Create a Luxury Laundry Room
Brought to you by our friend Cassity at Remodelaholic
Everywhere you look, there they are — spacious laundry rooms with folding counters, multiple laundry bins to sort clothes, an extra-large utility sink, and, of course, natural light streaming in the over-sized windows. And then you pick up your laundry basket and open your tiny laundry closet or trudge to the far corner of the basement and, if you’re like me, think to yourself, “It just isn’t fair! Why does everyone else have a beautiful laundry room and I have <em?THIS?!?
The good news is that you are not alone. The bad news is that knowing that doesn’t actually make you feel a whole lot better, am I right? But still, try to take a little comfort in knowing that most homes — old, new or in-between — have small laundry rooms. Use these four simple ideas to maximize the space you have and make it work for you. A more organized and functional laundry room might not make the dreary chore any more fun, but it can at least make it go more quickly!
1. Make and Keep It Tidy
When a utility space is cramped, organization is the key to keeping it functional for day-to-day use. First: get rid of anything that you don’t use, and find a new home for non-laundry items, like that bicycle pump. Find each of the remaining items a home — and label it! Labels help remind other family members where things belong, and they can add to the design and style of the room. Erasable mini chalkboards or simple clothespin labels make it easy to switch labels as needed to ensure that items are in the best place. Use various sized bins, hanging under-shelf baskets, lazy susans, or cupboard risers to keep items accessible and organized.
Laundry rooms collect dust and lint quickly, and cleaning your laundry room can be even more of a chore than actually doing the laundry! Help keep it tidy by putting plastic trays underneath items that may drip or spill. Use a stylish container for the miscellaneous treasures you find when checking pockets — and keep a small trash can accessible for the not-so-treasured pocket finds.
2. Look Up
Vertical space often goes unused or is underused, because we don’t want to clutter up a room and make it feel even smaller. Especially in a small laundry room, using vertical space can help the room be more organized and actually less cluttered by giving everything a home.
If your washer and dryer are due for an upgrade, consider purchasing a stacking set. Front-loading washers and dryers allow for a counter or shelf to be placed nearly right on top, giving you a spot for storing necessities and folding clothes. If your top-loading washer is still going strong, look to the wall above the machine. Even two small shelves can hold laundry soap, dryer sheets, and other laundry supplies and free up valuable space. You can also add more storage to any style of machine by either purchasing or building a storage pedestal.
Add shelving wherever you can. Even small ledge-style shelves can hold smaller items and keep them visible and organized. Take the shelving to the ceiling to maximize space. Keep items you use daily on the lower shelves and use the higher shelves for items that you use less often. Bins keep smaller items organized even on large shelves, and help the space to look more tidy by hiding the visual clutter.
3. Think Space Smart
Aside from the actual machines, most laundry items are small and can be tucked away. Look around your laundry room and see where you have small pockets of space that might fit an ironing board or folding laundry drying rack, like the photo above. If you don’t have a cranny to tuck them in, try the back of the door, a small wall, or the side of a cabinet.
Get creative in your storage options. A standard shoe organizer is great for holding smaller essentials, such as clothespins and laundry stain remover. A collapsible clothes rod is perfect for hanging up fresh-from-the-dryer laundry that will then be moved to a bedroom closet. Pegboard is also a versatile and inexpensive storage solution — hang it above your machines or along the side of a cabinet, or use it to replace the solid wood center of the cabinet door to provide accessible storage.
If a bi-fold laundry door is driving you crazy, consider replacing it with a pocket door or a curtain in a pretty fabric print. Save some space by replacing a traditional laundry drying rack or ironing board with a wall-mounted version or using a retractable clothesline that can be hid inside a cabinet when not in use.
4. Beautify It
You probably spend more time in your laundry room than you would like, so make it a cheery place to be. Give the room a quick spruce with a vinyl decal, pretty baskets, or a fun framed laundry print, such as a laundry care poster. As you purchase new laundry baskets or other essentials, splurge a bit to buy a design or color you love. If you have more time to invest, paint a wall or two or install a fun backsplash. Lighter colors will help the room feel bigger. Upgrade to a fun light fixture, or consider hanging a pretty mirror to reflect the available light and open up the space.
Cassity is an interior designer, wife, and mother of two. She and her husband have remodeled three homes from top to bottom and are working on their fourth. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby. For great ideas on how to make your builder grade house a custom home, check out her blog Remodelaholic.