Laundry Room Must-Haves

laundry room ideas

After 17 years of wife-ing to a man with a dirty job and three boys, I’ve spent a few hours in the laundry room. In our current home when you open the front door, you can see straight through the kitchen into the laundry room. It wasn’t until I was forced with the fact that unless I always closed the door that anyone who came to my door would get to look into our laundry room that I decided to put a little effort into getting it to look more presentable. Surprisingly, after a weekend’s worth of easy, inexpensive work, our laundry room was more user-friendly and even shockingly, a place I didn’t mind to walk into. Or use.

laundry room

Here are my laundry room must haves:


1. Surfaces

You know how once someone buys a minivan with automatic remote control doors they can never go back to regular, old-fashioned open-it-yourself doors? That’s how I feel about having a counter in our laundry room. HOW did we live without one? We have a front loading washer and dryer and I’ve always used the top of them for folding and stacking and cleverly disgusting piles of laundry. But it wasn’t until we installed a counter top that I realized how much space was being wasted. No more unbending hangers to reach that sock that fell behind the machine, now I have vast wall to wall to wall surface coverage–I feel rich with my luxurious laundry counter! No turning back.

laundry room ideas

2. A Hiding Place

Dirty clothes hiding capabilities are very important to me. Simple hampers or a few matching baskets look so much better than random piles of dirty laundry. I’d like to think that I’m a person who wouldn’t ever have piles. I’m pretty sure that person doesn’t exist so why not plan for piles and make them easier to live with? Why did it take me so long to figure that out?

laundry room ideas

3. Lighting

I love pretty window treatments, but in a room where I’m working and looking for stains to spray n’ wash I want to take advantage of every inch of beautiful natural light. My windows are uncovered. Laundry rooms are also a great place to switch out a boring light for lighting with a lot of personality, just make sure you have adequate task lighting.

4. Doors or something equivalent to close so you can forget about the piles of laundry, amen.

laundry room door idea

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What about you, what’s on your laundry room must have list?

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  1. A counter would be so nice. My last house didn’t have on and same thing, socks always falling behind them! I always have to have a place to hang hangers and let my delicate’s dry.

  2. I love my counter space in my laundry room and since my laundry room is also my mudroom, main enterance, catch all the counters and cabinets really come in handy. Afer looking at all the lovely laundry rooms I feel like I need to repaint mine.

  3. My laundry room really has me stumped. It’s on the lower level in a room with NO natural light at all. The floor is concrete, the furnace/water heater/freezer all live in the same room, there is no drywall. The wall behind the washer and dryer is cinder block. The pipes running across the “ceiling” make it so that if we ever did put in a true ceiling, we’d be bumping our heads. The back of the shower in the adjacent bathroom is exposed and visible. The inspector told us when we moved in that we should not put up drywall because the room would not have enough ventilation.

    So, I keep the door closed and try to focus on the fact that we have a working washer and dryer. I guess those are my must-haves.

    • A door is a great must have, sometimes that’s the best you can do :)

    • Michelle says:

      Hi! I’m in a similar situation, only our shower is actually IN the laundry room!!! Still trying to figure out how and what to hide, I am contemplating hanging bamboo blinds to hide furnace (would still allow circulation), water heater is right in front of the shower! Ugh. Have you tested your floor to see if you can paint it? White paint can definitely brighten up a room! If you just cover everything in one color of paint, the pipes and other ‘uglies’ really do disappear and blend into each other. I also have my freezer in there, it is an upright and I painted that with chalkboard paint, which the kids love. I do agree about being thankful for a working washer and dryer! And the door, lol!!

    • BHG has a great idea for you. They hung conduit pipe as a curtain rod all the way around the room and then used outdoor (mildew resistant) fabrics on the rods to make a complete cinderblock hiding surround. They also left the ceiling unfinished and just painted everything white (probably a sprayer would work best for this.) Try this link:

  4. I would LOVE a counter top on my washer and dryer. Funny, I just went back to your post last night trying to figure something out. I am not sure I can just sit something on top of them… and all my hoses/ connectors are right behind them…oh, and a low window on the back wall too! Wish I could attach a pic!

  5. I think what I’m lacking is the whole hiding spot thing! Seems like it’s an endless flow of dirty clothes that end up on the floor, or in baskets and hampers (on the floor). Love the inspiration photos!

  6. A place to hang clothes that cannot be put into the dryer!

  7. Starting with a laundry room would be great! Then, I think a counter or flat surface to fold/iron/pile would be next with a spot for piles that everyone in the household could easily find … ;) (Love all the pictures!)

    • beverly says:

      right there with you! however here in england we call them utility rooms. My washer and dryer is placed inbetween my kitchen cupnoards, so i do have work tops already over them. I don’t really have much space to put laundry stuff, however we do have a downsairs toilet and small lobby area (the space between the toilet door and the kitchen and back door). I was going to put shelves above the toilet to put my detergents and then in the lobby i was going to put up a wall airer/dryer. So that when i have items that can’t be tumbled dried and its raining outside, i can dry them in there! English houses are a bit pants when it comes to storage areas or individual areas like a laundry room.

      • Our laundry is in our kitchen as well. I wouldn’t mind a door to hide the whole hell hole. lol

        But before that our washer and dryer were under the stairs in the living room. So this was a step up.

  8. Thanks! I’ve been in the process of sprucing up my laundry room so this post was right on time! Can I ask… What material did you use for the surface above your washer and dryer?

  9. Space, more space!! With baby #5 on the way, and the fact that I hang most of our clothes to dry, I’d love a bigger work/hanging space. A window would be nice as well as counter top – for sure!! We’ve always loved those barn style sliding doors :)

  10. I don’t have a laundry room right now, but I know when I did counter space and shelving was HUGE.

  11. Allison says:

    Love the counter top idea. What is yours resting on, some kind of wooden or metal braces? Or directly on the machines? Also,how did you fit it around your hoses? These are the obstacles I am facing that have me puzzled!

  12. A big window- I have to have a window in my laundry room.

  13. That little laundry room vignette you got going on is to die for.

  14. I want a counter space so bad. But ive heard such mixed reviews on front loaders, I’m not sure I can make the change. My other problem is I drip dry so much, My drying rack sucks up most of my floor space.

  15. I wish Wilsonart could do a do-over in my laundry room! These are great ideas.

  16. We really need more light in our laundry-closet, which is in a dark hallway.

  17. A space for TRASH!
    I have a small laundry room with no floor space for a trash can. My wonky solution is to hang a gift bag on the door handle so I can throw away dryer lint, new tags, etc. :)

    • We have a little wastebasket that sits right on the counter in our laundry room. It’s about 1/2 the size of a bathroom wastebasket so it doesn’t take up much room. Ours is full of lint and tags, too. :)

  18. Our laundry area is a small pass through from the garage to the kitchen and the washer and dryer face each other. I am grateful for the window and the small cupboard but I would love hamper storage and hanging space. Just not possible :(

  19. Our laundry room is huge. Unfortunately, it is also where we park our vehicles! A laundry room/mudroom would be fabulous, but at least I have some lovely Elfa shelving around my washer and dryer. Shelves are great to have.

  20. My must-haves: Chicken coop thingy for shoes, garish turquoise beaded chandy, lots of vintage horse show ribbons, mis-matched curtain and rug, gigantic still-life oil painting. It is one of my favorite spaces. :)

    • Oil Painting! That’s it! That’s what that space above my freezer needs! Thank You for sharing! Now I know what to be on the look out for! Love that idea!

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