By Sarah Lyon
Laundry: We all have to do it, whether we like it or not. But it’s entirely feasible to work a washer and dryer into your house without carving out space for a designated laundry room—all you need is a closet. We spoke with interior designers regarding the main functional and aesthetic concerns to keep top of mind when setting up this laundry space. One takeaway? Don’t be afraid to have a little fun!
Determine Electrical Logistics
The first step of creating a washer dryer closet is considering the electrical logistics involved in such a setup. “Electric, ventless (recirculating) appliances are the easiest to install and require the least amount of work,” designer Highlyann Krasnow explains.”
Once you have made this key decision, you can then focus on other functional—and aesthetic—adjustments. “Tile the floor of the closet it’s going in, and try to add a drain, if the drain is not possible add a pan for water overflow,” Krasnow suggests. “Once that’s done, add a light in the closet and try to use any extra space for storage!”
Evaluate Square Footage and Lifestyle
Your washer dryer closet may contain stacking, side by side, or two-in-one appliances. The option you choose will be reflective of the amount of space you’re working with, but your lifestyle isn’t insignificant, either. As designer Bea Copeland says, “Are you doing laundry for one? A family of six? Is there room for side-by-side units or do they need to be stacked? Compact stackable units are ideal if dealing with space constraints, but remember to always put the washer on the bottom and dryer on top.” However, don’t cram your units into the closet and call it a day—as Copeland notes, “Be sure to leave ample space on either side of the unit so it may be pulled out easily for repairs and maintenance.”
When it comes to storage, “Consider additional items that you might want be stored within reach, such as detergent bottles, and make sure shelves are properly sized to accommodate them,” Copeland says. Again, how much storage you require will be dependent on your lifestyle and laundry preferences.
Don’t Forget a Door
‘When it comes to creating a laundry closet, it is important to enclose the room entirely,” designer Tanya Hembree urges. “This helps reduce sound and conceal any possible mess.” So save that thin curtain covering for your craft closet and opt for a thick door this time around! Also, note that the appliance units you choose will shape your door options. Adds Hembree, ‘Make sure you utilize double doors for a side-by-side usage and a 36 inch wide door for stacked options so that you can fit your units through the door.”
Incorporate Sufficient Lighting
Proper lighting is a major must in your laundry closet. “Lighting is critical to ensuring a small space is functional,” Copeland comments. “Recessed lighting is a great option in closets, as are LED strips that can be concealed above trimwork.” But you may wish to think beyond these solutions and go for something even more high tech, Copeland adds. “Door-activated lighting is ideal when hands are full with a hamper full of clothes.”
Add Some Personality
Whether laundry is your favorite household chore or one of your more dreaded tasks, it’s something that needs to be done—possibly several times a week—regardless! So why not make your laundry closet a happy place? “Just because it’s a utilitarian space, doesn’t mean it needs to be boring. You can have fun with wall paint, patterned tile and even bring in materials that can be found elsewhere in your house, like matte black hooks or wood shelving,” Copeland offers.
Designer Jamie King agrees and incorporated Farrow & Ball wallpaper into a laundry closet that she designed. “This way, when the doors are open, there is still a beautiful visual,” she shares.
Just be mindful about the specific materials you choose given the nature of this space. “Similar to a kitchen, avoid materials that will soak up moisture,” she adds. “For instance, opt for semi-gloss or eggshell paint instead of anything matte.” When it comes to flooring, “Tile is ideal as well as it protects the area from water and moisture.”
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