Problems arranging space in mudroom/laundry area - Please help!

auroraborelisJuly 6, 2012

We are getting close to finalizing our floorplan and one of the last areas that we are struggling with is the mudroom/laundry area? Due to constraints this space ended up a bit smaller than I had initially planned, and now I'm trying to figure out the best way to fit it all together.

I'm hoping to fit the following into the space

- Reach in closet

- 4 cubbies

- Drop table with a charging station and recycling so junk mail never makes it further into the house!

- Washer/dryer sink and some cabinets for storage (including dirty laundry)

I could give up

- Door between laundry/mudroom

- Linen storage shown on wall oppositte current cubbies

- The shape of pantry (though not the location) could be modified

- The location of the garage door could be modified.

Anyone have any brilliant ideas?

Here are my inspiration photos for the space:

Traditional Laundry Room design by New York Kitchen And Bath Tarallo Kitchen and Bath, Inc.

Laundry Room design

Contemporary Laundry Room design by Other Metros General Contractor Weaver Custom Homes

Traditional Kitchen design by San Francisco Media And Blogs Centsational Girl

And the current layout:

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Laura- Great pictures! :)

Everything looks very nice, but a little tight. I'd want a little more the pantry, around and in front of the washer/dryer, in front of the closet and between the garage door and the cubbies. An extra foot or two would makes things so much easier to use.

All the elements are wonderful...but is there anyway to give yourself a little more space? The closet doors will bump into anyone standing in front of them. The washer dryer is only a little over 3' from the wall, and you have a lot of wall space that might be used for extra storage/shelves, if you had a little more room.

Just my two cents...but I do like your overall idea :)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 7:45PM
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Thanks Lavender,

We can't increase the space, so I am looking for any ideas of how to best rearrange it. I should say that closet will have sliding doors and not the double opening doors shown.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 8:13PM
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We had similar space issues based in the window in our laundry room (it's only 2' off the ground which made workaround issues). Before I make suggestions - can your washer/dryer be stacked and would you e opposed to stacking them? What is the size of the pantry as it's drawn?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 8:54PM
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We need to keep the window in the laundry, but the height can be changed.

Also, I am fine with stacking the laundry and I suspect that is the best solution.

As for the pantry, I beleive it is about 6x6, and there is also narrow shelving on the far wall of the pantry.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 9:11PM
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We need to keep the window in the laundry, but the height can be changed.

Also, I am fine with stacking the laundry and I suspect that is the best solution.

As for the pantry, I beleive it is about 6x6, and there is also narrow shelving on the far wall of the pantry.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 9:13PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I would rotate the washer dryer to the right wall in the space. That would give you more room for the sink and counter area.

If you can move the garage door, perhaps you will want to so the closet and the cubbies can be co-located. Move the door down to where the reach in closet is, and then slide the closet up by the cubbies. Experiment with making the back wall of the pantry at an angle to make entry into the house easier. Or leave it square but move it in a bit so you can drop your junk mail right in front of you as you enter the door. There seems to be a lot of space in the pantry which may not be necessary....much seems to be accommodating the door...perhaps the door can swing out or can be a bi fold door.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 10:42PM
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The pantry door swing can't really be changed (it will swing both ways), though the space it is taking up couldn't be used due to the shape. There will be narrow storage along the pantry side that is currently blank.

I have been considering moving the garage door, though my concern is that it may make it awkward when coming into the house, and that the hallway there is straight through the rest of the house so whatever is there needs to blend in.

What if I took a corner out of the pantry to put in a table as per the photos I included above?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 11:04PM
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Alright, here's my contribution:

Taking up the corner of the pantry is an ~18" drop station with lower cabinet (recycling bin) and upper cabinet, possibly with an open shelf for charging. It helps get rid of what might be a corner in the pantry where things get hidden behind others. It also gives you three different shelf depths in your pantry for all the different sizes items you might store. In the laundry, the washer/dryer is stacked and the window wall and adjacent have all lower cabs (room for hampers) and the sink centered on the window. Adjacent wall has upper cabs, but you could also make the one nearest the pantry wall a tall, deep cabinet - maybe open for air-dry hanging or closed for regular hanging. Hope this stirs some ideas!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 12:33AM
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I wouldn't take any room out of the pantry.
What is that linen wall along the top?

I'm OOT, so may be a little slow to respond to future posts for a week or so.

What if you stacked the laundry on the right wall, put the sink under the window (or near it; at least on that wall); moved the closet "down" a bit; and put your built in in the space created by sliding the closet?

And, do you need the closet to be that large right there? What will it be used for since you will have adequate cubby storage?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 12:34AM
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mvjc -

thanks! I was thinking about something along those lines! :) The only two things I considered differently is putting the drop table in the first corner of the pantry, nearest the cubbies, as that will be very convenient when walking in the house, though, I'm uncertain if that would have a worse effect on the pantry itself. THe second thing I considered a bit differently was putting the w/d stacked next to the pantry wall.


First to answer you questions, my original goal was to have cubbies and a walk in closet in this area, and the walk in closet was sacrificed! This will be storage for extra jackets, shoes etc that doesn't fit into a single cubby. The main hall closet by the front door is fairly small and will be used mainly for guests.

The section marked linen opposite the cubbies will actually be cabinets storing linen, floor to ceiling (9" ceiling in that part of the house). I could get rid of them if there was another use for the space.

I'm uncertain which space is best to cannibilize for my drop table and recycling center, one cubby? Reach in closet? or part of the pantry?

My initial thought is that that the pantry is more than big enough, especially considering it will also be 10" tall and we will feel the effect of using that space the least...

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 1:16AM
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What about hanging space in the laundry room?. I hang a lot of clothes damp out of the dryer. Is this a consideration?

I agree. Do you really need a closet that big with all of those cubbies.

I would not give up an inch of pantry as Kirkhall said.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 11:17AM
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Our pantry is 5x5 and our house is now framed. Having seen that space framed out I was surprised by how small it seemed in person. I would not, personally, take anything away from your pantry.

If you have a main entry (front of house) with a coat closet for guests my initial instinct is to remove the wall separating the closet nook from the laundry room. Turn that back corner 6' wall into your overflow closet and make that laundry room larger overall. I'd still stack the washer/dryer to maximize space and it will create hang space for you too.

In ours we ran cubbies for laundry baskets under our window creating a U with the room layout. That's an option if your window is low or you can just keep it a folding counter with under cabinet storage (assuming you want to utilize that L shaped space).

I don't have one of those cool drafting programs, but I mocked up the general idea in photoshop. Hopefully it helps.

This at least gives you a longer run of wall for your laundry stuff, gives you a drop center and perhaps better utilizes that 6' run in the right corner of the laundry room.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 11:52AM
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Laura, I don't think you can do the door to the pantry quite the way you have it shown. Even tho your freezer is built in and therefore has a cabinet wall next to the pantry, the pantry door has to be inserted into a regular wall so that there are studs to support its weight. You still need a wall between the freezer and the pantry because I don't think you can just stick up a single 2x4, unattached to anything else and then hang a door from it. So, if you're going to have your pantry door on that side of the pantry, I don't think you can plan on any of that narrow shelving along hallway wall.

How about something like this as an alternative?

I took most of the space that you had for linens in that other room to shift your mudroom closet over. Also made the mudroom closet a tiny bit narrower (5.5 ft instead of 6 ft) to leave room enough for a drop zone right by the garage door.

Then, while I typically much prefer that washers and dryers NOT be in the room one enters from the garage, because your space is so limited, I got rid of the walls between mudroom and laundry room because that saves vital inches. The stacked washer/dryer is tucked back around a corner so that it is mostly hidden from guests who happen to be entering thru your garage.

This design also moves the pantry door out of the kitchen and into the hallway which maximizes storage in your pantry by allowing you to have shelves on three sides. Note however that you would still be able to access a portion of the pantry shelves via cupboard doors in the kitchen. The shelves that are accessible from both sides could probably be 8 to 10 inches deep (the thickness of the wall plus however much space you have next to the pantry door) which is a perfect depth for storing cans of food, boxes of cereal, bags of flour/sugar etc that you need to get access to regularly. The cupboard doors on the kitchen side would have strong catches that keep the doors from opening and letting stuff drop out when putting things onto the shelves from the pantry side. Then, on the pantry side, you would put about a 1 inch high "guard lip" on the shelves so that things don't accidentally get pushed off the back when reaching in from the kitchen side.

A nice thing about this kind of storage is that when you're unload groceries into your pantry, newly purchased items automatically tend to push the previously purchased items toward the cupboard doors. And that way, when you reach in from the kitchen side to get stuff, you tend to use the older inventory - which is closest to the cupboard doors - first. You don't wind up letting cans of food get pushed to the back and overlooked until they expire.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 11:52AM
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Wow! Nothing like going to bed with something like this on your mind (I was dreaming about pantry space and cubbies) and waking up and having your problems solved for you!

Regarding the closet, I know that not everyone would find one useful given that there will also be cubbies, however it is really a must have for us. As I mentioned, I originally wanted a large walk-in closet near the garage entrance for all the extra coats/shoes/sports stuff that accumulates near the door and this is what my walk in closet got squeezed down to in order to meet our square footage requirements.

Red_Lover - I do need hanging space in the laundry room and that isn't current addressed, however it can easily be added by changing the cabinet layout. Also, both my DH and I are reasonably tall and the ceilings are 9' so there is lots of storage going upwards!

bevangel - this seems like the most ideal solution, I can't believe I didn't think of it after staring at this for hours! My only concern is losing the door to the laundry room altogether mostly due to the noise the washer and dryer makes traveling throughout the house. Do you think I should then put a door (maybe a pocket) going into the mudroom area? Or would putting the washer/dryer in it's own cabinet suffice?

Regarding the pantry, the most recent version I have from our designer didn't include the updated swing of the door. I tried to cut and paste the design to show how it will work, but my attempt obviously failed. There will be a regular wall that the door is attached to, and it will swing as shown, leaving the whole back wall of the pantry towards the wall available for shelving. Also, It will actually be the oven/microwave that is next to it and the fridge is being moved across the kitchen.

nikinikinine - what i really like about this is that we could keep the door going into the laundry area, though then the closet ends up a little out of the way. I'm wondering if a combination of these two will work... hmm...

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 12:28PM
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In the design I did (above), if you moved the cubbies toward the front of the house by a couple of inches, you could put a wall with a pocket door running between the cubbies and the garage door over to the pantry wall. You could close the pocket door when doing laundry if you need to to block the machine door but leave it open the rest of the time so that the cubbie area is easily accessible.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 10:16AM
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Thanks bevangel!

I'm a bit torn now that I've seen your design. Leaving that whole space open would brighten everything up throughout the space.... I'm considering just putting a pocket door at entrance to the mudroom area which would then be left open 90% of the time (basically only closed whenever the washer/dryer is running).

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 11:35AM
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Yeah, a pocket door tucked into that thick doorway space would work nicely! And I agree with keeping the mudroom/laundry area "open" so that light from the window can reach entire area.

I suspect you'll find that the washer/dryer don't make enough noise to bother you most of the time. Washers/dryers aren't nearly as noisy as they used to be...unless you're doing something like drying tennis shoes. LOL! They're much better balanced than they used to be and many have "anti-vibration technology" so they don't dance around. Fact is, the vent fan over my cook top makes a whole lot more noise than my washer/dryer.

A pocket door that would be totally hidden in a wall you already have anyway should be perfect.

Can't wait to see pics when you start building.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 3:16PM
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I just wanted to say that the pantry with the reach in doors from the kitchen just completely blew my mind. Fantastic! I just can't think like that, but I'm glad others can! So many great ideas floating around this place...

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 8:26PM
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Thanks bevangel! We are meeting with our designer tonight and I'm going to have him incorporate your mudroom/laundry design. I'm finally feeling like we are heading towards the home stretch! Well, of the design phase at least. I'm guessing at this point that earliest we will be able to break ground will be December and even that will be pushing it!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 11:15AM
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I am posting a few options for you to consider.
When I saw the pantry the first thing that came to mind was placing the door at the hall. Bevanges's idea of also having access from kitchen is great.

Sliding door is optional in the top options.

Bottom option allows a "walk in" closet where you can place bulky items or shoes.

Here is a link that might be useful: More ideas

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 9:52AM
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Naf Naf-- wow, who are you?!

These plans are fabulous. I hope you are around when I am building again.

I like the top, right one. But, they are all amazing.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 11:36AM
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Thank-you all for your help!

We went with bevangel's design. I really loved what naf_naf put together, however there wasn't quite enough space to make it work.

Here it is all put together:

Also, I started a new thread that has my entire plan posted. We are finalizing it on Friday (I accidentally said tomorrow on the post) so any additional feedback is appreciated!

Here is a link that might be useful: Overall plan

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 10:52PM
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Hi Laura,
Great design. Do you happen to know the dimensions of your pantry?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 7:19AM
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Thanks Inia - I believe it is 5'.6"x5'.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 11:04AM
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