Modern laundry room ideas for your new home

3rd January 2024

Living In Your Home Design Design & Inspiration

As one of the most used rooms in the family home, the demand for an intuitive, intelligent and beautiful laundry is high on the list of priorities for new home buyers.

Gone are the days when the home laundry was a sterile and poky space with plain white walls that lacked personality and panache. Today's laundry is not just a functional space. It's a room that should reflect your overall home design, offer practical storage solutions and make doing chores a little more pleasant.

Whether you're after a small laundry room or a spacious laundry room with all the bells and whistles, it's the details that count. Planning and attention to detail are needed to create the ultimate laundry room and achieve a perfect balance of functionality and form.

We spoke with Emma Taylor, Henley's Senior Interior Designer, about laundry room ideas and asked Emma to share her ultimate laundry wishlist.

“Time and style-conscious families want a laundry space jam-packed with functionality and storage to create the ultimate laundry. It is also important that the laundry is stylish and beautiful to look at.” said Emma.

Maximising space and storage

Use smart laundry room storage solutions

Smart storage will help you make the most of the entire laundry area, even if you only have a compact space. Think of all the functions you would ideally use your laundry for (beyond washing and drying) and start there. For example, soaking dirty clothes, storing laundry baskets, air drying clothes, folding clothes, storing cleaning supplies and ironing.

  • A tall laundry cupboard is ideal for brooms, mops and vacuums
  • A dedicated cupboard for your ironing board is always handy
  • Overhead and under-bench cupboards or shelves can maximise storage space

A catered modular laundry room storage unit is ideal as it can be tailored to your needs and how you use the space.

“A lot of people forget that the laundry is often the gateway from the backyard or garage tothe rest of the house. Consider using all available walls and embrace hooks for hanging anything from dog leads, to overcoats, hats, gardening gloves and shopping bags.” Emma adds.

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Get creative with hanging spaceConsider how you can use your laundry space creatively for drying or airing clothes. A hanging rod or rail, or drying rack has become an essential feature of the modern laundry room. A clothes hanger mounted on the wall offers extra storage and means you can air dry clothes instead of using the dryer all the time.

“Rather than having clothes drying over chairs or clothes horses around the home, keeping it all contained in the laundry is a much neater option," says Emma.

“Some other great items to add are hanging rails. These can be super stylish and align with your desired look, such as metal-look rails for a more industrial appearance. Rails draw the eye as an area of interest but are functional too.”

Go for a stacked washer and dryer

Stacking your washing machine and dryer is the ideal space saver, especially for smaller laundries. This gives you more open space for other essentials like built-in cabinets.

A front loading washer is essential for stacking. Also, be sure to check that your washing machine and dryer are compatible for stacking. Add a shelf between the washer and dryer, or use a stacking kit for safety.

Maximise bench space for sorting and stacking

Once you've had a laundry with bench space, you'll never go back. The ultimate versatile inclusion, open shelving or a long bench turns a laundry into a room.

An open shelf can be used for folding and sorting laundry (ideal if you have a large family), product storage, or those little design touches that make the space your own. If you're keen on a long shelf, plan for your washer and dryer to sit beneath instead of stacking them.

“We are seeing more front loaders being used in laundries to not only save on space but also allow for extended bench space as the bench can run the length of the room without interfering with opening and closing the washing machine,” says Emma.

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Include floating shelves for extra storage

Floating shelves that use otherwise underutilised vertical space on the walls can help you use every inch of the space. Build these in as part of your storage solution for spare linen, baskets, sorting or cleaning supplies.

If your idea of a contemporary laundry room is less cluttered, use a floating shelf for potted plants, framed art, seasonal decor or baskets of fresh flowers.

Consider a pull-out or wall-mounted ironing board

A traditional ironing board takes up a lot of space, especially if it's not something you use often. But there are alternatives to this clunky laundry space waster.

  • A wall-mounted ironing board can be folded down when needed and tucked away when not being used
  • A built-in ironing board cabinet can include a fold-out ironing board and storage for iron and ironing accessories
  • A pull-out ironing board concealed in a drawer is another option.

Build-in washing and ironing hampers

Built-in solutions such as washing and ironing hampers will keep the room organised, even when the laundry pile is high.

If you choose not to build them in, be sure to factor in storage for laundry baskets when planning your laundry room design.

Modern laundry design and decor ideas

When it comes to the look and feel of your laundry, try to style it as an extension of your home. Modern laundry ideas are inspired by new home trends, tried and true design themes and timeless simplicity.

Emma says, “As a utility room, there is no need to go overboard, but you want it to be a room you feel good about entering. When it comes to laundry room decor, carry through the style of other nearby rooms, such as the dining room and make it a place you want to spend time."

Bring in natural light

A beautiful laundry should have clean lines and a large window that lets in lots of natural light. If there's no space for a window, consider using glass doors.

Having a well-lit laundry space with good air circulation can also eliminate unpleasant smells from dirty clothes, wet mops, etc.

A combination of functional and decorative lighting can light the laundry space at night.

Embrace a clean colour palette

While white is often the colour of choice, the latest on-trend laundries boast a touch of colour. Interior design for modern laundry rooms often features white walls paired with light greys, light blue, browns, caramels and a hint of natural trimming for texture.

“Look for classic colours such as white and grey or black. Incorporating natural materials like timber flooring or cabinetry and stone benchtops in your scheme works well to give the space some warmth.” Emma adds.

Tiling from floor to ceiling with a white subway tile gives the laundry an opulent look while keeping the room clean and functional.

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Feature tiles and splashbacks

Create a point of interest with a tiled splashback. Explore a mosaic format for colour and texture, patterned tiles for a vibrant look, or marble tiles for a more luxurious laundry room.

Herringbone or double herringbone patterns make a striking feature. The distinctive V-shape adds eye-catching detail while still being elegant and modern.

“Splashbacks that feature decor tiles, or something as simple as a small matt white double herringbone tile paired with a contrasting darker grout colour creates a visual impact in the room,” says Emma.

Horizontally laid oversize tiles are also popular at the moment, offering clean lines and a sense of openness.

Sliding barn doors

A great space-saving hack that also ticks all the modern laundry room design boxes is to replace hinged internal doors with sliding barn doors. As these doors open sideways, it’s ideal for small houses or compact laundry rooms.

Pair the barn doors with a white rectangular farmhouse sink and brass hardware for a classic, organic look.

Make a bold statement

To make a bold statement in your laundry room, opt for tiles that feature a unique and eye-catching design, such as geometric shapes or herringbone patterns. Alternatively, consider applying graphic or fun wallpaper to one of the walls, creating an accent that demands attention. Select a wallpaper design that complements the overall decor theme while adding a pop of personality and flair to the room.

“We love wallpaper here at Henley, and it’s a great and affordable way to brighten up a room, give it some personality and add colour and texture," explains Emma.

Custom wall decals offer another excellent way to make a statement. Create or select decals that resonate with your personal style and laundry room theme, then apply them strategically to add a touch of customisation and artistry to the space.

Choose practical flooring

Choosing the right flooring for a laundry is crucial because laundries are high-moisture areas, prone to spills and subject to frequent cleaning. Laundry flooring should be durable, water-resistant, and slip-resistant while also complementing the overall design of the space.

For a modern look, we recommend large ceramic tiles or engineered wood. These options are all low maintenance, look amazing and will last the distance.

Consider your furry friends

If you have a furry friend in the family, don't forget to consider their needs when it comes to designing your new laundry room.

Choose pet-friendly flooring (concrete floors or tiles are ideal and easy to clean), include a dedicated space for food and water bowls and designate a cozy spot for a pet bed if needed.

A touch of luxury

To make your laundry super luxe, consider installing a clothes warmer or heated drying rack to track your laundry turnover!

“Airing cupboards and drying racks, in particular the George and Willy rack, is simply a perfect solution to wet weather washing,” Emma says. "Be sure to check energy ratings for these appliances and compare them against traditional clothes dryers if you're trying to minimise energy use."

A ceramic butler's sink can add a wow factor to an otherwise simple room, perfect for hand washing and filling buckets.

Integrated cabinetry for your appliances creates a sleek and tailored finish to the room as well.

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5 laundry room mistakes to avoid

1. Clutter

Emma says, “Clutter should be avoided. Keep the space nice and tidy. The laundry should not be a dumping ground for other household items. Try and be strict about its use as a utility room and you'll find more pleasure in using this space.”

2. Lack of storage

Insufficient storage for laundry supplies, cleaning products and other items means they're more likely to be left out. Every item should have a home. Adequate storage helps maintain an organised space.

3. Not enough power points

Not having enough power points can impact your laundry room's functionality. Include plenty of power points and ensure they're readily accessible.

4. Following the trends

Avoid incorporating too many trendy elements that may quickly become outdated. Choose timeless features and a neutral colour palette.

5. Forgetting practical needs

While having a gorgeous laundry is wonderful, don't forget the practical elements. Do you need a transitional laundry room where workers can strip off their work clothes before entering the house? Are you near the beach and need an easy-clean entry where wet bathers can be immediately rinsed and hung?

Choosing your Henley laundry room

The laundry needs to be a space that's functional and easy to navigate to make the sometimes tedious task of doing a load (or three!) bit more enjoyable.

Modern families often opt for a spacious laundry room to cater for their daily demands. Some Henley laundries are up to four metres long, making them perfect for larger families that need a lot of storage space.

Henley also offers more compact sized laundries for smaller families with ample storage and a contemporary yet timeless aesthetic that will be functional for many years to come.

We've explored a few tips to make your new laundry fun and inspiring. Hopefully, someone else will volunteer to do the washing for a change!

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