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8 Unexpected Ways to Upgrade Your Laundry Closet

Fisher Paykel Marble Laundry Room Concealed Stacked Washer Dryer

I’m not about to whine about having to go all the way down to the basement of my house in order to do laundry, when my apartment-dwelling memories of lugging bags of dirty clothing down four flights of stairs and across five city blocks still feel so fresh. I am ever grateful that I no longer have to count out quarters and pray that whoever used the washer before me had good hygiene habits. That. Said. I wish I had a laundry closet on the first or second floor of my home so that I didn’t have to descend into the dungeon like a mole person every time I needed to do a wash.

But how would I fit a laundry closet in our small living quarters? (A room is out of the question.) And would it be able to include everything I currently have in my laundry dungeon (cleaning products, drying rack, etc.)? I searched our archives and found some great solutions. Have a look.

1. Use the door for extra storage.

Emily Henderson Laundry Closet Doors Open
Above: An easy way to turn a laundry niche into a utility closet as well: over-the-door hanging solutions for storing brooms, mops, and dust pans. See HGTV host Emily Henderson’s setup in Steal This Look: A Design Darling’s Clever Laundry and Utility Closet. Photography by Zeke Ruelas, courtesy of Emily Henderson.

2. Make it multi-purpose.

If you have a stacked washer and dryer, you may end up with room to spare in your laundry closet. Here, Meredith added a pegboard and open shelving for extra storage, a countertop for a laundry-folding surface, and a curtain around it to conceal a kitty litter underneath. See the details of her DIY project in Before & After: A Pet-Friendly Overhaul for the Laundry Closet. Photograph by Mahyar Abousaeedi for Remodelista.
Above: If you have a stacked washer and dryer, you may end up with room to spare in your laundry closet. Here, Meredith added a pegboard and open shelving for extra storage, a countertop for a laundry-folding surface, and a curtain around it to conceal a kitty litter underneath. See the details of her DIY project in Before & After: A Pet-Friendly Overhaul for the Laundry Closet. Photograph by Mahyar Abousaeedi for Remodelista.

3. Treat it like a puzzle.

Julie Carlson Laundry Closet, Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista
Above: No closet? No problem. Julie’s architect, Jerome Buttrick, designed an ingenious custom built-in laundry setup in her Mill Valley Home. Situated in a hallway, the closet includes a linen cupboard, pullout hampers, an ironing and folding surface, and drawers for extra storage. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home.

4. Hide it in the kitchen.

Solveig Fernlund Laundry Closet by Matthew Williams, Styled by Alexa Hotz for Organized Home
Above: Got extra room in the kitchen? Consider placing your laundry closet there. Architect Solveig Fernlund hid a compact and hardworking laundry setup behind floor-to-ceiling kitchen doors. Photograph by Matthew Williams and styling by Alexa Hotz for Remodelista: The Organized Home.

5. Create a closet with curtains.

Above: A renter DIYs a wrap-around curtain to keep his washer and dryer out of sight. See DIY: The $65 Laundry Closet, Renter’s Edition.

6. Open it up.

Fisher Paykel Marble Laundry Room Concealed Stacked Washer Dryer
Above: This laundry setup by Fisher Paykel reminds us that you don’t need to keep everything behind closed doors. Here, the machine doors are concealed behind louver doors, while the rest—a utility sink and clothes rod—are left out in the open. Photograph courtesy of Fisher & Paykel, from A Marble-and-Brass Laundry Room in Small, Medium, and Large.

7. Carve out a slot for a drying rack.

Laundry in Moscow Apartment by Studio Bazi
Above: A wall of closets in a super-tiny apartment includes a laundry closet with a dedicated spot to store a laundry rack when not in use. Photograph by Polina Poludkina, from The Secret Apartment: A Hyperefficient Moscow Flat with Stealth Storage (and a Hidden Kitchen).

8. Or mount a foldable one.

Behind sliding barn doors is this hard-working laundry closet in Napa Valley, complete with two wall-mounted collapsible drying racks. Photograph by Mimi Giboin for Remodelista, from Small Space, High Style: A Napa Valley Laundry Room.
Above: Behind sliding barn doors is this hard-working laundry closet in Napa Valley, complete with two wall-mounted collapsible drying racks. Photograph by Mimi Giboin for Remodelista, from Small Space, High Style: A Napa Valley Laundry Room.

For more laundry inspiration, see:

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