Published: 13:00, 12 October 2017
| Updated: 13:16, 12 October 2017
Victoria Harrison, Houzz contributor
Fed up with constantly tripping over a cumbersome clothes airer? Bored of having to balance damp socks on top of the radiator?
If this sounds familiar, be inspired by these clever ideas for drying laundry in a more stylish fashion. From ceiling-hung airers to micro laundry cupboards, we’ve got the best ideas to sort your washing woes.
Hoist it high
An old-fashioned airer like this one that operates on a pulley system is actually a very effective way of whisking wet washing up and out of the way, freeing up floor space and keeping a small room tidy.
If you have a boot room or utility room, this is the ideal place for it, but you could install one in a kitchen too, if you have high enough ceilings to pull it up and out of the way when it’s not in use.
Discover the most common kitchen design problems, and how to tackle them
Stow it in a cupboard
Don’t have space for a separate utility room? These clever homeowners have created an entire laundry room inside a bank of cupboards.
Fitting a full-sized airer on a pull-out tray is a genius move that ensures clothes can be hung up as soon as they are removed from the washing machine, then it can be neatly tucked back out of sight when it is finished with, or when visitors arrive.
Install a clothes rail
Draping clothes over an airer isn’t the only way to dry damp laundry. You can actually fit a surprising amount of washing on a slim clothes rail if you put everything on clothes hangers as soon as it comes out of the washing machine or tumbler.
Have a think about where you could hang a rail at home. A utility room is perfect, but this solution would also work in a spare bedroom where it could double up as a clothes rail for guests when not in use for laundry.
Fold it down
This tiny laundry area is a great example of how to pack a lot of functionality into a small space. A traditional wooden airer folds down from the wall when required, then neatly folds back again when not in use.
The traditional wood finish means this actually looks smart when not in use (much more attractive than a plastic or metal airer) and the panelling behind ties in neatly with the panelled ironing-board cupboard.
Carve out a micro utility room
This laundry cupboard is just 90cm wide x 60cm deep and was created by “borrowing” space from a bathroom, but it’s packed with practical features. Bespoke shelving offers storage for the washing machine, ironing board and laundry products, while a slim rail 120cm above the worktop provides space for clothes to air once they are taken out of the machine.
See how to plan the perfect utility room
Make the most of the bathroom
Rather than clutter up bedrooms or living rooms with bulky airers, why not utilise a bathroom? Once the morning rush is over, the bathroom is often an under-used space during the day, compared to other rooms in the house, so it’s the perfect place to tuck laundry out of sight. Hanging a pulley-style airer above a bath is also a practical way to catch stray drops of water.
Take over a hallway nook
Creating a mini laundry room in a hallway seems an unusual idea at first, but if you have an under-stairs space or a nook like this then it can be a really neat way to tuck the laundry away and keep all of the main rooms in the house clutter free. This simple, white-painted airer is pale and unobtrusive and would fold neatly back when not in use. The washing machine and tumble drier can also be concealed by a large sliding door on a runner.
This idea would only really work if there was a good light source and ventilation nearby though. A dark under-stairs cupboard with no ventilation wouldn’t be suitable, so consider if you have a feasible nook or area like this to make it work.
Tuck it behind a drawer front
If you have a dedicated utility room, this pull-out rack is a great way to discreetly dry washing without cluttering up the floor with a bulky airer.
Disguised as a drawer front when not in use, it glides out to provide enough hanging space for a good amount of laundry. Combined with a hanging rail above, this is a neat and stylish way to tackle the washing pile.
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