7 Clever, Unusual Laundry Room Ideas
The typical laundry room formula of subway tiles, winter white walls and pine board flooring is classic and reliably pretty. However, after decades of similar designs, it can feel a bit too tried and true. While an all-out remodel might be the direction you would like to take, sometimes a tiny tweak can make a big difference. Applying a fresh coat of paint in a shocking shade can create an entirely new space. Swapping out all door pulls and knobs for antique-inspired hardware can establish a new atmosphere.
Follow below for our top seven beautiful, yet unusual laundry room ideas for a 2021 update sure to make you fall in love with this oft-loathed chore. Remember to consider taking big risks with your small space. Contrary to conventional wisdom, they can handle bold patterns, dark colors and a variety of textures.
7 Unusual Laundry Room Ideas for a 2021 Update
. 1 SWAP SCANDI NEUTRALS FOR A DARK AND MOODY COLOR PALETTE .
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Feel like you have followed Gracy Kelly onto the set of High Society by pairing a gentle, toile wallpaper with mid century brass accents. Finish off the old-meets-new look with moody wall paint and a classic checkerboard floor. The dark-stained butcher block countertops and bench seat pictured above add a bit of character and age to the space. Even the high-gloss navy stacked washer dryer adds an aesthetic flair with its sculptural design. To get the look, consider our suggestions below.
For that feminine touch, consider Burke Decor’s Summer Palace Wallpaper in Blue and Beige Color by Osborne & Little. Another option is Farrow & Ball’s Peony BP 2317 Wallpaper. Set the soft toile or chintz wallpaper against Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue interior paint. Christine Pittel, Sienna Livermore and Emma Bazilian all endorse Hague Blue. They mention the color in their article “33 Blue Paint Colors for Every Kind of Room” for House Beautiful. The writers explain that “when it comes to painting pint-sized rooms, designers often reach for a deep, dark blue, like perennial favorite Hague Blue.”
To achieve a bit of ‘50s flair, we suggest accent lamps from Perigold, particularly the Metamorphosis 32″ Antique Brass Buffet Lamp. The lamp’s brass base neck, high-gloss black base and flounce accent make it the perfect dash of mid century glamour. Lastly, choose a black and white marble tile — faux or real — set in a diamond pattern facing the laundry room door. We love the veining of Affinity Tile’s Buzzini tile.
. 2 COLOR BLOCK THE CABINETS .
Color blocking can be bold and eye-catching or soft and subtle depending on the colors chosen. A glossy white set against a matte beige might read glamorous and feminine while black and forest green could read intense and masculine. For laundry rooms, we recommend classic color blocking combinations set apart through unusual choices in placement and scale. In the laundry room above, designers accented in both black and white. They did so in the black trim along the white cabinets and the white negative space of the gingham wallpaper.
However, black and white blocks — in the door, machines and cabinetry — interacted with each other in a unique way. They create an almost checkerboard pattern across the room. For a bold, bright and exciting laundry room, we recommend following the advice of Lindsey Mather and Zoë Sessums. In their article “9 Color Blocking Ideas for a Bright, Cheery Home” for Architectural Digest they discuss the best combinations. We particularly love the combinations of terracotta and beige, mixtures of “citrus hues” and blocks of “retro pastels” Mather and Sessums suggest.
. 3 ACCESSORIZE WITH VINTAGE OR ANTIQUE-INSPIRED HARDWARE .
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You might prefer a more austere, Georgian look reminiscent of campaign furniture or the sugary tones of Grand Millennial designs. Either way, antique accents are everywhere in 2021. As such, try swapping out factory hardware for brass and colored glass knobs or pulls in your laundry room this year. This small change will undoubtedly add interest and whimsy while keeping your home delightfully on-trend. Best of all, antique hardware meshes well with nearly every existing design style — from French farmhouse to mid-century modern. For a continental farmhouse style laundry room, we recommend jumping on drawer pulls made from subtle pink or white milk glass. One might even consider those made from bright green Depression glass. We love the Manor House Knobs made from pink glass sold by Anthropologie.
For a mid-century vibe, we love the Pepe Mendoza Pull Handles from 1stDibs pictured below. With their brass framing, patinated green ceramic inlay and organic shape, these 1950s pulls add oodles of character and history to any space. Those seeking a more subtle nod to the past might consider the Antique Brass Cup Pulls from Etsy. One might also consider the Gold Sherle Wagner Drawer or Cabinet Pull Ribbon from 1stDibs. Lastly, one might be enticed by the fan-shaped Graham Brass Knobs from Anthropologie.
. 4 DRESS IT UP WITH A DRAMATIC SINK FAUCET OR LIGHT FIXTURE .
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Consider dipping into this year’s’ interiors trends when choosing faucets and light fixtures for your laundry room. Capture the vintage interiors trend with a mushroom lamp-inspired pendant or a green glass drum fixture. Because organic shapes are still very much in fashion, consider a bubble chandelier or an undulating fan-shaped fixture. For faucets, try not to shy away from oversized, long-stemmed pieces — even those typically intended for industrial kitchens. We love delicate yet bold faucets — e.g. those of polished brass or brushed bronze with swan-like necks. Especially pretty is the black faucet pictured above, which appears to float over the marble slab.
Our favorites for faucets include Rejuvenation’s Culinary Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet in Satin Brass. A second favorite is Homary’s Simple Pull Down Kitchen Faucet with Dual Function Single Handle in Black & Gold, Solid Brass. Light fixtures we love for laundry rooms include the vintage stacked 1960s Blue Pendant Light by Swedish designer Hans-Agne Jakobsson. We also love the contemporary LUNA pendant with Pink, Blue, Bronze, Grey Glass Globes and Brass Hardware, both from 1stDibs. Pictured above is one final option: the Brass Finish Mushroom Pendant Light from Beautiful Halo.
. 5 ADD A SPA-LIKE ATMOSPHERE WITH ROMANTIC LIGHTING .
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Transform your laundry room from a place you have to be to a beloved spot by creating the right atmosphere. Dimmable, transitional lighting will help turn any bright, white — often clinical — laundry room or mudroom into a romantic, spa-like space. Consider dimmable wireless LED under cabinet lighting above if your laundry room has open or glass door shelving. If your laundry room has closed, fully opaque cabinet doors, consider frosted wall sconces. One can establish a space as equally well-suited to drinking wine and cuddling up with a book as fluffing and folding towels. However, to do so, one must be sure to stay away from blue-toned light. Pick bulbs with a soft, warm glow. Choose from our favorites below!
Our favorite light fixtures for creating a spa-like atmosphere in a home laundry room include organic shapes inspired by nature. Others boast vintage and industrial elements. For vintage-inspired pieces, we adore the Jube Wall Sconce by Vistosi from Lumens while for industrial we love Perigold’s Eloise Ceramic 1-Light Wall Sconce. For a special piece inspired by nature, consider the Contemporary Hand-Built Ceramic Wall Light by French designer Elsa Foulon. Another favorite of a similar color palette is the Minimalist geometric sconce, natural gray ceramic and brass by Atelier BAM. Last but not least is the Rustic Steel Hexagon Wall Light from Shades of Light.
. 6 WALLPAPER THE CEILING .
Take a couple pages from the Laura U Design Collective archives and consider wallpapering the ceiling of your laundry room! Pictured above are two LUDC-designed laundry rooms — one from the Regentview residence and another from the historic 1925 Boulevard Show House! Those with a bit more of an adventurous spirit might consider bringing ceiling wallpaper a few inches down the bordering walls. This adds depth and dimension to the space. The LUDC team explained their choices for the Regentview laundry room in the 2019 blog post “FINAL REVEAL FRIDAY – MID-CENTURY WARMTH IN MEMORIAL.”
According to the post, “touches of green in the wallpaper on the ceiling…are not what you’d expected to see in a laundry room.” However, for the Regentview homeowners, it perfectly echoed their taste and other design elements. It reflected “the lime green countertops in their home in Michigan.” In the 2017 post “THE BOULEVARD SHOW HOUSE,” the LUDC team noted their choice of striped floral wallpaper for the sculptural ceiling. The linear design of the wallpaper reflects well off the floor tiling and streamlined look of the under-sink cabinets.
. OUR PICKS FOR LAUNDRY ROOM CEILING WALLPAPER .
For small laundry rooms, we recommend wallpaper with a metallic or reflective sheen. This shine will bounce light around the room, making the ceilings seem more vaulted than they actually are. It will also make the rest of the space feel airier than it really is. Our favorite wallpapers for laundry room ceilings include Artemest’s Italian La Scala Milano Wallcovering and Madison & Grow’s Sophia Wallpaper in Bohemian Highway. Another is Mind the Gap’s Human Nature Wallpaper in Brown and Pink for Burke Decor. Our final glittery wallpaper is West Elm’s Tempaper Hexagon Removable Wallpaper in Regal Noir. For a non-metallic yet visually stunning wallpaper that functions almost as a neutral, consider Madison & Grow’s Chloe print in Night Sky.
. 7 WARM YOUR TOES WITH TEXTILES .
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Though laundry rooms rarely feature cozy elements like tufted armchairs or comfortable bench seats, a plush rug is a must-have for any such space. Though a small addition, tossing a cozy high-pile rug on the floor of your laundry room will keep your knees from scraping the floor. It will also prevent your feet from touching cold tiles while you load the washer or dryer. Jump on the timely resurgence of the Danish mid-century modern design trend by choosing an area rug in a funky design and organic colors. We love siennas, rusts, stone grays and midnight blues for Hygge-inspired laundry rooms. One of the most enjoyable moments experienced in the laundry room is burrowing into a pile of fresh-from-the-dryer sheets. As such, why should a laundry room not be a cozy place?
For American — and international — mid-century-inspired laundry room rugs, we love Article.’s Parallel rug — the only slate blue shade — and Perigold’s Delmar Chevron Handmade Tufted Wool Brown/Beige Area Rug. We also cannot help but adore the Agnes Rug in Rust from Burke Decor which. While not Danish — or really mid-century in origin — it was inspired by the incredible Canadian-American artist Agnes Martin. An excellent twin for the Martin-esque rug is the Prairie Modern Rug from Burrow. The piece calls to mind the linear yet organic designs of Frank Lloyd Wright.