A common problem for many households is a lack of laundry drying space. As we can’t rely on the great British climate to make use of any outside space – with our unpredictable weather, the likelihood is that you’ll need to do much of your laundry drying inside. That’s where savvy drying rack ideas come in handy.
Of course with many of us living in compact spaces or in house shares, or indeed having to launder for a brood of kids, a lack of drying space can easily become a regular domestic irritation. Before long you may well find yourself with more articles of clothing floating around than the local laundrette, with socks on radiators, sheets hanging from doors and towels lingering on the banisters. A home looking like a laundrette is never a great look when unexpected visitors drop in.
To solve the dilemma we’ve found some fabulous drying rack ideas for happily hanging laundry indoors.
Drying rack ideas for all spaces
1. Wall mount a laundry ladder
Smart wall-mounted wooden drying racks are ideal for laundry rooms and bathrooms. A great space saver, simple laundry ladders also look stylish and utilitarian when not in use. Colour coordinated pegs to add a touch of thoughtful styling to this simple solution.
2. Extend to maximise drying potential
Choose a wall-mounted drying rack to utilise vertical storage. Go one further by choosing an extendable drying rack design that can be pulled out to offer all the drying capability a full loaded washing machine needs. Utilise every nook and cranny to make your utility as efficient as possible. Use a recessed wall to make even better use of otherwise unusable space.
3. Collapse and store out of sight
A collapsable drying rack is ideal for storing out of sight. I personally own this smart wooden clothes horse design and it’s ideal for my small flat. There are two height options, to offer a taller rack with you want it to take up even less space – or perhaps have longer items to dry, such as all trousers. Once the clothes are dry you simply fold it down to a compact concertina shape then store it out of view. I personally have it under a unit in the kitchen, so it’s out of the way but still handy for when I need it.
4. Save space with a suspended clothes airer
It’s not new or revolutionary, but the Sheila Maid clothes airer is a style that’s been popular in Britain for well over 100 years. A great place for it is on the ceiling above your staircase – high up and out of the way. The space-saving solution is simply lowered down using a pulley rope system, making it easy to retract out of the way when not in use – ideal for small kitchens or utility rooms.
5. Invest in a wall-mounted indoor airer
‘Incorporate a drying rack into your utility space so you’ve somewhere to air clothes when the weather’s bad,’ says storage guru Vicky Silverthorn of youneedavicky.com. ‘Slatted shelves are also handy for storing freshly-laundered linens as slats allow air to circulate so washing won’t get damp.’
This neat space-saving wall-hung airer has rows of wooden rungs for drying clothes and linens indoors and folds flat when not in use to take up minimal space.
6. Look for hotspots
Speed up the dying process by seeking out the hottest point within your kitchen or utility room, placing your airer there in order to make use of the warmth. If your home is lucky enough to use AGA make the permanent heat serve as a hot air dryer for your laundry. Simply hang a traditional clothes airer above the stove to benefit from the heat below.
Of course don’t forget to take the washing down before you start cooking tea, because the smells will be absorbed into the freshly laundered washing!
7. Fill ceiling space above work surfaces
Make your drying rack work within the existing layout of a room. Suspending a rack above a work surface without higher level cupboards provides the perfect place to rest a laundry basket or pile of items ready to hang. On a practical level this means you’re not bending down more often that necessary when hanging the washing out. It also means you are making the most of the space, by utilising the unused ceiling above.
8. Use a quiet corner
No matter how attractive your hanging solution (and in the case above it’s pretty good!), no one wants laundry to overtake the house – even in a dedicated utility room. Choose a triangular shaped drying rack to tuck perfectly into a quiet corner that is out of the way, so it doesn’t feel too intrusive within the space. If you don’t have a utility room this solution is ideal for use in a small kitchen, confined to the corner.
9. Scent and dry clothes at the same time
Make your drying rack multipurpose by hanging dried lavender, or other fragrant stems, to gently scent the washing while it dries.
10. Hang a rack directly above the washing machine
Make the laundry even easier by locating your drying rack as close to your washing machine as possible. If choosing a traditional pulley drying rack use the ceiling area directly above your appliances to make it possible to hang directly from the machine, to save having to decant the load into a laundry basket to transport it around the house to hang elsewhere.
Jazz up the utility with a splash of colour on the walls and a fun sign to add character to the space.