“We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry.” – E. B. White
Gone are the days when doing laundry meant trudging down into a dim, unfinished basement. There’s nothing wrong with keeping your laundry supplies away from your living space. But main- and upper-level laundry rooms are becoming increasingly popular.
Still, it’s hard to justify devoting an entire room to doing laundry. If you live in a small apartment or home, doing so might be downright impossible. When a full-size laundry room isn’t an option, a laundry closet can save space while offering just as much (if not more) convenience.
Keep reading for tips on how to transform your favorite laundry room idea into a compact and stylish laundry closet.
1. Laundry Closet Shelving Ideas
There’s really no better way to add laundry room storage than with high-quality shelving. Shelves offer a place to stow and organize things like detergent and dryer sheets. They can also hold decorative items that will bring personality to your small laundry room.
Whether you opt for stacked or side-by-side appliances, most closets include enough wall space for at least one shelf. Leave room for a laundry basket or sink underneath, if desired, and install a rod for hanging clean laundry straight from the dryer.
Don’t forget that your shelving can double as decor on its own. While there’s nothing wrong with a set of utilitarian wire shelves, opting instead for natural wood or sleek floating shelves can make a huge difference in your laundry room design.
Place patterned wallpaper behind your shelves for an extra pop. If you’re worried about water damage (or detergent stains), install subway tile behind your laundry room shelves instead.
2. Small Laundry Closet Ideas
By their very nature, most laundry closets are relatively small. But it’s also possible to design a small laundry room in a space that’s positively minuscule.
While nowhere near as popular as standalone machines, keep in mind that combination washer-dryers do exist. When you’re working with a tiny space (like in a studio apartment or tiny home), swapping two machines for one can make an enormous difference.
If you want to decorate your laundry closet but don’t have any space to spare, focus on the walls. A coat of paint, sheet of wallpaper, or set of decals takes up no more room than plain white laundry room walls.
Ultimately, be realistic about what you can and cannot fit into your new laundry space. While there are tons of stylish laundry closet ideas out there, it’s okay to design a space that holds nothing more than your washer and dryer.
3. Side-by-Side Laundry Closet Ideas
Side-by-side laundry appliances can feel like they take up a ton of room, but there’s a lot of vertical space left for you to use. Overhead shelves or cabinets can transform this empty space into that of an ultra-functional laundry room.
Whether your washer and dryer are top- or front-loading will affect your laundry room design, so think carefully when investing in a new machine. For example, top-loading models need plenty of clearance on top, meaning you can’t install a counter directly above your machines.
Laundry room organization can be a bit tricky when it comes to side-by-side appliances. When shopping for a drying rack, ironing board, or hamper, choose narrow or folding items for storage.
4. Hallway Laundry Closet Ideas
If you want to tuck your laundry room out of sight while maintaining easy access, a hallway closet is your best bet. You can turn even a tiny closet into a small laundry room as long as the necessary utility hookups are there.
While you can use any closet in the house, one near your mudroom or master bedroom is the most logical option. A large enough upstairs space can easily double as a linen closet.
Outfit the space with a drying rack, ironing board, and household cleaning supplies for a laundry area that meets every need. If space allows, include baskets for collecting dirty clothes in one central spot (that also happens to be right next to the washer and dryer).
Traditional swinging doors will likely block the entire hallway when open, which can be quite the headache in high-traffic areas. Opt for sliding doors or go with no doors at all.
This is the perfect opportunity to install a sliding barn door or a stylish pocket door. You can also hang a simple tension rod and curtains.
5. Laundry Closet Counter Ideas
How often do you find yourself juggling the clothes hamper, laundry detergent, and fabric softener while starting a load of laundry? Or trying to fold your family’s clothes on a bed or balanced atop your washer and dryer? Adding counter space to your laundry room can fix all of this.
When it comes to your laundry closet, there’s no need for heavy or expensive countertop materials. Stained or painted wood works just fine — just be sure to seal the wood against moisture first.
Before getting your heart set on a laundry closet countertop, think about if your current washer and dryer are compatible. If you own front-loading, side-by-side machines, the world is your oyster. Sadly, top-loading machines won’t work with a full-length counter.
6. Laundry Closet Cabinet Ideas
No amount of stylish decor can replace the need for functional storage in a laundry room. Even a single wall cabinet will provide vital storage space, so come up with a layout that meets the needs of you and your laundry closet.
Tall, narrow cabinets work well alongside a stacked washer and dryer set. If your laundry room has plenty of vertical space to spare, hang a few cabinets overhead instead.
For easier access, pair your new cabinets with a set of shelves. It’s the perfect spot for laundry detergent and other necessities you’ll use every day. Install a closet rod below your cabinetry to make organizing fresh laundry a little bit easier.
Adding cabinets to your laundry room can be easy and affordable. If you or someone you know is remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, for example, look into repurposing the old cabinets. Even if you opt for plain white cabinets, a fresh coat of paint and updated hardware can do wonders!
7. Stacked Laundry Closet Ideas
If you feel like a washer and dryer will never fit into one of your home’s closets, a stacked machine might just be the answer. These appliances can fit into all sorts of closets, including super narrow ones.
Even in a normal-size closet, stacked machines leave ample room for things like a basin farmhouse sink, ironing board, or folding table. The less space taken up by your washing machine and dryer, the more you can get done in a single laundry room or closet.
You can even add a stacked washer and dryer to a walk-in master closet or mudroom for ultra-convenient access where you’ll use it most. Or turn your current laundry closet into an all-in-one cleaning station with an upright organization system installed next to your appliances.
8. DIY Laundry Closet Ideas
While throwing a washer and dryer into any old closet might technically work, it doesn’t take much to design a custom laundry room. As long as you have the right utility hookups, you can DIY the entire project.
Before you dive headfirst into your laundry closet makeover, decide if there’s anything in the space you’d like to remove. Perhaps your closet has a shelf that gets in the way of organizing laundry. Or maybe the door is too clunky for your needs.
Functional design elements like shelves and counters are important, but you should also take the time to add some personal style. Paint and peel-and-stick wallpaper are two quick and easy ways to liven up your laundry room walls.
You can open up the space by removing your laundry closet door. If you still want the option of hiding your laundry, such as when guests are visiting, replace the doors with a set of stylish curtains.
9. Laundry Closet Organization Ideas
A spare closet is a perfect place to tuck a washer and dryer out of sight. But there are times when your makeshift laundry room will still need to function as a day-to-day closet.
Shelving is the best way to maximize your laundry closet organization and available storage. Wood shelves are stylish, but wire shelving is affordable and you can use it to hang items. Rather than leave things strewn about your laundry room shelves, buy a set of coordinated bins or totes.
To save on space, opt for a washer and dryer set that is compact. If you want to preserve room in the closet for hanging items, consider investing in a stackable washer and dryer set.
Don’t hesitate to install a shelf immediately above your front-loading appliances for an easy-to-reach laundry room storage idea. For a laundry closet that’s even more versatile, place a wall-mounted countertop over your washer and dryer. This not only offers extra storage but also doubles as a laundry-folding table.