5 Smart Laundry Room Layouts

Laundry rooms are often an afterthought when designing homes, but with some smart planning they can become one of the most functional and convenient rooms in your house. The layout and design of your laundry area can impact the ease of doing laundry and also how much you enjoy spending time in this usually uninspiring space.

Below we discuss 5 smart laundry room layouts that make doing laundry simpler and the room more pleasant to be in. From maximizing efficiency to adding style, these tips will help you create the ideal laundry space for your home.

Optimize for Workflow

The first key to a smart laundry room is optimizing the layout for workflow and efficiency. You want to be able to easily move through the tasks of sorting, washing, drying, folding, and putting away with minimal steps and motion.

Here are some tips for workflow optimization:

Create Stations

Divide your laundry room into stations for each phase of the process – this helps break tasks into smaller steps. Have spaces for sorting dirty clothes, loading the washer, transferring to the dryer, folding, ironing, and storage.

You may use counters, tables, shelves, or even just floor space marked out for each station. Having visual cues for where each task takes place makes doing laundry feel smooth.

Establish a Loop

The ideal workflow follows a loop pattern through the stations that ends where it begins. For example, you would sort clothes near the entrance, then move to load the washer, transfer to the dryer, fold on adjacent counters, and store cleaned clothes in cabinets back near the entrance.

Avoid dead ends or backtracking through the space. Place appliances, fixtures, and furnishings to support moving in a loop.

Minimize Steps

Reduce unnecessary steps between stations to make laundry more efficient. Having to walk across the room repeatedly wastes time and energy.

Make sure the washer and dryer are next to each other. Have folding counters nearby and storage cabinets within arm’s reach. The closer the stations, the better.

Allow for Concurrent Tasks

Your layout should allow for doing tasks in parallel when possible. For example, you could sort clothes while a load is washing, then fold the clean load from the previous cycle while the current load dries.

Make sure workspaces don’t interfere with each other so multiple laundry tasks can happen at the same time. This allows you to maximize productivity.

Add Functional Storage

After workflow, sufficient storage is the next most important element for a laundry room. Well-planned storage reduces clutter and makes cleaning more manageable.

Here are helpful storage tips:

Use Shelving Above Appliances

Install shelves above the washer and dryer to store supplies and laundry items. Have a small basket on the washer to toss in pre-treat sticks or powder. Place laundry baskets or bins on the dryer for sorting and folding.

Upper storage clears counterspace and keeps items within arm’s reach. Just make sure to avoid blocking vents which could be a fire hazard.

Install a Drying Rack

A wall-mounted drying rack adds extra capacity if you need to air dry items or laundry builds up. Locate it near the washer so clothes can be hung up to dry right out of the wash.

Choose a sturdy rack with enough rods or shelves to hold multiple loads. Slide-out racks can retract out of the way when not needed.

Use Vertical Dividers

Vertical dividers in cabinets let you neatly organize laundry essentials. Sort bins of delicates wash bags, stain removers, fabric softener sheets, detergent pods etc.

Labeled dividers keep items visible and accessible. Clear acrylic bins also let you easily see contents.

Have a Place for Ironing

Designate a countertop or table space for ironing and stacking folded clothes. Have a nearby electrical outlet to plug in your iron.

You may want an ironing board that can fold down from the wall or a mounted shelf that can support an iron. Having an ironing space helps keep this task tidy and organized.

Install Pull-Out Hampers

Mounted pull-out canvas hampers are great for discreetly storing dirty clothes until wash day. Hide hampers in cabinetry and simply slide them out when you need to load the washer.

Use multiple hampers to sort lights and darks or separate family members’ dirty laundry. Labeled hampers help keep things organized.

Maximize Under Counter Storage

Fully utilize under counter space by having laundry supplies and accessories easily accessible. Install slide-out trays and tilt-out bins for laundry detergent, prewash sprays, fabric softener, etc.

Door racks on the underside of cabinets can hold spray bottles, brushes, and stain removers. Take advantage of all available storage real estate.

Choose User-Friendly Appliances

The appliances themselves also impact the laundry experience. Selecting the right washer and dryer features makes doing laundry simpler and more convenient.

Here are some appliance considerations:

Opt for Front Loaders

Front loading washers and dryers are easier to load than top loaders. You don’t have to bend down or lift clothes up high, reducing strain. Front loaders tend to have greater capacities as well.

Stacking units can save floorspace. Make sure to buy stackable models if going this route.

Look for Smart Features

Many new laundry appliances have smart features like WiFi connectivity, remote monitoring, sensor drying, automatic detergent dispensing, and more. These automate part of the laundry process.

Consider machines with features that streamline workflows like delayed start so you can time cycles to finish when it’s convenient to switch loads.

Ensure ADA Compliance

If anyone in your household requires ADA accommodations, select compliant laundry appliances. Washers and dryers should have accessible controls and features like front loading.

Doors and drawers should have easy-open latches. Countertop heights and clear floorspace around appliances also need to meet standards.

Accommodate Ventilation Needs

Dryers require proper ventilation. Gas dryers also need exhaust systems to ventilate fumes outdoors. Make sure you have adequate ducting and access to ventilation shafts when planning appliance layouts.

Good airflow is also important so opt for models with reversible doors if the installation location makes vent access difficult.

Size Appropriately

Pick washers and dryers scaled for your needs. Take into account your household size, laundry frequency, and any bulky items like bedding sets. Undersized appliances lead to extra loads, while oversized ones waste energy.

Ideally your washer should fit an entire standard load in one cycle. Match your dryer capacity to the washer’s.

Include Ample Lighting

Proper lighting transforms any laundry room from a gloomy unfinished space to a bright pleasant one. Well-lit rooms also help reduce laundry mistakes and accidents.

Here are tips for lighting your laundry area:

Install Overhead Fixtures

Have general ambient lighting from ceiling fixtures. LED laundry room lights provide bright, energy efficient illumination.

Space fixtures evenly to disperse light. 2-3 fixtures are usually ideal for most laundry rooms depending on size.

Use Task Lighting

Supplement overhead lighting with task lights at laundry stations. Under cabinet lighting illuminates sorting and folding areas. Strip lighting inside appliances helps see clothes when loading.

Bright task lighting prevents missing stains or misreading labels which leads to laundry mishaps. It also makes late night laundry trips less jarring.

Consider Skylights

Skylights or transom windows boost natural light in inner laundry rooms with no windows. This saves energy during the day.

Opt for frosted or privacy glass to allow light while obscuring sightlines from outside. Ventilated skylights with electric fans prevent humidity buildup.

Install Dimmers

Dimmers allow adjusting light levels for comfort and different tasks. Keep general lighting bright for cleaning, then dim for folding clothes.

Warm lighting is less harsh when spending long periods in the laundry room washing bulky items or ironing.

LEDs Over Sinks

Install an LED strip over laundry sinks to brightly illuminate the area with task lighting. This makes treating stains, handwashing delicates, and other sink tasks easier.

Waterproof LED strips for kitchens and bathrooms are perfect. Choose a bright temperature like 5000K-6500K.

Add Style with Finishes

While laundry rooms trend utilitarian, small upgrades can make them more stylish and enjoyable to use. Use these tips to polish the look of your laundry space:

Paint or Wallpaper

Fresh paint or wallpaper does wonders aesthetically for laundry rooms. Neutral hues keep things bright but you can also use accent walls with bold colors or patterns.

Washable semi-gloss paint resists humidity and splatters. Primed wallpaper makes an easy upgrade.

Change Flooring

Replace drab floors with luxurious vinyl plank, decorative tile, or polished concrete. This elevates the look of the entire room.

Choose water-resistant flooring that can handle humidity and the occasional spill. Mats add softness underfoot.

Freshen Trim and Doors

Clean trim and doors make laundry spaces feel crisper. Use high gloss paint on window sills, door trims and cabinetry for a neat finished effect.

Updating door knobs and hinges to match the rest of the home also brings cohesion. Add folding or barn style doors if needed.

Soften Lighting

For a warmer ambiance, install dimmable fixtures on a circuit with a dimmer switch. Swap any harsh overhead lights for flushmount or semi-flush luminaires.

Small pendant lights over a folding table provide localized pools of soft light. Dimmers give you full control.

Add Decorative Touches

Laundry rooms don’t preclude decorative accents that make you smile. Mount an uplifting piece of art, add a cheerful houseplant in a corner, display a wreath on the door, or attach pretty wallpaper inside cabinet doors just for you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Laundry Room Layouts

Laundry rooms may be small, but designing them requires weighing many factors. Here are answers to some common questions people have:

What size should my laundry room be?

As a rule of thumb, plan for 1-1.5 sq ft per cubic foot of your largest appliance. So a 4 cubic ft washer needs at least a 4′ x 4′ space. Add room for doors to fully open, workspace around machines, and traffic lanes of 2-3 feet. Most home laundry rooms range from 25-100 square feet.

Where should the laundry room be located?

The best location is near bedroom areas to allow dropping off clothes easily. Central spots on the ground floor work well so it’s accessible to the whole household. Avoid far corners of the basement or upper floors. Also consider proximity to utility connections.

How can I add more storage?

Utilize vertical wall space with shelves and hanging racks. Install floor to ceiling pantries or closets for laundry supplies. Build custom cabinetry and shelving to fit the space. Maintain at least 3 feet of clear floorspace for moving around.

What about laundry room ventilation?

Dryers produce heat, moisture and lint that need venting outside. Provide proper ducting out through walls or ceilings. For gas dryers, also ensure adequate ventilation to diffuse gas exhaust. Have a HVAC vent or louvered door to refresh air.

Should I separate my mudroom from laundry?

It depends on your space and needs. Combining them allows dropping off clothes in the same room. But this can spread dirt to clean laundry. Separate rooms keep mudroom mess contained. You can have pass-throughs between the two if needed.

What flooring works best in laundry rooms?

Water-resistant sheet vinyl or luxury vinyl plank flooring are ideal choices. Tile is also durable but can be prone to cracking from appliance vibrations over time. Avoid carpeting which traps moisture and odors. Mats add comfort for folding clothes.

Key Takeaways on Laundry Room Layouts:

  • Optimize workflow by creating task stations and efficient pathways through the space. Minimize unnecessary motion and steps.
  • Add ample storage with shelves, racks, cabinets and bins to corral supplies and laundry items. Take advantage of vertical and under counter areas.
  • Choose user-friendly laundry appliances with front loading access, smart features, ADA compliance, good ventilation and the right capacity.
  • Provide sufficient lighting with overhead fixtures, task lighting at folding/ironing areas and skylights if no windows. Use dimmers for comfort and ambiance.
  • Upgrade finishes with fresh paint or wallpaper, stylish flooring, refinished trim and doors. Add decorative touches that make you smile.

With some smart planning, it’s possible to create a laundry room that makes chores easier and the space more inviting. Apply these layout ideas to design a high-functioning laundry area tailored to your home and habits. The right layout goes a long way in making laundry feel less like a chore.