As dull as it is, laundry is a part of everyday life. Those who are lucky enough to have laundry facilities at home needn’t worry so much about working it into their busy schedules, but for people living in apartment buildings with no communal laundry area, it’s a weekly necessity to make a trip to the local laundromat. This can be an ordeal, as it can take precious hours just to fill a load, wait for it to finish, transfer it to the drier, and fold everything up at the end. Luckily, a new trend in laundromats is allowing customers to multitask while they wait for their clothes to be washed, with workspaces, cafés, and even mini hair salons making appearances in innovative establishments around the world.
Laundré in San Francisco is a swanky laundromat that lets you wash your clothes in a sophisticated, minimal setting. Their mission is “is to elevate the standard with which the laundromat is viewed by establishing an open and inviting space featuring sustainable laundry equipment, a full-scale coffee bar, and communal seating. We encourage you to meet with a friend, catch up on work, or simply grab a cup of freshly brewed Sightglass Coffee while your garments take a spin. Laundré aims to make laundry less of a chore while providing a space that welcomes creativity, work, and people.” This laundromat’s clean, bright, and airy café is enveloped by a central counter, which itself runs under the wrap-around glazing that defines the entire facade of this corner property.
In a lot of ways, New York City’s Celsious has the same ethos as its San Franciscan counterpart. Boasting a café, lounge, and laundry facilities, the emphasis here falls squarely on sustainable washing. The complementary detergent that’s given to customers comes courtesy of The Simply Co, consisting of only baking soda, washing soda, and organic vegan castile soap. Founded by two German sisters who both have backgrounds in design, Celsious is also aesthetically conscious, showing off classic furniture pieces like Arne Jacobsen chairs and natural materials like recycled pine stools and cork wall coverings. Every Celsious employee can also be seen sporting a sustainably-designed apron.
In Belgium, the Wasbar laundromat marries the time-consuming task of doing laundry with the equally time-consuming errand of getting your hair cut. This laundromat-come-café-come-hair salon kills two birds with one stone, all the while creating an intimate and comfortable atmosphere. The concept will be rolled out across other locations in Belgium in the future, but for now, customers will have to head to Ghent to get a taste of the unwasted life at Wasbar. The laundromat, which is housed in a former bookshop, contains both original features, including restored parquet flooring, and new additions, like a colorful collection of chairs and a quirky area for hairdressing. On top of all that, the brand’s instantly recognizable logo (comprised of a bottle opener and a clothespin) will allow patrons to identify the shop when it does eventually open in other cities.