How An Interior Designer Makes the Most of a Small Laundry Room

Updated 07/02/19
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Sarah Sherman Samuel 

So, you've graduated from laundromats and shared laundry rooms to your very own space dedicated solely to washing and drying your own clothes. While this is a feat in and of itself—as anyone who's ever lugged a sack of laundry down the street in a cart can attest (looking at you New Yorkers)—having a small laundry room does pose its own set of challenges.

It's a highly important and frequently used room that should work best for your needs. You'll want to create a space that can store all of the essentials you need, one that can hide laundry baskets full of dirty items, and leaves you with enough room to properly sort and fold your clothes. While it may be tough to find a way to prioritize all of these factors, depending on just how small of a space you're working with, it's possible to create a space that works for your needs and looks good to boot.

Functionality is key when it comes to the laundry room, especially if yours is lacking square footage. However, that doesn't mean there's no place for design and style as well. "I think some people don't take the time to decorate the laundry room at all, which is a missed opportunity," interior designer Sarah Sherman Samuel tells MyDomaine. "They can be a beautiful statement in the house when just packaged slightly differently," she adds.

So, no matter how tiny your laundry room may be, here are Samuel's tips for making it a functional and chic space.

Pick the Right Machines

"The function of the laundry room has to come first, so it is best to start with the machines," according to Samuel. You may even consider stacking your washer and dryer to save space if that's an option in your room.

After you've selected the perfect washer and dryer for your needs (should your budget allow for replacing any existing machinery), then you can move on to storage and folding space. "Once you have all the functionality outlined, you can layer in décor," the designer notes.

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Make the Walls the Focal Point

When there's no space for anything besides four walls, a washer, and a dryer, "the walls become the décor," Samuel says. That's why she recommends being a little daring when it comes to wall paint colors, treatments, and wallpaper options. "I would either go with a bold color that you love and wouldn't necessarily want to use in the main living space or do an interesting paint treatment like a mural or stripes," she suggests.

If that doesn't feel right, she's also a proponent of wallpaper in a small laundry room. "I think the laundry room, especially a small one, is the perfect place to make a big impact with a bold print," the designer says. "It makes the room instantly decorated without taking up any space," she explains.

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Laundry Room Wallpaper
Sarah Sherman Samuel

Create a Well-Lit Space

"You want to be able to see what you are working on, so having [the laundry room] well lit is important," Samuel points out. She recommends going for recessed lights or a large flush mount fixture. Although recessed lights will get the job done, she notes that a flush mount fixture will bring an element of visual interest while lighting your small workspace. It's one decorative element that won't take up any extra space.

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Invest in Smart Storage

When planning out the set up of your small laundry room, it's important to make sure that there will be a place for everything, including your essentials like detergent and other cleaning products. Think closed storage, hanging storage, and a surface for folding.

You can create this type of storage with hooks for hanging items, baskets for storing dirty or freshly laundered clothes and linens, and shelves if there isn't room for cabinets. "If you do have the space, it's also nice to carve out an area for laundry baskets to tuck into while not in use," the design pro suggests.

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