Laundry room design ideas for a functional space

a laundry room featuring navy cabinetry and a wink with brass tap

OK, so ‘laundry room design ideas’ isn’t the most exciting topic, I know. At least it certainly isn’t in my house where the laundry basket never stays empty for more than five minutes. Just when you think you’ve finally reached the bottom, more appears… anyone else? But although a totally tiresome chore, I can definitely see the benefit of having a laundry room. It’s a dedicated place to keep things in order (or shut away said overflowing basket…).

Laundry room design ideas are important though, as laundry rooms are growing in popularity. I’ve also heard many designers say there’s merit in having one upstairs. (Or wherever your bedrooms and bathrooms are.) It reduces the distance you have to go to pop a wash on and then put everything away again. But most UK homes have them downstairs, off the kitchen or hall. Often also referred to as the utility room.

But a utility room usually functions as overflow storage for the kitchen as well as to house a washer and dryer. However, a laundry room is designed solely for laundry and ironing.

I was chatting to @kbbmagazine journo Jill Morgan about the growth in demand for laundry rooms. So she went off and spoke to those who know a thing or two about designing these spaces.

Here are Jill’s tips on creating the perfect organised laundry room…

First off, why are laundry room design ideas useful?

At the very least it takes pressure off a busy kitchen, freeing up valuable under-counter space for storage or appliances. While finding a suitable area may require creative thinking, or even a small extension, it will quickly prove invaluable. It will help you to speed through chores and keep a well-organised home. Even if you sometimes decide to shut the door on those full baskets for another day – which we all totally do!

a white laundry room featuring purple flowers, a washing machine with an open door, several wicker baskets, a sink with silver tap and a window
Laundry room design ideas: Even the narrowest of spaces can become a smart and practical laundry room. Chichester cabinetry from £380, Ashcroft Basket £50, Stratton Step Stool, £320, Neptune.

How to find the space

Water supply, good drainage and electricity are all essential for a working laundry room. So, depending on the space, you may need to extend or reroute some of these services.

As drainage is the most expensive and disruptive to alter, it makes sense to locate a laundry room as near to an outside drain or existing waste pipe as possible. A good plumber will be able to extend or alter existing pipework to the requirements.

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Does a laundry room need windows?

Proper ventilation should also be top of any list, as these spaces are quick to get steamy. A steady, natural airflow will help dry clothes and avoid a build-up of damp and mould. An opening window is the most obvious answer, plus there’s
the bonus of daylight, but fitting an extractor and a dehumidifier will also reduce moisture levels.

twin washer dryers, a white Belfast sink with brass tap, navy cabinetry, a wooden worktop and white metro tiles
Laundry room design ideas: This striking laundry room means business with its twin washer dryers, open shelving and laundry chute leading straight from a bedroom above. Designed by Martin Moore, where kitchens start from £35,000.

Make sure there are plenty of plugs

Sufficient power sockets are a must, so be sure to have them installed where you plan to have the washing machine and tumble dryer. Remember that any extractor will also need power. Add a few extra sockets at worksurface
height for the iron, and any extras such as a radio.

Don’t forget a sink

No laundry room is complete without a sink, so if you can, include one in your plans, even if it’s compact. A space for rinsing, draining or refilling the iron will save you trips to the kitchen or bathroom. Position it next to the washing
machine if possible, so the waste pipes can be neatly routed alongside each other, and go for a built-in drainer, too.

a laundry room with a washing machine, a tumble dryer, dark wood cabinetry and brass profiles
Laundry room design ideas: For a space-saving solution, stack your washing machine and tumble dryer – but make swure you use a stacking kit. Then hide them in a cabinet for a sleek look. Laundry rooms from Kitchen Architecture start from £20,000.

And storage

Storage is absolutely key. Laundry essentials such as detergents, baskets and the iron and board take up space, plus you may decide to keep bulky items such as bedding and towels in there, too. As well as bulk buy your detergents.

Think carefully about how much space the laundry basket, detergents, ironing pile and more take up and try and divide the scheme accordingly.

pull-out wash baskets in navy Shaker cabinetry, a brass tap in an undercounted sink, and a hanging rail with wooden hangers and clothes
Laundry room design ideas: Compact and streamlined, this classy laundry room from Benchmarx Kitchens includes handy hanging space, pull-out wash baskets and concealed appliances. Prices start Cambridge Midnight Blue from around £1,700 for an eight-unit design.

A separate washing machine and dryer will help you speed through laundry, but can take up precious floor area. Tall, floor-to-ceiling appliance housings make it easier to stack the washing machine and tumble dryer and most feature a handy shelf for your basket to make transferring garments between the two a little easier. This will help leave the rest of the room clear for other storage units, the sink, worktop space and even open shelving.

A hanging rail or airer is useful, too. Ideal for keeping ironing pristine or to put rain-soaked kit, fit a fixed rail
underneath high wall units or above the sink and drainer.

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Alternatively, go for a ceiling-hung and pulley-operated ‘Sheila’, which can be easily raised or lowered as required, or a wall-mounted concertina-style airer.

a laundry room with a wooden plank floor, twin sinks, chrome taps, a round mirror, taupe cabinetry, a washing machine and two rattan baskets
Laundry room design ideas: With a handy shelf that pulls out at waist height, the Blum Shelf Lock system makes transferring basket loads of laundry easy peasy.

Add space for the ironing board

Ironing boards tend to be a common storage quandry, so why not opt for a built-in version that will swing out and be ready to use in seconds? Many kitchen company’s offer ingenious concealed designs that can be hidden behind cabinetry or beneath an extra work surface, often with its own power socket too.

an ironing board housed in oak cabinetry with a washing machine and tumble dryer and several accessories
Laundry room design ideas: A well-ordered laundry room is still possible, even on a more compact scale. With this partitioned cupboard with pocket door. Cucina Colore’s Futura Utility area in Springfield Light Oak and Oxidised Amber, price on application, from Mereway Kitchens.

Laundry room design ideas: Have fun with the décor

There seems to be a split of opinion with some homeowners seeing the new room as an opportunity to try something new and daring, while others are a little more restrained.

You may prefer to replicate the look of your kitchen in the laundry room, including the same worktop and colour scheme, or you may like to make subtle changes to features such as the handles or colour of the tap and sink, while keeping the same overall style, for example.

a laundry room with pastel pink cabinetry, silver handles, a washing machine, a tumble dryer, and two bunches of white tulips in a white undercounted sink with chrome tap
Laundry room design ideas: A tall cupboard is a must in any laundry room. Not just space for an ironing board, it’s great for storing the vacuum and cleaning essentials, too. Harvey Jones‘ Linear Range kitchens start from £20,000.

An affordable and planet-friendly option is to use units from your old kitchen in the laundry room if the carcasses are of good quality. You can easily update the doors for a new look if needed.

For worktops, you might have invested in a real stone or composite in the main kitchen, so could replicate the look
with good-quality laminate or granite in your new room. This is a cost-effective, but design-savvy way to keep the two schemes connected.

If flow isn’t such a concern, create a design that you love with colour, pattern and alternative materials and finishes. Why not try a bold shade for the cabinetry with statement tiles? Or colourful vinyl flooring? You could even
experiment with a braver décor – since it’s a small space, changing it again won’t take too much work.

Who knew laundry room design ideas could be so fun?

white Shaker panelled doors hiding a washer and dryer in a laundry room
Laundry room design ideas: Stacking appliances is a great way to maximise space in a compact room. Go for quiet designs and hide them behind panelled doors and you’ll never know they’re there. This scheme was designed by Naked Kitchens, priced from £20,000.

Now you have lots of laundry room ideas, come this way for laundry tips.

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