For Sarah Stacey, a mudroom renovation in a 1980s-built home was a lesson in crafty storage solutions. The family, who have lived in Austin for two years have small children, wanted an ultra-organized laundry room that felt comfortable but not overwhelming, according to the designer.
Stacey was tasked with the rest of the design as well, including a palette of textiles, patterns, and finishes giving the West Austin home a comfortable, welcoming, layered, and lived-in look.
The laundry room/mudroom inspiration came from various images the couple shared with Stacey, but the functionality of the room had a more unique epicenter. They are both scientists who spent many years in the field studying disease, including time in Panama where they used air drying methods for nearly everything.
“When they moved back, they didn’t want to completely give this up and wanted a laundry room that fit their current needs with a lot of built-in function,” Stacey says. He is currently a professor at the University of Texas while she is with the Center for Disease Control studying COVID-19.
One of the main standouts Stacey included is the system of flat-lay drawers, which allow clothing to drip dry without any damage or potential for shrinkage—plus she installed hanging racks for delicates and lighter-weight items.
“For the drawer systems, we found that 24 x 24 was the perfect size to fit most folded clothing, sweaters, etc. allowing six inches between each. We decided to go with plastic material as metal and other harsh materials could snag clothing,” she says.
In addition to the flat-lay system, Stacey built in plenty of storage for shoes, plus sports gear lockers and access to things like hats, bags, and umbrellas. Next to the flat lay drawers is closed cabinetry for cleaning supplies, plus a Hafele Ironfiix built-in ironing board, two slide-out hampers using Rev-a-Shelf’s 20-inch-deep rack, and outlets for charging appliances like their Dyson vacuum.
Furthermore, the designer went for a custom open cabinet and implemented a plastic-mesh panel so the family could store delicate items that typically don't fare well in traditional washers and dryers. For drying, the designer opted for Leifheit wall hangers off Wayfair in lieu of a free-standing hanging rack, so the clients could use them all at once.
“In an effort to avoid any mold or mildew, we added a pan at the bottom of the cabinet so that any excess water could drain to the exterior of the home," she says. "Additionally, we added a fan for exhaust towards the back of the cupboard to avoid any additional moisture."
From the paint to the beautiful floor tile to the clever storage, the laundry/mud room has become the ultimate family station and she was able to give the clients everything they wanted.