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We spend countless hours in our laundry rooms, shouldn't we make this space as functional and pleasant as possible? Laundry rooms have come a long way from the barren basement rooms so many of us grew up with. Take a few tips from these uber-practical laundry-room additions to help you lighten your load.

Refrigerator. Many homes have a second refrigerator in the garage, but these homeowners put one in the laundry room. Building it into the wall helped save space. If you're not ready to go that far, a mini fridge (no built-in necessary) could still help you store extra beverages.

Sewing station. Anyone who enjoys sewing knows what a pain it is to set up and take down your clunky machine every time you want to make a repair or tackle a project. A special sewing station in your laundry room can help you get your work done with an ironing board and other necessities nearby.

Dog washing tub. Every friend and neighbor with a pooch will be green with envy when you show them your personal dog washing station. This is a great addition for laundry rooms that have an entrance to the outdoors or a garage. Wash Fido's dirty paws and soiled fur before he comes into the house. Tiling the washing station and your laundry-room floors will make cleanup a cinch.

Raised washer and dryer. Bending down to take heavy loads of clothes out of a washer and dryer isn't good for anyone's back. A platform like this takes the (literal) pain out of washing and drying and has a seamless look. Aim to lift your washer and dryer at least 15 inches for the best fit.

Drip-drying location. A drip-dry station in this spacious laundry room allows wet garments to dry without making a mess. In lieu of more cabinetry, this cavity was tiled all over for ultimate water protection. A bar from the top provides a spot to hang clothes, and the floor drain guarantees there is no standing water.

Floor drain. Even if you don't have a specialized drip-dry spot, a floor drain can be a great idea in your laundry room. Not only does it make everyday cleaning easy, it can also prevent serious damage if your washing machine ever leaks or overflows.

Ironing board. For those short on space, a drawer ironing board can give you the benefits of a built-in board without taking up wall or cabinet space. You'll never have to wrestle with a squeaky freestanding board again. These are easy to retrofit into budget remodels, too.

Hampers. Built-in laundry hampers like these can help you keep your laundry space extra tidy with minimal effort. When the clothes are piling up, just make sure the drawers are closed! This homeowner has a hamper for whites, colors and darks — all tucked away and out of sight.