8 Laundry Room Ideas to Watch For This Year

The Hardworking Home: A look at the most popular laundry photos in 2014 hints that dog beds, drying racks and stackable units will be key

By Mitchell Parker  /  Courtesy of Houzz.com

The laundry room is one of those spaces that, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is always in use. If you have a large family, your laundry machines are likely running every day — sometimes even every night. With so much time being spent in these hardworking spaces, it’s worth taking the time to make them as functional and efficient as possible. Pullout drying racks, expansive folding counters and plenty of storage are sure to help you get the job done, but don’t overlook pet-washing stations or wine refrigerators. As you prepare for your laundry room remodel or new build in 2015, consider these most popular laundry rooms on Houzz in 2014 for inspiration and design tips.

Pets Welcome

Taking up the largest chunk of the most popular photos had to be those concerning pets. Pet beds, pet washing, pet wallpaper — it didn’t matter. If it had to do with pets, people were all ears. 

Besides, who can blame users for loving this photo? Just look at those Goldendoodles’ faces. The dream of having a large dog-washing area in a mudroom–laundry room is something any pet owner can get behind. Here a raised platform and a faucet get the job done.

This extra-long pet-washing station is roomy enough for one large Great Dane or, like, a dozen Chihuahuas.

This raised pet-washing station would be perfect for small dogs or cats.

The stone counters and flooring and the double sets of washers and dryers make this 9-foot by 11-foot room a dream space for most people. Cats, on the other hand, would love to have the fun cutout door leading to their litter boxes.

It’s hard to say which is more appealing here — the clever custom cutouts for the appliances or the cozy, warm spot for the cat.

One look at these dogs’ faces and it’s clear that this laundry room is a hit. Plus, the dog-patterned wallpaper by Thibaut is a nice touch.

Pet-washing stations come up a lot in the most popular laundry rooms, and for good reason. After all, who really wants to bathe their dog in the same area where they bathe themselves and their kids? Here a 30-inch by 30-inch washing station coupled with a dog-bed niche makes this a truly pet-friendly laundry room. 

Meanwhile, many Houzz users couldn’t get over the colorful rug (Brighton Collection by Loloi), which dials up the energy. And the Samsung appliances, stacked in a 28½ -inch-wide, 33-inch-deep, 77-inch-high niche, make efficient use of the room’s 7-foot by 8 ½-foot dimensions.

Drying Racks 

If these top photos are any indication, 2015 will continue to be the era of the drying rack. 

This 10-foot by 18-foot galley-style laundry room, by Rabaut Design Associates, was one of the most popular laundry room photos in 2014. What did users love about it? Well, almost everything, from the five custom-designed drying racks — two of which have beadboard backing — to the apron sink and Rainwashed paint color on the walls.

It’s all about the abundant drying rack space in this Canadian laundry room.

Racks: Richelieu; washer: Duet, Whirlpool

This laundry room has a lot to like: plenty of storage and folding space, lots of natural light and soothing finishes.

Rich Colors 

Many homeowners seem to be embracing dark, moody colors in their laundry spaces. The rich, slate-colored custom cabinets and 1-inch-square mosaic tiles seen here might give a clue as to why: They give this laundry room sophisticated appeal. Meanwhile, the double-stacked 27-inch-wide washer and dryer units could make any family envious.

It’s the combination of colors and tones that makes this space a success. With the rich wood cabinets and stone flooring, the modern red appliances almost disappear. 

Cabinet stain: Valspar Dark walnut wiping stain with Hirshfield’s dull varnish; wall paint: Toasty, Sherwin-Williams; floor tile: copper/rust broken random 53 #655837 natural sanded stoneThe Tile Shop

Dark ebony stained doors richly frame a marble countertop and Hermès wallpaper to help make the most of this 68-inch by 28-inch closet. 

Appliances: Miele

Natural Light 

While rich colors did triumph, sunny spots also swayed homeowners. What’s not to love about this light-filled room? Warm gray walls, wood countertops and canvas laundry baskets create a relaxed, welcoming vibe, while plenty of function lurks below the surface. For example, a pullout ironing board is in a drawer beside the washer and dryer. And the drawers above the laundry baskets are actually drying racks, making the 9-foot by 14-foot space work hard for the family of six.

The fresh finishes and paint colors in this 8-foot by 10-foot space have people volunteering to do laundry for the busy mother of three. 

Wall paint: Revere Pewter; cabinet paint: Simply White, both by Benjamin Moore; wall tile: 4-inch by 4-inch with a 3-inch by 3-inch inset, in Celadon, Fine Art Tileworks; floor tiles: 6½-inch by 8-inch cement tile in Primula pattern, Greenwich Tile & Marble; appliances: Miele; countertop: quartz composite in Milky White; sink: Whitehaus Collection

Fresh and clean are two things everyone wants with their laundry room. Natural light, all-white appliances and cabinets, and an icy backsplash deliver on that desire here. 

Cubbies

“A place for everything” is something we can all aspire to in our laundry rooms, and cubbies are a quick and easy way to get there. 

This Santa Barbara, California, laundry room delivers. From a small drop-down drying rack to a countertop ironing board and cubbies for supplies, this room is all about efficiency.

You can never have too much storage space around your washer and dryer. Never.

Appliances: Electrolux

Extra-large cubbies, a spot for a pup and a sunny disposition make doing laundry bearable in this space.

Ceiling paint: Goldfield, Benjamin Moore; baskets: Pier 1; dog-bed fabric: indoor-outdoor, Perennials

Pullout Drawers and More

If it doesn’t pull out, don’t bother. That seemed to be a mantra many homeowners were shouting. 

After all, laundry rooms typically are hectic spaces, so anything that can reduce visual and physical noises is always en vogue. Here cabinet panes were affixed to the appliance doors to create a smooth wall of cabinets when closed. Meanwhile, a folding table and ironing board can be stored neatly away as well. 

Appliances, folding table, ironing board: Asko

Foldaway doors reveal a compact yet superefficient laundry space, with a pullout ironing board, a sink and folding space.

The pivot sliding doors and storage drawers make this closet a superfunctional laundry room.

It’s hard to overlook the durable imported tile flooring from Turkey here. The high ceilings and custom drying rack closet don’t hurt, either. 

Wall paint: Heaven on Earth, Benjamin Moore; appliances: Miele

Statement Backsplashes

An eye-catching backsplash is an affordable way to make a big statement in a small space. That’s why you’re seeing them pop up in laundry rooms more and more. 

Here a stainless steel brick-patterned mosaic backsplash takes this closet from boring to bodacious.

It’s hard to see past the stunning blue cabinets in this laundry room, but the clay-body tile backsplash sure does fight for attention.

Bonus Features

Sure, laundry rooms are about washing clothes, but they don’t have to be just for that. Special amenities can add a multiuse dimension to the room. 

This laundry room nails all the desired elements — folding table, hanging rod, plenty of storage. But what pushes it above and beyond is the vertical wine refrigerator. Just drink responsibly — especially around those whites.

The open space and granite countertops make this space easy to like. But the gift-wrapping peninsula turns it into it a room anyone can fall in love with.

This gift-wrapping station has a clever pullout supply closet.

Forget a drying rack. How about a drying closet? Though discontinued in the U.S. by Whirlpool, this one is still available on the European market.

The crisp and modern vibe in this Australian laundry room is surely enticing. But it’s that clever floor drain in front of the washing machine that really takes it up a notch. 

Tell us: What’s on your laundry room wish list for 2015?