The laundry is one of the hardest-working spaces in the home. Most of us use it every day and couldn’t imagine life without one. Yet when it comes to renovating, we tend to spend the lion’s share of our budget on the laundry’s industrious siblings, the kitchen and bathroom. Although we may not spend a huge amount of time in the laundry, at Renovate we believe that by investing a little planning and forethought into this often forgotten room, it’s possible to create a laundry you’ll love.
It’s all-too-easy to get carried away with ideas when planning a renovation. Before you move on to some of the more innovative and exciting aspects of your laundry design, make sure you’ve factored in the essentials.
If you’re building or renovating and have the luxury of deciding where your laundry will go, try to choose a ground floor room with direct outdoor access.
A laundry floor should be durable, easy to clean and, importantly, non-slip and waterproof. It should also slope to a waste hole for drainage. Vinyl flooring or ceramic tiles are both great options and available in a wide variety of colours, patterns and finishes.
Since laundries generate a lot of moisture, choosing or creating a well-ventilated room with plenty of natural light is important to help minimise the risk of dampness and mildew. It may also be worth installing an extractor fan and ensuring the walls are painted with mould-resistant paint.
Leave room for plenty of windows in your design and ensure a good lighting plan is in place. Layered lighting will provide you with an easy to use space - with overhead lighting and cabinet lighting being the priorities.
When it comes to appliances, it pays to think big. Most families produce a lot of laundry and it’s more economical to do one large load rather than several smaller washes.
Even those committed to line-drying their laundry may want a tumble dryer for wet days or emergencies – remember that these should be vented to the outside wherever possible.
A generously proportioned double sink is a wise investment and will give you plenty of space for hand washing, soaking and bleaching.
Items can build up quickly in the laundry, so it’s important to have great storage solutions in place. Cupboard and drawer placements, labelling and child-proofing are all important considerations here.
Kitchen style cupboards and drawers look smart and are an easy way to get organised, but you’ll need a variety of sizes to house everything appropriately. For example, deep, tall cupboards will be needed for storing brooms, mops and vacuum cleaners. Shallow cupboards may work well for detergents and other cleaning products and won’t gobble up floor space.
Labelled clothes baskets
Individual baskets for white clothing, dark clothing and hand-washable items is a great way to keep things organised and prevents clothing from getting accidentally damaged.
If you have young children or pets in the house, include a lockable cupboard or add a childproof lock to at least one cabinet where you can store bleaches and other toxic products.
If you can’t spare an entire room for your laundry, consider stacking the washing machine and dryer (or choose one appliance that can perform both functions) and house them behind cupboard doors. This not only looks more elegant but will minimise the noise of the machines too.
While not 100% essential, adding certain features to your laundry can make life a lot easier and organised. Especially if there are multiple people within your household, there will be a few ideas here worth adding to your list.
Useful Addition Ideas
Chutes are relatively quick and easy to install if you have a clear path between two floors, and make it much more likely that the family’s dirty clothes will end up where you want them.
Multiple washing machines
If you have a large family or need to do a lot of laundry for other reasons, you may want to consider having two washing machines.
Mixer taps are a good choice. Consider one with a spray option if it’s likely you’ll be cleaning large items, such as gumboots, in the sink.
Good-sized draining boards are important and will give you a robust surface for applying pre-wash stain treatments or scrubbing.
Especially for laundries that are located within small homes or close to bedrooms, soundproofing the room can make a big difference to your living situation and sleep routine.
A hanging rack is a more environmentally friendly way to dry clothes indoors, particularly if your laundry enjoys plenty of sunlight and is well ventilated. A ceiling-mounted rack helps to keep the floor clear and contributes to a feeling of spaciousness.
Wall-mounted ironing board
If you’re planning on doing your ironing in the laundry, a fold-down ironing board is an easy storage solution which provides instant access to your clean clothes
A steamer is essential if your wardrobe contains multiple delicate fabrics. It will help you to avoid the burns that can come with using an iron and smooth-out any hard to reach creases.
If you have enough space, a folding station is an ideal way to keep all of your laundry related tasks in one functional area. This can be as simple as installing a bench over your washing machine and tumble dryer. For added organisation, have allocated baskets for your family members’ clean clothing.
Thinking of the laundry as a utility room may give you even more ideas; hot water tanks, meters and second freezers can all usefully be housed here if you have the space.
Aesthetics & little luxuries
Your laundry doesn’t need to be a colourless, boring space. Choosing a design style, adding pops of colour and installing entertainment systems can completely transform the space.
Style & colour
It makes sense to choose hardwearing, neutral, easy clean surfaces – but mix them up with a few colour accents and accessories. Feature walls or even ceilings are an easy way to add a pop of colour. Distinctive tiles can also be used to bring character to this space.
To make the most of your laundry, add a few personal touches. This might be through hanging plants, family photos or a nice piece of art.
If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in your laundry, ironing, steaming and folding, why not install a sound system?
Get in touch
Would you like to discuss your renovation ideas with a specialist? Get in touch today!
Costs are accurate at the time of publication. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.