COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. Suzie Lawrence lives in a home most people can only dream about. It has a spacious master bath, decks with incredible views and a kitchen that would dazzle most chefs.
But, to her, the most appealing feature in this lavish 6,600-square-foot is ... the laundry room.
"I absolutely love it," she says.
Considering that the average household does seven to eight loads of laundry per week, and considering that most laundry is done by women, it's no wonder that, more than ever, women are asking for bright, well-equipped laundry rooms, says Cindy McMillin, vice president of administration for Scott Building.
"They are doing all sorts of things to make them more convenient, such as raising the washer and dryer height on short pedestals so you don't have to bend over so much," McMillin says.
Laundry rooms in new homes tend to be bigger than ever, with cabinets for storage, a counter for folding and a closet or racks for hanging clothes.
Cubbyholes for sorting clothes and built-in ironing boards are in high demand, and homeowners often ask for space to accommodate an extra refrigerator or freezer.
"We don't always have a lot of space to work with," says McMillin, who works with designers on new homes. "But we try to get as much as we can in that space."
And that's exactly what Lawrence has.
It's a laundry room to lust for: a 10-by-13-foot space with bright, natural light from the windows, an elevated washer and dryer, a big laundry sink, broad counters for folding clothes, cupboards for storing laundry supplies, a drop-down ironing board and its own powder room.
An adjacent walk-in closet that almost doubles the size of the space offers a storage place for off-season and need-to-be-ironed clothes.
She loves the faux brick floor that doesn't show dirt, but "I think I love the closet most of all," Lawrence says.
Her husband, Larry Lawrence of Equity Homes in Monument, Colo., built the house, but she influenced the laundry room design. And when women design laundry rooms, they're functional, he says.
Valerie Freimuth also went in search of the perfect laundry room. Her first was in a gloomy basement. Her second was upstairs, but it was tiny and served as a boot-cluttered major thoroughfare between the garage and house.
Now, on the third try, she has her dream laundry room, a bright space with room to sort and fold clothes, a big sink, storage cupboards, a drop-down ironing board and an upright freezer for food storage.
"It's great," she says.