Peter Sveinsson, director of laundry renovators Brilliant SA, states “Laundries have long been under designed, or not designed at all.”

We don’t spend a lot of time there, it’s not a room guests often see and if you’re selling, sprucing up the laundry is probably the last thing on your list. So why bother?

A quick browse on or Pinterest could have you changing your mind within minutes. Check out these ideas for improving design, functionality and style in one of the smallest, but hardest working rooms in the home.

Get Organised

Avoid a frustrating, dysfunctional laundry by following these tips:

  • Ensure each appliance and space flows – from basin to washer, washer to dryer, dryer to bench for folding.

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“Older laundry designs did not include a bench. They are now a popular, functional addition,” states Peter.

  • Use multiple laundry baskets or stackable tubs – one for whites, one for colours – no more sorting! This is also a great idea for keeping smelly work or sportswear separate from everyday clothes and uniforms.
  • Utilise space in all directions. Add custom designed cabinets, drawers, hooks, open shelving and wall-hung drying racks. Give everything its place, and every space its purpose.

Peter says, “In most laundries, you’d be lucky to find one cabinet. We do a full fit-out of the room and use cabinetry to help organise the available space.”

  • Organise products on a shelf or in a box by order of use e.g. stain remover, soaker, washing powder/liquid, and softener. For a shelf, arrange products left to right. For a box, front to back.

Add Something You Love

The laundry is still part of the house, so why not show it the same love? Add something that makes it bright and inviting, even if your time in there is fleeting.

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The options are limited only by your imagination:

  • Hang some ‘laundry’ themed art
  • Add some greenery through artificial plants or sturdy succulents
  • Frame a favourite photo to display in a corner of the bench
  • Add some colour through a rug or floor runner
  • Display travel souvenirs on the windowsill
  • Create your own wall art by using washi tape
  • Keep washing powder in a large colourful tin and display on the bench, or on open shelves
  • Hang a string clothesline on the wall and display favourite t-shirts that are too worn to wear, or baby clothes from when your children were little.

Baskets and Boxes

Baskets and boxes are a great way to style up open shelving while giving a neater, more organised appearance. With a huge range of colours and materials available, they are easily matched to existing palettes and sizing requirements.

  • Put empty space to good use by hanging baskets vertically against walls or behind doors.
  • Use shallow wire baskets on walls for laundry products. They are easily seen and accessible.

Re-think the traditional laundry basket:

  • Hide dull, plastic laundry baskets behind pull out cabinetry doors.
  • A laundry basket on castor wheels can easily be rolled from room to room when collecting, washing, or putting it away after folding.
  • Cloth laundry baskets are environmentally friendly and can be folded and stored when not in use. Hang them on the back of bedroom doors for easy access.

Add a Work Station

If you have the space and need, creating a work station in the laundry can help you tick things off your ‘to do’ list. While the washer or dryer does its thing, you can:

  • Pay bills
  • Answer emails
  • Write shopping lists
  • Schedule appointments
  • Make phone calls
  • Complete paperwork
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It’s a useful space for any time, and a great idea if there’s no room for a home office in other parts of the house.

Think Outside the Box (or laundry)

“Laundry design needs to be flexible and suit both the client and house,” Peter says. Designs that move away from the traditional laundry room include:

  • Incorporating the laundry with a butler’s pantry.
  • Concealing the laundry behind cabinet doors in the kitchen, bathroom, hallway or under a stairwell.

“The range in what people do is huge, whether it be a washer under the kitchen bench, to designing a larger, multi-functional space,” Peter says.

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Jarrod Van Haasteren from the Real Estate Agents Group says when it comes to laundries, people need to be open to change. “The laundry is one of the easiest rooms in the house to renovate. If you’ve found the perfect home but your appliances don’t fit, either renovate to suit your needs or buy new appliances.”

Whether doing a complete overhaul or making small changes, there’s no reason why the laundry can’t be a smarter, more stylish room in the house.