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Laundry Room Design Tips

On average, a typical family of four spends a few hours every week doing around 7-10 loads of laundry. That’s a lot of time spent in the laundry room each year. I know it’s not the sexiest room in the house and is often styled as an afterthought, but it shouldn’t be. A well designed laundry room makes everyday tasks like washing, drying and folding laundry more enjoyable. Considering how much time you spend in the laundry room, why not make it a space you enjoy doing chores in. That’s why I wrote this article filled with my favorite laundry room design tips.

Designing and decorating a laundry room can be lots of fun. It’s generally not a huge room so it doesn’t cost a fortune to spruce up a bit. While I understand why having a beautiful laundry room isn’t typically on most peoples wish list. Once you have one you’ll be glad you spent the time and effort on it.

I recommend adding some design elements that are fun and stylish but keeping things withing the overall theme of your home. Whenever I design a home I always create a style sheet which influences my choices for the entire house. If you’ve got a Modern Farmhouse then carry that theme into the laundry room too. Modern, Colonial, Traditional etc. It doesn’t really matter. Just make sure the laundry design flows with the rest of the house and feels natural.

It’s a small room so stick with a light and neutral color palette with some added pops of color. I think of laundry room design ideas in the same way as a bathroom. Bold colors in small amounts and a nice plant or two goes a long way.

Here are my top laundry room design tips to help you create a more efficient and beautiful laundry space.

Laundry room with a grey and white backsplash made from small 1/2 inch tiles.

Laundry room with a grey and white backsplash made from small 1/2 inch tiles.

Laundry Room Tile

Including some beautiful tile in your laundry room is a great way to add color, texture, style and patterns.

When most people think of backsplash or wall tile they immediately picture a beautiful bathroom or kitchen. But tile is a great wall finish anywhere there’s water in the house. I great way to finish the wall behind your laundry sink or folding table is with tile. Even if all you have is a slop sink a stylish backsplash will add a lot to the room. And it doesn’t cost much.

Adding tile to your laundry room is one of my favorite laundry room design tips. It’s a great DIY project almost anyone can do on a weekend and is very affordable. Almost every time I’m at Home Depot or Lowes I see some fantastic tile on sale. If your thinking about sprucing up your laundry room and don’t have a lot of money to spend consider adding some new tile to the walls.

A backsplash is a great way to add color, texture and patterns to a room that otherwise lacks it. The average laundry room has a washer and dryer, drywall and basic trim. Some have a slop sink and some cabinetry. Beautiful tile in the right place can really add style to a boring laundry.

Pro Tip: If your a builder, investor or house flipper looking to get a good ROI then add some tile to the laundry. Most people just don’t style the space. When people walk into a well designed laundry room for the first it makes an impression because it’s unexpected. Kitchens and baths with beautiful cabinetry, tile, trim and counters are expected these days, so the impact isn’t as big as it used to be.

Laundry room with beautiful pendant light featuring a gold finish.

Laundry room with beautiful pendant light featuring a gold finish.

Lighting

Stylish lighting is an important part of any rooms design and that includes the laundry. But it’s usually not done. Go into just about any laundry room and you’ll typically find a center high hat or a flush mount. While that’s plenty of light for a small room it does little in terms of style.

If you want to create a stylish laundry room then do more than the basics. Think a few cool recessed LEDs or some pendant lights. A wall sconce in the right place can be a nice touch too and so can under cabinet lighting.

One of my favorite laundry room design tips is to style the space like a kitchen or bathroom. Because cabinetry, countertops, tile, and a sink are things a laundry has in common with kitchens and baths.

A beautiful light fixture doesn’t have to cost a bundle. There are lots of great deals on pendant lights online. I recently bought a fantastic warm gold pendant light with 4 bulbs and a very Modern design. It put out more than enough light for the laundry room and looked great with the gold hardware. I finished the look with warm cream shaker cabinets, quartz counters and matching gold hardware.

Pro Tip: I typically design my kitchen and baths first and then carry those choices into the laundry. This works for a few reasons.

  • The home feels more cohesive when every room is styled with the same main themes and colors.
  • The homes flow feels much better. I hate when I go into a beautiful homes laundry and it’s just a room with a washer and dryer. It feels lazy to me on the builders part.
  • I can save money by buying in bulk. Since I’m matching elements used in the kitchen and baths some times that qualifies me for a discount.

White laundry room cabinetry with black hardware and matching black faucet.

White laundry room cabinetry with black hardware and matching black faucet.

Hardware

Your cabinet hardware is just as important in the laundry room as it is in your kitchen and bathrooms.

Just as you would in other rooms, coordinate your hardware finish with the rest of the room. In the last laundry room I designed I used a warm gold pendant light so I matched that same finish with my hardware. The laundry room was right off the kitchen and included a small half bath so I designed all three rooms together. The three rooms aren’t exactly the same but you can feel as you walk from one room to another that they’re all a part of an overall design for the home.

I just love warm gold and brass accents. They have a way of warming up the room and look fantastic with white and marble.

I like to use a hardware that’s easy to pull and often go with bars instead of knobs. The laundry is a working room and I often have my arms full so I like hardware that’s very easy to grab. I can’t tell you how many time I’ve opened a cabinet with my foot, an elbow or knee while holding a basket filled with laundry. A thick knob really comes in handy.

Also pay attention to the style of your hardware. This is something many people overlook and it’s a nice finishing touch. If you’ve got an Ultra Modern laundry room then choose hardware that’s appropriate for the design. A knob with scroll work may look great in Colonial or Victorian but not here.

I generally like to keep my hardware choices very simple. I stay away from anything scrolly or too ornate. Simple knobs or bars that are easy to use are what I go for. I love bronze, warm golds, white, steel and black.

Laundry room with lots of open shelving.

Laundry room with lots of open shelving.

Open Shelving

Another one of my favorite laundry room design tips is open shelving.

Open shelving is stylish and functional at the same time. It gives you more storage, and is a great place to add some decor or a plant to your laundry room. They’re also easier to access than enclosed cabinetry which can be a big advantage to a laundry room. When I’m doing laundry I want certain things to be easy to grab and others to be stored. Open shelving in the laundry gives me that flexibility.

I like how open shelving gives me an extra area to design and decorate. Of course there’s always the risk with any open area that it could get messy but that’s up to you.

Building an open shelf is a great DIY project and it’s cheap. A simple white shelf can be more than enough. You can even buy shelves pre-made so all you’ll have to do is hang them.

If you have a small laundry room then shelves are a must. Without room for cabinetry it’s hard to find areas to store thing. A few shelves can easily double your storage space and add a style boost to the room. I like to add one above the washer and dryer at a minimum.

Open shelves are also a great place to hang items from. A shelf with a bar underneath makes a great place to store items, decorate, and hang up clothes to dry or get steam cleaned.

Beautiful light and bright laundry room with white cabinets, pale wood floors, a sink, folding table, countertops and a plant.

Beautiful light and bright laundry room with white cabinets, pale wood floors, a sink, folding table, countertops and a plant.

Plants

One of my favorite finishing touches to a laundry room are plants. They bring life and energy into the room in a way that other decorations can’t match.

Bold colors can be hard to work into a laundry room’s design. They’re typically small spaces that do better with light and neutral color schemes. I love the look of a green plants in a simple white pot. It’s a clean look that’s very versatile and looks great no matter style your home is.

Where there’s a plant there’s a pot. This is another great place to be creative and have fun. You can add colors, shapes and patterns with a pot that wouldn’t work anywhere else in the room. I personally like to keep the pot simple but you can use whatever you like here. It’s a great way to personalize the space.

The size of the plant should make sense for the room. I use a lot of small shelf plants in my interior designs and occasionally a hinging plant or two. Hanging plants work really well in a laundry room where space tends to be limited.

Remember that plants need sunlight so make sure to position them close enough to the window that they’ll get what they need. If you don’t have a window in your laundry then you could always go with a fake but I prefer the real thing when possible.

Steel colored laundry room with shiny grey cabinetry, grey tile floors, grey washer/dryer and a stainless steel sink.

Steel colored laundry room with shiny grey cabinetry, grey tile floors, grey washer/dryer and a stainless steel sink.

Laundry Sink

Installing a beautiful laundry sink can be a style improvement while adding lots of functionality.

Don’t forget that the laundry room is a functional work space. These types of design articles always focus on how to make a home more beautiful but they need to work better too. Laundry sinks are great for hand washing delicate items, soaking stained clothing, pre-washing, cleaning pet related items, washing off dirty shoes, and taking care of other issues you’d rather not wash in the kitchen sink or a tub. If you’ve ever had to wash something that you didn’t want in the main home then you need a laundry sink.

When shopping for a laundry sink get a material that’s stain resistant with a deep bowl design. The laundry room sink is sometimes called a slop sink. They’re generally much deeper than what you’d find in a kitchen or bath.

There are plenty of stylish sinks on the market with a deep design that are perfect for a laundry. I recommend stainless steel or an enamel. Both are durably, look great, are easy to clean and typically don’t stain.

Large laundry room with two washers/dryers and a stainless steel slop sink.

Large laundry room with two washers/dryers and a stainless steel slop sink.

General Laundry Room Design Tips

OK, that takes care of my favorite laundry room design tips but there are still some general design philosophies I’d like to share. You should consider these even when doing the things we discussed above.

Laundry Room Design Tips 1: Make It Your Own

Your laundry room should reflect your personal decorating style and flow with the style of your home and existing decor.

Small spaces that aren’t typically used by guests provide a wonderful opportunity to take a few design risks. Add a few elements that really make the space your own. Try a bolder color than you’d normally use, some wallpaper, or something funky.

Pro Tip: I recommend taking the biggest risks with decorations that are easy to replace or update and not with permanent things. Smaller decorations are easy to change and don’t cost a fortune. Bring in bold splashes of color from artwork, a poster or flower pot. Stay away from major things like loud wallpaper. If you end up hating it in a year it’s a big job to replace. But hanging a new picture on the wall takes a minute.

Laundry Room Design Tips 2: Form Vs Function

When you design a laundry room the first thing to consider is function. No matter how beautiful your shelves, tile, colors and decor are. If the room isn’t laid out properly then it’s not a good design. Remember with working areas of the home like a kitchen, bathroom or laundry, function comes first and then form.

Your laundry room should be designed with room for four things: sorting, washing/drying, ironing, and folding/hanging.

Of course if your laundry room is very small you may not have the room for four distinct areas, but with a little creativity, you can pack a lot of utility into a small space. Here are some quick design tips for each space.

SORTING

Portable laundry sorters allow you to easily sort darks and lights. They don’t take much room and are a big help.

WASHING & DRYING

Your choice of washer and dryer will greatly impact your rooms layout and design. Stackable machines are a great option for small spaces and free up square footage but they don’t allow for a shelf above the machine when tacked. Side by side machines are great because you can have the shelf or some cabinetry but you need more space.

I recommend a side by side if you have the floor space with a drawer below each machine and a shelf above.

For air dry only items, a drying rack is a great addition. Install a pull down design that can be tucked away when not in use.

IRONING

Keep the ironing board out of the way by hanging it on the wall or a door.

You can change the cover on your ironing board to match the color scheme of the room. It’s a nice touch when the ironing board is visible and another area you can throw in some bolder colors.

FOLDING/HANGING

A countertop/folding station is a great addition to any laundry room. If you have front loading machines then a drop down countertop can be installed over the machines which gives more than enough space for folding.

A rod placed between cabinets or under a shelf allows you to hang clothes to dry or be steam cleaned.

Laundry Room Design Tip 3: Use The Space

If your laundry room is on the small side, this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice function or style. Think vertically in small spaces and utilize every square inch of space available to you. This means shelves, folding racks and ironing boards and hidden storage.

I love building pull out drawers under washing machines and dryers. They give plenty of storage and some height. For me a standard washer/dryer is a little too low so I appreciate the extra height. Install shelves and cabinetry where you can and lots of pull down elements.

Don’t waste wall space. many people don’t realize how much storage they’re wasting by not building shelves above the machines. Open shelves not only have lots of storage benefits but can also look great too.

Summary: Laundry Room Design Tips

On average, a typical family of four spends a few hours every week doing around 7-10 loads of laundry. That’s a lot of time spent in the laundry room each year. I know it’s not the sexiest room in the house and is often styled as an afterthought, but it shouldn’t be. A well designed laundry room makes everyday tasks like washing, drying and folding laundry more enjoyable. Considering how much time you spend in the laundry room, why not make it a space you enjoy doing chores in. That’s why I wrote this article filled with my favorite laundry room design tips.

Designing and decorating a laundry room can be lots of fun. It’s generally not a huge room so it doesn’t cost a fortune to spruce up a bit. While I understand why having a beautiful laundry room isn’t typically on most peoples wish list. Once you have one you’ll be glad you spent the time and effort on it.

I recommend adding some design elements that are fun and stylish but keeping things withing the overall theme of your home. Whenever I design a home I always create a style sheet which influences my choices for the entire house. If you’ve got a Modern Farmhouse then carry that theme into the laundry room too. Modern, Colonial, Traditional etc. It doesn’t really matter. Just make sure the laundry design flows with the rest of the house and feels natural.

It’s a small room so stick with a light and neutral color palette with some added pops of color. I think of laundry room design ideas in the same way as a bathroom. Bold colors in small amounts and a nice plant or two goes a long way.

If you have any questions or comments e-mail us any time. We’d love to hear from you.

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