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green and grey laundry marble subway tiles brass handles

12 Affordable Laundry Room Design Ideas: Instant Updates without the Big Spend

After some cheap laundry room design ideas? You know, making this zone look stylish without breaking the bank. Well, you’ve hit the right blog post today because I have loads of inspo for you!

Nothing excited me more when I moved into my new home (apart from the mortgage!), than realising I had my very own laundry room. In my previous rental home, the laundry was more of a cupboard hidden under the stairs; a dark and dreary hole in the wall with little opportunity to style. And if you know me, you know I like to style every pocket of my home within an inch of its life.

All of the ideas I’m going to share with you below are really budget friendly. We’re talking stuff you can do yourself, for the most part. And things that are very much not reno-related. We’re not ripping out walls or retiling. We’re simply looking at what we have and making the most of it through some smaller fixes.

Hopefully you can get some inspo to make your own laundry room amazing too. Because who wants to be washing dirty undies in a room that looks like a dog’s dinner? Not me!

laundry room with charcoal grey walls and timber countertop

1. Paint Walls Darker

I know, this seems obvious, and every magazine suggests paint as a cheap way to revamp a room. The reason I say to do it in the laundry room though, is because this isn’t a zone everyone is going to see. lt’s also usually the smallest room in your home. So why not get adventurous in the laundry room first?

If you love the result, it you can try it in a larger room in your home and spread the magic from there. If it totally backfires and you hate the colour, at least it’s a small and easy fix that won’t cost an arm and a leg to rewind. I call this a low-risk experiment and I absolutely suggest you give it a go.

But trust me (and the picture above via thegreeneyedgirl proves it), taking your walls in a darker direction will make your laundry room a design destination. A colour like Dulux Domino is an ideal choice here if you’re after a dark charcoal tone. I’ve used this on walls in client homes before and it’s a stunner.

laundry room with floral wallpaper design and leather handles on cabinets

2. Try Removable Wallpaper

Stop scrolling. Stop rolling your eyes. I know I try and push wallpaper onto you all the time, and I know you’re fearful. But there’s really no need to be! Today’s wallpapers are not the garish nightmare varieties of the seventies and eighties. They’re actually super chic now.

And here’s the even better news: there are numerous brands creating easy-to-remove wallpaper. You know, peel-on-peel-off types of paper that won’t leave any damage underneath. Luxe Walls is a good local brand I’ve used in the past so give them a go if you want to ease into it.

This peel-on-peel-off stuff makes wallpaper a lot less scary to experiment with, and it also makes it a genius idea for renters who want to jazz up their laundry room.

See how Kresswell Interiors have done it above? I’m loving! And I know this isn’t one of the removable wallpapers, and it might not be your style. But it does give you a good idea of the impact you can make with wallpaper.

white and gold laundry room with moroccan floor rug

3. Roll Out a Rug or Runner

Laundries can often feel so cold and sterile; a forgotten zone you just dump clothes in. But by putting down a rug or runner, you take the first step in warming up this zone. Which, in winter, is very much required!

Putting a rug down in your laundry room not only warms it up, but it makes the zone feel less utilitarian. It becomes a beautiful room rather than a transient space to do chores in. And honestly, why can’t a laundry have the warmth and welcome that a living room or bedroom does? You might even start enjoying washing your smalls (miracles can happen!).

This is one of the best idea of the lot and is so simple and affordable. Let me hunt down some affordable rug or runner options for you and pop up a post on the blog shortly. The image above via Jean Stoffer gives you a good idea of how you can do it though. Aint it divine?

On a tiled floor like this you’ll also need to get a rug underlay so you don’t slip over. I do not want you slipping over!

Need tips on all things rugs? Here’s my guide to choosing the right one for your space.

laundry with floating shelves and gold tapware abi interiors

4. Install a Floating Shelf

Laundries are notoriously short on shelving and storage, so if yours is short on these essentials, it’s time to hit a hardware store like Bunnings and get some affordable shelves like these ones. They’re super easy to fix to the wall and give you a reason to look up from your washer and dryer.

Once the shelves are fixed to the wall, it’s time to get styling. I recommend you choose a colour palette or theme (coastal, black-and-white, industrial) and run with it in the vignettes you style. The image above via Abi Interiors nails this concept perfectly.

Word of warning though: many floating shelves can’t support a lot of weight, so you might have to keep it fairly light when it comes to your styling choices.

If you want something more sturdy I’d recommend calling a professional in so they can fix it to a stud in the wall properly for you and ensure the shelf isn’t going to fall off the wall and bring the plaster with it.

laundry room with landscape artwork on wall and black external farmhouse door

5. Display Some Feature Art

Another idea you don’t normally think of when it comes to the laundry; displaying art. But I love this one.

I also think it’s nice to veery away from those tongue-in-cheek artworks that are obviously made for a laundry. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with prints that give a nod to washing, or rinsing, or the fact that you’re in a laundry. But I love the idea of putting some unique and individual art up in the laundry room and making it – as I said above – a design destination!

Take cues from your home’s existing art vibe and bring that into your laundry room design. That way, all the rooms in the home feel cohesive and connected. The image above via Kate Walker Design showcases this idea perfectly.

Need help choosing art? Here’s my No-Regret Guide to Buying Art for your Home.

marble laundry tile with black tap and sink in modern laundry

6. Change Your Tapware

I’m loving the black-against-marble vibes of this laundry via Zephyr & Stone. How freakin’ chic is it? If that tapware was chrome it just wouldn’t have the same exciting sense of contrast.

This proves my point perfectly that new tapware can be life changing. This is a pretty cheap laundry room design idea and you can get it all sorted in one day. Simply pop off to somewhere like Bunnings and find yourself a wonderfully chic new tap. Then simply come home and replace it – simples!

There are other brands that do amazing things in this space too, but budget finds can be found at hardware stores and you get to see them in-person.

Need help finding the best tap colour for you? Here’s my easy cheat sheet on the most popular tap colours.

grey laundry room with black tiles and tan leather cabinetry handles

7. Replace Cabinet Handles

If you’ve been in your home a while, perhaps a cupboard door handle refresh is in order. Or, if like me, you’re just not fond of the handles that came with your new-build home, you can change them up too.

Sometimes replacing something as small as a cupboard handle can make a huge difference. Especially if you’re removing a fairly boring or basic handle and replacing it with a handle in a particular style (like industrial or French Provincial). It can actually be the element that starts changing the overall design style you have for the space.

I’m loving the trend for leather pull handles like in the image above via cabinetstory. These ones add instant modernity to the room. Notice how they speak to the colour of the upper cabinetry too? Love that sense of connection in the room.

norsu home laundry blush penny round tiles and brass tap

8. Bring in the Plants (Real or Fake)

It goes without saying that indoor plants are the bomb. I usually kill all of mine, so if you’re in the same boat, this post will show you six almost unkillable varieties. And if you think fake plants and flowers were a daggy, thing-of-the-past, this post will change your mind!

In wet spaces like kitchens, bathrooms and laundries, I love the sense of nature plants and flowers can bring to a room. Feature one show-stopping plant in the corner of the room, or opt for a smaller cluster on a shelf or bench. Either way, it’ll bring some life (literally) to the room and give you something to smile at when you’re in there!

The laundry above is from the amazing Norsu Home, which you can take a full tour of here.

black laundry with industrial feature light bulbs on wire

9. Install a Feature Light

Depending on the size of your laundry room, there’s no reason you can’t install a killer statement light that becomes the wow-factor in the space.

If you choose to install one in the middle of the ceiling that doesn’t give off a tonne of light, fear not! You can install strip lighting and recess it under your upper cabinetry so your workspace is still light and bright.

Of all the cheap laundry room design ideas in this post, this is one of my faves because it’s pretty unexpected but it packs such a punch. I’m also a bit of a sucker for an urban or industrial interior so the light above is everything.

The image above is via homelovr.

designer laundry room with feature light and tiled floor organised open shelves

10. Create Usable Vignettes

Not sure what a vignette is or how to make one work? This post will sort you out. But let me assure you, creating your own little decorating clusters is such fun in a laundry room. The reason is because you can actually use most of the items you’re staging in there, so it’s the perfect marriage of form and function.

Towels, glass jars containing detergent, dishes holding gorgeous wooden pegs; these are all items you use daily, but they also look phenomenal from a decorative perspective too. I also love stylish spray bottles with good-looking labels (surely I’m not alone, here!) and lose my mind over a cute scrubbing brush.

Image above via californiaclosets is a dream come true when it comes to displaying usable vignettes.

leather strap clothes drying hanger for laundry room

11. Make Everyday Items Designer

Loving the Leather Hanging Rail above via H&G Designs above. It’s a nice way to bring in a designer element that you’ll actually use every day.

This is a nice idea if you’ve had an existing laundry for a while and aren’t planning on a reno anytime soon. In a new reno you’d probably include a fixed drying rail, but in an existing laundry you’re revamping affordably, this is a super chic idea. I love the leather touch on this item too.

Think outside of drying rails though. There are now designer brooms and dustpans you’d be proud to display on your wall.

hamptons art in laundry room black frame

12. Install Sheers on Doors/Windows

I love sheers in pretty much every room of the home. I am always putting them in client homes as well. There’s something so beautiful about the way this type of window treatment defuses light. And they’re a no-brainer inclusion in your laundry, especially if you have a sliding external door.

The image above via Metricon showcases how much softness the sheer curtain brings to an otherwise hard space. This particular laundry also nails a few of my other cheap laundry design ideas. Namely the art-in-laundry concept, as well as the usable vignettes.

Sheers come in so many styles and colours. But for a laundry room you can’t beat the clean crispness of white.

laundry room basket organisation white and oak laundry room design

How’s your Laundry Room going?

So there you have it: cheap as chips ways to make your laundry room design feel brand new again. No major works, no construction, and no forking out big bucks.

I’d love to know what you’re planning to do in your laundry, or what stylish things you’ve already carried out. Drop me a comment below and let me know what’s working for you!


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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6 Responses

  1. I’ve just had my tap handles changed & they look fab; got my real plants and working on the making my laundry look inviting because that’s the door we use to enter our house.
    Goal. number 10.

  2. yes, I would love to re-do the laundry, BUT… the house I bought is having plumbing problems, after a very expensive plumbing detection for the leaking pipe, they found that the laundry had years of flooding washing machines and because of the house’s age there isn’t any waterproofing and the internal timber frame needs replacing, it sucked up all the excess water!!!
    So, even though I love the hidden under the bench style, do the designers figure in a way of seeing if the washing machine taps need new washers or are flooding the area without pulling out the machine every once and a while. my machine heats up its own water so I only needed one wash machine tap, and that left the other one to start dripping but it bought my attention to the bigger problem.

  3. Love it all Chris and in my soon to be completed #LuxLaundryReno I’ll be using many of these great tips! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  4. Funnily enough l love laundries,l like them to look homely, inviting and a nice room to be in.l like to do the ironing in mine, so space is important.
    Looking forward to decorating the laundry in my new house. I’ve incorporated a drying cupboard, linen cupboard and built in laundry hamper. Couldn’t decide what to do with the wall above the bench, but thinking of a cupboard with open shelving combo so l can display pretties!
    Wish the budget could have stretched to a Belfast sink and stone bench tops!
    Always find your blogs inspiring Chris!

    1. Thanks so much Jo. I’m a sucker for some open shelving so I would go down that path. I love displaying things too – gotta make the room feel like more than just a place to do laundry 🙂

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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