Short on space? See the clever ways laundry zones get built into small homes

Laundry areas are often overlooked in the design department, but with creative thinking and space planning, yours can put the fun back in functional. Whether it’s located in the kitchen, the bathroom or another room of the house, you can have an efficient laundry zone without having it on display. Here are 10 smart places to hide a washer and dryer in your home while ensuring that they will be accessible when you need them.

1. In a kitchen. Hiding a laundry area in a kitchen is easier than you may think. Here, it’s at the far end of a single-wall kitchen. Space is a priority in this compact home, so it’s vital that every nook and cranny is used to maximum advantage.

Stacking the washer and dryer makes good use of space, while matching cabinetry helps them blend in. A tall cabinet to one side provides storage for laundry items, and a small counter on the other side can be used to sort and fold clothes.

2. In a bathroom. Laundries and bathrooms are both wet zones, so it makes sense to combine these rooms when space is tight. To keep from interrupting the calm, relaxing nature of a bathroom, it’s customary to conceal the laundry in some way — in this case, behind bi-fold doors.

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The door profile is in keeping with the contemporary style of the bathroom, yet it is simple enough that it doesn’t stand out as a feature. Simple shelves above and drawers to one side allow the homeowners to keep laundry items close by.

3. In a hallway. Good planning has created space in this corridor for a side-by-side washer and dryer with hanging racks above. A traditional door that opens out to access the laundry area would not have worked in the narrow hallway, but a sliding barn-style door does the trick. When closed, the door is almost invisible within the architecture of the home, which is just what the owners wanted.

4. Behind a bookcase. In this dining room, two bookcases attached to sliding doors hide the laundry area in an alcove. It’s a lovely play on the idea of a secret room behind the library wall panel. Special brackets to support the weight of the books were installed to ensure that the bookshelves moved from side to side evenly.

5. In a nook. Many homes have a nook, be it a place to store correspondence or sit for a cup of coffee. Because laundry areas can be designed to be compact, the idea of one in a nook is clever. Here, mesh doors open and slide back into the surrounding cabinetry so that they are out of the way when the laundry is in use.

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The mesh doors can be closed while the washer and dryer are in use because air can flow easily through the area without creating condensation inside the cabinet. Since the doors are almost opaque, shutting them hides the functionality of the space.

6. In a shared space. Because laundries and bathrooms go so well together, a good approach is to design one large room with both areas inside. Here, the laundry maximizes space, with a stacked washer and dryer, and storage above and below a small laundry sink. On the other side is a bathroom with shower and toilet. The laundry sink doubles as the bathroom basin.

7. In a colorful closet. This laundry is concealed behind bright aqua doors, which attract attention and distract thoughts away from the prosaic functionality of the space behind. When closed, the doors are a lovely splash of color within the room. The style also mimics the look of closet doors, so it’s not immediately apparent what’s hidden behind them. Here, an extra unit built inside the closet provides the necessary counter space.

8. In a workroom. Combining a few functional spaces is a great way to ensure that your home layout is practical. Here, a utility room has been created to house a number of functions, including the laundry. There is space for a home office, sewing and craft area, multipurpose central island, and storage for a range of household paperwork and other items. For busy households, a room such as this is a dream to help you keep on top of chores.

9. In a corner. Carve out a space behind a wall and transform a small area into a functional, compact laundry with lots of storage. Stacking the washer and dryer makes the most of the area available, while plenty of shelving to the side allows for laundry items to be kept close at hand. Note the inclusion of strip lighting above to ensure that this nook is well lit.

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Bi-fold doors are a popular choice, and it’s easy to see why: They fold right back to allow easy access within the nook, but slide closed with a simple push to hide those things we’d rather our guests didn’t see.

10. Next to a kitchen. Part of an open-plan space, but designed to be concealed when not in use, the laundry can be incorporated adjacent to the kitchen. Thanks to matching cabinetry, it becomes almost invisible once the doors are closed, but the easy opening action means that the laundry can be accessed when needed.

Note the clever use of a window within the laundry to allow extra natural light to stream into the room. A simple white color scheme with natural tones matches the kitchen and dining table for a cohesive finish.

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