To reduce the sizable footprint occupied by a side-by-side laundry pair, opt for flat-topped, stackable, front-loading high-efficiency appliances with front-mounted controls. Although these appliances come in stylish high-tech designs, you may prefer to make your room look more like general-purpose living space. Before you set up your new appliances, take a fresh look at your room for ways you can conceal and disguise them.
Curtains provide the easiest and potentially least expensive way to hide a stacked washer and dryer. You can put up a traverse rod and make your hideaway retractable on a drawstring or use a simple fixture on which you push curtains aside by hand. For an elegant touch, select an upholstery fabric or a woven material with a tapestry pattern and have a sewing service create custom curtains. For a practical alternative, make or have curtains made from a rugged cotton duck fabric and incorporate storage pockets on the back for clothespins, stray socks or items you retrieve from pockets before depositing clothes in the washer.
You can hide stacked laundry equipment effectively behind doors. Depending on your decor, hinged bifolds, barn-door replicas, high-tech closures that match adjacent appliances or knobless doors you move using empty latch-set openings can serve as functional and decorative additions to your home. Depending on the door style and how you mount your cover-up, you can attach hooks for air-drying delicate items, add a small chalkboard for notes and messages, or set up the door so opening it triggers a light fixture over the appliances.
Beyond simply fronting your laundry pair with a door, you can commission a piece of custom cabinetry that forms a three-sided enclosure around your appliances, leaving the back open for water lines, drains, venting and electrical connections. Whether you reconfigure an existing cabinet into a suitable hiding place or have a contractor or artisan build a specialized piece of furniture, you can match it to your room style or make it an eclectic addition. Because of the height and structure of this kind of enclosure, you may need to have it built on site, directly in the room itself.
In a room with existing closets, you may be able to repurpose one for appliance concealment, if it is positioned on an outside wall that allows for a short dryer hose-to-vent connection. Instead of curtains, consider a roll-up shade, either made of fabric or of woven natural materials such as bamboo slats. Opt for a folding decorative screen as a visual shield you can set up and take down in a home you rent or one you know you won't occupy long.
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