Laundry Luxe 101 – Renovation Ideas for your Laundry

Walk into any home built over 30 years ago and chances are the laundry is a separate room with a single trough cabinet in one corner. We want every space to work hard these days.

People are spending more on laundries now than ever before. This does not always mean going bigger – but it does mean that they are getting smarter! Smarter in looks as well as intelligent, space-multiplying design!

Types of Laundry


Large laundry / mudroom plansA mudroom generally has an entry to the home from the outside, it is a transition room from the dirty outdoors to the pristine indoors. They are made to accommodate muddy or wet boots and coats and to stop that mud and damp entering the main part of the house. Those who have lived on a farm will be very familiar with this concept. Mudrooms tend to be large, however, the ideas of a mudroom can be incorporated into more compact spaces.

Mudroom Ideas:

  • Drying rails exclusively for dirty clothes;
  • Shoe storage where mud and damp can dry;
  • Exclusive baskets for heavily soiled clothing, lights and darks;
  • Seating area for careful removal of boots;
  • Consider dedicating one side of the room to muddy items and the other side to clean items.

Dedicated Laundry Room

Laundry renovation plansIt may be large or small, but it is within its own room. Many people prefer this option as it provides the possibility of closing the door on the washing! Washing machine noise is also more easily dampened behind a door. The most common configuration for laundries of this size is a single wall of cabinetry, usually with a window on the wall near the trough meaning overhead cabinets cannot extend from wall to wall. Make sure you get the most out of the space that is available why not consider adding shallower open shelving to that area instead.

Laundry Room Ideas:

  • See the full list of laundry ideas for storage, function and style below.

European Laundry

These are usually installed behind bi-fold doors or under the stairs. The name came about as many laundries in Europe are configured in this way. European laundries ensure that no floor space is wasted and can they can, therefore, allow more room in renovations for a meals area, living space or another bedroom. The doors that hide the functionality can be carefully crafted to tie in with other built-in cabinetry in your home, to look like panelling or even a wall!

Check out our recent blog post detailing how a renovation involving the exchange of an old laundry room for a European laundry. It gave just the right amount of space for a new meals area and it now connects the home to a beautiful back garden that was previously only accessible by a side door!

European Laundry Ideas

  • Hide your laundry behind bi-fold doors for easy access; OR
  • Hide it behind double doors to allow additional storage behind doors; OR
  • Hide it behind a stylish sliding barn door;
  • Install overhead cabinets up to the ceiling for maximum storage;
  • Stack your washing machine and dryer;
  • Consider placing your European laundry under the stairs, in a wide corridor, or near the kitchen.

Laundry in the Bathroom

Many units and flats incorporate the laundry into the bathroom. It can be a very uninspiring space if not thought through carefully. A laundry in the bathroom does not have to be this way! It is possible to feel like you are at a luxe resort even when the bathroom must be shared with the washing machine.

Laundry in the Bathroom Ideas:

  • Hide your washing machine behind bifold doors in the style of a European laundry; OR
  • Limit the laundry to one side of the room, tucking the machine under a beautiful benchtop;
  • Match overhead cabinets to the style of the vanity – perhaps even incorporating mirrors.

Improvements That can be Made to all Laundries

Increase Your Storage

Laundry renovation - increase storage

This is how you pack functional storage into a laundry! Shoes, vented drying cupboards, hooks for frequently used jackets, lots of miscellaneous storage and even the cat’s bowl and bed are taken care of in here.

Look through real estate listings and the floorplans will often show laundries with as much floor space as the bedrooms. An inspection of the laundry in these older homes will often reveal poorly utilised space. How can you fix a laundry with no storage space? Built-in cabinetry can increase storage space immensely. If that built-in storage is designed around what you have to store, it can increase storage even more!

  • Measure the items you want to store to ensure that you have enough room for bulky items. There is nothing worse than finding that the cupboard you had pegged for the Christmas tree is 1cm too narrow and the door must remain ajar forevermore;
  • Storage does not have to be limited to cabinets that sit on the floor. Storage that goes up the wall means you can store long items in tall cabinets and smaller items in higher cabinets or lower drawers – all neatly tucked behind closed doors;
  • Install floor to ceiling cabinets in key locations for maximum storage;
  • Cabinets above benchtops provide great storage without losing precious bench space;
  • Front-loader washing machines can be tucked under a bench to give more bench space in the laundry than a top-loader. A long benchtop can add to the sense of space;
  • Broom storage behind the door provides easy access, but keeps them out of sight;
  • Dedicated cupboard for storing vacuum cleaner, clotheshorse and other bulky items;
  • For slightly smaller laundries that have cabinetry on either side, consider making some cabinetry shallower to afford more floor space.

Improve the Functionality


Even the cats have decided this is a beautiful space. Open shelving by the window ensures light is not impeded. A stacked washing machine and dryer leave the rest of the room to provide accessible storage.

A well-designed laundry saves you time, increases productivity and reduces clutter.

  • Drying cupboards with a built-in central heating outlet (or turn the whole laundry into a drying room). Whichever way you go, ensure there is adequate ventilation to let the humid air escape;
  • Built-in washing baskets mean light and dark loads are already separated;
  • Laundry chute (new builds) from the second storey enables washing to be gathered with ease;
  • Shoe racks keep dirty shoes accessible yet out of sight;
  • Locker space for kids’ school things gives everything a place;
  • Sewing table for larger laundries – now that laundries are going luxe, it can be a pleasant space to spend creative (or mending) time;
  • Built-in folding ironing board;
  • Install drying racks within cupboards or in the laundry itself. These can be beautiful as well as functional;
  • A hanging rail for shirts above the bench is a great way to make a laundry room double as a drying room. With rails available in tactile timber or metallic finishes, it is possible to create a beautiful and functional set up;
  • Sinks – don’t skimp on the sink. Small laundries may need a small sink, but if you have the room, install a large trough. There are so many large items that need cleaning every now and then – it is worth ensuring there is a place to do that easily;
  • Allow a little more than 600mm for the bench. Although washing machines are 600mm deep, pipes must be accommodated.

Streamline Your Look

Laundry renovation - luxe

Stone flooring has been continued up the wall for an elongating effect to increase the sense of space in this laundry. Dirty items are confined to the left and clean items to the right to avoid cross-contamination. Luxe is amped up with a gorgeous Belfast sink and Perrin and Rowe tapware.

While we want the functionality, we don’t necessarily want to see it! Here are some tips to keep your laundry looking neat while maintaining that important functionality.

  • Relocate plumbing from full view. Taps for the washing machine do not have to be on display, they can be tucked in a cupboard out of sight;
  • A single benchtop that spans most of the width of the laundry can give a wonderful streamlined look and impression of space. However, you may have to switch your top-loader for a front-loader;
  • Carry the cabinet and benchtop theme from your kitchen through to your laundry to unify your home’s style and feel;
  • Continue cabinetry to the ceiling for a sleek look and maximum storage;
  • To amp up the luxe, choose a beautiful sink and tapware to set your laundry off.