This small laundry layout is literal perfection

It's almost too nice to hide behind closed (bifold) doors.
small laundry layout white splashbackPhotography: Ess Creative

Character and charm aren’t often associated with a utilitarian room such as the laundry, especially a small laundry, but they come by the bucket load in this family home in Sydney’s Inner West. When homeowner Helen and her partner Brendan renovated and extended the house, creating a space that was as beautiful as it was functional was essential.

“I’ve never had a proper laundry before and even though this is a small space in a cupboard, it was important for me to open the door and love the way it looked,” says Helen, who sought the help of Alexandra Mason from Studio aem to design their small laundry layout.

small laundry layout rattan folding doors
This small laundry layout maximises storage in open shelves and under-sink space hidden by a sink skirt. Artwork by Katie Vajda. (Photography: Ess Creative)

“A really good mix of bench space and storage was essential,” says Alexandra. “The room has a lot of use; it needed to be hard-wearing, but it also needed to be lovely to look at, and the large doors open up into the dining room so we needed some wow factor.”

The Spanish ‘Blossom’ floor tiles from Kalafrana Ceramics bring colour and depth, while Meir tapware in Tiger Bronze and brass hardware add some sparkle to the space. “I love all the brass elements including the hanging rail which acts as a drying rack for delicate clothing,” says Alexandra.

small laundry layout hanging rail
A small laundry doesn’t have to compromise on style with gold details and premium finishes. (Photography: Ess Creative)

Small laundry layout ideas

Bifold doors: Bifold doors help hide everything away. They’re a practical solution that take up minimal space whether open or closed. “The doors to the laundry are one of my favourite design elements,” shares Alexandra. Custom-made doors by Dunwell Joinery were painted in Resene Triple Merino to match the kitchen, and the rattan inserts were from House of Bamboo. “They tied everything together,” she says.

Sink skirt: Cupboard doors may feel clunky in a small laundry layout so a sink skirt is a great alternative. “I had opted for no doors on the cabinets, but I didn’t like looking at the inside of the cupboard with the cleaning products,” says Helen. A stylish fix came with repurposing curtains that had been custom-made for her daughters’ bunk beds while they were sharing a bedroom during the renovation.

Hanging rail: Maximise your space by adding a hanging rail above your laundry bench. Add hooks and hang household items off it that would otherwise clutter a cupboard or your bench space. It could also be a spot to hang shirts or throw a hand towel over.

small laundry layout mosaic floor tiles
A pop of mosaic prints in the floor tiles adds lots of character to this small laundry. (Photography: Ess Creative)

Where do you put a laundry room in a small house?

When deciding where to locate your laundry in a tight floorplan, consider converting a cupboard. This keeps your laundry out of sight and this way your rooms can be used for other necessities like a study or extra bedroom. You can also rethink existing spaces like a bathroom or kitchen and how they might also double as a laundry area.

How do you do laundry in a small space?

If you have a small laundry layout, you need to make the space easy to get in and out of. Consider how easily cupboard doors open in the space, particularly when the laundry door is open. Do they bang against each other? You might be better off going for a sink curtain to hide laundry products away. A sliding door or bifold doors could make for a smoother entry and exit. Maximise your bench space and keep it uncluttered with a hanging rail for shirts or household items.

What is a good size for a small laundry room?

A laundry can be as small as you need it to be. On the tiniest end of the spectrum, a washing machine can be integrated into a kitchen layout and the luxury of a dryer forgone. A more comfortable small laundry layout is probably the size of a decent wardrobe or cupboard. Slightly bigger if you want extra cupboard space to store towels and bed linen. It’s really up to you, your floorplan and what suits your household’s needs.

How do you make a small laundry look bigger?

There are many small laundry layout ideas to make it feel more expansive than it really is. A light colour palette makes a small room feel bigger. Also skip the cupboards and install open shelves with a couple of baskets to make a small laundry feel more open. Keep clutter tucked away and stick to the bare minimum. Do you really need a dryer? If not, leave it out. Could you make do with a smaller sink? These decisions can create a more spacious feeling in small quarters.

Source book

Interior design: Studio aem,
Builder: Buildax,
Joinery: Dunwell Joinery.

Shop small laundry layout ideas


Elle Gooseneck Sink Mixer Tap, Temple & Webster


Gold hardware elevates the tiniest of spaces.

Myer Havana Square Tapered Water Hyacinth Basket in Natural


Havana Square Tapered Water Hyacinth Basket in Natural, Myer


A place to hide all your unsightly essentials.


Corrin Encaustic-Look Matt Porcelain Tile, Temple & Webster

$71 per square metre

Modern mosaic tiles for a dose of personality.

David Jones Cleansmart Earth Bamboo DustpanBrush Set


Cleansmart Earth Bamboo Dustpan/Brush Set, David Jones


Your dustpan and broom can look good too.

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