Closet Renovation | Laundry Room Addition

After a few years of only minor organizational tweaks and lots of purging I’m finally ready to dive into some major home projects.  We’ve lived in pur house for 10 years now and it feels like the right time to make some changes.  We actually started with a mudroom renovation right after the new year, which I will be sharing about in the coming months (I’m still figuring out the most functional organization for that space).  Adding a second floor laundry was next on my update list and it truly is a dream come true, especially for that busy mama life!

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First things first: I want to apologize for the dark and unflattering photos of this space.  It truly is so much brighter and more spacious in person.  The long and narrow layout of the closet combined with the lack of natural light makes it particularly difficult to photograph.  I’m also not the best at photographing, well, anything.  I am including lots of photos in the hopes that they give you a sense of the space.  

Our master bedroom features an incredibly spacious closet, which, in all honesty, was one of the selling points of the house for me.  We dubbed it the “bowling alley” because of its long and narrow layout.  The front half of the closet is wider, with a wall dividing the second half on one side where the house design cuts in over the garage.  There is more than enough space for two people to store clothes and accessories.  I took advantage of the extra room for our many pieces of luggage and travel accessories, as well as random odds and ends such as bulky lighting equipment.

I knew that one day I might transform the back end of the closet to be a second floor laundry room, but it wasn’t really a priority for me until I had our daughter, Charlotte, and my laundry time increased exponentially.  The house’s original laundry space is located in the basement utility room, which is as far away from the master bedroom as possible (this is where the majority of our clothes and linen laundry comes from).  I didn’t mind carrying the basket up and down the stairs when it was just the two of us and I did about 10 loads of laundry per week so I put off the project.  Having a baby doubled my laundry load and I started dreaming last spring about how amazingly convenient and helpful that second floor laundry would be.  That dream was realized this month!

Before Construction

We used the front half of the closet primarily for our clothes and accessories.  We decided to retain that organization as it made the most sense to keep those things closest to our room.  Also, nestling the laundry room in the back helps minimize noise and vibration from the machines in our living spaces.

As you can see, we used the majority of the back half of the closet for travel items and storing other odds and ends, much of which has been purged or relocated in our house.

Process

It took five days for the crew to transform the space.  Day 1 included moving everything out of the closet, ripping up the old carpet, and pulling gas and water lines up from the first floor through the wall.  Venting was installed through the walls to the back exterior of the house through the garage underneath.  They finished up piping and patched up the walls on Day 2, adding extra insulation to both the side and back walls to help with noise and vibrations from the machines.

On Day 3 the crew installed new vinyl flooring with cork padding underneath to help absorb vibrations.  The machines were delivered on Day, after which the crew finished all of the details including repainting the whole room white, installing new cabinets over the machines, and rehanging the same flexible Elfa shelving I installed 10 years ago.  The new quartz countertop was installed on Day 5 to complete the project.

You can really see the transformation in the before and after photo above.  I’m so happy we put that dead space in the back of the closet to use!

All Moved In!


I decided to keep the front part of the closet very similar to how it was organized before the renovation since that system continues to work for us.  Don’s things are on the righthand side, which is deeper and can easily accommodate 18″ shelves and hold his clothes well.  My things are stored on the left side of the closet on 12″ shelves which leave plenty of room to pass by where the closet narrows.

The only real change I made to the front of the closet was to condense my shoe and handbag/accessory storage into one space.  The pull-out drawers which used to be in the very back of the closet fit nicely under the shoe shelves.  I even still had room to add in my favorite drop front boxes that I store my pants organized by type.

We left a few feet of the 20″ deep shelves that originally lined the entire righthand wall of the back half of the closet to store luggage and travel accessories tucked away in fabric boxes.  It may look like we only have 4 suitcases now, but there are actually 9 bags altogether thanks to nesting sets.

I asked the contractor to leave a few extra feet of the Elfa wall bracket exposed on the wall so that I could hang my tabletop ironing board and upstairs step stool using utility hooks for easy access.  We had them pull out the rest of the Elfa system to make way for the laundry room space.

I decided I wanted to have the machines against the lefthand wall so that we could install a countertop over the machines and across the corner.  This provides ample space for sorting and folding.  The cabinets hung over the machines hold all of my laundry supplies with tons of room to spare for extra storage.  It was important to me to have dedicated hanging space over the back countertop since I air dry a lot of my clothes.  I had the shelf hung fairly high to leave plenty of room for longer items but it’s still within reach for me.  There’s even some bonus storage space on top for infrequently used travel items.

This video gives in-depth before and after tours if you’d like a closer look at the new space:

It’s been exactly two weeks since completion and I’m already head-over-heels in love with our new closet.  The laundry room is a dream come true!  Our new LG machines have passed the test of handling all of our regular loads as well as our king-sized down duvet with flying colors.  We don’t miss the extra storage space as there’s still plenty of room to store all that we want to and then some.  I’m so happy with how this project turned out.  It’s making me even more excited about the other big home projects we have on the horizon as well.  I’ll be sure to share along the way!

I’d love to know if you have any home projects you’re working on or have recently completed, big or small, if you care to share.  It’s such a joy to freshen up our living spaces to make them work better for us.  There is beauty in functionality (although, it doesn’t hurt to add some pretty touches like quartz countertops 😉 ).
I hope you enjoyed seeing our closet renovation!

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21 comments

21 thoughts on “Closet Renovation | Laundry Room Addition”

  1. Wow! ….. Now that’s a game changer! Congrats to you, laundry life just became so much easier 🙂

  2. Jen, your laundry room idea was brilliant and beautiful! I too have an upstairs laundry between our two master suites and I wouldn’t trade it for a million bucks!!

  3. I have recently been traveling and to ease my anxiety I have been watching all your old organising videos. I find them very soothing despite the fact I am deeply unorganised (no matter how hard it try!) I find it really interesting watching how you organise your space and how different some things are in the USA compared to the UK (namely the space you have. I live in a very small 2 bed house with no storage and envy your space!). I have a 6ft long by 2ft deep wardrobe space which I consider to be large and am trying to plan how best to organise it. I am hoping we have something similar to elfa in the UK as I like the flexibility of it. Hoping you have lots more of these projects coming up. Really miss your old vlogs (although respect your decision following lovely Charlotte)
    Look forward to the next one! Katie X

    1. Hi Katie,Jen
      I also find it interesting to see how things are different in different countries. I am in Australia and my laundry is a separate room at the back of the house which leads straight out to the clothes line in the back yard, but we have plenty of sunshine here to get things dry pretty quickly, even in winter if you get washing out early enough it will still dry on the line unless its raining and then I have a portable clothes line under the verandah and hang my washing to dry there. I do have a small tumble dryer in my laundry that I think I have only used about 10 -12 times in about 22 years lol 🙂 great use of your extra space in your closet jen, I couldn’t imagine having to go up and down flights of stairs with washing everyday especially with a little one to look out for, seems much more practical to have laundry upstairs where most of it is generated. Hope you and your little family are keeping well, I cant believe how big little Charlotte is getting, she is such a cutie pie…enjoying your videos and look forward to seeing what other home improvements/ projects you do.
      take care
      Sharon 🙂

  4. Thanks for sharing! You utilize so many different types of storage within this one space. It really helps to see what different things can accomplish.

  5. Great job, Jen!
    Looks beautiful & functional!! I have 2 sets of washers & dryers, as well. Cuts laundry time in half. Love this idea of laundry in your closet, even better!!
    Take care.

  6. This is perfect timing for me. We are just about to start renovating a small room into a laundry area. I’m so pleased I’m not the only person that finds this kind of thing exciting! My family and I have watched your videos for years and it’s so lovely to see your growing family and you so happy. Looking forward to more renovation videos in the future, I’m forever planning my next project. X

  7. We had a 2 story colonial with the laundry on the main floor which was awesome since our first house the laundry was in the basement. We lived in the colonial for 23 years and raised our kids there, they were 1 and 3 when we moved into that house. We moved 2 months ago into a rancher and better yet? Everything is all on one floor!! I also have been sick for 22 years and my health is gotten a lot worse in the past couple of years which is why we built the new house, no more stairs! We still have a basement, but it’s unfinished and we downsized so everything that won’t fit in the main living space is currently stored down in the basement until we can go thru it all.

    I love watching your organizational videos and have been going back to watch your baby videos now because I just found out on Mother’s Day that our oldest son and daughter-in-law are expecting their first child at the end of the year, which will be our first grandchild! I already purchased a Jellycat Bunnsie and security blanket to make for the baby 🙂 .

    Can’t wait to follow your renovation projects. After spending 5 months on building a new home and happy it’s done, it’s fun to watch someone else go thru the fun!! Congrats!

  8. Great post I’m loving all these organising posts. I would love a laundry room being in the uk the houses are old and our washing machine is in the kitchen and dryer in our dining room. I’m reading there posts to get some inspiration to organise my house. Xxx

  9. As always you inspire me to make changes around my house!!! I have a question, how are you storing the clothes in your drawers?

    1. I still have our clothes folded and stored in a vertical fashion just like I showed the last time I did an update a few years ago.

  10. This is so great! I’ve been watching the organizing videos from the beginning and had recently watched your closet re-org from a while ago. It’s amazing how big that space is that you could fit an entire laundry station. I’m so glad to see this because we are thinking of building a new house, and getting ideas on how much space we need is really helpful. Do you mind if I ask, how big is the closet overall? I think in your old video you said it was 24 feet long, but it doesn’t seem that long in the photos. But if that’s the case, it makes sense to divide it how you have it. Please keep us posted on the LG machines too! Would love to know if you continue to love them! Looking forward to your next projects! Yay!

  11. Lovely! I have been following you for a while and love seeing the transitions in your home reflecting transitions in your life. Your channel is amazingly inspiring and truly authentic- that is what Iove about it:))) Have a nice Memorial Day weekend!

    Take care,
    Viktoria

  12. You can renovate your laundry room either by the addition of new appliances or by physical few changes in the room. You may wish to have the most advance washing machine, clothes dryer and a size-able basin in the room. As you are keeping your valuable outfits in it, definitely you would be more cautious to make this room comfortable. You may have the desire only but not the appropriate idea for this improvement. Also, it is not necessary for you as you can hire a trusted contractor for this.

  13. Your closet renovation was the first video I saw of you and your posts. (I have watched several others since!) I also have a rather long/large closet and your explanation of the layout has given me some much needed inspiration. We moved into our house 3 years ago and the closet has been an embarrassing dumping ground. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and organizational processes with us!

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