When designing a small laundry room, there are plenty of good reasons to choose a top load washing machine. These old school machines may not be as trendy as today's supersized front-loading washing machines, but they may be your only option if you're outfitting a shallow laundry closet in an older apartment or home. And while a top load washing machine can't maximize vertical space like a stacked washer dryer combo, it may be the best choice for a small or narrow laundry room that doesn't have a lot of wiggle room.
While choosing a top load washing machine limits the possibility of installing a countertop above the machines and will force you to sacrifice some of the above-machine space to allow room to open and close the lid, that's nothing that some clever laundry room shelving can't solve.
Check out these stylish, high-functioning small laundry rooms that feature top load washing machines out of necessity or by choice for inspiration on how to integrate them into your decor.
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Hide With a Beaded Curtain
A Beautiful Mess added wall-mounted open shelving above this top load washing machine to keep laundry essentials at arm's reach without interfering with opening and closing the machine. The same forest green and bright white color scheme and flooring is carried through to the adjacent kitchen for visual continuity, and a wood bead curtain hides the laundry room without a cumbersome door.Continue to 2 of 25 below.
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Add Custom Cabinetry
In this laundry room makeover from Melissa Roberts Interiors, cabinetry and walls were painted in the same shade of white, a vertical chevron patterned glass tile backsplash was carried all the way up to the ceiling, and custom cabinetry houses storage and conceals plumbing and electrical hookups.Continue to 3 of 25 below.
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Blogger Carissa from Bless This Nest transformed her small galley-style laundry room with fresh blue paint on walls and cabinets, swapped out the florescent lighting for an inexpensive chandelier, added open shelving with decorative wall brackets and created a DIY thrift store wooden ladder drying rack by adding hooks and attaching it to wall studs.Continue to 4 of 25 below.
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Modern Farmhouse Style
This small laundry room makeover from Cherished Bliss included adding warm gray cabinetry above the washer and dryer and a chunky wood shelf to store everyday items and help conceal plumbing connections. A painted faux mosaic tile floor stencil adds a decorative note, and a letterboard sign above the washer keeps it real.Continue to 5 of 25 below.
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Conceal With Cabinet Doors
This top load washer dryer combo hidden behind a stained wood cabinet from Marie Flanigan Interiors creates an efficient laundry corner in a guesthouse that fades into the background when not in use.Continue to 6 of 25 below.
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Decorate the Walls
This laundry room makeover from Stay Home Style was a quarantine DIY project that added function and style to a small laundry room. Blogger Ashley Whatley used a one-inch brush to create a matte black brushstroke pattern on the wall behind the top load washing machine as an easy affordable alternative to hanging wallpaper. Then she added stained pine shelving to create wall-to-wall storage that maximizes the small space.Continue to 7 of 25 below.
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A Beautiful Mess chose a free-standing stainless steel sink for this industrial-style laundry room. Since this is a pass-through space connected to the garage and a powder room, the same black, white, and green color palette is carried throughout the house. The top load washer, dryer, sink, ceiling-height cabinetry, and drying rod maximize space on a single wall.Continue to 8 of 25 below.
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Use Traditional Colors
This small laundry room from Pizzale Design Inc. uses a traditional color palette of brown and gray, with stainless steel appliances and two types of tile on the backsplash and flooring to add variation.Continue to 9 of 25 below.
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Incorporate Personal Touches
Blogger Kathy Baugher of Up to Date Interiors used leftover paint and wallpaper to give her laundry room an easy DIY makeover. She mixed her own paint color to match the wallpaper, adding wall-to-wall cabinetry and a floating shelf to display sentimental decor objects relocated from elsewhere in the house, including a vintage basket and gold box from her grandmother.Continue to 10 of 25 below.
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Hang a Pendant Light
This petite and polished laundry room from Charbonneau Interiors has a top load washing machine, marble effect quartz countertops and matching backsplash, gold hardware, dark blue cabinetry, and a globe pendant light that hangs in front of the arched window to add some glamour.Continue to 11 of 25 below.
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Install a Peel and Stick Tile Backsplash
Lydi Out Loud gave her tiny laundry room some love with a peel-and-stick subway style wall tile backsplash and a mix of open and closed storage that adds function and style to the small space without breaking the bank.Continue to 12 of 25 below.
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Decorate the Laundry Closet
Blogger Ashley from Cherished Bliss swapped her oversized modern washer dryer for an old school top load washer and dryer combo to make her rental laundry closet into a functional space. Then she added a chunky stained wood shelf lined with linen storage boxes, a wicker basket with wood-top glass storage jars for supplies, a cute lamp to add some ambient lighting, and a laundry sign to help camouflage hoses and cords.Continue to 13 of 25 below.
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Make Room for a Drying Rod
In this shallow laundry closet sandwiched into a corner of an eat-in kitchen behind bi-fold doors from Elizabeth Burns Design, a top load washer and dryer set was the only kind that fit. Burns gave it a budget makeover by covering the back wall with peel and stick black-and-white buffalo plaid wallpaper, replacing builder grade wire racks with a small cabinet and drying rod, and adding antique brass cabinet pulls for warmth.Continue to 14 of 25 below.
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Include a Central Island
While this laundry room from Whittney Parkinson Design is large enough for any kind of appliances, the designer chose to install a top load washing machine, building cabinetry around the appliances that provides clearance for the lid and space for a shelf behind the machines for housing supplies in clear glass storage jars.Continue to 15 of 25 below.
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Add Beadboard Wall Trim
Blogger Jen Woodhouse installed beadboard wall paneling and custom floating shelves to add style and functionality to this small laundry room in one of the most heavily trafficked areas of her home.Continue to 16 of 25 below.
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Blogger Abby Lawson from Just a Girl and Her Blog gave her small laundry room a makeover with stainless steel appliances, wood-effect floor tiles, vertical shiplap painted pale blue, a mix of open and closed storage, and a gold-rimmed mirror and decorative brass and glass dome ceiling light fixture.Continue to 17 of 25 below.
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Choose a Black and White Palette
This laundry room from Charbonneau Interiors features a strict black-and-white palette down the black hangers on the black drying rod. Tall white painted cabinetry that runs to the ceiling maximizes vertical storage, and patterned tiles add interest to the floor.
Continue to 18 of 25 below.
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Keep It Renter-Friendly
Blogger Kathy Baugher of Up to Date Interiors cheered up the laundry room in her rental apartment in Japan by decorating the top load washing machine with gold polka dot decals leftover from her daughter's room makeover. An installation of wall baskets conceals plumbing fixtures and cords.Continue to 19 of 25 below.
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Save Space by Stacking
In this kitchen pantry laundry room closet from Marie Flanigan Interiors, open shelving and a small drying rack is built around a stacked top load washer dryer combo that makes efficient use of space.Continue to 20 of 25 below.
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Make a Multipurpose Mudroom
This compact laundry area from KG Designs is confined to the back wall of a combination mudroom and laundry room space. A top load washer and dryer set, a row of wall-to-wall cabinetry, patterned backsplash tile, and a small countertop space for folding laundry blends in with the neutral decor of the space.Continue to 21 of 25 below.
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Decorate With a Wall Map
Blogger Diane Henkler of In My Own Style spray painted the wooden louvered doors of this diminutive laundry closet, added a top load washing machine and dryer and a row of upper cabinets, and papered the walls with nostalgic National Geographic maps sourced online to add some bright color and inspire daydreaming of elsewhere while doing chores.Continue to 22 of 25 below.
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Make It Multifunctional
A top load washer and dryer with wall-mounted cabinetry and a small countertop to house everyday supplies creates a functional laundry corner in this multifunctional utility room from Charbonneau Interiors that shares space with a giant extra refrigerator and the dog's bowls.
Continue to 23 of 25 below.
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Add a Powder Room
For this combination downstairs powder room and laundry room from Finding Lovely, cabinets were painted in the same shade of warm gray as the adjacent kitchen, and illustrated floral wallpaper elevates the decor.
Continue to 24 of 25 below.
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Keep It Colorful
Blogger Rhoda from Southern Hospitality turned her bare bones windowless upstairs laundry room into a colorful space thanks to paint, cheerful patterned wallpaper, and a vintage yard sale glass front wood cabinet mounted above the top load washer dryer that crates a space to display decorative items.Continue to 25 of 25 below.
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This laundry room from Hannah Tyler Designs is as clean and minimalist as a freshly laundered white shirt, with pristine white walls and cabinetry, a top load washing machine and dryer, and a simple globe pendant light.
How do you hide a top load washer?
You can hide a top load washer behind the cabinet doors of a tall cupboard, behind folding doors in a shallow laundry closet, or behind a curtain. You can also hide a top load washer beneath a butcherblock countertop on a wall in the kitchen by cutting a piece of matching countertop to fit the front and top, and adding hinges to the top piece so that it can be lifted out of the way when it's time to load or unload the machine, and will make the machine disappear when not in use.
How much room do you need for a top load washer?
The key to making sure your top-load washer fits in your space is to check that you have enough clearance to comfortably open the door for loading and unloading laundry. It is recommended that you leave between 16 and 18 inches of space above the top of your top-loading machine to ensure that it's comfortable to use.