Laundry room ideas so often get overlooked when it comes to designing a home's layout, yet with a little planning and consideration, this is one room that can really make a huge difference to everyday life.
While there is usually great thought that goes into utility room ideas and, increasingly, into boot rooms, a room that is dedicated to getting dirty laundry clean and dry often gets left out — yet this is one space that can really help when it comes to the smooth running of our busy lifestyles.
Rather than relying on a guest bedroom, setting up clothes horses in the corners of living spaces or draping soggy items of clothing over all your radiators, it is far better to design in a room dedicated to the task of soaking, washing, airing and drying your washing.
Take a look at our round up of some of the best laundry room ideas around.
How are laundry room ideas different to utility rooms?
Although there are some similarities between utility rooms and laundry rooms, there are also some key differences that it can help to be aware of.
While it is true that the majority of utility rooms house large sinks, washing machines and tumble dryers, it can be hard to find space in them for the other items that make dedicated laundry rooms so very useful.
Space for drying and airing racks, cupboards for laundry liquids, stain removers and so on and plenty of pegs and rails for hanging up clothes are all staples in a laundry room — as is good ventilation if you don't want to find yourself battling condensation or damp in the room.
1. Include a hanging rail and access to outdoors
Practical rooms, such as laundry rooms, utility rooms and the best boot room ideas, need to be planned meticulously right down to the last detail in order to really justify themselves and their role in the home.
Think really carefully about how you want to be able to use your laundry room — how much washing do you have? Can many of your clothes go in the tumble dryer or will you need plenty of hanging racks? Do you frequently hand wash items? The answers to these kinds of questions should form the basis of the plans for your room.
In this laundry room, which features a selection of units from Benchmarx Kitchens, a large Butler sink sees to the hand washing, a useful rail under the wall units allows clothes to air dry and a door to the garden makes taking washing outside to dry simple.
2. Use a combination of open and closed units
Certain items in your laundry room require easy access when used more frequently — in particular the appliances. However, you will also probably want to avoid too many open-fronted units when it comes to keeping your cleaning products hidden if you want the space to maintain a sense of order. There is no reason why built-in storage ideas have to be completely enclosed.
In this smart pink laundry room scheme, open-fronted units have been used for the washing machine and tumble dryer, with shelves for handy baskets above. Elsewhere, Shaker-style cupboard fronts conceal any clutter while a really useful unit with cut-outs for light and dark items of dirty laundry has also been included.
3. Ensure there is a place for everything
Practical spaces need to be highly organised if they are to enable the smooth running of day-to-day life. This is where it will really pay off to write a comprehensive list of everything you want to store in the room, as well as all the tasks you want to undertake in there. Just as when planning out utility room storage ideas, once you have this list, you will form a good idea of all the kinds of storage items and the number and size of cupboards you will require.
This fantastically well-equipped laundry room features a wide range of containers, boxes and baskets — all from Orthex Group. Note too the taller units for hanging larger items of laundry, such as bedding, out to dry or air.
4. Make practical finishes and fittings a priority
Any self-respecting laundry room needs to be kitted out with practical finishes in order to function well and to be easy to keep clean and maintain. When choosing types of flooring, do look out for materials that are non-slip, durable and water-resistant. The same goes for work surface materials.
In this bright laundry room, Tarkett Starfloor Retro Luxury Vinyl flooring from Carpetright has been fitted. The useful clothes drying rack can be winched up out of the way — a handy feature to consider including in your own space.
5. Include a few boot room ideas
In reality we don't all have the free space to include utility, boot and laundry rooms into our homes, as nice as that may be.
In this case, think about how you could combine elements of each into your laundry room — basing your design on how you need the space to work.
In this gorgeous pink room, a tall shoe and boot storage unit sits between the laundry side of the space, while to the other side lies something more akin to a boot room, complete with a cosy space for the dog to snooze after a long walk. The flooring is Valamara Oak Wide Plank laminate from The Wood Flooring Co.
6. Keep it smart with fitted furniture
Just because your laundry room might not be a space in which you will be entertaining guests, that doesn't mean it shouldn't be smart and stylish — after all, many of us spend a considerable amount of time sorting out dirty laundry.
This space, by Higham Furniture, features a deep Belfast sink, painted Shaker units, a sizeable wicker laundry basket and shelving, along with a stacked washer and dryer. There is also a drying rack attached higher up which can be lowered as needed.
7. Discover the benefits of a first floor laundry room
Why are laundry rooms almost always located on the ground floor? In many cases it can make much more sense to site them upstairs. After all, it is commonly in the rooms of the upper floors that dressing and undressing takes place — plus the wardrobes and airing cupboard are also usually positioned here too.
If you are able to design a laundry room into your first floor layout, it may well make more sense — no more lugging the washing basket up and down the stairs and less excuses for leaving dirty clothes strewn over bedroom floors.
8. Install a large sink and lots of hooks and rails
A large, deep sink is a must-have item in a laundry room. Whether or not you plan on carrying out lots of hand washing, these types of sink allow for stained items to be soaked which can be such a help.
While there are stainless steel and composite sinks that come in roomy designs that would most certainly do the job, Butler and Belfast sinks are the traditional choice. But what is a Belfast sink? Like Butler sinks, these are very deep and are made of white ceramic fireclay.
In this laundry room, featuring a washing machine from Fisher & Paykel, there is a classic Butler sink, along with highly practical hooks along the wall for hanging a range of useful items.
9. Create a two-in-one laundry boot room
If you prefer the idea of a space that combines the benefits of both a boot room as well as a laundry room, then aim to organise then space into zones, each with a dedicated use.
In this room, the design of the bench/storage unit creates a clear divide between the boot room and the laundry space that sits adjacent to it. The flooring is Mirabell Oak No-Vinyl Tile from The Wood Flooring Co.. It is 100% waterproof making it ideal for this kind of area of the home.
10. Remember that laundry rooms can be compact
If you are struggling for space, do remember that there is no need for a laundry room to be huge or to eat up all of your living space — when designed well, just in the same way as the best small utility room ideas, the laundry room can offer everything you need without taking up precious floor space.
In this compact laundry room, by Olive & Barr, all the staples are taken care of — a tall unit provides plenty of space for storing products and equipment, a high-level hanging rail takes care of clothes that need hanging to air or dry and an extra-deep sink has also been incorporated.
11. Turn doing laundry from a chore into a pleasure
While you might not necessarily wake up looking forward to washing all the dirty laundry that seems to have appeared from nowhere overnight, there are ways to make the whole task a little more pleasurable — and much of that could lie in the room you have to spend time in to get the job done.
Take inspiration from this gorgeous space, featuring pretty wallpaper from Studio Le Cocq. ‘The Lost Garden’ is their wild botanical chintz-inspired wallpaper from the ‘British Biophilia’ Collection. A window overlooking the garden further enhances the overall feeling of wellbeing that this room exudes.
12. Keep a lid on costs with a mix-and-match approach
While fitted units and marble worktops might look smart and stylish, it is understandable that for many people, parting with too much money in order to kit out their laundry room might not be very appealing. Fear not though, you can still create a useful and attractive space in which to do the laundry without spending a fortune — you just need to be a little more creative.
In this room, a freestanding sink unit has been fitted with a curtain below to hide clutter, while a selection of mix-and-mach storage items have been brought together to offer a place for everything.
13. Turn to handy gadgets to save on space
Do take the time to seek out space-saving items when kitting out your laundry room — not only will it help make the most of the space you have available, but it will also help to keep the room organised.
Wall storage and hanging racks and pegs keep work surfaces and the floorspace free so be on particular lookout for these.
This drying rack is the Chalford Wall Dryer from Garden Trading. Costing £110, it is made from beech and galvanised steel and features three height options. It folds flat after use to conveniently conserve space.
What is the best way to ventilate a laundry room?
Many people ask 'does a utility room need an extractor fan?' but this is also a question you should be considering when designing a laundry room.
Just as with utility room, if your laundry room will contain a sink, washing machine, tumble dryer or any other kind of appliance that will produce moisture, then it will need to comply with the regulations relating to ventilation — namely Approved Document F.
Whether you provide ventilation with an openable window, a trickle vent or air brick or an extractor fan, make sure you explore the options.
Is a dehumidifier a good idea in a laundry room?
In short, yes, the best dehumidifiers can really make a huge difference to how well a laundry room performs. Not only do dehumidifiers control excess moisture in a room, avoiding issues with condensation and damp, but they can also help speed up the drying time of laundry.
Look for a dehumidifier with a 'laundry mode' or 'clothes drying mode.' On these settings, a dehumidifier will work to filter out moisture and blow it back out at a warmer temperature.
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Natasha is Homebuilding & Renovating’s Associate Content Editor and has been a member of the team for over two decades. An experienced journalist and renovation expert, she has written for a number of homes titles. Over the years Natasha has renovated and carried out a side extension to a Victorian terrace. She is currently living in the rural Edwardian cottage she renovated and extended on a largely DIY basis, living on site for the duration of the project. She is now looking for her next project — something which is proving far harder than she thought it would be.