8 Ideas for Small Laundry Rooms in Apartments, Condos, and Co-ops

Washers and dryers in an apartment fit just right in these urban dwellings

washer and dryer in the kitchen

If you thought you couldn’t add a washer and dryer in an apartment, think again! Many homeowners have worked with Sweeten to make room for washers and dryers, even in small and unlikely spaces. These renovations feature small laundry room ideas that work best in wet zones like a kitchen or bathroom with stackable or all-in-one combinations.

Is your home a candidate for an installation? Consider these details if you’re looking to add a washer and dryer to your home—space, building approval, permits, electrical, and plumbing.

Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering guidance, tools, and support—for free..

Double duty: kitchen/laundry room

washer dryer kitchen

Beth and Bob Judge relocated to Manhattan after many years in the Midwest and the South. As soon-to-be empty nesters, they rented for a few years before finding a place that would fit their lifestyle—a co-op in a 1917 Beaux-Arts building. Part of their full-home renovation would include laundry in the kitchen as a must-have.

They spent a few years in Manhattan without their own washer-dryer, after enjoying full laundry rooms in suburban homes, “and we didn’t want to do that ever again,” Beth said. They were able to update the kitchen and add in a stackable unit with stainless-steel trim to complement the oven and dishwasher of the same finish. It blends in nicely next to the dishwasher, with cabinet space above for laundry accessories.

All-in-one washer dryer

small laundry idea in kitchen with combo washer dryer

Homeowners Jessica and Alex rented in New York City for a few years before finding their dream apartment, which, not surprisingly for a 1930s co-op, needed renovating. The new kitchen remodel “was like putting together a giant puzzle,” Jessica said. “But it was good for our budget and timeline.” The kitchen includes an under-counter, all-in-one washer dryer, showing that even a small galley kitchen can include luxurious amenities.

Accessibility as a priority

washer and dryer

Mickey loved his Prospect Heights apartment. But after living there for 26 years, he felt he deserved an update. He got over his fear of renovation and turned to Sweeten for a gut remodel. The kitchen would be overhauled and include a washer/dryer unit.

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“My kitchen priorities were not typical,” says Mickey. “Having a washer and dryer in my apartment has been my dream for years.” But Mickey decided that it would be very convenient. He wanted apartment-sized units (really the only ones that would fit) on a pedestal with a counter above. This luxury ensures that he doesn’t have to bend down to fold the laundry. Although the plumbing needed some reconfiguring, it all aided in his look ahead towards accessibility and retirement.

A perfect niche for a small laundry room idea

small laundry idea with washer dryer and sliding barn door

Isis and Stephano’s fourth-floor brownstone bathroom renovation took a backseat for other more pressing home repairs. But their small laundry room ideas were worth the wait. The space would borrow square footage from an adjacent closet. It would be large enough to move their existing washer and dryer in and double as a laundry room. 

But once again, they encountered another hiccup. Measurements were miscalculated and it was discovered the units would not fit in the space after all. Their Sweeten contractor came to the rescue reconfiguring the space to fit a 24-inch stacking washer/dryer unit. “It was like a game of Tetris,” said Stephano, describing their contractor’s creative space solutions.

From alcove to laundry space


White subway tiles and blue paint in bathroom and laundry niche with washer dryer after renovation

For their 953-square-foot studio loft in DUMBO, Brooklyn, Ashleigh and Jonathan desperately wanted to add a laundry area. The apartment didn’t come with a laundry hook-up, and adding one required more work than anticipated. Ultimately, it drove them to renovate the entire bathroom, taking space from a nearby alcove to allow for the stackable washer-dryer unit. “We’ve lived with and without a washer and dryer and much prefer life with one,” said Ashleigh. “So the fact that we could solve that problem with the apartment makes it infinitely more livable for us.”

A ventless washer/dryer for the rescue

white farmhouse sink and round vanity mirror near washer dryer in gray laundry room after renovationLynn and Craig really didn’t want to carry their laundry up and down five flights of stairs in their apartment building. So they decided to add a small laundry room idea to their renovation list. The problem? No contractors were willing to take on the job of remodeling two tiny bathrooms, which included a washer-dryer installation. Then Lynn and Craig found Sweeten and hired a contractor who made it work.

When other contractors told Lynn and Craig putting in a washer-dryer was not a viable option, their Sweeten contractor disagreed. Other contractors insisted the only way to install was to tap into the toilet line and disrupt the neighbor below. Not a good option. So their Sweeten contractor came up with a workaround. He used the small sink’s line, and the couple bought a compact, ventless washer/dryer. Lynn and Craig now have a convenient laundry room to call their own.

A closet with a soapy surprise

washer and dryer closet

When a family of five bought their 1,800-square-foot home in Manhattan, they knew they wanted to redo the entire living space. They turned to a Sweeten general contractor and architect Jessica Wetters to open the space and enlarge the master bathroom. They also wanted a laundry area that would be functional while fitting the home’s contemporary aesthetic. To accomplish this, they hid a stackable washer-dryer behind closed doors in a closet. “We are thrilled with the results,” said the homeowner. “We achieved exactly the look and feel we were going for. I firmly believe that the process went as smoothly and efficiently as it did, thanks to our contractor, his crew, and our architect.”

A small laundry room idea for a house

small laundry room idea with combo washer dryer

Nadia and Stephen’s search for a space that would fit their multigenerational family landed them in a 2,030-square-foot brick rowhouse in Brooklyn’s South Slope/Greenwood Heights area. The house needed major work to meet the needs of all members of the family. They added a fully functional laundry area with a washer and dryer, which “also functions as a mudroom, with custom cabinetry and a pull-down drying rack where we can hang wet clothes,” says Nadia. 

Ready to start your own at-home laundry renovation? Find your expert Sweeten contractor to make it happen!

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Popular questions

To install a washer and dryer in an apartment, you’ll need to consider your space, building approval, city permits, electrical capacity, and new plumbing and electrical lines. Submit an architect’s plan to be reviewed by the building’s board. An AFCI circuit breaker must be installed but your apartment’s electrical wiring needs to be capable of handling the additional load. A licensed professional can assess if any requirements for new electrical, plumbing, or gas lines will be needed.

If you live in a co-op or condo, the building’s alteration agreements will outline the rules on whether installing a washer or dryer is permitted or not. Most buildings have no “wet-over-dry” rules so the machines will need to stay inside a “wet zone,” usually a kitchen, bathroom, or next to one of those rooms.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration, and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation with Sweeten.

We hope you find inspiration from the products and materials featured in this story. Purchases made through our product recommendation links may earn us a commission.

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