Do you dream of having a dedicated space to get your whites and darks on? Whether it's a standalone utility nook nestled beyond the kitchen or a cozy under the stairs setup, get creative and think outside of the closet when it comes to small laundry room ideas. Contrary to what you might think, you don't need to have tons of space to realize your laundry room of dreams.
Nailing the perfect laundry room idea does take some thought, especially when space is limited. How should the white goods be laid out? How can we make the best use of space to maximize functionality whilst utilizing off-the-floor storage solutions? How should we organize our space to create a zen den that's also pleasing to the eye?
Small laundry room ideas that bubble-up on space
Becky Martin, interior design leader at IKEA (opens in new tab) says, 'Homes come in a whole range of wonderful shapes and sizes, and sometimes spaces can seem too small or awkward to make full use of. But with clever space-saving ideas, the dream of having a laundry room can become a reality, even in small spaces.'
There are in fact tons of ways to banish your laundry and all its paraphernalia to even the tightest of closets. Don't believe us? Just keep reading...
1. Utilize storage on every level with integrated storage solutions
Make every inch count in your small space with laundry room storage ideas that free up precious floor area for ironing and drying. Include built-in cubby holes for shoes (if your space doubles up as a combo mudroom laundry space); caddies, baskets, and storage jars on the counter for smaller washroom essentials, and an integrated rail to hang freshly pressed shirts above the counter. Install a handy rail on a cupboard to hang towels or cloths.
In a nutshell, Integrated storage solutions will make the best use of space, keeping all wash day essentials on hand but safely out of reach from pets and young children.
2. Brighten up a small, windowless space with patterned wallpaper
No natural light? No problem. Breathe fresh air into your small laundry space with a modern, nature-inspired wallpaper design, that blossoms playful pattern and color. If you’re renting and after an easy DIY update, try Chasing Paper's fun and innovative peel-and-stick wallpaper designs (opens in new tab), for added flexibility.
Elizabeth Rees, co-founder, Chasing Paper (opens in new tab), comments: ‘One of my favorite ways to make a laundry room look thoughtful and design-forward is by installing peel-and-stick wallpaper! In a matter of hours, you can simply peel, stick and adhere the panels (without an interior designer or contractor) for a huge impact.’
She continues: ‘If the space is small and has no windows, try using a subtle, light-colored print to brighten up the space without the need of natural light.’
3. Try a space-saving pull out ironing board
Max out functionality and storage space with a fold-out ironing board and pull-out drawers. This over-the-door ironing board (opens in new tab), from Honey-Can-Do, is a compact solution that saves you wrestling with a freestanding design every time you want to wrangle it out of storage.
Kim Emery, owner and designer, Clipper City House (opens in new tab), advises: ‘Add a drawer pull-out ironing board. A space-saving drawer organizer is so functional in a small laundry room. Pull it out when it's in use and put it away when you're done.’
4. Create a bijoux space with fitted furniture
Luxury kitchen designers Brandt Design (opens in new tab) advise: ‘Fitted furniture is definitely your best solution if working with a more compact arrangement, as it allows you to integrate a range of appliances and custom storage options to suit the space in question like the elevated laundry combo, as pictured.
‘By choosing a Shaker-inspired furniture range, Brandt has created depth in this galley-style kitchen and its choice of rich mid-gray cabinetry adds a timeless quality that is accentuated by the natural daylight and well-considered task lighting.’
5. Max out natural daylight with a window or skylight
By design, laundry rooms often don’t include a window and are prone to being stuffy, humid, and cramped spaces. If feasible, installing a window or skylight to flood your space with natural daylight, whilst allowing fresh air to ventilate, is a practical small utility room idea that will save money on energy bills.
6. Go for a wall dryer
Utilize wall space and free-up floor space with a versatile wall dryer that will help you reduce your carbon footprint whilst saving money on electricity bills. Organize a laundry room like an expert and choose a design that features different height options, and folds flat after use to conserve space.
Prevent any clumsy tripping over freestanding models, and introduce a permanent solution for laundry, not to mention an environmentally friendly alternative to using the tumble dryer, with Pulley Maid’s (opens in new tab) selection of wooden drying racks and clothes airers.
7. Transform even the tiniest of spaces into a small laundry room
The alcove/niche/cabinet you can fit a laundry room into can be super narrow if you only want to house a washer and dryer.
'Start by thinking about lesser-used corners that you could re-purpose, like hallway closets and any space under the stairs, which are perfect to get organized and keep all your cleaning and laundry solutions in one place.' Becky Martin explains.
'Using modular, wall-mounted storage like IKEA’s BOAXEL (opens in new tab) system gives ultimate flexibility for shelves, baskets and even hanging clothes to dry, and can be used under sloping ceilings, so you can use every available area.'
A great small laundry room idea is to pack all your storage on the wall above your washing machine so you don't take up any of the limited floor space. Add a curtain to hide all that clutter.
8. Put a small laundry room under the stairs
The space below the stairs in the hallway is usually a decent enough size to house at least a washing machine and perhaps even a condensing dryer, too.
Maximize the space with a small utility sink, a ventilated hanging area for drying or airing clothes, and plenty of stack space for folded clothes.
Doors can be left open while you're out or you can invest in a small dehumidifier to keep the area dry...
If you would rather keep your space for storage, consider a plethora of under stair storage ideas for loads more inspiration.
9. Create a laundry closet in the kitchen
Not just a great way to get the washing machine out of sight, a floor-to-ceiling closet or cabinet in a corner of your kitchen is a practical small laundry room idea too, allowing you to stash everything from appliances to hanging space to the ironing board in one compact area.
Or if you have a top load washing machine, give it its own space in your kitchen by using a partition to house all your laundry essentials. Better still, consider a space-saving integrated washing machine, and tackle laundry mountains with a single appliance that does the work of two - sound familiar?!
10. Create a larger laundry space behind double doors
If you have the room you could create a whole (but still tiny) laundry space behind a closet with double doors. We love this idea of hiding an entire laundry room, not just for your appliances, but an area to fold and store your washing too, in a shallow closet. To create a space to fold clothes and house detergent, add a simple countertop over a front-loading washing and dryer, and add some shelves above.
Once you are done you just close the doors and no one needs to know it's there.
11. Add a small laundry room in a hall closet
Got some space to spare in your hallway upstairs? It's the perfect place for a small laundry room because all the laundry stays upstairs, all the time (except when you're wearing it), plus you can have it built with some stud partitions at a very affordable price.
Ensure you choose a quiet washing machine if you're putting a machine upstairs, have children, and tend to do laundry at night. Otherwise, do it while you're out.
12. Move a small laundry room to the bathroom
Why not make like the Europeans and put your laundry area in a larger bathroom?
Becky Martin explains more, 'Traditionally laundry rooms are downstairs, but when we visit our customers’ homes we often see laundry areas incorporated upstairs.'
'Organized linen closets can be repurposed to keep laundry all in one place, and with them often being located near bathrooms, adding plumbing might not be as complicated as you think.' It makes perfect sense: it's often where the laundry basket's kept; plumbing and drainage in place. What's not to like?
13. Hide the laundry room in your bedroom closet
You get dressed and undressed in your bedroom, so why not? Got a walk-in closet? Even better. Just ensure ventilation is really good so that drying clothes doesn't cause a damp atmosphere that the rest of your wardrobe won't thank you for.
14. Tuck it under the basement stairs
Finishing your basement? Why not copy this small laundry room idea and design space under the new stairs to hide the laundry?
The associated costs will be minimal and even the smallest of spaces, like this one, can make for good laundry space. Our preference would be for some doors to hide it away, though...
15. Hide a small laundry room behind sliding doors
Got a niche for a small laundry room but no space for doors to open out or fold back against the wall.
Take inspiration from this small laundry room idea and instead of resigning yourself to an on-show utility, put sliding doors right across the front, just like Instagrammer The House in the Hollow (opens in new tab).
16. Think about ergonomics when designing a small laundry room
If you're thinking of adding your washer-dryer setup to built-in cabinetry, placing the appliances off the floor in a sturdily built frame will mean you don't have to bend every time you load and unload it. Pull-out shelf for the basket beneath? Don't mind if we do.
17. Try a DIY small laundry room idea
If you are just after a space in your home to store your laundry, do the ironing, and fold your clothes, maybe you don't need built-in cabinets or secret sliding doors.
Create a workstation from the furniture you already have, stash some laundry baskets underneath, add some pretty wall-shelves for your detergent and whatnot, and there you go: a makeshift mini 'laundry room'.
18. Make space for a small laundry room in your pantry
Lucky enough to have a pantry in your home? Why not see if you can squeeze a small laundry room in there? One side for dry food and one side for your washing machine and dryer?
Max out on valuable storage and stay organized with amazing pantry shelving ideas for small or large walk-in spaces.
19. Create a small laundry room with open shelving
Maybe your floor space is at a premium and you just don't think you have the space to build cabinetry or you're not lucky enough to have a pantry to house a DIY laundry station.
Why not take inspiration from open kitchen shelving ideas and use wall space to store all your laundry clutter and accessories, ideally close to your washing machine.
String Furniture (opens in new tab)'s co-owner Peter Erlandsson says, 'A simple wall-mounted storage unit can solve all your problems. Placed above the sink or by the washing machine, the shelving collection maximizes your space throughout the home.'
20. Get a laundry cart
Another space-saving laundry room idea if you live in a close-quarters is to buy a slim trolley cart for all your laundry accessories and neatly tuck it away by your washing machine when not in use. This IKEA trolley is as compact as they come.
Experts at IKEA say, 'Make smart storage out of a small space with the help of JONAXEL (opens in new tab) frame and mesh baskets. It’s narrow and can fit in many places, and the castors make it easy to pull out when you need a clear overview.'
21. Use baskets and boxes to hide laundry room clutter
Clutter builds up and in a small space, it can get you down and make the laundry room downright unusable. Tap into small space storage ideas to make a tiny room feel bigger. A failsafe option to put order into mayhem is by adding neat baskets and boxes to house all the accessories.
Experts at Garden Trading (opens in new tab) say, 'Even though it’s the hardest-working room of the house, your utility space need not look like this is the case.'
'Create rules for where things live with smaller storage boxes which can be stacked one on top of each other to make the most of shelf space.'
22. Include a laundry room sink
If you're dealing with a small space, chances are you have also got fairly limited work space.
Cabinet laundry room sinks are great for compact spaces as the closed cabinetry is a nifty storage nook for laundry essentials.
How do you set up a small laundry room?
Graeme Smith, head of retail and commercial design, Life Kitchens (opens in new tab), comments: 'How much space is needed to build a utility room can vary from a whole room to just over a meter of space. Even under the stairs can be a great place to lodge washing machines or dryers. To gain a full room space around 2m square would give you enough room to create a practical utility.'
'It is not at all always necessary to extend a home to create space for a utility room. You can fit a utility room into the corner of the dining space – or as I mentioned above under the stairs for washing machines or dryers.'
How can I maximize my tiny laundry room?
Experts at Brandt Design advise:
1. Fold-out ironing boards and pull-out drawers will help to maximize every inch of storage space, as will open shelving for storing laundry baskets and everyday linens and towels
2. Think about the extra savings at the design phase and upgrade to eco-friendly appliances, which will save you time and money by reducing your level of energy and water consumption
3. Choose an extra deep sink that will accommodate more cumbersome tasks like pot washing through to soaking and hand-washing your delicates’
4. Double up with a twin set of appliances so you can get your laundry washed and dry in half the time and if you don’t have the space, consider up to a 9kg drum which is ideal for average family-sized loads