organizers, a mudroom can also become a high-functioning, double-duty space that can accommodate anything from folding laundry to making crafts. 

Don’t believe me? Check out these fantastic mudrooms and my space-saving mudroom organization tips to see how you can make the entry to your home attractive, functional and clutter free.

Office space. Transform your mudroom into a double-function space with a built-in desk and file storage. One wall is all you need if you plan it right. The cubbies and hooks help keep outdoor gear and clutter separated from the desk area. 

Helpful hooks. Turn an awkward or a dead space into something you’ll actually use. A row of simple hooks around the perimeter and a few well-placed wire baskets have turned this once-empty nook into a valuable drop zone near the home’s entry. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neat and clean. Not all of us like to have our jackets and coats on display. These floor-to-ceiling cabinet doors keep clutter out of sight and add an architectural statement.

 

Laundry time. If you have a spacious mudroom at the back of your house, take advantage of all that room. Consider including a laundry section to make life a little easier. A washer, dryer and small sink mean you can throw dirty clothes right into the wash as soon as you get home. 

Pet station. If you share your home with furry friends, your mudroom is the perfect place for a doggie stop. This pet-friendly mudroom’s special space for cleaning pets means the owners will never see a muddy paw print in their house again. A sophisticated palette of durable materials makes it feel sleek, despite its practical purpose.

 

Seasonal storage. Mudrooms can be the perfect place in which to store outdoor sports gear for all four seasons, with the right organizational techniques. This ski-loving family came up with a great solution to keep their winter gear under control: Cubbies for gloves and hats up top, spots for boots below the bench and custom ski racks keep everything neat and tidy.

Personalized. Clever and colorful solutions help bring this mudroom to life. Let your little ones choose a favorite color to make their special space in your mudroom more fun. Color-coordinated baskets add a little personality to an all-white space with minimal cost and effort.

 

Get crafty. If you have the room, incorporate a workstation into your mudroom. Wrap a gift, help your child with a school project or prepare a package for the mail on your way out the door. Having everything in one spot will make multitasking much easier. 

15 Doggone-Good Tips for a Pet Washing Station

Article By:

This is going to sound harsh, but your dog stinks. Don’t feel bad — it’s natural, and you are nice to let him swim in that creek and run in the mud and roll around in yucky things. You don’t notice anymore, because your schnoz is used to it. But when I come over to visit, the smell of your dog’s bed and the smell on my hand after I pet him is very noticeable, so chances are, the same smell is in your carpets, car and any furniture Fido lounges on. 

You probably mean to wash the dog more often, but it’s a pain in the neck. Large dogs are tough to get into bathtubs, the big shake afterward makes a mess, and the whole thing can be quite an ordeal. 

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, a home pet washing station isn’t looking so crazy. In fact, you can use them for other things, too. A builder who’s been adding them for years, Vincent Longo, says that one client uses his pet care station for cleaning dirty golf clubs, gardening tools and even the kids after a busy day making mud pies. 

Whatever your thoughts about pet wash stations, there’s no denying their popularity. If you’re thinking about adding one, here are some ideas to consider. 

Incorporate the washing station into the mudroom. Mudrooms are a very popular spot for dog wash stations. Dogs enter from the back or side door, and their muddy paws never make it into the rest of the house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Include a handheld showerhead or sprayer. Not only will it help you get your dog’s entire bod nice and clean, but it will also let you do a quick paws-only wash.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be prepared for the big shake. Anyone who has ever washed dogs knows that afterward they shake off the water with gusto and get the entire area wet (including the person doing the washing). Having a surround and floor that can stand up to water will keep the big shake from damaging drywall and floors. 

If your dog is the type that runs around the house in crazy circles after a bath, all I can recommend is shutting the mudroom door until Sparky dries off and calms down, or else letting him into the garage for the runaround.

 

Go bigger with the drain. Longo recommends using a 3-inch drain in a pet washing station. It will handle dog hair better than the standard 1½- to 2-inch shower drain. He also recommends adding a hair filter over the drain.

Clearly, this dog loves the pet wash station and is just begging for a rinse. 

Consider an elevated dog bath for smaller pets. It will be easier on your back and knees in the long run, as long as your dog is willing and able to jump into it, or you don’t have a problem lifting your pet into place.

 

Step it up. In this clever design, the counters double as steps up to the basin. The middle step serves as a drying station and has room for a cozy pet bed underneath. 

For smaller dogs a large utility sink plus a sprayer is all you need. 

Use what the pros use. You can find professional bathing stations complete with ladders or ramps at places like ProGroom. 

Combine gardening and pet grooming. Pet washers are also great places to water plants, rinse off mucky Wellies and clean your gardening tools.

 

Incorporate your own style. This custom dog bath utilizes vintage tiles that the homeowner had been collecting for years.

 

Have drying towels handy. An overhead drying rack is a handy spot for drying dog towels as well as laundry. If you utilize this kind of system, be sure to remove your people laundry before the big shake. 

Embrace the theme. This area celebrates dogs in the wallpaper and has plenty of shelves for dog supplies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consider going high-end. Do you and your pet have luxurious tastes? If so, try a dog-specific tub. When family-owned company Hydro Systemsdecided to dip into dog bath design, the owners collaborated with their groomer of more than 20 years, adding features like skidproofing to prevent slips and slides, and even an optional jetted whirlpool system. 

Is your dog the spa type? Do tell, because this idea is certainly new to me, and I can’t quite wrap my head around it. Unless the dog’s name is Zsa Zsa. Then it makes sense. (Seriously, though, the folks who designed this tub and added the spa option say it’s a matter of personality on a case-by-case basis.)


This model is for smaller dogs. I included it because a photo of a dog sitting in its own personal bath wearing a bling-bling necklace simply must be shared.

 

 

 

 

Think about storage for supplies. Just like a human shower area, this one has handy shelves for dog shampoo and sponges.

 

 

Take it outside. Homeowners are increasingly incorporating pet washing stations into their outdoor showers. All it takes is a handheld sprayer or showerhead that can reach down to the ground. Rinse off muddy paws here before they can get inside and muck up your rugs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Provide a clean path to the door. A concrete, gravel or stone walkway will prevent your dog from dirtying up his paws on the way in from an outdoor wash. Unless, of course, the dog breaks free and does that crazy circle thing out in the yard.

 

Luxury of Space: Designing a Dream Laundry Room

Article By: Gabrielle Di Stefano

Few of us like to do laundry, and an ineffective space can make it worse. These aren’t rooms we prioritize spending time in and money on, but making design decisions that emphasize comfort and practicality can make laundry less of a chore. Instead of shoving your washer and dryer into the basement, try following some of these tips to lay out a dream laundry room that you’ll actually enjoy spending time in. Helpful additions — drying cupboards, raised appliances, great lighting — will boost your laundry room’s style and function, too. 

The 3 Laundry Zones

There are three different zones in every successful laundry room. The size of each zone will be different according to the laundry room’s overall size, but having all three will make a laundry room more efficient. 

First there’s the preparation zone. This area should have space for baskets of dirty clothes, overhead cupboards and a sink to help you get your laundry ready for washing.

Tip: A deep sink will help when you’re soaking woolen items and delicates. A swivel tap, like the one in this photo, can also make watering indoor plants a breeze. 

The wash and dry zone should include your washer and dryer, and shelving or other storage for your cleaning products.

Tip: If you are designing a galley laundry, make sure you have at least 36 inches in front of the washing machine (front-loading washers need less) and 42 inches in front of a dryer, so you can access your appliances without bumping into cabinets.

 Create a folding zonewith a basket for clean clothes, a countertop for folding and hanging rods for anything that needs to air dry. 


Tip: If you are renovating your laundry, ask your cabinetmaker to install pullout baskets inside cupboards for your dirty and clean laundry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helpful Laundry Room Additions

Drying cupboards use high airflow and low heat to dry just about anything. These units come with adjustable pullout racks — some have up to 52 square feet of hanging space. They’re great for cold climates and apartment living, or for anytime air drying large quantities of clothes or heavy-duty items is difficult.

Tip: Some drying cupboards are better than others, so do your homework. You’ll also need adequate ducting or a very well-ventilated area for a drying cupboard to operate correctly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drying racks are less expensive than drying cupboards. Installing drying rods above your sink or countertop and leaving enough room at the back for hangers can help double up on available room, too.

Tip: If you’d rather not cramp your walls, consider using your ceiling to hold a drying rack. A pulley system can keep it neatly out of sight when it’s not in use.

 

Raised appliances are great ergonomic options and can help free up storage space. Certain front-loading models come with an optional drawer underneath. If you don’t have a lot of space for baskets, you can use one drawer for clean clothes and one for dirty items. 

Tip: If your laundry is near bedrooms or living areas, choose appliances with extra insulation and quality suspension to keep the noise down. Dryers with no decibel rating and washing machines with a high-speed spin cycle of more than 1,000 revolutions per minute will likely be noisy.
 

Ample lighting will help you see and fight stains better. Use a mixture of task lighting installed under your cabinetry and ambient ceiling lighting.

Tip: Install double wall sockets above countertops for clear task lighting. My rule of thumb is to install one fixture every 6 feet. 

 

Laundry flooringrequires just as much attention during the design process. With so much water in the room and a risk of leaks and flooding, you’ll need to apply a waterproofing membrane before you lay down your flooring. Nonslip tiles are the most practical in high-moisture zones, since hardwood floors may swell over time. Tiles are also a clever way of bringing a colorful design feature into a bland laundry.

Tip: To prevent flooding ask your plumber to install a washing machine valve shutoff kit. These kits have a floor-mounted sensor that will detect any puddles and instantly shut off the water valve.

8 Ways to Make the Most of Your Laundry Room

Article By: Shane Inman

We spend countless hours in our laundry rooms, scrubbing out stains, pressing our best and even washing the dog. Shouldn’t we make this space as functional and pleasant as possible?

Laundry rooms have come a long way from the barren basement rooms so many of us grew up with. Take a few tips from these uber-practical laundry-room additions to help you lighten your load. 

Refrigerator. Many homes have a second refrigerator in the garage, but these homeowners put one in the laundry room. Building it into the wall helped save space. 

Tip: If you’re not ready to go that far, a mini fridge (no built-in necessary) could still help you store extra beverages. 

Sewing station. Anyone who enjoys sewing knows what a pain it is to set up and take down your clunky machine every time you want to make a repair or tackle a project. A special sewing station in your laundry room can help you get your work done with an ironing board and other necessities nearby. 


Tip: Lower the counter height to 30 inches and knock out a cabinet for some knee space. Make sure there’s an electrical outlet nearby, and don’t forget task lighting to help you thread your needle.
 

 

Dog washing tub. Every friend and neighbor with a pooch will be green with envy when you show them your personal dog washing station. This is a great addition for laundry rooms that have an entrance to the outdoors or a garage. Wash Fido’s dirty paws and soiled fur before he comes into the house. 

Tip: Tiling the washing station and your laundry-room floors will make cleanup a cinch.

 

Raised washer and dryer. Bending down to take heavy loads of clothes out of a washer and dryer isn’t good for anyone’s back. A platform like this takes the (literal) pain out of washing and drying and has a seamless look. 

Tip: Aim to lift your washer and dryer at least 15 inches for the best fit. 

Drip-drying location. A drip-dry station in this spacious laundry room allows wet garments to dry without making a mess. In lieu of more cabinetry, this cavity was tiled all over for ultimate water protection. 


Tip: A bar from the top provides a spot to hang clothes, and the floor drain guarantees there is no standing water.
 

Floor drain. Even if you don’t have a specialized drip-dry spot, a floor drain can be a great idea in your laundry room. Not only does it make everyday cleaning easy, it can also prevent serious damage if your washing machine ever leaks or overflows. 

Ironing board. For those short on space, a drawer ironing board can give you the benefits of a built-in board without taking up wall or cabinet space. You’ll never have to wrestle with a squeaky freestanding board again. These are easy to retrofit into budget remodels, too. 

 

Hampers. Built-in laundry hampers like these can help you keep your laundry space extra tidy with minimal effort. When the clothes are piling up, just make sure the drawers are closed! This homeowner has a hamper for whites, colors and darks — all tucked away and out of sight.

Get More From a Multipurpose Laundry Room

Article by: Lisa Frederick

I’ve written before about laundry room envy, but laundry rooms that pull double duty as office spaces, potting areas, wrapping stations and more take it to a whole new level.

It makes total sense to squeeze some extra use from your laundry space, as it’s most likely designed for durability and already outfitted with plumbing. And if you’re lucky enough to have counters or an island for folding, they can moonlight as flat surfaces for wrapping gifts, arranging flowers or doing almost any other task you can imagine.

Take a look at how these laundry rooms have expanded their role with grace.

Traditional Laundry Room

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Louisville Architects & Designers

Rock Paper Hammer

Mudroom. What could be more efficient than having a washer and dryer in the same room where dirty socks, wet gloves and soiled jackets land? This beautifully integrated space does an admirable job of keeping the laundry pile to a dull roar. Bonus points for that gorgeous sky-blue ceiling, a trick borrowed from the classic front-porch technique.

Traditional Laundry Room

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Princeton Architects & Designers

Knight Architects LLC

Linen closet. Tucked into a beach house, this laundry room also houses towels and other gear for days in the sand and surf.

Traditional Laundry Room

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Millbrook Architects & Designers

Crisp Architects

Potting room. Take advantage of the plumbing lines in place and install a second sink for watering plants, washing empty containers and rinsing garden tools. 

Traditional Laundry Room

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Bethesda Kitchen & Bath Designers

Case Design/Remodeling, Inc.

Office. Do your laundry while you pay bills or answer messages, and you’ll check two tasks off your list at once. The cushioned benches are an extra-nice touch — you could stretch out and read or nap while the washer spins.

Traditional Laundry Room

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Virginia Beach General Contractors

Crestline Homes

Wrapping station. It can be tough to find a flat expanse of space large enough to allow for wrapping presents with ease. Laundry rooms lend themselves well to roomy counters for both wrapping and folding.

Traditional Laundry Room

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Toronto General Contractors

HARDROCK CONSTRUCTION

Breakfast nook. What a wonderful start to the day: a cup of coffee and a muffin or scone in this light-filled space, with the comforting scent of clean laundry in the air. 

Traditional Kitchen

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Portland Architects & Designers

Whitten Architects

Pantry. The pass-through layout in this combination laundry room and pantry makes for an especially smart use of space. 

Traditional Laundry Room

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Norwich Architects & Designers

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

Pet area. This laundry space incorporates a custom dog shower, handy if you have the square footage. But you don’t have to be that fancy. Just add a comfy dog bed, litter box or other designated area for your furry family members. 

Eclectic Laundry Room

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Winters Photographers

Dave Adams Photography

All-purpose room. This lovely, cozy laundry space adapts however it’s needed — as a butler’s pantry, potting station and more. It’s so appealing that I’d probably just hang out in there with a book while the laundry was going. 

Get More From a Multipurpose Laundry Room

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