Designing our Laundry Room + The 7 Things Our Contractor (and Plumber) Told Us To Consider


Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Laundry Room Inspiration 01
Emily Henderson how to design a laundry room 1
image via delikatissen

WERE BAAAAAACK. Yes. Somehow we are not done with the mountain house (thats an inspo photo), and I want to celebrate its return with one of the more boring but useful rooms to talk about the laundry closet. While I truly want to avoid spending one more penny or creating any more dust, it seems silly that we never finished the proper laundry closet. How are we living up there now you ask? With this cute little laundry closet on the bedroom/second floor (best decision I ever made all sheets, clothes and most bath towels reside on this floor).

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upstairs Laundry Closet Current Photos 2 Horizontal

She is little, but its pretty great, thus the procrastination to put in the real one on the first floor. We rarely have more than one family up there at a time (its a rule) and well, being on that floor makes it SO easy. But a larger one is needed because we have nowhere to fold clothes and often just dump them on the floor, getting mixed in with the dirty clothes. Plus during the summer the beach towels do pile up (although our neighbors might tell you that we let them dry on the front porch railing, but we would NEVER do that. They are liars).

Currently, the first-floor laundry closet looks like this:

Emily Henderson Mountain House Laundry Closet Current Photos

Its pretty cool. And no, we dont need the storage we have a big garage. I just havent organized it because I dont feel like it. Hot Tip you can just shut the door on all your problems if you dont want to look at them and they simply go away!

So there are some challenges that we have to deal with but nothing too annoying

  1. The hookups are a bit high which my contractor did intentionally to make them easy to access (smart) but of course we dont want to have to see them and they are in prime backsplash position.
  2. There is a bump-out on that side that makes it slightly challenging.

So we asked our contractor to help us give you guys some tips to avoid some sort of inevitable mistake. Heres what he said:

Mh Laundry Room

Ok, thats the technical stuff, lets get back to laundry closet porn.

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Laundry Room Inspiration 02
image & design via tidbits

Laundry closets are already at a deficit, and its hard to compete with the (ideal) bigger and better laundry room. Generally, the needs are more storage for cleaning supplies, space to hang clothes, and a place for a laundry bin (duh). But also we want it to look good.

Here are some inspiration photos we went off of:

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Laundry Room Inspiration 03
image via magzhome

I love the access of the open shelving but fear the visual mess (so does Brian)

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Laundry Room Inspiration 04
image via rengusuk

As we were designing this space we considered these seven design elements consider these potential missed opportunities that you should implement if you can.

7 Laundry Room Design Elements to Consider:

A place for laundry bins or a custom cabinet pull-out with a detachable canvas bag.

A hanging rod or built-in drying rack.

Surface to fold your laundry (question: does anybody actually fold clothes in their laundry closet?)

Storage for all your laundry needs (ie. detergent, wool drying balls, bleach, etc.)

A fold-down ironing board or somewhere it can tuck away.

If you have a larger space consider a sink to pre-soak items.

A good place for all those extra household items: broom, mop, step ladder, or cleaning supplies.

OK. Back to MY design.

We have three (fine, maybe four) different design options:

Option #1: Pull-Out Hamper and Detergent Rack

Emily Henderson Mountain House Laundry Sketchup Design Side By Side

In this option, there is a pull-out hamper and a pull out spice rack style detergent drawer, with an awning cabinet on top. There is a counter for folding, although I know that we likely will do it in front of the TV. However, I really like the option to hopefully keep my clean and dirty clothes separate:)

Emily Henderson Mountain House Laundry Sketchup Design Details Awning Cabinet Emily Henderson Mountain House Laundry Sketchup Design Details Side By Side

I love this version the most, visually, but the problem is that you need a liner for the pull-out hamper because of wet clothes/towels, and that liner would need some sort of track to keep it in place. So as Julie and Velinda were working on this we realized that spending the money/time to customize the track seemed like an over-design. We could put in basically a plastic garbage can insert, which is something we are exploring, but again is this necessary?? If anyone has any suggestions for this please let us know.

Option #2: Empty With Space to Put a Rolling Hamper

Emily Henderson Mountain House Laundry Sketchup Design Rolling Cart Side By Side 1

I really want the laundry bin to be easy to throw dishtowels and beach towels in. This seems like a potentially good option.

Option #3: Cabinets to Hide Rolling Basket

Emily Henderson Mountain House Laundry Sketchup Design Rolling Cart With Door Side By Side

As I am writing this Im realizing that if we put a cabinet front on it then it would look better, eliminate any visual chaos and still be easy to access. But look at all the valuable space under the actual bin. Not the best use of space, right? This leads me to my next option

Option #4: Lower Cabinet with Two Shelves (With or Without a Door Front) & One Large Basket

Emily Henderson Mountain House Laundry Sketchup Design Cabinet Open Shelves With Basket

The thing to think about here is that the laundry closet already has pretty doors, so Im adding another step of having to open cabinets in order to throw dirty clothes/towels in. Seems silly? So while it would look better to have the cupboards, its technically not necessary.Brian is concerned about the visual chaos and wants a lower cabinet door. I agree but also feel like its an unnecessary extra step and lets be honest cost.

So here are my questions many to those of you more experienced than we are with laundry closets:

  1. Is this the best design for function? We could add more shelves of course, but then not have anywhere to hang clothes
  2. What is our general feeling of top-loading versus front loading? Our washer/dryer in LA is front loading, side by side and we have to keep the washer open to help it dry out so it doesnt grow mold which I guess is typical of front loaders (also our plumber told us that we are ALL using far too much liquid detergent in. Once we cut it back to about 1/4 as much, it helped). This is why we did a stacking washer/dryer with a top-loading washer for our upstairs laundry closet. Please do tell
  3. What is your favorite brand of washer/dryer? We can also go smaller in size than this up there, which Im tempted to do and then free up some more space for folding and storage. Do we NEED a big washer/dryer? I suppose not since weve lived with just that small one all summer. Thoughts?

Ok guys, lets talk laundry.

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