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Homes & Gardens
Homes & Gardens
Linda Clayton

Rustic laundry room ideas – 11 rustic touches to brighten up chores

Rustic laundry room ideas.

As the workhorse of any home, the laundry room must be able to handle a few knocks and scrapes. We can’t think of a better space to embrace rustic laundry room ideas – complete with all the requisite rough and ready finishes – than in this room designed for washing and scrubbing.

The beauty of a rustic laundry room scheme is that it’s already time-worn and rugged, a little bit tattered around the edges but all the more beautiful for it. You don’t have to worry about spilling laundry liquid or shoe polish stains because it will just add another layer of history and authenticity to the space. 

For a rustic laundry room that’s built to last, deVOL recommends good old-fashioned quarry tiles that are sturdy and functional, and easy to mop clean. ‘Simple shelving that makes it easy to store, pile up and get to laundry supplies without opening cupboard doors is also useful,’ adds Helen Parker, Creative Director, deVOL Kitchens. ‘You can’t really go wrong if you stick to fittings and finishes that are authentic, fit for purpose and good quality.’

Rustic laundry room ideas to soften this practical space

If you’re looking for rustic country decorating ideas or want to know what colors work best with rustic décor, this showcase of stylish laundry rooms is designed to inspire.

1. Go antique hunting

(Image credit: Amanda Meade Design/David Bower)

Every rustic home needs an antique or two and the laundry room is no exception. Sourcing vintage accessories for utility spaces can be great fun, especially if you score a bargain. They don’t need to be family heirlooms, or in any way perfect – slightly battered but functional is the aim for rooms that are designed for chores.

Interior designer Amanda Meade is a huge fan of sourcing vintage accessories at local antique fairs to add age and character to her schemes. ‘The old French basin in this laundry room came from a dealer visiting a local fair from France, and I regularly do a round of the local antique centers as well as keep a close eye on Facebook Marketplace,’ she says. ‘If you’re visiting an antiques fair, take a list and be very specific and focused. If you waiver or dither you will lose out, so grab it whilst you can.’   

2. Add a cupboard skirt

(Image credit: Vaughan Design & Development/Molly Mahon/Chris Snook)

Sink skirts lend rustic home-spun charm and are brilliant for introducing pattern and softness to your laundry space. They’re also an excellent way to hide cleaning products and other gubbins that are required for household maintenance but are not terribly pretty and can quickly kill the rustic mood.  

‘I like to treat more traditionally utilitarian rooms such as the laundry just like my other rooms with layers, textures and plenty of soft details,’ says textile designer Molly Mahon

‘I don’t want them to just feel like practical rooms, so I use colorful fabrics throughout to make it feel cheerful and warm. A pretty printed sink skirt is not only a stylish and convenient way of hiding a multitude of equipment, pipes or cleaning products, but it also helps to soften the room, balancing the hard, plain surfaces of cabinetry and white goods. A hand-printed piece of fabric that tells a story for me adds the joy to a room and proves that practical needn’t mean boring.’

3. Choose custom cabinetry

(Image credit: Martin Moore)

Don’t let modern white appliances ruin the low-tech, country aesthetic in your rustic-led laundry room. ‘Custom laundry room cabinetry with classic styling can help laundry appliances blend in while keeping access clear,’ says Richard Moore, design director, Martin Moore.  We love the fun laundry chute here, too. Made from steel ducting, it adds a smart industrial touch and takes the legwork out of laundry day. 

4. Decorate with Delft

(Image credit: Petra Palumbo)

Traditional style tiles that are handmade, hand-painted and full of unique character are the perfect backdrop for a laundry room sink. The uneven finish of handmade tiles will naturally soften the space, adding a touch of artisanal rustic charm that cannot be replicated by machine-made tiles. 

These pretty handmade tiles are designed by Petra Palumbo, who points to the resurgence of Delft tiles as yet another example of the country house aesthetic finding its place in today’s homes. ‘Delft tiles have a universal appeal because anyone can apply the designs to their lives. Each combination of motif or illustration is entirely personal, and often deeply sentimental, reflecting the move towards characterful, individual interiors,’ she says.

5. Choose a classic sink

(Image credit: The Vawdry House/Malcolm Menzies)

A deep Belfast or Butler sink in classic fireclay ceramic is perfect for soaking whites and scrubbing stains. The traditional farmhouse design lends a country feel that sits harmoniously in a rustic decor scheme. ‘We spend more time than we’d choose to believe doing laundry, so it's important to make that experience as pleasant, yet practical as possible,’ says Sophie Chapman, associate, The Vawdrey House. 

‘A Butler sink with a traditional piecrust front adds instant old-world charm, but here we used a more contemporary way of mounting it, under the stone worktop, to ensure ease of maintenance and hygiene, making it both functional and visually appealing. Shiplap paneling adds a cozy warmth to this small laundry room and allows for a shelf and peg system to be incorporated, which is another classic rustic touch,’ adds Sophie.  

6. Fit an old-school pulley rack

(Image credit: deVOL Kitchens)

A traditional pulley-style clothes drier is pitch-perfect in a rustic laundry room, adding a touch of timber overhead and industrial accents via cast iron fittings. Since hot air rises, your clothes will bone dry in record time.

‘Hanging your laundry to dry is very much part of a lanudry room and it’s so nice to use wind power once in a while, so be sure to install a laundry maid,’ says Helen Parker, Creative Director, deVOL Kitchens. ‘Our much-loved Laundry Maid was designed nearly thirty years ago and is a slightly simpler and more contemporary take on the old traditional clothes airer.’ 

7. Tap into living finishes

(Image credit: deVOL Kitchens)

For maximum rustic appeal sink-side, deVOL’s Helen Parker recommends choosing unlacquered brass taps with a living finish, like these classic Bib taps, that will age and patina in time and use.

‘Our Aged Brass finish is a great way to enjoy taps that look old but work like new,’ she adds. When selecting laundry room taps, aim for a spout that’s tall enough to fit your mop bucket beneath, and add a pull-out rinse spray for hosing off muddy footwear and cleaning the sink after use. 

8. Use baskets for aesthetically pleasing storage

(Image credit: Neptune)

If your rustic scheme is still missing that vital roughage, make sure your laundry room storage ideas go big on baskets and all will be well. ‘Basketry is a great way to add some textural elements to the room whilst adding extra storage and we often design laundry rooms with space for baskets to be included,' ays Simon Temprell, Interior Design Manager, Neptune.

'Rattan baskets are a favorite choice, as they have a chunky, artisanal texture that is perfect for a rustic property. Avoid baskets that are too refined or ‘perfect’ and embrace the rugged texture of hand-woven products, even if they’re a bit wonky. Wonky is right at home in a rustic interior.'

9. Source a rustic rug

(Image credit: Naked Kitchens)

Don’t forget about the rustic influences a woven rug can provide underfoot. They’re hardwearing too, and won’t show the dirt, which is a major bonus if your laundry leads outside. 

‘The seagrass rug makes a warming and super earthy addition to this traditional hard-working but beautiful laundry room,’ says Jayne Everett of Naked Kitchens. ‘The seagrass works particularly well combining with other natural materials in this rustic scheme, such as the oak, and looks wonderful with the richly colored shaker cabinetry. The diamond pattern adds interest and texture.’

10. Be tempted by terracotta

(Image credit: Leah Ashley/Madeline Harper)

The earthy warm tones of terracotta floor tiles are a natural fit for any rustic scheme. They do demand a certain level of aftercare – resealing every year or so to reduce porosity – but it’s a small price to pay for floors that look this good. 

‘Terracotta is a great flooring choice for a rustic laundry room as it brings in a natural element and really warms the space up,’ says interior stylist Leah Ashley. ‘It also feels like this room could easily be found in the English Countryside where pavers are used as flooring frequently, so it’s a nice way to add in a little country charm.’

11. Dress it up

(Image credit: Curated Nest/Jacob Snavely)

With just a few up-scale accessories, rustic decor can be taken in an altogether more luxurious direction, adding a touch of glam to boring household chores. Curated Nest went for brass tones and metallic finishes in this laundry room, a clever move designed to provide a warmer counterpoint to the cool blue cabinets as well as dial up the luxe. 

‘Introducing accessories and hardware in warm metallic tones adds a dressier element to contrast with the traditional farmhouse finishes like the wood beam and shiplap. The rich finish elevates the room and offers depth,’ explains Lina Galvão, co-founder of Curated Nest


How can I make my laundry room look nice?

A good laundry room not only facilitates a smooth-running home life, but it should also be an appealing space to spend time in. Sorting odd socks is depressing enough, without doing it amid unattractive surroundings. Professional designers recommend treating the laundry room with the same attention to detail as you would any other room in the home. 

Invest in good-looking storage (avoiding practical but ugly plastic stackables), stylish wash baskets, and beautiful laundry hampers. And don’t be boring when it comes to picking out tiles, taps, and textiles. A really nice light fitting can bring more joy than you’d ever imagine, or at least brighten the task ahead. In short, don’t get bogged down by function and purpose–the most desirable laundry rooms include Art, plants, and pretty textiles.

The good news about working rustic features into your laundry room is a little goes a long way and it only takes one or two rustic touches to wash away those laundry day blues. 

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