AD It Yourself

26 Small Laundry Room Ideas for the Tiniest of Apartments

Never lug 20 pounds of clothes to the laundromat again
26 Small Laundry Room Ideas for the Tiniest of Apartments
Photo: Adam Albright

Don’t let your petite laundry room stifle your creative interiors when there’s an abundance of small laundry room ideas from which you can draw inspiration to ensure this small space shines in your home. So if yours is feeling a little bit blah, it might be time for a makeover. Below, you’ll find 26 inspiring laundry areas for all styles. Whether you’re looking to take on a DIY with a vibrant paint color, maximize vertical space with a stackable washer and dryer combo, or creatively install a drying rack that doesn’t make your eyes bleed, keep reading for plenty of decor ideas from interior design pros. Laundry day won’t feel like such a chore when you’re washing and folding clothes in a room that you love.

How do I design a small laundry room?

To design a small laundry room, you will want to take the same approach you would in any other small space and maximize storage solutions. As you will see based on the small laundry room ideas shared below, built-in or open shelving solutions are a practical choice in many instances. Sometimes a small laundry room will double as a mudroom and therefore contain other forms of cabinetry.

How to pick a layout for a small laundry room?

Many people will opt for a stackable washer/dryer to make use of the vertical space offered in a small laundry room, as per many of the laundry room ideas pictured below. You will also want room for clothes to hang dry; this may mean adding a laundry closet or a rod with hangers above the washing machine. Plenty of countertop space for folding clothes is also key.

What are some essentials for a small laundry room?

A small laundry room should contain storage space or shelving to house essentials such as laundry detergents and dryer sheets. Many people also like their small laundry room to contain a cabinet or closet for linens and have room to tuck away laundry baskets, drying racks, ironing boards, and the like. Now, onto the ideas.

Add a clothing rod

Interior designer Alexandra Kaehler put wasted space to use with a clothing rod.

Photo: Aimée Mazzenga

In a beautiful robin’s-egg-blue laundry room, Alexandra Kaehler, the founder of Alexandra Kaehler Design in Winnetka, Illinois, installed a hanging rod above the washer and dryer. “The space above the units was a wasted space, because of the depth,” she explains. “It was a natural spot to utilize hanging space by adding a rod.”

Create a multiuse space

Who says a laundry room can’t also be a workspace?

Photo: Laura Steffan

Design a laundry room so that it doubles as a workstation. This one contains a small desk and monitor that’s positioned across from the washer and dryer, making it easy to crank out emails while completing an essential household chore. Designer Megan Evans opted for a skirted desk for extra practicality. “This design element not only adds a touch of elegance, but it conceals a space for storage baskets as well as the computer hard drive beneath the skirt,” says the founder of Megan Evans Interiors in south Louisiana.

Add color with a bold wallpaper

Designer Gray Walker thinks a space for mundane activities makes the case for fun design that much more relevant.

Photo: Madison Weaver

Just because your laundry room is small in size doesn’t mean you can’t go bold. Gray Walker, the founder of Gray Walker Interiors in Charlotte, North Carolina, installed eye-catching patterned Pierre Frey wallpaper from floor to ceiling. “I have always believed in a laundry room loaded with personality,” the designer says. “It is a working space that I like to have fun with—you should enjoy every inch of your home, especially a room where you are doing mundane activities like laundry.”

Plan around storage

Hidden storage keeps clutter minimal.

Photo: Adam Albright

Amanda Reynal kept storage solutions top of mind when designing this laundry room, opting for hidden storage behind cabinet doors and cabinetry that extends up to the ceiling. “[This] gives the residents a lot storage without having the room feel messy or cluttered,” the founder of Amanda Reynal Interiors in Des Moines explains.

Don’t forget the art

Use art to make a personal statement in your small laundry room.

Photo: John Merkl

“Laundry rooms often are pretty, soothing, and utilitarian, but they are not often sexy,” says Kristen Peña, the founder of K Interiors in the San Francisco Bay Area. “The homeowner wanted to be excited about going into her laundry room.” To spice things up, Peña installed Gucci wallpaper and hung an oversized art piece, both of which add major visual interest.

Take advantage of vertical storage

DIY floating shelves for additional storage space in a tiny laundry room.

Photo: Thomas Kuoh

Make use of vertical space by installing open shelving like Emilie Munroe did in this laundry room—you can even go the DIY route if you wish. To ensure the room appears clutter free, the founder of Studio Munroe in San Francisco also selected aesthetically pleasing woven baskets to keep items corralled—baskets of this size are excellent for housing essentials such as dryer balls, detergent pods, and more.

Put every flat surface to use

Butcher block creates the perfect folding station.

Photo: Nicole Dianne

Incorporating a wooden butcher block on top of the washer and dryer, as Ashley Macuga of Collected Interiors in San Carlos, California, did, turns the tops of the machines into a functional, flat space. A surface like this comes in handy when folding clothes but can also be used to display a small decorative vignette.

Incorporate hampers for easy organization

Each family member gets their own hamper for easy clothing organization post-wash.

Photo: Madeline Harper

Sorting laundry once it’s dry is way more simple when you can easily toss items of clothing into each family member’s designated hamper. Shelby Van Daley of Daley Home in Cedar Park, Texas, included space for hampers to sit under this laundry room countertop—and the hampers’ rolling feature makes them even more functional.

Put a drying rack on the wall

A drying rack on the wall saves precious space.

Photo: Erin Konrath

Why let your drying rack occupy precious closet space when you can install it so that it hangs from the wall instead (without sacrificing aesthetics, of course)? Kathryn Murphy, the founder of Kathryn Murphy Interiors in Oak Park, Illinois, did just that in this rich blue laundry room, all while maintaining a cohesive color palette throughout.

It’s okay to cover windows

Even though the window is covered, the shade is still functional.

Photo: Pauly Goyette

Take a cue from Murphy and install shelving in an L-shape to allow for maximal storage opportunities in a small laundry room. While this shelving does cover a window, the lack of backing and height of the shelving makes it possible to open and close the shade as needed without disrupting anything on display.

Keep laundry materials out of sight

It’s easy to work while clothes get cleaned in this laundry room.

Photo: Hannah Fulton

This laundry room, designed by Hannah Fulton, the founder of J. Banks Design in Hilton Head, South Carolina, is another instance in which a utilitarian room for chores doubles as a spot to tackle work. As seen in other small laundry rooms, the cabinets in this space extend all the way up to the ceiling. There is even a small cabinet positioned right above the washing machine, which keeps laundry detergent accessible while camouflaging the plastic bottle.

Create a dual mudroom

Simple pieces of furniture can be used in multiple ways—like for tying shoes or folding clothes—if chosen carefully.

Photo: Emily Minton Redfield

Many laundry rooms, including this one by Nadia Watts, the founder of Nadia Watts Interior Design in Denver, serve as mudrooms as well. Here, a bench can serve many useful purposes, functioning as a place to sit down and lace up shoes as well as a spot in which to place folded piles of laundry before carrying them upstairs.

Built-in furniture is not the only path to success

Not only does this bench match the style of the laundry room, it’s easy to move around and adapt for various uses.

Photo: Nolan Calisch

If you’re unable to install a built-in, make like Heidi Woodman, the founder of Heidi Woodman Interiors in Indianapolis, and purchase a standalone bench, which can still function nicely in a small laundry room. This wooden one plays to the space’s moody, vintage-inspired style.

Implore pattern

All-over pattern creates jewel box effect.

Photo: Carmel Brantley

Don’t underestimate the power of pattern in creating a jewel box like effect in a small laundry room. Pleated fabric—Scrolling Acanthus by Soane in Cobalt, to be specific—adds a touch of elegance to this space by David Frazier. The founder of the eponymous New York firm also backed the fabric to the wall, giving the appearance of a paper covering.

Go for a fun wallpaper

Pineapples add whimsy to this small laundry room.

Photo: Margaret Wright

If you crave a playful element in the laundry room, opt for wallpaper that has a fun flair, like this pineapple print used by Megan Molten, who operates an eponymous firm in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.

Install a unique light fixture

Lighting can make all the difference in a small space.

Photo: Andrea Kinnear

Swap out your laundry room’s builder grade lighting with a showstopping fixture that will bring a smile to your face every time you see it. Rachel Cannon, the founder of Rachel Cannon Limited in Baton Rouge, hung a beaded chandelier in this laundry room, and the fixture adds plenty of whimsy, particularly when paired with vibrant wallpaper.

Place cabinets on top of your washer/dryer

There’s no need to drill with a laundry room idea like this.

Photo: Donna Dotan

If you’re looking to amplify laundry room storage without taking on a remodel—or even drilling into the walls—purchase a couple of standalone cabinets and place them on top of your washer/dryer for a space-saving solution, as seen in this space by Rob Stuart, the founder of Rob Stuart Interiors in New York. This renter friendly hack is simple yet impactful makeover. You can of course swap in your own hardware if the piece’s existing door pulls don’t reflect your aesthetic.

Add texture with cabinet fronts

The mesh front on these cabinets makes an immediate statement.

Photo: Thomas Kuoh

Consider using cabinetry with a mesh front in lieu of standard glass to immediately add extra detail to a room and invoke a bit of English-inspired flair. It’s what Kriste Michelini, the founder of Kriste Michelini Interiors in Danville, California, did in this space.

Hide away your washer and dryer

A simple door is all you need to minimize visual noise.

Photo: Linda Pordon

If you prefer to not stare at your washer and dryer, consider placing the machines behind closed cabinet doors, as seen in this space by Lisa Laliberte-Alle of Laliberte Interiors in Hawthorne, New Jersey. Don’t be shy about introducing a dose of color, either. The plum colored built-ins add lots of personality to the small space.

Camouflage appliances

Opting for a design detail that commands attention—like a bold paint color—is a smart way to draw focus away from appliances.

Photo: David Duncan Livingston

Alternatively, if you leave your stacked washer and dryer exposed, painting the area around the machines in a bold color can still result in a camouflage-like effect, drawing less attention to the appliances. Here, Craig O’Connell, the founder of Craig O’Connell Architecture in San Francisco, also incorporated a geometric backsplash into the mix.

Play around with drying racks

The drying racks easily slide into the wall, eliminating clutter.

Photo: Miranda Estes

If you don’t like the look of a traditional wooden drying rack, consider a setup like this one by Shannon Adamson. The founder of Shannon Adamson Interior Design in Seattle, the designer installed sliding racks that fit perfectly in the empty space between the washer/dryer and nearby countertops.

Lean into neutrals

There’s nothing wrong with neutrals when done correctly.

Photo: Lauren Edith Andersen

There’s nothing wrong with keeping your small laundry room nice and simple if you crave a serene vibe. Just take a cue from Nicole Yee of NY Interiors in the San Francisco Bay Area and go all in with neutrals. For a slight vintage touch, opt for penny tile flooring.

Add a countertop to a galley laundry room

A single wall for laundry can go far when designed well.

Photo: Mariko Reed

This galley laundry room by Meghan Dorrian of Young America Creative in Oakland and Santa Cruz, California, is compact but majorly functional thanks to the expansive wooden countertop, which makes it easy to fold clothes or set down cleaning supplies.

Choose a vibrant color scheme

Green trim and shelving infuses personality into this small space.

Photo: Claudia Casbarian for Julie Soefer

Bring on the brightness and pair patterned wallpaper with a neon green trim. Emily June Spanos, the founder of Emily June Designs in Houston, opted to turn this small laundry room into a colorful oasis that is full of pep.

Play with geometry

Geometric flooring adds visual interest without overwhelming the senses.

An artful pendant light adds a dose of charm to this laundry room by Sara Hillery, the founder of Sara Hillery Interior Design in Richmond, Virginia. The space has been painted a serene blue hue yet features whimsical geometric designs on both the floor and ceiling.

Opt for moody elegance

Plenty of light—both natural and artificial—balances out this dark laundry room.

Photo: Shade Degges

This gray-and-black laundry room by Denise Morrison of Morrison Interiors in Costa Mesa, California, is moody and modern. The addition of three wall-mounted sconces above the window ensures that the space will still be plenty bright for completing key chores.