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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Apartment update: Laundry room

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It’s time to think about my laundry room. Last week I showed you a few snap shots of how it looks right now…a bit of a mess. I have been thinking about what I can do to improve the space, including making it more user-friendly.

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My laundry closet is such a mess and needs a total renovation.

1 My laundry closet is such a mess and needs a total renovation.

I want to remove the wall and open it up to include more storage.

2 I want to remove the wall and open it up to include more storage.

Here it is all cleaned out.

3 Here it is all cleaned out.

I would like to unstack the washer and dryer.

4 I would like to unstack the washer and dryer.

I need to rethink all of the storage in this area. Yikes!

5 I need to rethink all of the storage in this area. Yikes!

It all seems so inefficient.

6 It all seems so inefficient.

I am going to have to remove the shelving and hanging rod.

7 I am going to have to remove the shelving and hanging rod.

Bye bye wall!

8 Bye bye wall!

I quickly sketched some ideas on a scrap piece of paper with the idea of taking a wall down and unstacking the washer and dryer as well as adding shelving, storage and organizational tools.

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Here is the first sketch I made, removing the wall and shelf.

1 Here is the first sketch I made, removing the wall and shelf.

And then, the final drawing of what I would like the laundry closet to look like.

2 And then, the final drawing of what I would like the laundry closet to look like.

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The crew from BC Interiors began the process of reconfiguring the laundry closet. It took a day to take everything out.

1 The crew from BC Interiors began the process of reconfiguring the laundry closet. It took a day to take everything out.

Shelves and rod removed.

2 Shelves and rod removed.

The washer and dryer come out.

3 The washer and dryer come out.

Even the hot and cold water connections look good.

4 Even the hot and cold water connections look good.

The washer and dryer live in my hallway for a few hours.

5 The washer and dryer live in my hallway for a few hours.

Oh that's a patch job.

6 Oh that's a patch job.

Here they go, removing the wall.

7 Here they go, removing the wall.

Bob Tobin comes in for a quick consult.

8 Bob Tobin comes in for a quick consult.

He reminds everyone on the job that the hot and cold water connections cannot be moved.

9 He reminds everyone on the job that the hot and cold water connections cannot be moved.

Such a mess.

10 Such a mess.

The wall is coming down.

11 The wall is coming down.

Bob had a great idea to use some of the sample flooring pieces to patch up the floor in the laundry area.

12 Bob had a great idea to use some of the sample flooring pieces to patch up the floor in the laundry area.

The air uptake vent cannot be moved. They had to work around it.

13 The air uptake vent cannot be moved. They had to work around it.

Hard at work patching up the floor.

14 Hard at work patching up the floor.

See the hole.

15 See the hole.

Ceiling patch looks good.

16 Ceiling patch looks good.

Close up.

17 Close up.

Things are looking up.

18 Things are looking up.

Full patch job. Thanks guys.

19 Full patch job. Thanks guys.

As usual, this got me flipping through some issues of Martha Stewart Living, as over the years we have covered every inch of the laundry room whether it is a tiny closet (ahem) or a spacious basement. I have put together a photo gallery of inspiring images.

First, here is an important list everyone should follow:

ORGANIZING A LAUNDRY ROOM
1. Arrange products and supplies according to how you use them. Anything you regularly need should be within easy reach; place extras and incidentals on a high shelf or another out-of-the-way spot.

2. Decant detergents from large boxes and jugs into smaller containers or soap boxes; refill as needed.

3. Store small supplies in boxes or bins: Place stain-removal products in one, sewing materials in another, and sponges in a third. Have rags on hand for spills.

4. Sort whites, colors, delicates, and heavily soiled items in bins or rolling carts. (I do this in my closet.)

5. If you don't have room for a surface for folding, affix a fold-down shelf to the wall.

6. Keep a drying rack handy for drip-dry items.

7. Attach an ironing-board hanger to the wall so the board and iron are secure and out of the way but easily accessible.

8. Install a rod in the laundry room on which to hang clothes as you iron; or install a hook over the top of a door to serve the same purpose.

9. Keep clothes hangers and mesh bags for delicates with your cleaning supplies or in a nearby cabinet.

10. Use free space to store basic tools, and other cleaning essentials.

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Finally, here is what my new laundry closet looks like. Now I just have to think about shelving, storage ideas and organizational tools.

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Washer and dryer are unstacked.

1 Washer and dryer are unstacked.

And voila. Now I have to think about shelves, storage and organizational tools.

2 And voila. Now I have to think about shelves, storage and organizational tools.

Send me photos of your laundry space. Is it an inspiration or does it need help?

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Comments (7)

  • Kevin, love what you are doing with the laundry room - love that you are making your home just perfect!

    On another note, I just heard that Takashimaya is closing!!!! NOOOOO! 1st Mrs. Strong closes, now this?? You and Martha have to do a piece on them before their big sale (soon!!), before the beauty is decimated. They're selling the building and concentrating on Asia (new store in Shanghai). If Martha doesn't have time, take you design team over and document the gorgeous space, the beautiful things. Look in their lovely bathrooms (one of the women's is better than the other), the stairwells, the elevators. Have a very early lunch in their tearoom. Please for me. I live in California and used to love shopping there.

    You are doing a fabulous job on your blog, on the magazine. Love the features at Martha's home, your home, travelling, shopping, and anything with Alexis. All wonderful. xx Aliana

  • I always wonder if a pan should be put under the washer for protection of the floor, and adjacent floor, in the event of moisture leaking downward. Is that an unnecessary consideration? I just worries me to have a washer on a wood floor.

  • I like picture #2 with the large baskets. Plus be sure to add a hanging rod for items that need to air dry. It looks like you are having so much fun. Steal some ideas from Alexis.

  • I recently re-did my laundry room. The biggest change is that I decided to not get a dryer this time around. I left room for a big clothes drying rack that I can use either in the laundry room or I can take outside when the weather is nice outside. I have read that this will save me $100 per year when you consider the purchase price of the machine, maintenance and electricity. Not to mention it is going to be great for the environment. Happy Earth Day!

  • I've been trying to source those wonderful laundry hampers on casters (image #7) Ideas?

    Thanks!
    Raquel

    PS: Loved the article on your kitchen and closet!

  • what kind of washer and dryer do you have. I am thinking about getting new ones and was wondering if you liked yours.

    thanks,

    Maria

  • Author Comment:

    Hi Maria,

    Here are the details on Kevin's washer and dryer set. thanks for reading Home Design

    Axxis stackable automatic washing machine, WFL2090UC, $1049.00, from Bosch, bosch-home.com/us

    Similar Axxis one condenser dryer, $1049.00, from Bosch

    Kerstin
    home and decorating editor

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