In remodeling, many challenges are presented to me on how to make a space bigger. Sometimes this kind of change just isn’t possible. Either there is no additional room to create the extra space, or a budget will not allow for such expansion. Such was the case with a laundry room renovation I did. This laundry room was small and cramped. The client only had upper cabinets and a dirty laundry sink in the room, along with the washer and dryer, of course.
We had originally discussed the possibility of making the room bigger. Once we reviewed the project, we decided that if we moved forward, it would take too much room from adjacent spaces, which was not a trade-off they were willing to accept. This meant we needed to make the existing space more usable and functional. Typically, the family would set up drying racks to hang freshly washed clothes. However, within the given space, this meant that you could barely walk in the room while clothes were drying. Then, anything that did not fit on the racks would be laid over the washer and dryer. In addition, the laundry tub had been used to clean out so many paint brushes that it looked like a paint factory had once been located there.
The first change we made to the laundry was to remove the old laundry tub and add some much needed lower cabinetry for storage. The only available area to add a cabinet was within the sink area, so it made sense to create a sink base. Sink base cabinets are notorious for being cluttered because of all of the plumbing they house. To make the cabinetry more useful, we added a roll out tray and a pull out trash can inside of it. We also built a hidden drawer that slid in next to the sink itself. The cabinet matched the style and color of the upper cabinets that were already in the laundry.
Another problem to address was those ugly hanging racks that would take up the entire room when in use. To solve this persistent issue, we installed an easily accessible hanging rack (homedecorators.com) that would fold away when laundry day was over. Next, we included a hanging rod that spanned the space above the base cabinet from the upper cabinet to the wall. Now, the family could hang additional items to dry. Rather than spend a lot of money calling a cabinet company to make us a custom rod, we took a standard wooden closet rod and stained it to match the cabinetry. This gave the homeowner plenty of space to allow clothes to dry in the laundry room and still be able to walk in.
Finally, we added some bead board wainscoting and a splash of bright paint to give the room life. It was then finished off with a durable granite counter top and a new clean laundry sink. The homeowners now have a well-organized and useful space to do laundry and they are thrilled. These small tricks to take advantage of extra space really paid off big in the finished project.