Small Laundry Ideas

6 small laundry ideas to make you fall in love with wash day

Make the most of your tiny space.
Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Heliconia

The person who once asked, “Don’t you just love those 12 seconds when the laundry is done?” has no doubt grappled with countless small laundry room ideas – all in pursuit of an efficient space to process the weekly piles of washing.

Efficiency, beauty and resilience shouldn’t be too much to ask of a tiny laundry, but it’s a lot to accommodate in a tight space. Not all laundry designs are for a cavernous space with custom cabinetry and colour-coded clothes bins; no matter the size, a beautiful, well-organised laundry room is not only within reach, but it will also change your life.  

Small laundry room ideas
Custom cabinetry and lots of natural light creates calm in this compact laundry.. (Credit: Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Heliconia)

The best laundry designs start with a wishlist, followed by a sound plan. While functionality is key, neglecting the overall style and aesthetics of a small laundry room can make it a less inviting space. “Sharpen your pencil and draw up a wish list of things you need and want,” says interiors doyenne and Pepperwhites homewares store owner, Tara Dennis. “Allow your mind to wander beyond the practical and consider styling touches that can bring a room to life.”

Small laundry room ideas
Vibrant blue cabinetry surrounds this compact work zone, while brass tapware and hardware elevate the finishes. (Credit: Photography: Suzi Appel | Styling: Beckie Littler)

1. How to incorporate stylish laundry room storage

Clear surfaces and clever storage are crucial to keep laundry essentials organised and easily accessible. “Built-in cabinets create a streamlined look and offer plenty of storage,” says Tara. “For a DIY solution use flat packs which can be fitted in a variety of combinations.”

Renting or working on a tight budget? Tara suggests thinking outside the cabinetry. “Shelves or shaker peg racks are quick to install and open up a world of possibilities for storage and display,” she says. Or make the most of what you can get your hands on. “For cost-effective storage, try repurposing old cupboards or bookshelves updated with fresh chalk paint.”

Small laundry room ideas
When borrowing from its surroundings, even the smallest space can become a laundry. (Credit: John Downs)

Measure up and drill down on the details to customise your storage needs and maximise available space. “Baskets are a natural alternative to plastic tubs and add texture and colour,” says Tara. “Use baskets inside cupboards for handy pull-out storage.”

Laundry hanging storage rack
Look up: A small laundry is the perfect place for hanging storage. (Credit: Simon Whitbread) (Credit: Photographer: Simon Whitbread)

2. How to arrange laundry appliances in a small laundry room

For maximum efficiency, think about your workflow when designing your laundry room. Plan the layout to facilitate a smooth flow of tasks and arrange the appliances, work surfaces, and storage areas in a logical order to minimise unnecessary movement. “The modern Australian home has become an extension of the individual, and we are increasingly guided by our own unique personal tastes when it comes to selecting appliances and entertainment products for our homes,” says Gemma Lemieux, Marketing Director at LG Electronics Australia. 

If your laundry faces into the kitchen or other living area, consider concealing or integrating your laundry appliances into the overall design of the room. Vertical storage can be a game-changer for small laundry designs. “Front loader washing machines are great small space savers,” says Tara. “Tuck them neatly into a cupboard, position them under a folding bench or use a washer/dryer stack combination.” Hiding bulky appliances away may become a thing of the past altogether, with the latest move from appliance companies towards personalisation of washers, dryers and floor cleaning tools. Fresh small laundry room ideas come in coloured finishes and massive internal capacities as seen in the new LG WashTower echo laundry design choices, all within a footprint as small as 60cm.

Installing wall-mounted shelves or cabinets can maximize storage capacity without occupying valuable floor space. “Appliance cupboards are ideal for housing washing machine and dryer,” says Tara, who recommends a split, ‘stable door’ for easy access to each appliance individually if needed. “If you’re changing the layout, don’t forget to budget in the cost of tradesmen,” Tara warns. “These can include plumbers, tilers and electricians.”

Barn door in the laundry with hanging drying rack
Combining a laundry and mudroom makes the most of this space, day and night. (Credit: Natalie Hunfalvay / Stylist: Lisa Burden)

3. Laundry lighting ideas

It’s a workspace, after all and poor lighting can make a small laundry room feel cramped and unwelcoming, not to mention make sorting clothes or reading labels challenging. Channel natural light where possible and where overhead lighting is lacking, install wall lights or task lamps that can double as decorative accents to create a bright and functional space. “Even changing the colour temperature of existing globes can make a tremendous difference,” says Tara.

“Time spent in the laundry can be more enjoyable with music or podcasts. Portable, waterproof speakers are ideal for the job”

Tara Dennis, Pepperwhites

4. The best materials or finishes in a laundry room 

“Any surface that is durable and can be easily wiped over is best for laundries,” says Tara. “Near the sink, consider tile, glass, marble and stone in the splash zone. Throughout the rest of the space try introducing a combination of other elements such as paint, wallpaper, timber and panelling for warmth and personality.”

Proper ventilation is crucial in a laundry room to prevent the buildup of moisture, odours, and potential mould or mildew growth. It’s important to have proper ventilation systems such as exhaust fans or windows to maintain a fresh and healthy environment.

Laundry with blue patterned floor tiles
Side-by-side front loading washing machine and dryer free up benchspace for folding and display. (Credit: Photography: Tim Salisbury / Styling: Anna Spiro)

5. Laundry flooring ideas

Essentially a wet room, a laundry needs non-slip, waterproof flooring to guard against spills and splashes. Vintage rugs are enjoying a renaissance in the laundry and are our pick of small laundry room ideas that bring a colourful boost and are simple to retrofit when the flooring is not up to scratch. Protect and enhance floors using easy-care vinyl mats,” says Tara. “Easy to clean and flat, they’re ideal for high-traffic areas.

Make a statement with a boldly patterned laundry splashback.
Tuck in a top-loader but design your aesthetics to work with, not against it. (Credit: Photography: Martina Gemmola | Design: Carmel Wylie, GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens) (Credit: Photography: Martina Gemmola | Design: Carmel Wylie, GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens)

6. How to decorate your laundry room

Decorate your laundry as you would any other room in the house to create a welcoming space. Carrying design elements from the kitchen through to your laundry gives a cohesive look – paint colours, splashback tiles cabinetry can all aid efficiency and visual appeal. “Add life and colour with flowers or plants,” says Tara or go faux for an easy, no fuss solution.

“Art adds personality and style. Choose art under glass for practicality if ventilation is an issue.”

Tara Dennis, Pepperwhites

Often tacked on at the back or lurking beneath the house, it’s often too much to ask for an inspiring outlook from a laundry window. String up a vintage fabric or café curtain for a floral touch or a pop of colour.  “Pretty sheers can hide a less than desirable view while bright printed patterns can frame a window beautifully,” says Tara.

Shop small laundry room ideas

Double layered white washed baskets with rattan handles set of 2

01

Double layered white-washed baskets with rattan handles (set of 2)

$60, Pomelo Home

Make laundry day a beautiful breeze with this double-layered woven basket. Strong handles will lighten your load and with a set of two, you’ll always have one ready to push into service and/or coordinate your laundry storage to match.

02

Eglo Palmera LED wall light in Brushed Brass, The Blue Space

$149, The Blue Space

Task lighting in the bathroom vanity can elevate your bathroom style and highlight where needed for personal care and grooming. The best small laundry ideas couple great style with practicality and, when paired with brass tapware, this wall light ticks all the boxes.

03

LG WashTower 12kg – 9kg, The Good Guys

$3999, The Good Guys

Aesthetics and efficiency combine beautifully in the WashTower to offer huge capacity on the inside with lean good looks on the outside. The calming Forest Green hue and smaller footprint fit into tight spaces for a compact and contemporary laundry solution.

04

Tamarama matt porcelain tile 300x300mm in Blue

$51/m2, The Blue Space

Patterned laundry flooring tiles are a great way to inject some personality into a hard-working space. Pull colour from your cabinetry to highlight, give a nod to the heritage of your home or make a statement with a bold geometric pattern choice.

05

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3 in Active Black

$149, Myer

Whistle with this rugged little water-resistant speaker while you work in your styled-up laundry. Designed to go anywhere, you can take it from room to room with you – outdoors to the garden or along for the ride in your car. You’ll never miss an episode of your favourite podcast again!

Related stories