Anyone who has ever lived in an apartment complex (or resided in a majority city) knows that having a washer and dryer to call one's own can definitely be seen as a luxury. After all, not all buildings offer them—in-unit or even in the basement! Having to send laundry out for service can be pricy, while lugging your hamper to and from the laundromat can be time-intensive (and physically tiresome!).
However, not every home is large enough to house a designated laundry room, either. So if you're now designing a house of your own and wondering just where to install these necessary appliances, note that the kitchen can be a great space to house a washer and dryer. We spoke with designers about how to best work a laundry setup into your cooking space. All it takes is some thoughtful planning and creativity!
Meet the Expert
Look for Open Space
If you're not building a home from scratch, designer Tanya Hembree suggests looking to one's current layout before making a major addition. "The easiest and most cost effective to utilize an open corner of your kitchen," she says. "This allows use of two existing walls and flooring." That said, your appliances shouldn't simply sit out in the open. She says that when using the kitchen as a multi-purpose space, items that are more secondary (like the washer and dryer) should be kept behind doors. "This keeps your kitchen clean and orderly and conceals piles of paper or laundry," Hembree explains. A sliding door is a viable option, too, particularly if your kitchen space is ultra limited. Opting for a door that doesn't swing open can be a major space saver. However, if your style leans more laid back or you're looking to avoid extra expenditures and labor when designing, you could opt to hang a curtain in lieu of a standard door.
Designer Highlyann Krasnow offers some additional input regarding the art of proper appliance placement and sizing. She notes that while opting for an under-counter washer and dryer combo unit is a possibility, not everyone is wild about the idea of a combination appliance. Therefore, Krasnow also highlights another, more custom-looking option. "If you have more space, get a recirculating, stackable washer dryer that is 24 inches deep, and build a kitchen cabinet around it with the same cabinet design," she suggests. "This way it will look like part of your kitchen.”
Include Storage Space
Designer Amy Youngblood agrees. She says that "ideally, the placement is best out of the actual cooking area, or so-called work triangle. However, if you are really tight on space, placing the units below part of the countertop can make it look integrated into the design."
When it comes to storing supplies, bins and baskets are your friend, be sure that your closet or cabinet includes a shelf on which you can store these. Alternatively, if you do choose to go with a door that swings open, you could opt for an over the door rack to store everything from dryer balls to detergent.
Keep Aesthetics Top of Mind
Of course, when constructing a cabinet or closet, you will want it to look cohesive and complement the space as a whole. "Keep the door styles, paint colors, and hardware choices the same as your kitchen," Hembree advises. "This keeps the overall style seamless making it feel like the closet was always part of the plan."
Opt for Ventless Appliances
These will make it easy to set up a laundry nook in any room of the house, notes Albert Fouerti, founder and CEO of Appliances Connection. In fact, these can be a renter friendly solution, too—as long as one is granted landlord permission, of course! "By far, one of the biggest laundry game-changers for apartment owners is the innovation of ventless washers and dryers," Fouerti says. "The Miele 110 volt models can be installed anywhere with access to water, no electrician needed. Just bring them home and plug them in. They can be stacked or side-by-side. It's an instant lifestyle improvement for many homeowners."