Laundry Renovations

Makeover masterclass: Simple tips for a bold laundry

A bevy of experts weigh in on the latest in modern laundry design
Louise Roche

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.

Laundry design ideas
(Credit: Louise Roche)

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.”

Contemporary laundry hanging rack
(Credit: Nat Spadavecchia)

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.

Pale blue laundry hanging rail stacked washer dryer
This hard-working hanging rail was designed to hang laundry and the ironing, while a nearby wall hook is idea for a hand towel. (Credit: Simon Whitbread) (Credit: Photographer: Simon Whitbread)

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.”

white laundry in cupboard with bifold doors
“The bi-fold door and monochrome palette is the hero,” says Terri. “We also installed a hamper drawer, which is great for storing washing.” (Credit: Armelle Habib)

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.

Scandi-style plywood laundry
A woven Freedom pendant light, soft furnishings, display shelving and large windows with a garden outlook makes this laundry feel more like an extension of the living zone than a work space. (Credit: Maree Homer)

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.”

Pale blue laundry with drying racks
(Credit: Chris Warnes)

Shop laundry baskets


Joseph Joseph ‘Tota’ laundry separation basket

$189.95, Myer

What lies beneath the sleek lines of this clever laundry hamper is a foolproof system of laundry handling. Take the guess work out of whether or not you have enough for a load by sorting your darks and lights directly into their designated baskets after wearing and, you are literally… sorted!

Key features:

  • Handy carry handles to remove baskets and take straight to the washing machine
  • Stylish, seamless outer
  • 2 x 45 litre fabric tote bags


Large floor basket

$224.96, Hardtofind

This big boy basket is handsome enough for your bedroom, bathroom or to make your laundry decor pop! Strong rope handles mean you can take it room-to-room with ease or leave it in the laundry to catch everyone’s dirty washing in one place.

Key features:

  • Large size H45 x D40cm
  • Made from 100% cotton rope for hard-wearing use
  • Free delivery to Australia in 2-7 days (untracked)
laundry basket


Kendrick laundry basket in Natural

$74.99, Adairs

Merging the classic old-school laundry basket with a modern aesthetic, then Kendrick is part of a wider basket range from Adairs for a cohesive look to storage throughout your entire home. For a coastal look, choose the neutral paper weave or bring your laundry to life with crisp white or striking black – also available in the same collection.

Key features:

  • Large size H52 x D30 x W30cm
  • Study built with handles built into the frame and reinforced with stylish timber detail
  • Matching washing basket and extra large divided laundry basket in range.


Wire laundry hamper cabinet

$39, Target

Key features:

This tidy but mighty laundry station might be the affordable answer to your dirty washing dilemma. Great for a small laundry, the dual polyester bags allow for sorting as you go in clever tilting bays. A shelf on top will hold washing powder and pegs, or provide a folding surface for clean washing. Genius!

  • Compact size H67 x D33 x W70cm
  • Powder-coated white frame with removable liners
  • Wall fixings included for added safety
Herman laundry basket


Ferm Living ‘Herman’ laundry basket

$174.25, Finnish Design Shop

A classic minimal line meets the utmost practicality in this namesake from the Danish design office Herman Studio. Perfect for a Scandi-style home, or for a minimal, contemporary look to avoid a cluttered laundry or bathroom space where dirty washing collects. There’s also a cute magazine rack to match!

Key features:

  • Large size H65 x D40 x W50cm
  • Powder-coated black frame with 100% cotton canvas bag and leather string detail
  • Designed with sustainability in mind for a long life.

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