If you're stuck with a boring or ugly laundering space, learn how to decorate a laundry room with laundry room essentials that are both beautiful and functional.
This post is based both on my own experience decorating my first laundry room (previously, I washed in the corner of an unfinished basement...utility sink and all!), and my love of laundering the right way, with the right products, which I learned from the book Laundry Love.
When we first moved into our home, our laundry room felt extremely "builder grade" from 15 years ago -- boring beige with cheap lighting, and cheap shelf, and cheap linoleum flooring.
I wanted to make this a space I loved to spend time in, but I also didn't want to spend a TON of money on it, as I felt our real investments were better spent in other rooms of the house.
So, I committed to a $300 makeover, and it actually became one of my favorite rooms to decorate because it was a challenge to keep it cheap but still look good and serve our needs.
Because it was a challenge, I spent A LOT of time conducting research on what laundry room essentials to include. As a result of the time I spent, I wanted to share with you what I uncovered to be "the best of the best."
Below I answer FAQs about how to decorate a laundry room and laundry room essentials, and then I share exactly how to decorate a laundry room featuring my own $300 makeover and what I used, plus some of the other best laundry room essentials that I found and loved, but chose not to use personally (so you have extra options).
FAQs about How to Decorate a Laundry Room & Laundry Room Essentials
- Paint or wallpaper the walls.
- Decide whether to upgrade your flooring.
- Change the lighting.
- Add storage with labels.
- Fill the storage with laundry room essentials.
- Add racks to hang and dry clothes.
- Add bins to sort your clothes.
- Add an ironing board and iron.
- Finish the room with art.
(I discuss all of these steps in full detail with recommendations below.)
TVs "The Laundry Evangelist" Patric Richardson recommends the following laundry room essentials:
– A horsehair brush to help remove stains
– A spray bottle of ½ vinegar and ½ water to remove oily stains and odors
– A spray bottle of ½ vodka and ½ water to remove odors
– A spray bottle of ½ rubbing alcohol and ½ water to remove stains
– Baking soda to combat stains and odors, as well as soften fabrics
– A bar of laundry soap to pre-treat stains
– Oxygen bleach to remove color stains (like underarm stains and red wine or juice)
– Laundry flakes to wash clothes (or The Laundress Signature Detergent, the Darks Detergent, the Sport Detergent)
- Mesh bags for washing delicate clothing
– Wool dryer balls to lessen your clothes drying time
– Crease Release to help you re-wear clothes rather than wash them
– A steamer
– A steam generating iron
– Cedar blocks to store your off-season clothes
I use these laundry room essentials too and SWEAR by them. You can learn more about them and why they are recommended (as well as how to wash your clothes the right way in the book Laundry Love. It changed my life and it just may change your life too!
Buying Tips: Many of these laundry room essentials are from The Laundress, a high-quality laundry brand I ADORE. To try The Laundress products at a lower price tag, I recommend shopping directly from The Laundress, where you can save by signing up for emails/texts and buy trial sizes and/or value kits for less.
How to Decorate a Laundry Room (Featuring My Cheap Makeover)
The focus of my laundry room makeover was to make the space attractive and functional for about $300. As for the decor, I chose to focus on the symbolic colors of green and blue, as well as natural elements, to loosely represent the earthiness of washing and drying clothes.
Below are all the full details about how to decorate a laundry room.
Paint or wallpaper the walls.
Chances are, if you're working on decorating your laundry room, your walls are boring or old-fashioned. We chose to paint our builder-grade beige walls since it's cheaper and easier than wallpaper. I really liked the colors blue and green to symbolize earth and sea, and since we were already painting our bathrooms in blue, I focused on green for our laundry room walls.
Decide whether to upgrade the flooring.
Flooring is expensive, so if you are on a budget like I was, major upgrades may not be an option. My laundry room has cheap, old-fashioned linoleum flooring, but it's in great shape. I decided it was fine, especially since I was updating everything else about the room, and it isn't really a huge deal when it comes to eventually re-selling our home.
However, if you want to add something simple and cheap to update your flooring, or cover ugly flooring, I definitely recommend Ballard's performance rugs. They are cost-effective, neutral, and withstand ALL kinds of wear and tear. I use them to cover flaws in our kitchen flooring and have easily cleaned everything including tomato sauce off of them without a problem.
Change the lighting.
Next, take a close look at your lighting and whether it's both sufficient and pretty. Our laundry room had overhead lighting, and I wanted to keep it simple, so I just used the same low-cost flush mount we had decided to use throughout our home.
But really, it's up to you how simple or fancy your lighting is -- I would just make sure it's sufficient, so you can see what you are doing when working on things like stain removal.
For this reason, you may need to take a look into some easy under cabinet lighting solutions.
Add storage with labels.
Storage is definitely essential to a laundry room! From cleaning and stain supplies to ironing and steaming tools, there's a lot you will want to organize and make prettier and more functional.
Our laundry room already had a standard ClosetMaid wire shelf, which wasn't the most attractive option, but was already THERE, so I decided to just accessorize it to more closely keep within my budget.
However, I have also had great success in the past with Ikea's open shelving and would definitely recommend it if you want something prettier that can still hold a good amount of weight for a small price.
Of course, you can also add cabinets, but that will be a lot more expensive.
You may also like a utility cart you can roll around. I have one for my books!
If you are using open storage like me, you will probably want to dress up the shelves with some functional storage bins. I was really trying to incorporate natural, earthy elements as symbolism for washing and drying, so I chose these popular Container Store water hyacinth storage bins with handles (which come in multiple sizes) to store our essentials and these gold bin clip label holders to mark their contents.
Tip: I created a "lost and found" bin to store those single socks and other random items missing their match.
Fill the storage with laundry room essentials.
Since I already listed the best laundry room essentials above, I won't reiterate them here. But, I do hope you are inspired to invest in them when deciding how to decorate a laundry room, for the sake of your clothing and the environment too. It's one of the best things I have ever done, and routinely reaps rewards of time and money saved in the long run.
And if you have some loose items like clothespins or cotton balls, these glass containers are a popular choice to both store them and show them off.
Add racks to hang and dry clothes.
Racks for hanging and drying your clothes are crucial to your laundry room, in my opinion. You can both hang your clothes to steam them and air dry your clothing, which really extends its lifespan.
I used this Amazon Basics foldable laundry rack, which is really light and easy to move around and/or fold for more space when it's not in use. And I also decorated with these Ikea black wood hangers.
If you are low on space, you may prefer a wall-mounted laundry rack.
Add bins to sort your clothes.
Sorting is an important laundry room function. I knew I wanted space for not just sorting, but also for folding and hanging, and I was limited by the small size of my room, so I settled on this 3 in 1 laundry center. It's cost-effective, easy to put together, and multi-functional for all my needs.
For even more options, including those for just sorting and/or folding, Target also has some nice options I browsed and considered.
Add an ironing board and iron.
Of course, your laundry room should also have an ironing board and an iron. I already had an ironing board, but it was both ugly and stained, so I simply purchased this standard ironing board cover to upgrade it at a low cost. I also grabbed this wall mount ironing board with built-in accessory hooks to keep it tucked away neatly and give me more floor space.
Finish the room with art & decor.
Lastly, why not spruce up this functional space with some beautiful art and decor? It will please you every time you spend time in your laundry room.
I did sooo much research on laundry room art. I wanted to stay on theme, but not be too kitschy at the same time. I settled on this digital clothesline painting from Etsy (obviously on theme!), and this digital vintage ocean seascape painting from Etsy (to represent the water in washing).
I printed them through Mpix, which is known for high-quality printing. (I have now printed several digital prints through them and definitely recommend them.)
Since I am a book blogger, I also added the book Laundry Love, which truly changed the way I treat my clothes and makes for both great decor and a really useful reference.
While I didn't choose to decorate this particular room with plants, many people do, and I think that's a great, natural decor idea for this very organic type of room, so I wanted to note that I usually prefer the TJ Maxx brands for faux florals that will fool your guests.
Now you know how to decorate a laundry room with the best laundry room essentials. I hope you enjoyed my $300 makeover!
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