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laundry room idea board

    Like most large households, ours produces a massive amount of laundry. And like most moms, doing that laundry is far from my favorite task.

    I have found in my limited research that most laundry-doers fall into one of these categories:

    1. you are forced to do laundry when you realize the kids are out of underwear. You have laundry-palooza and wash/dry/fold/put away 83 loads in one day.

    . . . or . . .

    2. you wash and dry as things get dirty, but are left with wrinkly clothes that sit mounded in baskets/your guest bed/your floor for days {or sometimes weeks} on end.¬† When the mountain can get no larger {or the kids complain that they can’t find any clean underwear} you spend four hours folding in front of some highly intelligent tv show like the Bachelor or Housewives of BH.

    Am I right?

    Unless you are my mom and find great joy in doing laundry and search the house for things that might possibly need washing just so you can do another load.

    I’m not kidding. She’s crazy. In a good way.

    Anyway …

    I’m ready to change my ways and be a little more like my mama. Or at least reduce the elevation of my weekly mountains.

    Most people would create a schedule or system to make things easier, or enlist their children to help. Not me. When in doubt, I redecorate.

    Let me explain …

    Here’s what my laundry room looks like today:


    It’s a nice enough space – long and skinny, but plenty of room to move around. It’s light, conveniently located in our house {upstairs} and we bought a new washer & dryer last year that we are very happy with {top loading washer}.


    The cabinets are reused from our kitchen {ugliest finish ever}, the laundry bins are random rubbermaid totes, and the wire shelf holds clutter. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for a clean, functional laundry room with plenty of storage {the washer was on our back porch in our old house and I was too scared of rodents to go out there half the time}, but I’m thinking that maybe if it was functional AND pretty, I would be more interested in spending time in the room. It may be a faulty theory, but I’m going to give it a shot.

    Here’s what I’m thinking:


    1. It all started with the rug. West Elm was having a rug sale and I just couldn’t pass this one up. While I usually steer clear from bold color, the laundry room seems like the perfect place to go for it.

    2. Next came the idea to paper the back wall using my favorite gift wrap. I did this technique in the nursery, so I figured it would work again in here.

    3. The butterfly print is from IKEA – it tones down the color while still being a pretty focal point. I’m thinking it will go along the left wall.

    4. I will for sure paint the cabinets white and would like to replace the wire shelf with one or two wood ones. I still have to think about the hanging-clothes issue.

    5. The chippy dresser will stay for now. I have no other place for it and actually think it could work in the room once everything else is looking good.

    6. Time to upgrade from rubbermaid totes for dirty laundry bins – the cute gingham ones will come in the mail this week. Not sure what the material is like, but hoping they will work.

    7. Let’s talk about that striped bin. Is it not the cutest? Also coming this week and very excited.

    So that’s the plan. I’ll keep you posted …


    74 thoughts on “laundry room idea board”

    1. I think you are rubbing off on me!!LOL! Just before Easter, I decided the laundry room needed a picture, so I downloaded a cartoon guy in undies standing in front of a washer and added the quote Wash today, naked tomorrow! seems like hubby is always waiting for clean undies! (he does his own washing!)My laundry room is far from being finished since it is a bathroom too! Just waiting for it to warm up before installing the tile, bathroom, shower and vanity (this is the second bathroom in a newly constructed house). I would have loved to have made just a laundry room with just a sink but hubby says it will ‘add value to the house’…yes but it still costs to make it! Nevertheless, you are definitely an inspiration. Looking forward in seeing the end result.

    2. What a beautiful laundry room! I love the “I Can Not Do It All” print you have on your idea board. Where can I find that???

    3. Love your plan – very inspiring! After decorating my laundry room like any other part of my home I can tell you, it does make doing the laundry a lot more pleasant. I will soon be downsizing to a much smaller home but I will take the time to make my laundry space beautiful, however small it may be. It’s often the littlest of things that inspire and bring us joy.

    4. I just saw that Butterfly poster at Ikea this week as well and have been racking my brain trying to find a place for it. I even rationalized that one day, I will have a daughter who will need this in her room lol. Loving the eclecticly vintage vibe you are going with!

    5. I too would love to know how to make an idea board! We are in the process of buying our first home and I would love to know how to put some of these together to get all of the ideas floating around in my head actually onto paper!

    6. I am in love with this! I want it for my craft room. But can you share about how you paper the wall with gift wrap? I would love an Emily tutorial on that! Adorable!

    7. Love it! I especially love the colors! My laundry room is similar and I am working on making it more attractive, especially since it is on the main floor and visible as you walk from the front to the back of my house. My question is what roman shade are you using on your window?

    8. Hey Emily LOVE the laundry room ideas. Have you eve rdone a tutorial on how to do these idea boards? I think they are great and would be putting my ideas in a form that makes since to other. =)Thanks so much!

    9. That is my mom, too!! It’s amazing. I totally believe I’m bad at laundry because she was a laundryzilla and wouldn’t let us touch it. Ha! At least thinking so makes me feel better.
      I love your ideas and colors. Maybe now I’ll be inspired to spiff up my laundry room (and be a little less of a combination of all bad laundry categories. = )

    10. I am a number 2, totally. And my mom is just like your mom! I call her the laundry nazi because she will, almost literally, take the shirt off your back so she can fill up a load.

    11. It’s going to look great! Can’t wait to see it all finished. Love those gingham laundry hampers! I laughed out loud at your description of #2. It’s definitely me and What Not to Wear is my go-to show, with something HGTV as a runner up. Right now it’s Sarah’s House.

    12. You are absolutely right, change the decor and you are bound to want to go in there at least a little more than you do currently. Especially with all the bright yellow in the drab winter. Great choices.

    13. Love your plan! I have four kids too and have the black and white striped bins. I LOVE them!! They are awesome! I fold their clothes and put them straight in there and eventually they get put away totally, but I like the bins so much, I havent minded seeing them around. :). Hope you love them too! Can’t wait to see the finished room.

    14. I am related to your mother, or maybe it is the stage of life she and I are in. I could do laundry for a living. Just don’t ask me to iron any of it. I love your ideas. Make it pretty. The rest of your life is lovely so why not? I read your blog all the time. I wish I felt free to spend the money on your blog class. I so want to know more about blogs but I just don’t think I have much to say.

      1. Oh, I’m sure you have wonderful things to share! Be thinking about what passions you have, what wisdom you have, experiences to share. We’d love to have you in the class!

    15. I’m for sure a #2er. RHOBH is getting interesting!! I’m too lazy to read through all the comments, so it may have already been suggested, but my MIL has wooden shelves in her laundry room, with suspension rods on the front. My FIL keeps telling her he’ll drill holes for dowels, but the rods have been working all these years :)

    16. Your idea sounds great…love your board concepts. I just know you will make something beautiful out of that room..wish I could do something w/mine, which is just a “laundry room where the boiler is”..Your post got me thinking, since you
      mentioned “redecorating” and ordering by mail..I have a new online website called It’s a brand new revamped online company featuring cutting edge home decor at fantastic prices. We have weekly “Flash Sales”. This past week was one on rugs, which got me thinking you might like to check it out! I’m sure you’ll find many great items to spruce up your lovely home. I enjoy your blog and read daily..always in awe of what you do!
      I am also on Facebbook : AtHomewithLindaSangirardi.

    17. Just a heads up – my kids are a little older than yours – the laundry hampers are pretty but you may not find them very functional being long and narrow.

    18. Love your laundry room ideas, it is a place I loathe!! I have begun the process of trying to make it a happier place with some framed artwork and fresh paint!! I did just have to order those rugby stripe totes for my shelves, super cute!! Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to see it done:0)

    19. I started redecorating my laundry room last summer. Started. We got as far as the paint! We are first owners of our home, so my laundry room began as a small white room with white appliances –even the sink and cabinet are white! Now the walls are a lovely shade of soft gray. I’ve asked the hubby for 2 rows of open shelves above the W&D (which is the hold-up), but once he can get those in, I’m thinking cute red wire locker baskets (from Crate & Barrel) to hold all the stuff. And I have a cute red “lost socks” sign already (that used to hang in my daughter’s nursery). Those grey & white hampers would look great… thanks!

    20. I love my Top Load washer, with 6 of us it holds the most! I know the “trend” is front load but we wash to the beat of a different drum!!

    21. lovely! sunny!! I am gaga over buffalo check these days. What a great idea board you made.

      My laundry tide ebbs and flows with my cycle {Can you write that word on a blog comment??}. My neurotic days, the laundry room is spotless and my kids have brooms in their hands. My nice days, it is ALL Mt. Everest in there. haha.

        1. In my laundry room a hanging bar is essential – I hate to iron so I hang almost everything as I take it out of the dryer. Not sure I can do much to make my laundry room pretty – it is in the end of the garage closest to the house.

          You could use the brackets that attach to the sides of closet walls and cut a closet rod to fit the space between your cabinets. Just don’t get the plastic brackets – get the wooden ones. You could then temporarily attach the brackets to the cabinet, put the rod in place, and once all level insert screws from the inside of the cabinet through the brackets into the rod (just be careful to line everything up so that your screw doesn’t miss the rod).

          I just found you so I’m sure I’ll be checking out previous posts when I should be doing something else over the next few days!

    22. Thank you for the room idea board! :) I may use this as inspiration. I’ve got the open white shelving up, and that’s about where I stopped… but since I spend lots of time in this room- I should enjoy it, right?

    23. I’m excited to see the end results! What great things you’ve found to make it inviting. Like it or not we all spend many hours of the week in there it should make you happy.

    24. Your design is so pretty! :) I love all the yellow. I have the same mentality about my laundry and spiffed up my space last fall. It’s still not my favorite chore, but I mind it much, much less now that my room is more attractive. Good luck! :)

    25. I actually don’t mind laundry (but I hate doing dishes so…). I do the laundry every other week and start on Sunday night by sorting all the loads. I hang up all clothing to dry (except for socks and underwear) so I end up doing 1-2 loads per day. I have a folding table in my laundry room (yes, having one is awesome) so I just fold everything once it’s dry and put into individual laundry bins for every one to put away themselves.

      On another note, I have several of the black and white bins that I use in the playroom and they are awesome!

    26. And, where is the light from? Love, love, love it. We spend so much time in the laundry room, might as well make the space as delightful as possible!

    27. I love everything about this room ~ especially the light, rug & butterfly print. Our laundry rooms look identically shaped so I might steal this decor. :)

      Did you do a tutorial on gift wrap wallpaper??

    28. Looking forward to the after pictures. I do not have that much room, but I think a little organizing and it will inspire me to get in there more often. I’m lucky my husband does laundry…hehe!!

    29. Laundry is NOT my favorite thing to do but it is an inevitable task! {I actually had the crazy notion to have my boys do their own laundry – they are 9 and 12 – but then school started and that idea went right out the window.}
      I have found, at my sister-in-law’s recommendation, that establishing a particular day as “Laundry Day” helps keep me in a routine and not let the clothes pile up. I chose Thursday because it is normally a day I am home all day, or most of the day, and I can just keep the loads going one after the other. I fold everyone’s laundry, if possible, but usually have the boys fold and put away their own clothes. It’s good for them. ;}
      We keep our hampers in each of our closets. That keeps my laundry room uncluttered and allows room for a drying rack and a shelf with bar (same as yours) for hanging shirts to dry. The boys are responsible to put their dirty clothes in their hampers and know that if they want it washed (or want to wear it again), it has to be in their hamper. On “Laundry Day”, I collect all the hampers {or usually yell to the boys to bring them to me – let’s be real here} and sort the clothes. I have been doing my and my husband’s clothes together – whites/lights and darks and then the boys together – whites/lights and darks. Then I usually do one combined load of jeans and another load of towels. It works for me.
      I love the rug you chose!

      1. Oh my…somehow I missed your lines about creating a schedule to make things easier but preferring to redecorate. Oops! Ignore my suggestion — but maybe it will help one of your readers. Ha!! :}

    30. i’ve been begging my husband to bust the wall seperating our closet from the laundry room. I don’t care about my closet I just want to take my clothes out of the dry and hang them immediately. Non the less, he keeps saying no. It would be the best mother’s day gift every…he still doesn’t care LOL. Laundry actually putting away laundry because we are a house of 7…is my criptonite! {I’m supermom}.

    31. A number one here! In fact, I am just on my computer avoiding doing laundry in spite of the fact my son put on his last pair of underpants this morning. I am blaming my husband’s crazy travelling/work from home schedule for messing up my routine. :) I love your approach though, I think I might go and have a look and see how I can pretty up my space! That should give me another hour before I have to get started…..

    32. Yes laundry never gets done on its own here in our house. I think we do ours when our son runs out of pants! I love the chandelier for your proposed renovation. If I had a chandelier and a beautiful space, I would do laundry everyday!

    33. I love the laundry room inspiration board! Maybe if mine was prettier I would enjoy doing laundry more :). I don’t mind washing, but I HATE folding and putting it all away. I love to “fluff” my laundry because I feel like I’m doing laundry when I push that button, but I get to wait another 20 minutes before having to fold. Haha!

    34. Okay, so I’m weird I know, but I actually kind of enjoy doing laundry. :) We’re currently working on sprucing up our laundry room, which is big and spacious, and I can’t wait to get it done!

      Ps. I LOVE that chippy dresser and have been looking for something like that for several years. You sure you don’t want to get rid of it? (Course I have no idea where you live so it’s likely not feasible, although if you are in PA I really am pretty serious!)

      1. I know – isn’t it a good chippy dresser? It used to be in our entry, but then we moved things around and it became homeless. I’m sure it will move again someday, but I think I’ll enjoy seeing it in the laundry room.

    35. go for the wooden shelves! just use the brackets to hold a wooden rod. eddie ross did such a thing for martha stewart … i just re-saw it in the special martha organizing magazine, but i’m sure you could google it and find a pic. i love how this looks … i was going in a similar direction with our laundry room, and then – like every other room in the house – it veered more modern/industrial. oh well …

    36. I <3 this post!
      {1} Because it shows me that you have a space this "un-cute" in your BEAUTIFUL house and that is reassuring is some strange way to me.
      {2} Because laundry is so lame & I agree spicing up your space will be a huge motivator! I have no clue how my mother kept up with laundry for 5 children. I have 3 and it is never-ending!
      {3} Mine is actually pretty cute, but I think I could use a little freshen up & you have now motivated me!
      Can't wait to see the reveal! Happy re-decorating!

    37. Beautiful inspiration pics… I have a HUGE laundry room and it is pitifully decorated and underutilized! I do laundry every Tuesday and it all gets washed, dried, hung, folded, AND put away…. EXCEPT for the dreaded ironing. My husband is a dentist and he wears a dress shirt/pants everyday except Saturdays. I have always been too cheap to send out his stuff to a dry cleaners because the bill would be quite large with that amount of items per week, grrr.

      PS – where is the chandelier photo from? Love it, would be gorgeous in my new studio ;)

      1. Hi Dawn –
        My husband has to wear a dress shirt everyday too! Might I recommend Brooks Brothers non-iron dress shirts. You can launder (no fabric softener) and dry. Pull them right out of the dryer and they require no ironing, NO KIDDING! Saves a ton on dry cleaning and ironing time!! Nordstrom and Banana Republic also carry a non-iron shirt too.

    38. Emily,

      I’m definitely no# 2. And I sit here typing when I should be folding…. We also have our stacked machines on our second floor, too. Here’s my dilema: they are in our community BATHROOM! It’s not a tight space, but there’s no place to fold in there. So I usually end up folding in my bedroom. Of course, I never get around to it until after the kids are in bed. I do get them involved but that often leads to missing socks and underwear.

      If you have any suggestions for folks with 4+ kids and piles of laundry with no folding table or cabinets would be GREAT!

      I need storage ideas to get my room looking like a room instead of a laundry room, lol!

    39. I have a laundry nook so not even a room. I want to redo that space something awful. Thanks for the inspiration. Also, I know you like the R. Watkins hand soap, so do I, but do you equally like the laundry products? Have you tried Mrs. Meyers and if so which do you like the best?

    40. I just had to laugh regarding your comments about your Mom – I will guess we might be in the same age bracket – I LOVE TO DO LAUNDRY TOO!!! Love the piles of warm, clean, folded clothes to take a distribute to drawers and closets, etc. I could laundry for a living actually and have often wondered if I missed my career of laundromat owner. Where does Mom live? Perhaps a joint venture!!!!

    41. I love all your ideas! My laundry room is currently in our garage and I HATE it. But you do whatcha gotta do, no? I bought some metal shelving from IKEA to make the space a little more functional, but it’s still not pretty like we women like it. Can’t wait to see yours all done and looking fabulous!

    42. I love all of your ideas! My laundry room is currently in the garage and I HATE it. But you do whatcha gotta do, no? I bought some metal shelving from IKEA to help the space a little, but it is still not pretty like we women like it. Can’t wait to see yours all done, Emily!

    43. we spunked up our laundry room last year and although it was nothing more than a paint job and laying a rug down, it’s really more pleasant to be in. in my plan i also had those big ikea baskets, but i have been unable to find them. have you had any luck?

    44. {not the same Erin as above :-) }
      I definitely fall in the #1 category, though I like to think that’s because our washer and dryer are located in a dark and somewhat scary corner of our basement, down a flight of rickety-at-best stairs. One of my dreams is a laundry room that doesn’t slightly terrify me – so one that looks as good as yours will is above and beyond. Can’t wait to see the final product so I can live vicariously.
      Oh, and incidentally I just purchased the butterfly print for our living room and completely love it!

    45. You just spoke straight to the heart! I’m a number 2. A bachelor girl…with mounds to fold. Tried to start a new routine… 5 loads on monday, 1/2 every other day of the week. It hasn’t worked. Probably because I haven’t done it! So….I’m redoing the laundry room too. Hubby just built tables over the washer and dryer to fold on thinking maybe ill fold as they come out of the dryer… High hopes! Can’t wait to see your redo! Erin

    46. You have definitely nailed the laundry routine around here! And I agree with you. If the laundry room were prettier, I would be more likely to do it. LOVE that paper from Paper Source, and those gingham hampers are to die for!! Just don’t know if I can part with my perfectly good wicker ones from Pottery Barn. At least you have a wonderful room – with a window ! I have a laundry closet…just haven’t figured out what to do with it.

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