Like paying bills and eating more fiber, laundry is one of the less fun parts of adulting. For this reason, homeowners tend to overlook the laundry room when it comes to design. But a well-conceived laundry room can not only make chores easier to manage but also elicit a smile when it’s time to throw in a load.
“We need to enjoy every space where we live life,” says interior designer Susan Semmelman, owner of Susan Semmelmann Interiors. By personalizing a laundry room with playful elements or elegant upgrades, you can enjoy it as much as the rest of your home, she says.
Of course, laundry rooms come in all sizes, and even larger homes sometimes have the washer and dryer tucked in a nook. We asked several North Texas designers to show off the functional and fabulous laundry spaces they’ve created — small, medium and large — and share tips for making the most of your own available space.
Small laundry rooms with big appeal
Check out these small laundry spaces:
When working in cramped quarters, stacking the washer and dryer is an easy way to gain more space, says Deneé Locke, owner and designer of Inspired Closets Dallas-Fort Worth. Telescoping valet rods to hang clothes straight from the dryer and fold-out ironing boards provide functionality without sacrificing square footage, she adds.
If appliances are side by side, vertical storage solutions can free up room, notes Tara Lenney, owner of Tara Lenney Design. “Paneling, pegs, and additional shelves above the washer and dryer can go a long way to add functionality and style to a smaller space,” she says. Items like detergent, bleach and dryer sheets can be hidden in baskets but should be within easy reach.
A pocket-size laundry room also can let you go a little wild with the design, notes Lenney. “We will often paint the cabinets a bold color or add wallpaper, because the size doesn’t give it a chance to become overwhelming. It’s like a little jewel box, but for laundry,” she says.
Medium laundry rooms that provide space for more amenities
View these medium-sized laundry spaces:
A slightly larger laundry space leaves more room to get creative, with design elements and the amenities.
“I advise starting with function, as that’s the non-negotiable,” says Dallas-based interior designer Noel Pittman. Storage is essential, she notes, including cabinets, drawers, door-mounted racks and built-in laundry hampers to hide cleaning supplies and dirty clothes. Tall cabinets for brooms, mops and vacuums, as well as linens and towels, can turn a simple laundry room into a hub for housekeeping. Counter space is useful for sorting and folding clothes and other tasks, points out designer Kathleen Jacobson, owner of The Couture Closet.
To make doing laundry more pleasant, consider adding charm to the space with simple design touches, like elegant hardware, fabric curtains and greenery, whether real or fake. “We always love to place art in laundry rooms” so the homeowner feels joy when they walk into the space, says Semmelmann. Pretty wallpaper and colorful area rugs also can make a plain space cozy and inviting.
Large laundry rooms that offer extra function (and style)
Find style ideas for big laundry rooms:
If you have the square footage, a laundry room can be useful for more than washing clothes — and add significant wow factor to a home. “A laundry room can be a multi-functional unique space that can work very hard for a family,” says Locke. “It just needs to be designed correctly.”
A large sink is useful for handwashing delicates or presoaking soiled garments, and it’s also a convenient place for kids to put muddy shoes or smelly sports gear, says Lenney. “It’s also an ideal spot for washing out paint brushes or dumping out gross mop water away from your kitchen,” she says, adding, “If you switch your mindset from ‘laundry sink’ to ‘utility sink,’ you may find infinitely more uses.” A roomy sink can also be used for bathing pets. If you have enough square footage, you could even install a dedicated dog shower.
Meanwhile, consider extending counters or putting in an island to provide larger work surfaces for wrapping presents, sewing, repotting houseplants — any job that requires room to spread out.
Similarly, extra cabinets can come in handy for items purchased in bulk, arts and crafts supplies, sports equipment, or pet food. The laundry room can even function as a small home office by adding a desk, and LED lights under cabinets can brighten up the space, says Jacobson.
Even a utility space can be beautiful
Homeowners sometimes put the laundry room low on their design list to save money, notes Christina Garcia Lysaught, who leads the team of design professionals at Layered Dimensions Interior Design in Dallas. “In my opinion, it’s an opportunity to be creative,” she says. “A lot of time is spent in the laundry room, so I encourage my clients not to be afraid of using their imagination to make it their own.”
Adds Lenney, “When we can infuse some happiness into otherwise mundane chores like laundry or doing the dishes, we’re in a small way inviting ourselves to enjoy our lives just a little bit more.”