The laundry is arguably the hardest-working room in the house and yet, traditionally, a laundry makeover is the last cab off the rank. What if the design of this essential utilitarian zone is approached with as much care and consideration as our living or bedroom spaces?
After all, it’s just the washing machine, dryer, sink and some cupboards, right? Not so. The way we view laundries is changing. We’ve collected some of the best laundry design ideas, layout advice and interior design techniques to help you dream up a laundry makeover that’s as aesthetically pleasing as the rest of your home. From space-saving and storage ideas to appliance integration, we’ve got you covered.
1. Add colour and pattern in the laundry
Colour, pattern and texture can harmonise in a laundry just like any other room in the house, using wallpaper and window coverings in a similar hue and theme across all sections. Texture-rich laundries will benefit from a simple palette, while more uniform spaces can support more colour. Even a rug on the floor can work, says interior designer Lisa Burdus, whose top tip is to keep surfaces clear. “Ensure what you see from the open door is as neat as possible,” she says.
2. Get the laundry layout right
Where space allows, consider a U-shaped laundry layout, which allows plenty of work space either side of the sink while keeping appliances within reach. Add interest and warmth with colourful paint colours or window dressings.
Studio Trio interior designer Lauren Mahoney says that for an ergonomic laundry of your own, focus on the finer details. “Allow extra depth behind appliances to get a flush finish with the joinery, or the machines will stick out,” advises Lauren. “Add pull-out baskets to hide dirty laundry and, if possible, face the sink to the outside or near a window.”
3. Maximise your laundry storage
It’s amazing what you can fit into a small laundry design. Whether you’ve got a cupboard-sized nook or a converted bedroom space, cut laundry clutter by maximising your storage options,” advises interior designer Anna-Carin McNamara. “Utilising your space doesn’t necessarily mean filling every wall with storage. I’d recommend optimising hanging space so that you have less use of the dryer by allowing room to hang things up and more space for a nice benchtop.”
4. Customise your laundry design
Extend the style of your home into your laundry by choosing tapware and cabinetry hardware to match your kitchen choices. This Sydney laundry (below) by Stritt Design & Construction is pure function. “The laundry incorporates a stacking dryer and washing machine, which allows for ease of access, plenty of bench space for folding and a long hanging rail perfect for hanging freshly ironed clothes,” says Janine Stritt. “A pull-out cupboard below with double hampers is wonderful for sorting washing and to the right of the benchtop is a laundry chute.” Janine likes stacking appliances to free up bench space, or elevating appliances so they can be easily reached, though, there are better-suited laundry design top loader machines will require.
SHOP LAUNDRY BASKETS
5. Small laundry design ideas
The secret to aceing a small-space laundry is spatial planning and careful colour consideration. This space-saving Melbourne laundry (below) by Terri Shannon of Bloom Interior Design & Decoration combines a European design with practical solutions. “Ensure your appliances and sink all fit within the cavity space, and the doors need to fold clear of the work area,” says Terri. “White is always a good all-rounder, and you can add a splash of colour through a gorgeous mosaic tile.”
6. Stamp your style on your laundry
Chloe Brookman, founder of lifestyle brand Olli Ella, channelled much of the brand’s Hygge aesthetic when she renovated her dark and dated 1970s bungalow in Byron Bay. A standout example is the light-filled laundry (below), with its Scandi timber cabinetry, chunky rug, rattan pendant light, plenty of baskets, potted plants and an abundance of shelving to display her flea-market finds. “Our style is unfussy and casual,” says Chloe. To re-create this inviting look, employ the basic principles of Danish hygge interiors, prioritising comfort, cosiness and contentment through the use of texture and treasured possessions.
7. Heated laundry floor
While it might seem like a bit of a splurge, Anna-Carin explains that floor heating is in fact a great ergonomic investment. “Floor heating is a great versatile investment; the subtle heat dries laundry when you hang them up and it also gets rid of that murky damp feeling.”