Your laundry area, whether it’s a tiny cupboard or a corner of the kitchen, can actually be a happy place and experts Jessica Centella and Kiera Kushlan of Residents Understood encourage people to think about laundry spaces like they do the rest of the rooms in the home.
Laundry rooms are often small spaces where you can express your personality with a bit of bold wallpaper and some unexpected flooring. While designers and organisers are coming up with new ways to make the most of these spaces, appliance manufacturers are rolling out features to make washers and dryers more efficient and better-looking.
“Our lives are so busy, but we still have to do our mundane household tasks,” says interior designer Glenna Stone.
Here are some ways to refresh, energise and bring joy to the place where you wash your socks.
Tile the floors
“Tiling is the best pick for a high-moisture environment such as a laundry room. Porcelain in particular is extremely water-durable,” Centella says.
Patterned floor tile is definitely having a moment. Stone likes porcelain and ceramic tile for floors because they offer a lot of colour and pattern options.
Cement tile is another option, she says, but beware because cement might have to be re-sealed frequently in high-traffic areas.
Stuart Nordin, a designer, says you can never go wrong with classic white tiles, even if it’s just for a backsplash: “It elevates the overall look of a room and adds another layer of dimension and interest.”
Designer Josh Hildreth says old concrete floors in laundry rooms can be made less dungeon-like by stencilling them, if you’re DIY-inclined.
If not, just giving them a coat of fresh paint can be life-changing.
Have fun with the walls
Don’t just paint the walls white. Wallpaper can turn a tiny room into pure eye candy.
If you worry about the humidity in your laundry space, try removable wallpapers that are budget-friendly and easy to take down.
“Even if you only have one small strip of wall between cabinetry, a great paper with personality will make it feel fresh and fun.”
Designer Sheila Bridges is a big fan of using wallpaper for impact.
“One of my favourite things to do in a small laundry room is to install a bright and cheery wipeable wallpaper. There is no reason to make doing laundry a chore, even if your laundry room is in a basement.”
Hildreth sometimes takes a hint from old British manor houses when designing laundry spaces. Such details would include adding traditional beadboard or wainscotting to dress up and protect walls.
And look for big wicker baskets, he says, as opposed to using plastic laundry bins.
Accessorise with storage
Speaking of laundry baskets, could yours use replacing? Bridges likes baskets for detergent and laundry made of various materials including seagrass and recycled plastic. She’s also fond of using indoor/outdoor rugs that are washable or wipeable and won’t get damaged if they get wet.
“Go for anything that makes laundry less of a chore,” says Meg Wittman, a Neat Method professional organiser.
Centella loves using trays to help corral supplies. “Even a bunch of ugly soap bottles can look more contained and pretty on a nice tray,” she says.
She often uses a flip-down wall hook, which folds down to provide a spot to dry delicates or hang clothes and can be folded up when not in use.