Laundry Room in Master Closet

In this article, I will share the details of my recent two-bedroom extensions, specifically the laundry room and master closet. One thing that was important to me was having both these areas connected to my bedroom. It’s different for every suite, but this arrangement works for us.

In our home, my partner Doug and I divide the labor. We split all the tasks, both inside and outside the house, so we don’t have to argue about who does what every week. One of my responsibilities is the laundry. Even after Doug retired and took over the cooking, I chose to keep doing the laundry. It’s not because I particularly love it, but I’m quite particular about it. I’m a clothes horse, you know. However, just because I do the laundry doesn’t mean I want to spend time in a laundry room. Some people enjoy washing, folding, and even ironing their clothes all in the laundry room, but not me. So, when I designed our room, I made sure not to sacrifice any additional space for the laundry area. I definitely didn’t want to carry my clothes up a flight of stairs. Why do people put their laundry rooms so far away from their closets? If there’s a good reason, fine. But if not, stand your ground when building your home. Even if you’re not building from scratch, it might not be too late to make changes. Consider dropping a stacker washer/dryer into the master or reconfiguring a space to make it closer to the bedroom closets. Another option is to have dual smaller laundry areas, like one near the master and another closer to the kids’ rooms.

In my own laundry room, I have a washer, a dryer, a sink, storage cabinets, laundry bins for sorting, and a countertop. I’ve neatly packed all these essentials into a compact space. I even added a small countertop as a landing spot, which also serves as a place to put a lamp. You might be wondering why I would want a lamp in my laundry room. Well, simply because it looks pretty, and that’s enough reason for me. We have plenty of natural and overhead lighting in there. Every room in your home should have a touch that brings you joy, and in my laundry room, the lamp is my personal touch.

Now, let’s ask ourselves some questions about our own laundry rooms to evaluate if we’re fully satisfied with their locations:

Questions to Consider

  • Where and how do you prefer to do laundry? Do you only need a washer and dryer, or do you like to fold and iron in a specific space, like your family room in front of the TV or at a large surface like the dining table?
  • Should your kids bring their dirty clothes into the laundry room or leave them in their bathtub or bedroom?
  • Are there other tasks you want to perform in the laundry room, such as bathing the dog?
  • What items do you want to store in the laundry room?
  • Is there sufficient lighting in your laundry room?
  • Do you dislike being in the laundry room, or does its aesthetic make you happy?

Consider these ideas to inspire your thinking:

The laundry room is a space where you can have some fun with the decor. It doesn’t have to be all about the work; you can add a playful touch. Paint the walls in a fun color, hang some great artwork that brings you joy, install a fabulous countertop, and consider adding a wall of patterned tiles or a lamp with personality. You don’t have to stick to basic colored cabinetry; think outside the box. A laundry room with navy cabinets might be just what you need! These ideas can add excitement to a laundry room with plain white walls. Even if the laundry room is part of a master suite, you can still add personality to it while ensuring it blends well with the overall design.

Now, let’s move on to the final part of my suite extension – the closet! I still have my cheerleading uniform and the dress I wore on our first date. So, as you can imagine, I need a spacious closet. When we designed our closet, we made sure to utilize the available storage space effectively. We had some challenges with roof angles, but closets are great for utilizing unique spaces and angles in a home. You can create little nooks and make the most of the space you have.

Closet Layout

If you’re not proud enough to show someone your closet when giving them a tour of your home, let’s change that! Sure, the closet is an intimate space, and I hesitated before showing you mine. But good design should extend to every corner of your home. Your closet should serve you and bring you happiness.

When designing or remodeling a house, it’s a good idea to take inventory of your closet. Here are some questions I recommend asking yourself:

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • If you’re sharing the closet space, do you want separate or blended areas?
  • Would you like to have electrical outlets in your closet? Although not required by code, some people have specific electrical needs in their closets. For example, I have a shoe polisher, a TV (yes, I spend time in my closet), a steamer, and my ironing center – all of which require electrical outlets.
  • How many items do you have, such as belts, scarves, purses, hats, long-hanging clothes, and short-hanging clothes?
  • Do you need laundry bins in your closet, and would you like them to be removable?
  • Do you have a substantial amount of jewelry, and how would you like to store it?
  • Do you prefer folding and shelving clothes, or do you prefer hanging them?
  • Do you want everything covered or exposed?
  • Do you have storage in another room, or do you need drawers in your closet?
  • Would you like to have a seating area in your closet?

These are just a few of the questions you should consider. The point is, don’t simply finish your closet and leave it as a surprise. You’re paying for the space, so it should be tailored to your needs and preferences. Our job as designers is to create a space that suits your lifestyle.

If you’re working on your closet alone, here are some guidelines to enhance your space. However, keep in mind that these are just guidelines. In my own closet, I have some tight areas that I wasn’t willing to sacrifice due to strict adherence to guidelines. Instead, I used those spaces for items I don’t use as frequently, such as Husker gear or formal wear.

Guidelines to Enhance Your Closet

  • Remember to place shelves for folded items about 12″ apart.
  • The minimum depth for hang space should be around 24″. This accounts for hangers, personal depth, and reach.
  • For a double hanging closet stack, the standard height is approximately 84″. You should dedicate at least 42″ for longer jackets, blouses, and other garments.
  • Shelves for women’s shoes are usually spaced about 6 to 7 inches apart.
  • Make use of corner solutions to optimize space. You wouldn’t want your clothes to be perpendicular to each other and lose valuable space.
  • Ensure easy accessibility for accessories. Whether it’s a rack, a jewelry tray, or a designated drawer, having quick access to your valuables is essential.

If you’re looking for space-saving ideas, here are a few tips:

  • Choose the right hangers. I personally love the black, velvet-thin hangers. They allow you to double your hanging space and provide ample room for all your shopping finds. Plus, having matching hangers helps declutter the space.
  • Install acrylic shelf dividers to allocate space efficiently, not just for clothing, but also for items like purses or boots.
  • Consider adding pull-out valet hooks, belt holders, scarf holders, and other accessories. On Sundays, when I’m feeling organized, I love to plan out my outfits for the week and hang them on the valet rod. It saves time in the morning, and if I’m not in the mood for a particular outfit, I can easily move on to the next one.
  • Lastly, there’s Doug’s rule: for every new item you add, you must remove one. It might sound silly, but it helps maintain order.

Once you’ve allocated and optimized the space, focus on getting the lighting just right. If you don’t have natural light in your closet, consider using color-corrective lighting. There’s nothing worse than putting together a perfect outfit, only to step outside and realize that your blacks don’t match. Often, a closet doesn’t have access to natural light, and the windows are usually covered. So, choosing the right lighting is crucial. In fact, that’s the first thing I plan to change in my own closet. I currently have fluorescent lights, which I stopped noticing until I wrote this article. As soon as my electrician can fit me into their schedule, I’ll be replacing them with recessed LED lights to improve both the aesthetics and energy efficiency.

Next, think about creating a focal wall in your closet. Choose something that you’ll enjoy seeing every day when you step into the space. It could be a display of your purses and shoes, closed storage, or a striking piece of artwork. In our closet, we went for a his-and-hers approach since sharing is not our strong suit. On my side, I created a focal wall with my extensive shoe collection. They bring me joy, and I can easily see each pair when I’m deciding what to wear. If I didn’t use every inch of my closet, I would make the focal point a huge piece of art or closed storage with a comfortable bench. What would you choose?

Finally, don’t forget to add some personal touches to your closet. A lamp on a countertop, inspirational quotes framed on the wall, or artwork can bring a sense of inspiration and joy to the space.

So, that’s it. The final piece of my master suite extension. I’ve shared some personal details with all of you, but in a good way. I designed this space to perfectly suit our needs and desires, and I can do the same for you.

During these uncertain times, our homes have become our sanctuaries. We’ve spent a lot of time at home, so it’s important that every aspect of our living space brings us joy. If something doesn’t feel right or doesn’t make you happy, let’s work together to change that.

Now, ask yourself these questions about your own closet to determine if you’re fully satisfied:

Questions to Consider

  • Do you enjoy being in your closet, or does it stress you out?
  • Do you feel that your closet is well-organized?
  • Is the space big enough but not utilized effectively?
  • Can you easily see everything you own, or are things stacked on top of each other?
  • Is the lighting in your closet suitable?
  • Do you simply need to add some personality to the space?

Click here to download and print the questions mentioned above. When you’re ready, visit one of our stores or give us a call to schedule a design consultation with one of our interior designers, or even with me.

This article is part of an Interior Designer’s Home blog series. If you want to read more, just click on the Bedroom and Bathroom links.

Remember, your home should be a reflection of your personality and should bring you joy. Let’s create spaces that make you happy and help you thrive.