6 Tips for Storing Laundry Supplies
Make use of the space between your washer and dryer. Got a few inches between the two machines? Slip in a slender pullout shelf on casters. It’s perfect for stain sticks, fabric softener and other small necessities.
Install a simple shelf. Many laundry rooms have bare wall space above the appliances. Even if there’s a bank of overhead cabinetry, you typically have room to add a single utility shelf with enough room for odds and ends — such as a dish to collect all the loose change you find in your family’s pockets.
Invest in a mobile drawer cart. In older homes, the laundry area is often in the garage, basement or another out-of-the-way spot. A drawer cart can keep all your supplies close at hand. Choose a style with sturdy bins that can support heavy detergent bottles, bleach and more.
Use a clean trash can for detergent. If you buy detergent powder in bulk, pour it into a large garbage can with a lid to avoid grappling with awkward, half-used boxes. An old-fashioned metal style adds a bit of whimsy, but a standard plastic version works too.
This laundry room lives much larger than its square footage, thanks to smart planning by Geoff Chick & Associates. The base cabinets that flank the washer and dryer are just 18 inches deep, but extending the wall of cabinetry all the way to the 12-foot ceiling vastly increases the usable space. Windows visually expand the room; the natural light flooding in enhances the warm notes in the soft gray paint. "Most laundry rooms are tucked away in a dark corner or in the basement," Chick notes.
Custom Kitchen Closet
This homeowner longed for a laundry area but didn't have space to remodel an existing room. To the rescue: designer Giana Shorthouse of Terracotta Properties, who teamed up with a local cabinetmaker to create a custom kitchen laundry and storage room. Stackable appliances sit next to a closet that has pullout drawers as well as room to iron. Metal mesh door fronts allow moisture out and air to circulate, yet blend seamlessly with the look of the cabinetry.
Concealed With Curtains
Because they're already plumbed, bathrooms can be a great place to tuck in a washer and dryer. Natalie Sheedy of Natalie Sheedy Interiors took advantage of this long, narrow space, installing appliances at one end and screening them off with a pretty curtain. Extending the deep orange paint color into the laundry area makes it feel of a piece with the rest of the room.
Because this laundry area sits between a master bedroom and an art studio, the design team at Crystal Kitchen Center wanted to make it accessible and functional for both purposes. The stained-glass window, backlit by a skylight, serves as an art piece and makes the room feel more expansive. The room is small, so a stackable washer and dryer help to conserve square footage. A staircase bump-out creates a spot for laundry baskets as well as a hanging rod, and a shelf over the sink acts as a handy supply station.
Tasked with fitting a washer and two dryers into this slim laundry room, designer RaeLynn Callaway of Classically Yours Interiors had limited space to add storage. She configured the cabinets to make the most of every inch, including open niches for bins and baskets. She also paid special attention to aesthetics, with lively green paint and corner cabinets that house art and accents. "I have realized that if you have a 'happy' laundry room you have a happy laundry person," Callaway says. "Fun colors, cabinet hardware, flooring patterns and decor can really make a difference."
Splash of Color
This laundry room is in a basement that receives hardly any light, so the first order of business for Lucy Penfield of Lucy Interior Design was to brighten things up. She chose open shelves for storage, backed by a color-block paint treatment that's repeated in the niche above the washer and dryer. Curtains hide the hanging rods and screen drying clothes from view.
Who says a laundry room can't be fun? For this young family, Cheryl Scarlet of Design Transformations orchestrated a cheery, whimsical space with a bird-and-butterfly print wallpaper. The open shelving corrals portable laundry baskets, one for each family member and an extra for dry cleaning items. A pretty wall-mounted drying rack serves as a focal point and adds the illusion of a window.
For this laundry room, Mark Warren of Warren Home Restorations Inc. wanted to combine efficient storage and ample light with pleasing design that would blend with the rest of the home. An apron-front sink makes a pretty stand-in for a utility sink. To the right, specially sized niches hold laundry baskets that make sorting and toting a snap.
Store supplies in pretty containers. Want to make your laundry room extra-inviting? Transfer detergent powder, dryer sheets and more from their utilitarian packaging into glass canisters or apothecary jars.
Stash stain fighters throughout the house. Spills can happen anywhere. Keep a few stain sticks scattered around — perhaps one in the kitchen, one in each bathroom, and one in the playroom or den. That way, you won’t have to run to the laundry room every time someone upsets a tumbler of juice or drops spaghetti sauce on a white shirt.