The laundry room of my dreams started with a search for the largest capacity washer I could get my hands on — that would fit into our long, narrow laundry room, that is. I do a lot of laundry and I figured if I could do it less often by increasing the washing machine size, that would be the smart thing to do.
But my problem was space.
While our laundry room footprint is by no means tiny, I was tied to a fixed spot for existing plumbing. This meant new laundry machines had to occupy no more space than our previous pair. We also had huge closet doors that always hit the front doors of our old machines — for 10 freaking years! — so there was no way that replacing that set would work without ditching those doors, too.
The goal? Search for the largest capacity washer and dryer we could find without overwhelming the space while improving our overall laundry experience. (So, this is a good time to explain that the machines I found may not be the largest on the market, but they’re the largest we could find that worked with what I’d say is an average-sized laundry room in a suburban home.)
Once we knew we were already going to be in over our heads trying to replace doors with barn or pocket doors, we decided to just take the travel money we’d set aside for our cruise-that-never-was (thanks, COVID) and reallocate it to a laundry room transformation.
Whether you’re here looking for laundry room decor ideas, doing research on washing machine capacity or trying to figure out if you need a washer-dryer combo with bells and whistles that include AI (that’s Artificial Intelligence), I’ma give it all to you in one fell swoop.
The laundry room before and after
This isn’t the first time we’ve tried to make improvements to our laundry room. About eight years ago, we added some open shelving above our machines, a better laundry sink, a nice splash of paint and a counter to fold clothes. The closet doors still hit the machines every time we opened them, but the folding table was a game-changer.
Turns out open shelving isn’t functional beyond helping provide a landing place for decor. But we lived with it and I loved the cheery paint colour and yellow accents.
Maybe we have too many towels and too many sheets, but our tiny linen closet in the far corner of the laundry room hadn’t been cutting it for years. And without creating a total eyesore by piling our stuff into those open shelves, I knew we just needed more storage space, so we added that to the list.
Between contending with the closet door issues and storage problems for the 10+ years we’ve been in our house, layer on a broken dryer and I’d just had enough. And with that vacation money burning a hole in our digital wallet, we did what many of you did during pandemic living: we got a whole new laundry pair and renovated.
Taking our master bedroom, ensuite and kitchen projects over the past few years into account, we wanted to continue with the clean, minimalist approach — a lot of white with some natural wood accents — to keep consistency throughout our home.
Here’s what we kept as is in the laundry room:
- Placement of laundry machines and laundry sink to avoid additional plumbing expenses
- Laundry sink and faucet — because if it ain’t broke…
- Folding counter area and sorting bin
- Closet interiors
- Flooring (we’ve ripped out flooring during other home renos and it’s a real production; the white tile we had the builder put in was just fine so we left it)
- Bare window; although I toyed with the idea of adding a Roman blind, in the end I decided that keeping as much natural light as possible was more important than making the window prettier
- Finally, I kept the yellow accent colour because it’s cheery and I spend a lot of time in that laundry room and need it to make me as happy as possible
Here’s a list of what we changed in the laundry room:
- New LG laundry machines (as I mentioned, we went for one of the largest capacity washer and dryer in the LG lineup that we could fit in our space — much more on those shortly)
- Removed all open shelving to make way for better storage
- Replaced the closet doors with double barn doors and replaced the linen closet door beside it to match the aesthetic — we have so much more room to move around in an otherwise narrow space and we no longer smash closet doors into laundry doors and that makes me infinitely happy
- New countertops — both for the folding zone and a new countertop above the laundry machines (no more “surprises” behind the machines and extra folding space when I need it). When I asked our carpenter about butcher block, he suggested I see what pre-fabbed countertops I could find at a big-box store because getting materials had been such a struggle for months. I managed to source two bamboo countertops and he simply cut them to fit nicely. They look custom!
- Custom wall-to-wall cabinetry — including refacing our existing laundry sink’s doors to match the new shaker-style cabinet doors — to give us an enormous amount of storage
- Wall-to-wall backsplash — I got penny tiles, which were the cheapest tile I could find on mesh sheets (which my contractor prefers and I’m in the business of keeping him happy because he’s so good)
- New paint; the same colour as our master bedroom and ensuite (Nano White), which are across the hall and help tie the look together with nice cohesion — and I painted myself to keep labour costs as low as possible
- New hardware; we chose black hardware for the barn doors and carried that throughout the space right down to the new floor vent and light switch-plate
- New light fixture; we were woefully lacking for light because our last light fixture used a filament bulb so we used the brightest lightbulb the new fixture could take!
- Ditched the faux flowers in favour of an easy-to-keep-alive snake plant; plus it was a great excuse to get a yellow planter
The laundry room before and after pics
I’ll walk you through the cost breakdown later, but here’s how our black and white laundry room turned out:
You can see in this shot how much removing those big closet doors improved the light and flow in the laundry room, not to mention we won’t scrape the front of our beautiful new laundry machines:
To keep costs down, you can see we kept the laundry sink and faucet and simply had it refaced to match the new cabinetry. We also have oodles more storage thanks to enclosed cabinets, a more cohesive look with a backsplash that runs the length of the wall, and a fresh folding counter in the same bamboo that sits on top of the new laundry machines:
We didn’t add any additional shelving to our closet interior in the laundry room but moving the bins we already had elsewhere in the space and adding new ones helped tidy it up:
And, finally, a note on building out the look we wanted for our black and white laundry room using matte black hardware — right down to the light switch-plate and a new doorknob for the linen door (which, incidentally, we swapped out for something that matched the panelled design of the barn doors):
I love the way it came together and it feels so much more refined. Better still — it’s more functional. And I’m someone who has grown to appreciate function over style. But in my new laundry room, I get to have both.
Why we chose LG’s large capacity washer (and a dryer, too)
Choosing a new laundry pair is no easy feat. Beyond the numerous brands available, you then have various features like energy efficiency, load capacity, detergent dispensers, smart-home connectivity, wash settings and more to consider. Then, if you want your pair to match, you’ve got to make sure the matching dryer has all of the features you want, too.
So, I did what any sane person with social media access would do and turned to my Facebook crew for advice.
My only must-have? Stability. Our laundry room is on the second floor of our home, so we don’t have a concrete basement floor to absorb a set that moves around a lot. Built-in stabilizers to keep our new laundry pair in place while they do their jobs was my starting criteria. The new machines also needed to fit where the old ones did. Everything else was gravy.
As more people chimed in, one brand got an overwhelming number of accolades: LG.
That got my attention and I started checking out consumer reviews online and searching for just the right set that ticked all of my boxes — including the gravy.
We settled on a laundry pair that had made their debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas — basically the world’s biggest tech expo: the LG AI Front Load ThinQ® Washer and Dryer. After confirming they’re optimized for second-floor laundry rooms and measuring to ensure they took up no more space in our laundry room width-wise to avoid moving any plumbing, we revelled in the idea of adding a “smart” appliance to our growing smart-home.
We already enjoy a smart-home doorbell, door locks, thermostat and speakers and love how easy it is to manage them all with our phones whether or not we’re at home. So, knowing that I could be alerted to a finished laundry load was a dreamy concept because I’m super guilty of rewashing forgotten loads, which is terrible for both the environment and my wallet.
And, yeah, they’re real pretty. But it’s what’s inside that counts — just like our mamas taught us.
The very best part of our new LG machines aren’t all the bells and whistles. No, those are (without a doubt) nice to have, but the best part is that despite not taking up any more space than our previous machines, they hold FAR more in their drums.
With the washer’s massive 5.8 cubic foot capacity, which is one of the largest capacity washing machines you can get for residential use, I can now do 1.5 loads’ worth of what I used to be able to do in a single load — and that’s without the extra washing machine in my pedestal, to which I’m dedicating an entire section of this blog post below.
That means less time in the laundry room for me. And time is always in short supply, so I’ll take it.
But about those bells and whistles — because nice-to-haves are, well, really nice to have. Let me give you the scoop…
The laundry room power couple: LG AI Front Load ThinQ® Washer & Dryer
This is the laundry pair that will change your laundry game — even if you don’t like doing laundry (which I admittedly kinda do).
First, let’s talk about the AI in these bad boys and I’ll wind my way into the smart-home app later on. The idea behind having built-in AI is that, ultimately, it’ll help extend the life of your wardrobe, without any guesswork. So, instead of wondering if your delicates will be washed too aggressively, you can toss them into the drum and let your washer do the thinking.
It uses a type of artificial intelligence called Direct Drive, which can sense both the weight and fabric type of each load and then self-select the best wash “pattern” for everything in that load.
Innovative. Convenient. Easy. These machines give me effective, gentle and consistently reliable care for even my most delicate clothes. After using them for the past couple of months, I’m impressed — and you can be sure I’d tell you if I wasn’t.
There are more cycles on this washing machine than I’ve been able to use so far, but my absolute favourite is the Speed Wash. Because FIFTEEN MINUTES is all you need. You read that correctly — I can do an entire load of laundry in 15 minutes. And it’s legit. There are five different jet sprays inside the drum, and they’ve cut my washing time in half compared to the quick-wash cycle I used on my old machine.
I’m pretty happy to be long past the point in this parenting gig where we need to sanitize sheets and mattress protectors after mid-night accidents, but the sanitary cycle on my LG washer is still important. Powered by something called TrueSteam technology, it helps reduce household allergens and dust mites in clothes, bedding, sportswear and even my kids’ favourite stuffies. Dust mites are one of my top allergens, so I make a point of running all of our pillowcases and bedding through this cycle.
One more thing I want to mention, even though I don’t currently use liquid detergent because I found a local company that makes a more natural laundry detergent that’s still safe for high-efficiency machines: for those of you who love the store-brand liquid detergents, you’ll be thrilled to hear about ezDispense. This washing machine has a spot to pour a whole bunch of liquid detergent (about 18 loads’ worth) into a holding area and automatically dispenses the right amount of detergent for your cycle based on the load’s weight! You’ll never use too much detergent again, which is better for your clothes and the machine.
On the dryer front, I’ve put the TurboSteam technology to good use with our bamboo sheets. If you’ve ever dried bamboo sheets and forgotten to remove them from the dryer immediately, you know the wrinkly mess that greets you when you eventually open the door. A quick, five-minute blast of steam does the trick and they actually stay wrinkle-free if you don’t open the door right away, too. I imagine this works just as well on wrinkly clothes, but I haven’t tried it yet.
Like its washer companion, the LG ThinQ® dryer’s ultra-large capacity means I can shove much more stuff into it than I could my old dryer. And the Sensor Dry system ensures every last piece comes out the way it should — dry.
Can you tell I’m smitten?
Smart laundry: AI in the laundry room
I’ve already told you about how the built-in AI technology brings a whole other level of convenience to the laundry room experience, but I wanted to carve out a special nook in this post just for the ThinQ® app.
I downloaded the ThinQ® app for iOS and followed the on-screen directions to manually connect my washer and dryer because I couldn’t find QR codes; it was a pretty straightforward process that took less than 30 seconds per machine.
There’s 1:1 support available in the app, and in my limited experience with it, the customer service team replied within 24 hours.
ThinQ®: the LG smart laundry app
If you have even one smart-home product, you know that convenience is king.
Being able to manage or monitor your washer or dryer remotely — checking energy consumption, being alerted when it’s time to clean the tub or even stopping a load — is pretty neat. But the best, best, BEST part for me is getting notifications on my smartphone when my laundry loads are done; it’s like tapping into futuristic laundry bliss.
It’s Jetson’s-style laundry, folks.
You can even — are you ready for this? — download additional cycles that aren’t already pre-programmed into your machines! The Cycle Download option lets me download new drying programs such as “Gym Clothes,” “Blanket,” “Swimwear” and “Wrinkle Prevention.” Cool, huh?!
ThinQ® also offers Smart Pairing, which automatically selects a compatible drying cycle based on the wash load.
The ThinQ® app works with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, so aside from doing laundry while you’re on the road, you could manage it with simple voice commands from anywhere in your home, too, and get notifications when your detergent is running low if you’re using eZ Dispense.
TWINWash: the laundry room’s secret weapon
If you can imagine me doing a super-cheesy happy dance as I get ready to tell you about the TWINWash Pedestal Washer, please put that image in your mind. I’m THAT excited.
As if I wasn’t already stoked about having one of the largest capacity washers at my disposal that does 50 per cent more laundry than my last machine, adding the LG TWINWash Pedestal means I can wash two loads at the same time. Now that’s efficiency!
I can wash my large loads in the front-loader on top and smaller loads (think: face masks, merino wool layers, lingerie or merely an extra half-load) down below. It may look like a pedestal — and indeed it’s indistinguishable on the outside from its buddy on the right that’s a traditional storage pedestal — but the little LG pedestal washer tackles a second load with ease; it’s just wrapped up in a smaller package.
But that smaller package, which is 1.1 cubic feet, is still big enough to handle a dozen golf shirts or four bath towels, so it’s nothing to sneeze at. It would be plenty of room for soiled baby things like bibs and onesies that don’t make up enough to fill the XL tub on top and are still being washed with gentler specialty detergents.
I’ve run these simultaneously many, many times in the last few months of testing so I could report back to you on what it’s like to operate them together. Because, truth be told, I was initially worried about stability. Remember: we have a second-floor laundry room and stability was my No. 1 concern. I wondered if having two machines going at the same time, stacked on top of one another, would produce too much shake for our floor to handle.
Well, I’m happy to report that I needn’t have worried. These LG ThinQ® laundry machines, TWINWash pedestal included, don’t budge. Even when they’re all working at the same time.
The TWINWash Pedestal Washer has six cycles: Normal, Intimates, Hand Wash, Active Wear, Rinse + Spin and Tub Clean. Personally, I’d have liked to see a Speed Wash option here, too, and I hope LG considers it for future iterations.
Budgeting for the laundry room of your dreams
OK, I promised you a cost breakdown of this reno, because I know when I’m reading up on someone’s before and after room transformation, I get hella pissed when they don’t tell me what it cost.
I mean, I like to dream as much as the next gal, but when I want to turn those dreams into reality, I need to know if we’re sharing the same reality!
So, here’s where we netted out:
- LG AI Front Load ThinQ® Washer, $1799
- LG AI Front Load ThinQ® Dryer, $1799
- TWINWash Pedestal Washer, $1049
- LG Laundry Pedestal, $374 (note that the LG products can be purchased at all major appliance retailers and you can check www.LG.ca for where to buy)
- Bamboo counters, $169 each (we needed two)
- Natural bamboo sealant and applicator sponge, $30
- Penny tile, $6.99/square foot and we needed about $140 worth
- One gallon of mould-resistant paint, $47
- Hardware (cabinet pulls, switchplate, vent cover), $100
- Decor items (light fixutre, rug, dryer balls, containers, plant, planter, etc.), $13
- Better hoses for the steam washer and steam dryer (the TWINWash pedestal came with its own hoses), $50
- Electrical, $175 (we needed a licensed electrician to properly install the light fixture, which came with wiring more commonly found in Europe — so much for my cheap light!)
- Custom cabinets, barn and linen doors installed, all hardware installed, and all labour (sorry, these are difficult to itemize individually!), $5,000
All said and done, the project came to about $11,750. Not small potatoes budget-wise, but most realtors will tell you that in essential rooms like this, you’ll get all your money back in home value. Having never taken a cruise (yet), I can’t tell you if this has been money better spent than the cruise for which these funds were originally allotted — but I can tell you that laundry has never been so satisfying.
DISCLAIMER: LG gifted me the laundry set to facilitate this review. We poured our own time, effort and plenty of money into every part of the renovation — none of it was sponsored in any way — and all opinions are my own.