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How to Brighten Up Your Laundry Room

cheery and bright laundry room

No one likes the drudgery of washing dirty clothes. Unfortunately, it's one of those unavoidable tasks that we must all do if you want to be clean. Luckily, a cheery laundry room can overcome some of the dreariness. Learn how to brighten up your laundry room and bring a positive outlook to this chore. Fall in love with your home and all the tasks that go with it.

For most of us, washing clothes, ironing, and all laundry related chores are something we'd prefer to avoid. However, the task can be made more enjoyable. A bright and cheery laundry space can make the work much more pleasant. And it's easy to accomplish. A window does wonders. But even if your washer and dryer are in a dark closet or corner of the basement, there are things you can do. Think about how much time you spend each week on laundry. Then, try these tips. See for yourself the difference a cheerful laundry area can make.

9 tips to transform the laundry room into a bright and cheery space.

1. Pay Attention to Your Laundry Room Lighting

Lighting can make a big difference in your mood and your energy levels. That's because, as humans, we are ruled by an internal clock known as our circadian rhythm. Bright natural light wakes us up, and darkness tells us it's time to sleep. Take advantage of this by adding ceiling fixtures and task lighting under any upper cabinets and shelving. You'll feel much more energetic once you have adequate light. Keep the illumination even for best results. Use puck lights and LED strip lighting to eliminate dark corners in the laundry.

Laundry room with over the counter lighting
Laundry room brightened by over-the-counter puck lights. The puck lights provide task lighting for all work surfaces.

The color temperature of the lights is also important. Cool lighting more closely mimics natural daylight. This type of lighting has been found to improve both alertness and mood. It simultaneously decreases irritability, eye discomfort, and headache. Conversely, warm yellow light will make you feel more relaxed. Therefore, use lights in a warm temperature if you primarily do your laundry in the evening. That way it doesn't interfere with your ability to sleep later.

But no matter which color of light you choose, make sure you have enough light over the washer, dryer, and countertops to let your brain know that it's time for working on laundry.

2. White Equals Clean

Dark, earthy tones may be pretty, but nothing makes a space feel bright and clean faster than a strong dose of white. That's because white reflects the most amount of light, making a room appear brighter. This doesn't mean your walls, cabinets, and appliances can't include color anywhere. But keeping at least one of the above major components in white can help.

Laundry room with over the counter lighting
Bright white laundry room.

3. Use Bright Colors as Accents

A dash of color can brighten a laundry space and your mood. Do you have a favorite hue? Chances are you do, and the laundry room is a great place to incorporate it into an otherwise neutral pallet. Try painting the wall behind the washer and dryer in a bright accent color. Or add a throw rug in rainbow hues. Certain appliance brands also offer colorful options beyond the standard white and stainless-steel tones. No matter which option you choose, adding a splash of vibrant color is another way to make your laundry feel bright and welcoming.

Laundry room with red washer and dryer
Laundry room brightened by red washer and dryer.

4. Add Art to Your Walls

Why should the laundry be treated differently than any other room in your home? It's another place to add your personal touch. So don't forget to decorate your walls. Choose an eclectic piece of art, a cheerful poster, or a favorite saying to frame and display on your laundry room walls. If it's a piece you like, it will make time spent with it that much more enjoyable.

5. Keep Laundry Products Inside Cabinets or Organized on Shelves

Clutter makes any space feel dingy. The best way to combat this is through organization. Keep all your laundry sundries neatly stored on shelves or tucked away in cabinets to keep clutter at bay. But there's even more you can do to make the room feel clean, bright, and energetic. Laundry and cleaning products often come in brightly colored bottles and packaging. Take advantage of this when you organize your shelves. A colorfully arrayed group of bottles and boxes are a pleasant site. Group like colors together for best effect.

Laundry room with laundry products on shelves
These laundry room shelves and cabinets keep their owner pleasantly organized. The bright colors against the white cabinets and shelves contributed to a bright, cheerful feeling in this basement laundry.

6. Store Small Laundry Accessories in Attractive Containers

Bleach pens, dryer balls, folding boards, clothes pins, and other small laundry accessories will combine to create a mess of clutter if you're not careful. And messes will weigh down your spirits. That's why you should gather these little items and store them in decorative baskets on your shelves or countertop. That way, they remain conveniently accessible but visually discreet. Pick containers that you enjoy looking at. Make sure they're all the same for visual cohesiveness.

Laundry room with laundry products in baskets
Decorative baskets keep this laundry room organized and cheery. White cabinets and appliances keep it looking fresh and clean while the blue wall adds an element of the owner's favorite color.

7. Fake a Window

Nothing brightens a room better than natural light streaming in through a window. Unfortunately, sometimes that simply isn't possible. But you can fake it. Hang a mirror inside a window frame in place of a real window when there is no opportunity for real daylight. This works best with a window frame that has a lot of character. Take the frame and sill, or just the window depending on style. Old, antique frames work best. To create your mirror window, first remove all glass from the window. Substitute sections of mirror cut to the same size as the pieces of glass you removed. Install them into the window frame using glazing compound just as you would when replacing glass in any single pane window. The result is a decorative piece of "folk art" that mimics the look and feel of a real outdoor window. Place it in your darkest corners to reflect light back into the room. When used in tandem with daylight temperature lighting fixtures elsewhere in the room, it simulates natural sunlight.

Basement room with mirror disguised as fake window
This mirror/window reflects all available light to brighten this basement space while adding a whimsical, light-hearted touch.

8. Use laundry Cabinets with Glass Doors

Glass doors will open up a space, making it seem lighter and brighter. Frosted glass will screen contents of the cabinets and room, while letting light through. Use them on your laundry room cabinets and the door to the space. Not only will it seem lighter and brighter, but your laundry room will feel bigger as well.

Custom laundry mudroom combo with glass door laundry room cabinets
This laundry/mudroom combination uses frosted glass doors on all the upper cabinets and the main door to the room. Although there are no windows in this laundry space, the glass allows sunshine from the adjacent kitchen to flow through the space.

9. Add a plant

Green vegetation helps to bring the outdoors in. The mere presence of a houseplant evokes a sensation of sunshine. That's why you should brighten your laundry room with a potted plant. Cultivars are available for all sorts of indoor lighting conditions. Choose one that best suits your space. If adequate sunlight is still a concern, use a grow light on a timer to provide light to the plant.

Ready to brighten your laundry room?

Brightening up a laundry space isn't difficult. Remember these 9 tips:

  1. Pay attention to your laundry room lighting.
  2. Use a lot of white to reflect light.
  3. Accent the space with bright colors.
  4. Keep products organized on shelves or inside cabinets.
  5. Small tools and laundry aides should be gathered and stored in decorative containers.
  6. Choose frosted glass doors for your cabinetry and doorway to let light flow in from other rooms.
  7. Add colorful art to your walls.
  8. Place a plant on the countertop.
  9. Try a fake mirror window if the space lacks natural light so simulate daylight and make the space feel bigger.

Even dark, basement laundry rooms or small closet spaces can be made to feel light and cheery. Choose your colors and accessories carefully. But most of all, keep it tidy and organized. Nothing dims the spirit faster than a dreary mess. And if you need help with the organization of your space, Closet Works designers are always ready to lend a hand.