This versatile room turns doing chores into a beautiful thing.
laundry washing machine
Lattice cupboard doors from Medallion Cabinetry add texture pattern and an open feel while still hiding the cabinet’s contents. This country style has real Southern charm.

When you ask someone to name their favorite room in their house, you don't expect them to say the laundry room. However, that's what Jenni and Bob Blackburn will tell you. Jenni always wanted a mudroom, a potting room, a reading nook with a view, a very functional laundry area, and extra storage--a real catchall, do-all room. Her designer, Christi Estes of Newnan, Georgia, gave her exactly that plus a space so pretty that even a basket of unfolded clothes looks good.

The Laundry Zone
Using an energy-efficient, front-loading washer and dryer opens plenty of folding space on the countertop above. Christi also called for the washer and dryer to be split with cabinetry, de-emphasizing the appliances and giving Jenni more room to move between the two. The upper cabinets boast intricate lattice doors and open shelving for storage and display. Well lit with accent and task lighting, the laundry zone carries the country cottage style complete with a beaded-board backsplash.

Bay Bench
A bay window at the front of the house created the perfect spot for a bench. Playing off the gardening theme, Jenni and Christi picked a botanical fabric to soften the seat and to use as a valance above the window. The bench is great for putting on shoes, reading, or just enjoying the view.

Garden Grown
The laundry sink serves double duty as a great spot for arranging flowers. Cabinets provide storage for containers, vases, and other necessities; open shelves make tools and books easy to reach. Tip: The laundry room, mudroom, or utility room is the perfect spot in which to showcase your kids' art. The Blackburn children, Tori and Matt, supplied the artwork here.

"More Than Laundry" is from the May 2008 issue of Southern Living.