How To Make Your Laundry Room Look Better (And Actually Enjoy Laundry Day)

In the next edition of our “How to Make Your _______ Better,” (see here for living room, bedroom, kitchen, dining room, shower) I thought it was time to tackle the laundry room (or closet). I have yet to live in a home with laundry in-unit post moving out of my parent’s home 17 years ago. However, I do remember not loving the visual experience. To be fair it was in our kinda scary and dark garage. Now, I also remember getting to do laundry at Emily’s old LA house while housesitting a couple of times, and let’s just say it was a TOTALLY different experience. I was excited to do laundry because it was so happy in there! And while we may not all have an Emily Henderson-level laundry room, there are some easy ways to make the whole experience prettier and more enjoyable. Let’s start with the most important step…

Deep Clean (And Get Products You Love The Smell Of)

This is a given but it’s a must if you really want that laundry area feeling fresh and new. I think almost everyone has hardened old detergent somewhere on their washing machine. For GREAT tips, go check out Carolina McCauley. This woman has a cleaning hack for everything. This is how she cleans her washing machine filter. As my father (via my grandmother) always says, “where there’s soap, there’s hope.” 🙂 As for cleaning products, sure there are some that may not have your dream scent but they work for the tough stuff. But for the everyday sprays, detergents, etc. Make sure you really love the scent. I know that sounds dumb and grabbing the most affordable or what you grew up using makes the most sense, but I PROMISE it will change the experience for the better. When I started buying this dishwashing soap, I honestly started to enjoy washing dishes more. As for laundry products, I personally love this detergent and for all-purpose sprays, I love this one and this one. Drop your favorites in the comments!


This tip is pure eye candy but makes ALL the difference. While some laundry products can’t be decanted, things like laundry detergent or pods, fabric softener, dryer balls, dryer sheets, etc can and will make your laundry space look less cluttered. Might as well have the items you use most easily accessible and looking pretty. This is also a great opportunity to go to your local sustainable zero-waste refill shop if you have one in your area! That way you can bring in your own container and you’re all set. Decanting also helps you to know when you need a refill as opposed to finding out the moment you really need to wash those jeans ASAP.

Here are some of my favorite options:

1. Half Gallon Glass Pump Dispenser Bottle | 2. Glass Storage Canister with Wood Lid | 3. Glass Vintage Beverage Dispenser | 4. Marie Kondo Large Modular Glass Canister Ink Black Lid | 5. Empty Laundry Liquid Dispenser Set | 6. Extra-Large Glass Canister


Use that wall space! Let this be the push you need to finally just put up a few shelves (especially if you have one or two top loading machines). It’s an easy way to add storage and style. Look at the two laundry spaces below! On the left, you have Velinda’s laundry corner just off of her kitchen. The light wood shelves with the white brackets add a warm modern touch to a mostly white space. And since this area is next to her kitchen they provide useful and pretty storage. Then on the right is Emily’s old Glendale laundry closet. Look at how pretty and sleek that slim white metal shelf is?! It perfectly adds to the wallpaper without competing. Plus the double level for maximum storage space.

BONUS TIP: Get yourself a little trash bin for lent like Em did. Makes life a lot easier in the moment:)

left: design by velinda hellen, photo by veronica crawford, from: velinda’s under-$20,000 diy kitchen (& laundry room) gut reno | right: photo by tessa neustadt, from: laundry closet makeover

These are a few great options for shelves:

1. Wood Wall Shelf with Reversed L Bracket | 2. Walnut Brown Wood 4 Tier Floating Wall Shelf | 3. Over the Washer Storage Shelf | 4. 3-Tiered Floating Lines Metal Wall Shelf | 5. Rattan Wall Bath Shelf | 6. No Stud Floating Shelf


I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you all about the power of “the basket”. Let this not be confused with the larger laundry basket. Maybe you don’t want to decant. Maybe you have laundry tools you want to not have to look at every day but don’t have any closed storage. That’s when a cute bin or basket will be your best friend. See how cute the ones from the Portland Project look?

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: how we designed a family-friendly laundry room in the portland project

My personal favorites:

1. Small Natural Wood Handles Milk Crate | 2. Natural Hyacinth Piper Utility Basket | 3. White Ash Basket | 4. Paulownia Wood Potato Bin | 5. Dark Blue Metal Stacking Storage Bin | 6. Marie Kondo Ink Black Shoji Bamboo Bin With Liner

Drying Rack Or Bar

If you don’t have either a drying rack or bar may I HIGHLY recommend you fix this immediately. I remember the days before my drying rack, with clothes hanging all over my bathroom and bedroom and boy did it bum me out. Plus air drying your clothes will make them last longer! There are a few different options – a wall rack that folds into itself when not in use, a collapsable rack for the floor that you can tuck in a closet or in-between your washer and dryer, and lastly a bar. The bar is in my dream laundry room so if you have the space I highly recommend this one! It will get you the most space for your clothes (plus you can get pretty hangers like these). Of course, if you have a yard and generally have good weather where you live, hanging them on a clothesline outside will really give you space and you can dry everything!

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: how we designed a family-friendly laundry room in the portland project

These are the ones I would pick:

1. Bridgeport Modular Add-On Folding Drying Rack | 2. Wall / Ceiling Mounted Clothes Drying Rack | 3. Gabrielle Organizer Wood Drying Rack | 4. The Beadboard Drying Rack | 5. Accordion Drying Rack | 6. Rubber Wood and Stainless Steel Drying Rack | 7. Over-The-Door Drying Rack | 8. Greenway Folding Drying Rack | 9. Small Folding Wall-Mount Drying Rack


Hampers are kinda essential in the laundry game. If you have an actual laundry room and/or live in a single-level home, hampers with wheels are the way to go! Being able to roll and not lug feels like the ultimate luxury. Hampers are also another easy way to up the style in your space. We have also been a fan of the Steele canvas laundry baskets you see in the Portland Project but we have some other options (both with and without wheels) for you to check out:

1. Uashmama Modular Snap & Separate Laundry Bag | 2. Bamboo Eco Storage 3 Bag Laundry Sorter | 3. Steele 3 Bushel Canvas Laundry Bin | 4. Steele 2.5-Bushel Olive Vertical Rolling Laundry Hamper | 5. Wire Rolling Laundry Hamper | 6. Rounded Weave Basket

Storage Cabinet (Mostly Standing Ones)

If you have the space may I suggest a storage cabinet? It’s so nice to have both open and closed storage to hide away clutter and just have more places to put things away properly. And not only is it great for laundry products but you can use it for daily household cleaning supplies (even a vacuum if it’s the right kind!).

These have my vote:

1. Mason Pantry Cabinet | 2. Shelf Storage Cabinet | 3. PAX | 4. White Wood Convertible Armelle Kitchen Pantry Cabinet | 5. Gillian Sliding Door Wall Shelf | 6. Narrow Storage Cabinet with Pull Out Cart


Remember when I talked about decanting things like laundry detergent? Well, if you really want to make it look like a designer/stylist came into your home, get a tray. After the tray is purchased, arranged your decanted products on top, and voila, a perfectly styled laundry room! They will instantly elevate the space, I promise. Just make sure they are easily wipable as it’s inevitable that some deterrent will get all over the tray:)

photo by tessa neustadt | from: how our new laundry room came together

Check these cuties out:

1. Hilo Lava Stone and Resin Tray | 2. Decorative Marble Rectangle Tray | 3. Oslo Wood Tray | 4. Beveled Metal Decor Tray | 5. Acacia Wood Adirondack Tray | 6. Cast Metal Round Tray


Ahhh the power of art does not exclude the laundry space! Look at Allison Pierce’s home below. Those four pieces of art (minus the plates) really make this room unique and look alive. I wish I could do laundry in there too! I also think choosing playful art for laundry rooms and bathrooms is the only way to go. Show your personality and choose art you love looking at.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: working with what you’ve got – an $8k budget kitchen makeover with a lot of vintage charm

These pieces spoke to me but if they don’t do it for you check out the sites they come from. I bet they will have something that’s perfect for you!

1. Cotton Candy Leftovers by Cathy Sunu | 2. Shapes and Lines Framed Wall Arts (Set of 2) | 3. Minimalist Fine Art Print | 4. “Good Things Are Coming” Digital Print | 5. Summit | 6. New Day by Alisa Galitsyna

Extra Credit: Wallpaper And/Or Paint

If you want to add a little extra elbow crease, paint and/or wallpaper your laundry area. As you can see in the photo above and Em’s old wave wallpaper it can really make everything come to life. Plus since it’s usually a smaller room those things will be a little more affordable since you won’t need a lot. Win-win.

Is your laundry room better yet? Just kidding. But truly I hope these were helpful and good reminders that any room in your home can be made better. Any other tips from you? Let us know in the comments.

Love you, mean it.

Opening Image Credit: Photo by Tessa Neustadt | From: Laundry Closet Makeover

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