Just because the laundry room is the ultimate utilitarian space doesn’t mean it has to look the part. Whether you have a separate room, a closet or just a corner in your basement for your washer and dryer, there are ways to keep the space tidy and aesthetically pleasing.
That’s designer Brigette Romanek’s sweet spot.
“It’s this idea that I have all of these ingredients and put them in a pot and hopefully come out with a good meal,” says Romanek, the owner and principal designer at Romanek Design Studio in Los Angeles. “Clients tell me what they need, and it’s my job to enhance that vision, to make it beautiful but also make it functional.”
In the laundry room, that means thinking carefully about how you’ll use the space. Keep the detergents, softeners and similar products within easy reach of your machines, Romanek says. Think about whether you are right-handed or left-handed, short or tall, when deciding where to place items.
And if your laundry space allows, Romanek says, have at least some closed storage to tuck away extra supplies or unfolded clothes.
The takeaway: Don’t get caught up in trends. Instead, make the room work for you.
Here are Romanek’s suggestions for items that will help you keep your laundry space organized while adding a bit of beauty. Combine them in your own space, or use them as inspiration to hunt for similar items at a different price point.
Baskets add instant texture to any space, and they’re also a great place to store detergents and items such as lightbulbs and batteries. The Container Store’s Water Hyacinth Storage Bins with Handles ($9-$20 at containerstore.com) come in four sizes and are available in a lighter shade and a mocha color. Add Bin Clip Labels ($10 for three at containerstore.com) in black or white to help everyone stay organized.
Corral loose towels with Yamazaki’s Tower Interlocking Towel Organizer ($33 at westelm.com). Available in black or white, the set comes with two pieces that lock together. Additional pieces can be added to create multiple sections to hold hand or bath towels.
A drying rack is a must for clothes that need to air-dry, but that flimsy foldable model you used in college has to be dragged out each time you need it. The Iris Hantverk Wall-Mounted Drying Rack ($75 at helenmilan.com) can be hung within arm’s reach of your machine, and it folds back against the wall when you’re not using it. It’s made of solid oak and has three 21.75-inch bars.
You can reduce visual clutter on open shelves by decanting detergents and other laundry products into refillable dispensers, such as Church Street Designs’ Clear Half-Gallon Glass Jugs with Labels ($35-$110 at etsy.com). There are options for caps and pumps, and the bottles are sold individually or in sets of two or three.
Add texture and warmth with a hamper in a natural finish. Romanek likes the basket-weave Lulu and Georgia Marjan Hamper ($293 at luluandgeorgia.com), made of teak. For a similar look at a lower price, the Longshore Tides Laundry Hamper ($105 at wayfair.com) is also made of wood and comes with a removable liner. It’s also available in dark mahogany and white.
Use Anthropologie’s Selena Hook Rack ($98 at anthropologie.com) to hang mesh laundry bags, reusable grocery bags, totes and other items. The 18-inch brass rack with a bronze finish has four hooks and can hold up to 16 pounds.
Although Romanek likes to have some closed storage in a laundry room, not everyone’s space (or budget) has room for that. CB2’s Marble Wall-Mounted Shelves ($70-$100 at cb2.com), made of Carrara-style gray and white marble, adds storage and style. The shelves are available in two lengths, 24 and 36 inches, and are 8 inches deep. They come with metal brackets in a brass finish.