“It’s this idea that I have all of these ingredients and put them in a pot and hopefully come out with a good meal,” says Romanek, the owner and principal designer at Romanek Design Studio in Los Angeles. “Clients tell me what they need, and it’s my job to enhance that vision, to make it beautiful but also make it functional.”
In the laundry room, that means thinking carefully about how you’ll use the space. Keep the detergents, softeners and similar products within easy reach of your machines, Romanek says. Think about whether you are right-handed or left-handed, short or tall, when deciding where to place items.
And if your laundry space allows, Romanek says, have at least some closed storage to tuck away extra supplies or unfolded clothes.
The takeaway: Don’t get caught up in trends. Instead, make the room work for you.
Here are Romanek’s suggestions for items that will help you keep your laundry space organized while adding a bit of beauty. Combine them in your own space, or use them as inspiration to hunt for similar items at a lower price point.
Baskets add instant texture to any space, but they’re also a great place to store detergents and items such as lightbulbs and batteries. These water hyacinth storage bins with handles ($8.99-$19.99, containerstore.com) come in four sizes and are available in a lighter shade and a mocha color. Add these bin clip labels ($9.99 for three, containerstore.com) in black or white to help everyone stay organized.
A drying rack is a must for clothes that need to air-dry, but that flimsy foldable model you used in college has to be dragged out each time you need it. This wall-mounted drying rack by Iris Hantverk ($75, helenmilan.com) can be hung within arm’s reach of your machine, and it folds back against the wall when you’re not using it. It’s made of solid oak and has three 21.75-inch bars.
Reduce visual clutter on open shelves by decanting detergents and other laundry products into refillable dispensers, such as these clear half-gallon glass jugs with labels from Church Street Designs ($35-$110, etsy.com). There are options for caps and pumps, and the bottles are sold individually or in sets of two or three.
Add texture and warmth with a hamper in a natural finish. Romanek likes the basket-weave Marjan hamper ($293, luluandgeorgia.com), made of teak. For a similar look at a lower price, the laundry hamper from Longshore Tides ($84.99-$87.99, wayfair.com) is also made of wood and comes with a removable liner. It’s available in natural, dark mahogany and white.
Although Romanek likes to have some closed storage in a laundry room, not everyone’s space (or budget) has room for that. These marble wall-mounted shelves ($69.95-$99.95, cb2.com), made of Carrara-style gray and white marble, add storage and style. The shelves are available in two lengths, 24 and 36 inches, and are eight inches deep. They come with metal brackets in a brass finish.