In this post I will be sharing my last two-bedroom extensions, the laundry and master closet. It was important to me to have both the laundry and closet connected to my bedroom. Other suites will be different – this is ours. 

Doug and I distribute the labor in our home. What I mean by that is we divide all of the tasks and jobs both outside and in so we don’t have to argue over who is doing what every week. One of my jobs is the laundry. Even after Doug retired and began doing all of the cooking, I retained the task of laundry by choice.

Include Artwork In Your Laundry

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Don’t get me wrong, it’s not because I love it. He just isn’t picky enough about it and I am, I’m a clothes horse. But, just because I do laundry does NOT mean I want to be in a laundry room. Some people like to wash the clothes, fold them and even iron them all in the laundry room; not me. So, when I started to design our room, my goal was to not give up any additional real estate to this area. I certainly didn’t want to have to haul my clothes up a flight of stairs. Why do people put their laundry as far away from their closets as they can? If there is a reason- great, but don’t just give in if there isn’t. Stand your ground if you’re building, and even if you’re not, it may not be too late. There are several jobs where we have dropped a stacker washer/dryer into the master or re-configured a space in order to get it closer to the bedroom closets. In addition, consider dual smaller laundry areas. For example, one by or even in the master and one closer to the kid’s rooms.

Laundry Room Efficiency

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Finally, my laundry room consists of a washer, a dryer, a sink, some storage cabinets, laundry bins for sorting and lastly, a counter top. All neatly packed into one tight little area. We added a small counter as a landing spot which serves as a resting spot for a lamp. Why do I want a lamp in my laundry room? Because it’s pretty and honestly, that’s the only reason. We have plenty of both natural and overhead lighting in there. Every room in your home should have a touch that makes you happy, and in the laundry room, this was mine.

Are you loving your laundry room and the location of it? If your answer was no, I’ve come up with some questions to ask yourself to think about in order to fix that:

  • Where and how do you want to do laundry? In other words, do you just need a washer and dryer, but you like to fold, iron etc. in your family room in front of the TV or in the dining room where you have a large surface, ie: table?
  • Do you want your kids to bring their dirty clothes into a laundry room or leave them in their bath or bedroom?
  • Are there other items you want to do in the laundry, ie: bathe the dog?
  • What do you want to store in the laundry?
  • Do you have enough light in your laundry room?
  • Do you hate being in the laundry room, or does the aesthetic make you happy?

Following are some additional ideas to get you thinking:

The laundry is a place to have some fun, not the work itself but the decor.  It is a room or space that can be playful.  Throw a fun color on the walls, capped with some great artwork that makes you happy.  Add a great counter top, an amazing wall of patterned tile and a lamp or ceiling light with personality. This is a room where we can also get away from the basic colored cabinetry, think outside the box, a laundry with navy cabinets might just be what the doctor ordered!  These ideas can help break up the monotony of a white walled laundry room if it stands on its own.  You can still add personality to it if it is part of a master suite, just be conscious of making it blend. 

Now on to the final extension of my suite, we are in the closet! I still have my cheer leading uniform and the dress I wore on our first date, let’s face it I need a big closet, and no they aren’t really hanging in my closet- but I do still have them.  When we designed our closet, we decided to use a storage space in addition to the allocated room for that very reason. There were some roof angles etc. that created a bit of a challenge, but closets are a great way to use angles and unique space in a home. You can create nooks and capitalize on the space you have.

If you aren’t proud enough to show someone your closet when you’re walking them through your house……. Let’s change that! Yes, this is an intimate room and I even struggled when I decided to show you mine, but good design should not stop at the closet.  It should serve you and make you happy.   

Do You Share the Closet?

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When we design or remodel a house, we like to do a closet inventory with our clients, Some of the questions we like to ask are as follows:

  • If you are sharing this space, do you want separate or blended areas?
  • Do you want electrical in your space? (closets don’t have to have electrical by code), but some people have electrical needs, for example, I have a shoe polisher, a TV (yes I like to spend time in my closet), a steamer, and my ironing center)- I needed electrical!
  • What is the quantity of items you have, belts, scarves, purses, hats, long hang, short hang etc.
  • Do you need laundry bins in your closet and do you want them to be removable?
  • Do you have a lot of jewelry and how do you want to store it?
  • Do you like to fold and shelve clothes or hang them?
  • Do you want everything covered or exposed?
  • Do you have storage in another room or do you need drawers?
  • Do you want an area to sit?

I have a lot more questions, but you get the point, just letting someone finish the closet and being surprised is absurd- if you’re paying for the space, it should work for you.  Our job Is to design for the way you live.

If you’re going to go it alone, here are some guidelines to make your space better, but remember, they are just guidelines. I have some tight areas in my closet that I wasn’t really willing to give up due to guidelines, so I used them for the items I don’t always need, like Husker gear or formal wear.

Guidelines

  • Remember that shelves for folded items should be placed about 12” apart
  • The minimum depth for a hang space is about 24”. This accounts for the amount of space for hangers AND personal depth and reach
  • The standard for a double hanging closet stack is about 84”. You want to give yourself least 42” for longer jackets, blouses etc.
  • Shelves for women’s shoes should often be placed around 6 to 7 inches apart
  • Make sure to have corner solutions. The last thing you want is your clothes perpendicular to each other and you lose 2 feet of usable space!
  • Make accessories accessible! Whether it is a rack, a jewelry tray, or even a designated drawer, an easy access option for valuables is a must.

Use the Same Hangers

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Need some space saving ideas? I’ve got you covered!

Make sure you have the right hangers! Although they aren’t fancy, I live by the black, velvet thin hangers. These allow me to double my hang space, and have PLENTY of room for my shopping habits. Plus, making all of the hangers match helps with the clutter too.

  • Add some acrylic shelf dividers. These are a great way to allocate space not only with clothing, but also items such as purses or boots.
  • Install pull-out valet hooks, belt holders or scarf holders etc. On the Sundays I am feeling organized, I love to do a weekly line up of outfits, but it’s one less thing I have to worry about in the morning. Putting everything together on the valet rod can make for a quick get away. Plus, you have some back ups just in case you aren’t feeling an outfit, it’s easy to go onto the next.
  • And finally, Doug’s rule, for every new item you need to take one away- that’s a stupid rule huh?

Recessed, Spotlight or Track Lighting Helps Illuminate

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After allocating and perfecting the space, make sure your lighting is spot on.  If you don’t have natural light, make sure you think about color corrective lighting. There’s nothing worse than getting an entire outfit ready only to step outside and realize your blacks don’t blend 😊. Often times, a closet isn’t exposed to natural light, in addition, no one usually dresses without the window being covered! So. making sure you choose good light is important.   That is the first thing I am changing in my closet.  My lighting is good, but it is ugly.  I still have fluorescent lights- I just stopped looking and forgot all about them until I wrote this blog. I am going to yank those out just as soon as my electrician can squeeze me in. Recessed LED’s are going to make me much happier and energy efficient. 

Wall of Shoes & Hats

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Next think about creating a focal wall in your closet. It needs to be something that you want to look at daily when you walk in the space, whether that be purses or shoes or closed storage or art. In our closet, we definitely used a his and hers method since we don’t share well. On my side, I chose to create that focus wall with my copious amount of shoes. They make me happy, and I can clearly see each pair when trying to decide what to wear with an outfit. If I didn’t use every inch of my closet, I would make my focal point a huge piece of art or closed storage with a great bench- what would you chose? 

A Place to Put on Shoes

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Finally add some personality to the room. A lamp on a counter, some inspirational thoughts framed or artwork to get you inspired or motivated or some great cabinetry hardware or fun wall hooks to add interest.  

So that’s it. The last bit of our master suite. I feel I got very personal with all of you, but in a good way. I designed this space to best fit our needs and wants, and I will do the same for you.

During these questionable times, our home has become our sanctuary, we have all spent a lot of time at home. If you don’t feel like something is the best it can be or it doesn’t make you happy – let’s work together to change that.

Are you loving your closet? If your answer was no, I’ve come up with some questions to ask yourself to think about in order to fix that:

  • Do you like being in your closet or does it stress you out?
  • Do you feel it is organized?
  • Is the space big enough but not utilized well?
  • Can you see everything you own or is it stacked on top of each other.
  • Is your lighting right?
  • Do you just need to add some personality to the space?

Click HERE  to download and print the questions listed above. Then when you are ready, stop in to one of our stores or call and schedule a design consultation with one of our interior designers, or me.

This is part of an Interior Designer’s Home blog series. Read more by just clicking on the Bedroom & Bathroom.