As the calendar turns to the New Year, many of us have organizational projects at the top of mind. A laundry or utility room is a great place to start, as a well-functioning utility space can help a home run smoothly. The laundry room has evolved from a dark corner of the basement to a central part of the home in recent years, and we’ve got some ideas for maximizing both the style and function, no matter the size of your space.
A pair of washers and dryers is the ultimate in laundry efficiency, but even if you’ll be making due with just one set of machines, you can bring plenty of style and function to your laundry space. The large format tile gives the illusion of length to the room, and the tile’s dark finish paired with white walls and woodwork compliments the restrained color palette of the rest of the home. Since the key to a tidy home is “a place for everything and everything in its place,” offering up plenty of hooks for jackets and bags and a designated spot for shoes will help keep everyday items from scattering into other parts of the home.
Shop this Style: Honed Absolute Black Granite
Design by Anderson Wier Studio / Photo by Stylish Productions, Robert Radifera
Elevate the Room
Utilitarian spaces can be just as elegant and pulled together as the rest of the home, as evidenced by this pretty room by Chicago-area design team Park & Oak. Square tiles laid in a checkerboard pattern work well in a home with traditional bones, but can be adapted to many styles. Paired with a marble backsplash and the soft tone of the cabinets, we doubt this homeowner has to rush to close the door to this room when a guest drops by unexpectedly. The smartest detail is the most simple: You can just see a peek of a drying rack that is painted to match the cabinet color, a simple to-do that ties the piece into the room so nicely.
Shop this Style: Honed Carrara + Honed Blue Limestone
Design by Park & Oak
Have Fun with It
A laundry room wall is a fun place to try out a whimsical patterned tile without committing to it in a common space such as the kitchen. We love the use of patterned tile here — and the cabinets painted to match — as well as the clever decanting of detergent into glass canisters, which is a clean and streamlined way to keep often-used items close at hand.
Shop this Style: Val d'Orcia
Design by Lexi Westergard Design / Photo by John Woodcock
We love this sleek and chic space by Oregon-based duo Light & Dwell. The dark tile with dark grout is an easy-care option for this laundry room, which does double duty as the casual entry to the home. The use of both open and closed storage is also noteworthy — wood shelves offer the opportunity to display vintage crockery, a tidy stack of clean towels, and baskets, while ample cabinetry holds more unsightly goods like cleaning supplies and detergent. Adding a sink to a utility space is a smart way to keep messier jobs — like arranging flowers or washing paint supplies — out of the kitchen.
Shop this Style: Italian Mod Nero
Design by Light & Dwell / Photo by Anne Blodgett
Think Big (and Bold!)
With fewer grout lines to keep clean than its smaller counterparts, large format tile is an especially smart choice in a high-traffic area. We love Seattle designer Heidi Callier’s combination of a warm, bold yellow cabinetry with neutral rough-hewn tile. The floor-to-ceiling cabinet is a smart use of vertical space that gives taller items like brooms, mops, and vacuum cleaners a permanent and out-of-the-way home.
Shop this Style: Smokey Limestone
Design by Heidi Callier Design / Photo by Haris Kenjar
For those with a classic sensibility, it’s hard to beat white subway tile paired with a small black and white mosaic, and even a few cabinets can help keep the kitchen free of items not related to cooking and entertaining. Here, Studio McGee added a playful note with mint green paint color and a practical wood folding surface, showing that even a small laundry nook can be big on function.
Shop this Style: Classic White Ceramic
Design by Studio McGee / Photo by Lucy Call