Now you see it, now you don’t! Clever ideas to conceal a washer and dryer.
The popularity of front loading appliances has given the decorating obsessed crowd (those who don’t want them to be “seen”) another area for creativity with the home design process. DD2 and I easily fall into that crowd. When she purchased her home, the laundry area was one of the first places we (“we” meaning mostly Mr. Shops) tackled. I’m saving her revamped space for last, so first we’ll look at other inventive ways to keep those beasts out of sight when not in use. A single door disguised as a pair of drawers [top] with bin pulls hides each appliance. Taking advantage of the extra deep counter space available with front loaders, two pairs of doors open to reveal storage for laundry necessities.
A single inset door also hides each appliance here, but notice the board along the floor that suggests a flush toe kick. I think this piece would have to be removed in order to pull-out the washer or dryer for service. While we’re on the subject, if you decide to enclose your appliances, be sure the water cut-off (and sometimes a natural gas line) is within easy reach in case of a leak. Cut-offs can be installed in the laundry room sink base cabinet.
This cheerful yellow laundry room has a pair of bi-fold doors. I love the uninterrupted, deep counter with equally deep sink. The counter material is doubled behind the wall-mounted faucet so the knobs are within reach. Don’t forgot to allow for dead space behind the appliances (for water pipes, dryer vent hose or gas line), or you’ll end up short on under-the-counter space.
This duo is stacked in a bathroom laundry closet. I love the shutter-style board and batten doors. Remember to make the closet opening larger than the width of the washer and dryer, so they can be removed without taking off the doors.
I only thought I loved my laundry room, until I saw this one. Everything about this custom space is visually stunning to me (who cares if it’s not 100% practical!) – the raised diamond pattern door hiding a stacked set, a metal wash tub sink with arched marble backsplash, chicken wire on the base storage cabinet, old brick flooring and wooden beams.
Now this is a serious workhorse! An extra deep closet hides a pair of appliances that are raised a step - similar to toe kick drawers used in kitchens – making it easier to reach into them when adding or removing the laundry. The simple counter offers a space for folding. No space is left unused, as the door interiors feature multiple shelves and hooks for cleaning supplies. A single, high shelf makes room for the mop bucket and more. If this washer and dryer were stacked, there would be room to store a vacuum, pet food or shelves for bulk paper products.
A pair of bold pumpkin color interior barn doors slide out of the way to reveal the laundry space in this ocean-side home.
This pair of modern sliding doors have a zen-like feel to them. Since this laundry closet is located in the kitchen, the door on the right is probably a pantry.
Bookcases cleverly slide out of the way to reveal this hidden laundry space. It’s a good solution for an apartment, loft or small home where every inch counts.
Another out of the norm laundry space is in an upstairs landing/hallway area. It’s closer to the bedrooms and bathrooms here than if it were downstairs. (Would teenagers be more inclined to wash their own things with a handy set nearby?) An important safety feature for every upstairs laundry space is the installation of a drip pan that includes a water cut-off sensor to catch water leaks and prevent flood damage.
The lady of this house wanted a washer and dryer in her bedroom. The lower pair of doors featuring chalkboard inserts are new, but painted to resemble the vintage piece on top. Notice the numbers on each of the fabric gathered doors – a nice touch.
Now for DD2′s laundry room makeover. This before picture from the real estate listing shows the small room that is a walk-thru from her garage into the back hallway. Basic 1990′s builder grade oak cabinets and unimpressive vinyl flooring ruled. She wanted the space to look non-utilitarian, while reflecting her style. DD2 spotted the purple printed fabric for the skirt at Hancock Fabric and purchased palace yellow Sunflower Medallion knobs at Anthropologie. Angel kept me company as I sewed the fabric into a two piece skirt.
Mr Shops started by adding the wood counter, then the back piece that hides the water cut off valves. The back can easily be removed for valve access – you can barely see one of the three toggles holding it closed. The walls had been painted BM Saybrook Sage after she moved in, so only the cabinets needed painting. We installed a curtain tension rod with metal curtain rings so that the fabric skirts slides out of the way to access the appliances.
After ordering a few too many purple FLOR tiles for her living room, she decided to use the extras here for now. They hold up to traffic and can literally be taken outside to hose down in necessary. The three vintage irons belonged to relatives and the colorful fabric covered box keeps several often used items close by. When DD2 has tile installed in the kitchen, she will repeat the tile in this space. At that time, she will decide what to install on top of the painted counter so that it is more practical. A framed black and white photograph on the left, two vintage tin pieces on the right and a wire photo holder on the wall opposite the cabinets (both not shown) where she can clip cards, pictures and mementos finished the space. DD2 is happy with the results, saying that walking through the space is no longer depressing and that even doing laundry is more enjoyable.