My Renovation: The Laundry Room

We embark on our addition in the next week and one of the things I am so excited about is not having to go down to the icky basement to do laundry- because I’m gettin’ a laundry room, y’all! Now, this magnificent laundry room is the tiniest laundry room ever, but you know what? To me it’s life-changing! And I plan to trick out this little space so it’s a happy place to do a load of wash. Here’s the little drawing: laundry

Of course I’ve been looking for inspiration and come across some BANANAS laundry rooms- like this one. Which is the size of my kitchen (maybe bigger):


I love the wood shelves and counters in this one!

GLORIOUS. Clean and crisp just like I like my whites.

69366e2cc87f711309e362979624bfa8 That wallpaper KILLS me. So good! And I love the neat and tidy organization (and lovely little touches like art and flowers) in the one at right.

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I mean, really? This is just too much! The grey Dutch door…the fun ceiling…. the marble… the sink and valance….


Can a laundry room get more stylish and adorable???


Not all drop-dead laundry rooms have to be HUGE though! This one tucked into a closet in a bathroom is stunning and streamlined!


I love the touches here- a great light fixture, curtains to cover the machines, the mirror and rug? This is how you make the most of your space on a budget!


How about the tile back splash and cabinetry inside this closet laundry space?


I’ve posted this one before from Bijou & Boheme- DROP. DEAD. AWESOME. It’s almost too good- I can barely stand it!


A bead board wall treatment painted dark grey makes for a lovely backdrop!


Here are my plans for my own new laundry room- tiny spaces are a great place to use wallpaper (kinder on your budget because you don;t need much) and add impact to an oft-forgotten space. gateslaundryroom 1. My dream is to use this Katie Ridder wallpaper that I’ve used for clients and have always wanted for myself. We’ll see if the budget allows it!

2.  The upper wall shelves (I’m thinking two simple bracket-less shelves) will be white MDF.

3. The countertop above the front-loader machines will be IKEA butcher block.

4. / 5. / 6. I love these beautifully bottled all natural spray starch, garment groom and bleach alternative (which has GREAT reviews!)

7. The floor tile I’m using throughout the laundry and mudroom/pantry- under $6 a square foot- from Tile Showcase.

8. On the wall opposite the machines I’ll put in a bunch of hooks for air drying clothes.

9. I love the idea of keeping laundry detergent, dryer sheets and other things in these glass jars instead of their own containers.

10. I want to paint the ceiling a pretty color- like Farrow & Ball’s Pale Powder.

11.  A fetching ironing board hung on the back of the door (love this one too!).


  1. All of these images are amazing! The flower wallpaper one is one of my favorites, I have saved that image for years as inspiration–one day it will be my laundry room! Your plans look great–can’t wait to see the progress!

  2. I like these crisp and organized inspiration spaces! Our laundry area is in the basement utility room, and it’s surrounded by very attractive (not) pipes and plaster walls and heating ducts. One day we’ll finish it into a proper room, but for now I’ll just have to admire my nice new machines and try not to look at the surroundings. Looking forward to seeing what you do with yours!

  3. I love the one with the flower wallpaper too — I pine for a proper laundry room instead of the scary area in our basement. But I try not to complain too much after many years in a South End walk-up that had no laundry AT ALL — not in our apartment, not in our building … and somehow we managed for a year like that with a baby too!

    If it’s still possible, I’d highly recommend some sort of utility sink — we do have one of those (in our scary basement) and it’s made the difference to be able to rinse or pre-soak super-dirty items before putting in the wash.

  4. Front loaders are awful – they look pretty but the smell – seriously don’t listen to what they sales guys tell you. They are awful.

    Laundry is my life

  5. I’m still stuck in the basement with concrete walls and floor. I’ve got to figure out how to step it up a little down there. Thanks for all the lovely inspiration photos…

  6. I would LOVE to have a suave laundry room like that! I live in Europe (only front-loaders here, but much smaller than those ginormous ones in the US)… And our washers are tucked into cabinets in the bathroom… yep, the bathroom…!

    When ‘back home’ on the east coast, doing laundry in my mother’s laundry room seems like such a luxury… all that space… #apartment_living_blues

  7. As someone who has had to go to a laundromat down the street for the past 6 years, I love laundry room porn (ha)! A laundry room in my home is the dream. I can’t wait to see your finished product.

  8. I have to agree with JustSayNo. Front loaders are a big disappointment. They mildew. You have to leave the door open so they can dry out, which wrecks the look! It’s really too bad.

  9. I can personally attest to the Laundress powered bleach alternative as well- I LOVE it! It does a bang-up job on my white sheets, duvet, and towels and doesn’t eat away the fibers like bleach does. I also like to mix a capful into a bucket of hot water to mop my stone laundry room and foyer floors because it smells heavenly. I keep a supply on hand so I will never be without. No more bleach in my washing machine!

  10. Such a co-ink-a-dink you’re talkin’ laundry rooms. My Mother’s Day gift request was to start the renovation of ours. Husband put in new floors, hung cabinet, etc. Waiting for grasscloth to go up on the walls. My husband didn’t get it – why I care what my laundry room looks like. Washing for five peeps makes for a ridiculous amount of time spent in there, though, and I need it to be pleasant.
    Can’t wait to see yours!

  11. P.S. – EVERY appliance repair person will say, if you want to throw cash to the wind, buy front loaders. Look great. Perform crappy.

  12. I have a laundry room but the appliances aren’t built in so I still see the dryer vent tubing & water lines. Not the best but I’m grateful to have a place to do laundry.
    If you are considering a frontload washer, take it from me…don’t do it. I have one & they do smell. And they make my clothes smell. Inspite of leaving the door open to dry out

  13. Well, I already have new machines and they are front loaders. I actually have had no issue with mine at all. I do leave the door open every couple loads to air out but no smell.

  14. I also have a front loader. No problems! The real trick is leaving the door open….just a crack, and once a month run the machine empty with hot water and clorox. No smells.

    Also think about putting in one of those ironing boards that are hidden in a closet. I had one of those and loved it. Easy open and close and always handy.

  15. Sounds like a great plan! I also did laundry in a creepy basement (complete with dirt floor and rat traps, and for 10 years! and for an entire sweltering Deep South summer in my detached garage while the basement was under construction!) and let me tell how much I LOVE my new laundry room. I also have front loaders and was concerned about needing to keep the washer door open, but I just keep it cracked a bit (I close it when I go back down to take the stuff out of the dryer) and have had no problems at all. I used a marble lookalike for the countertop over the machines, and it has been easy and great. Don’t know if you have room for tall cabinets to either side of your machine, but those have been wonderfully useful for me. Left one has shelves and holds laundry and dog supplies, and right one holds cleaning supplies and has an outlet so I can keep my Swiffer vac and dustbuster plugged in & out of sight behind cabinet doors. I didn’t use a Dutch door but kind of wish I had because the laundry room would have been a great place to keep the dog when we’re having a party or my house is being cleaned or there are workers in the house (as opposed to tiny crate). No windows in my laundry room but tons of light with recessed lights, undercounter lights (under upper white wood shelf like you are doing), and library lights over W&D.

  16. Also wanted to say that I love your flooring choice. We used bluestone (running from our mudroom into laundry room and basement bath). I love the look, but I will say that bluestone used in an interior is kind of a pain to clean. Because it is not smooth the mop “snags” on it, and it is impossible to run a Swiffer vac over the surface like I do so easily on the hardwoods throughout the rest of your house. Your flooring choice on the other hand looks much lower maintenance!

  17. People always seem shocked when I tell them the #1 thing I miss about the new house we sold in NC is not the big family room or the attached garage or dressing room but the laundry room! Right off the kitchen…what a dream that was. Now I have 2 boys under 3, laundry up to my eyeballs and I’m stuck doing laundry in a dirt floor basement. UGH! I can’t wait until we can afford an addition on this place so I can get out of that dungeon!

  18. I think I have all of these images on my inspiration board for my laundry room. I can’t wait to get rid of our white wire shelves. :)

  19. Love that you are using Katie Ridder paper, I sooo want to use hers or Madeline Winerib’s in my guest powder room or new first floor powder room (love me some Maddy Winerib!). Hadn’t thought about it for the new laundry room but this post makes me think! Good luck on yours, fun fun!

  20. kinda funny, in a coincidence way,… i have a laundry room that is up stairs off the kitchen & love the convenience as i had a basement/dungean one before we moved & renovated. i felt like i had finally arrived in the new age! now after living w/it, i am ready to gussy-it-up! i have 2 inspiration laundry rooms torn from a design mag (& yes, i have too many stacked up shelter mags around the house: a mag-a-holic) tacked to the wall. i love the picts you posted. i am planning to use F&B’s Silvergate wallpaper in a fun aqua… IT WILL HAPPEN SOON! thnx for the post.

  21. I used the Ikea butcher block for my counter tops over my front loaders. I also added Ikea’s apron front sink as my utility sink in my laundry room and I love the counters and sink!! I had the butcher block stained a dark walnut and had grey cabinets put in. My laundry room makes me so happy, as I am sure that your will for you!

  22. While I am not writing from a username that includes the phrase “no front loaders” – as a veteran of them I have to agree they are not the way to go. I have 3 modest houses – have transitioned each of them now to the ultra high capacity top loaders widely available now from several manufacturers. These are not only free of the mildew problem of front loaders, they are more efficient water users and will cut down the number of loads you do, saving time and energy. Also have a slimmer profile for areas where you are converting an older closet space that does not have depth to accommodate front loaders. Your laundry room ideas are beautiful, and the front loaders do give a great opportunity for fantastic counter space – I would like to love the front loader, but I cannot deny the new top loaders rock. Love your blog – it is a treat.

  23. That ikea butcher block is great, but I do recommend sanding it and sealing it. I think it makes for a more polished and richer look. Also, on its own it can be a bit rough on skin and clothes. We used one for a custom desk which was a great size for a two person desk.

  24. Rachel- I was thinking I would probably need to seal it to keep it from being rough. Or oil it. Thanks for the tip.

    Deana- I know about that site and ignore it. It’s a completely horrible site that is just concentrated bullying by bitter people. Not worth my time or attention.

  25. LOVE What you’re doing! Life is short, why not have a fabulous room to do laundry in? Can’t get over the room with the white subway tile either. It’s fabulous! Go for the gold with some ridic wallpaper in there! You’ll only need a pinch! Sooooo excited for your book! Think I know what all my besties are getting for Christmas!!


  26. Butcher block counters! So beautiful! Here I am trying to so hard to save for granite, I’ve never thought of wood! So many questions. Do you stain it? Does ikea install it? Is it hard to maintain? Love this idea, as usual, such an inspiring post. Thank you : )

  27. These images are so gorgeous. They have definitely inspired me to up my game in my own laundry room. As for the people who say no to front loading washing machines, I have to disagree. To prevent the smell you need to leave to door open occasionally to let the machine air out. Washing a load or just running the machine on a hot rinse cycle will also help. There is no need to leave the door open all the time, though.

  28. Hi Erin! Can you tell me the name of the floor tile? I would love to use it in the kitchen I am currently designing!

  29. Treating yourself and your clothes with a gorgeous laundry space is smart thinking! I’ve had that laundry-in-a-closet neatness, but nothing beats a proper place that’s pleasant to be in to get your things clean & dry & properly aired. But then my friends say I have an unnatural attachment to the ritual of laundering!

    I like the hooks you’ve selected for drying things. There are some fabulous concertina/pull-out airing racks you can fix above head height for those things that can’t be tumbled dry. Placing it near a heating vent is good idea too. But then for those without my laundry affliction would be happy to send that stuff out for cleaning, lol.

    P.S. Your home renovation posts are fabulous and inspirational. One day I’ll convince my husband that a leopard carpet runner is totally necessary!

  30. Re butcher block – we did our kitchen island and pass-through in the Ikea butcher block and I absolutely adore it. It’s easy to cut, shape and install (relatively speaking). We tried oiling it at first but it just drank, and drank, and drank the oil…with no end in sight. A cooking blog (David Leibovitz) recommended a product called Osmo Top Oil – which is a wax-based sealer, and I have LOVED IT! Could not recommend it more. We just painted on one coat and it’s lasted more than a year now (and counting). It’s easy to put on, has a nice soft finish (no sheen) and somehow magically repels every liquid. No staining or rings at all!! It’s kind of hard to find so we ordered off Amazon. I’m obsessed and want everyone with butcher block to embrace its awesomeness!

  31. have you considered stacking your washer and dryer? i did that when i did a reno and it enabled me to
    have more cabinetry which equals more storage! and you would have a countertop to fold your laundry.
    or, you could put a sink in……

  32. I’ve got my laundry room on the brain, too. I already renovated it with a counter and storage, but I still don’t have enough room! We’re stacking our units and adding a closet for the vacuums this time.

  33. Thank you… This has inspired me to fix up my laundry room which is a disaster right now with two kids just home from college and mounds of laundry to finish.

  34. That looks stunning! I love the wallpaper and ceiling color. We have similar tile floor in our bathroom and I love it. It looks like poured concrete.
    Can’t wait to see the finished space!

  35. Erin for both looks and laundry try soap nuts- they look fab in a canister and clean so well! I am getting that bleach alternative today. Thx!

  36. This is totally unrelated to this post but I had a question about your Manny Makkas drapes (the white with Greek Key trim) – I LOVE THEM! I spoke to them and they were very nice but said they only work with designers – I would love to know what kind of fabric you used – are they silk? Thank you!!!

  37. love a fun laundry room….in a recent project we hung photos of hanging laundry from around the world (all places my client has visited in their travels)in the laundry room that adds color but also evokes fond memories each time laundry is done. If you would like to see photos let me know. :)

  38. The location of your new laundry room wouldn’t work up North where it snows. To get to the laundry room, I’d have to tiptoe thorough the wet and muddy mudroom area. The inspiration photos are gorgeous!

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