Traditionally viewed as a space purely for a function which is often ignored in terms of design and styling, in recent times we’ve witnessed the humble laundry undergo a significant revolution.
No longer the ugly duckling, the laundry has become something of a style statement. Often modern laundry rooms now feature high-end quality materials, features and fittings that once would have been reserved only for kitchens or bathrooms.
If you’re planning a laundry renovation and want to make sure it reaches the bar in terms of both functionality and design, make sure it includes these essential features.
Cabinetry is possibly the most important thing to get right when planning a laundry renovation, starting with the layout.
Whether you use a flat pack or custom-built cabinets, your aim should be to maximise the available space while incorporating plenty of storage. It’s essential to include at least one full-length vertical cupboard to store away tall items like the ironing board, brooms or a vacuum cleaner.
Overhead or under bench cupboards which can be used to store away cleaning products or laundry baskets when not in use is always a good idea. However, open shelving is an easily accessible way to store laundry products which can be nicely presented in stylish boxes, baskets or tins.
Modern home designs also typically position the laundry close or with direct internal access to the garage. If that’s the case for your home, you may also consider transforming your laundry into a multi-function space by incorporating ‘mudroom’ cabinetry. A concept which is continuing to grow in popularity, the mudroom can work wonders keeping the rest of your home neat and tidy. A mudroom provides a space with pegs for hanging coats, umbrellas, school bags or the dogs leash, as well as some open shelving to quickly store away wet or dirty shoes or work boots. This means you can quickly put aside dirty shoes and clothes without having to enter the main part of the home.
The classic galvanised steel sink trough that was once considered standard in almost every home laundry set-up is now a thing of the past. Instead, today’s laundry designs feature sinks similar to what you would find in a glamorous kitchen.
As most washing machines are now plumbed directly into the wall, the need for a double sink to allow for the run-off hose has become redundant. This has made way for sinks which satisfy more in terms of aesthetics than functionality.
With your choice of under-mount, above mount and farmhouse sink designs made from stainless steel, porcelain or even granite/quartz composites, the options and possibilities are seemingly endless.
Most laundry rooms (and European laundry’s in particular) have a small footprint, meaning you most likely won’t be able to incorporate a lot of bench space. However, it is still important to include a small area for working and folding.
If you want to raise the luxe-level of your laundry, premium benchtops will make a real luxury style statement. However, if you’re working to a tight budget or renovating several areas of the home at once, reserve expensive stone or engineered stone benchtops for higher traffic areas of the home like the kitchen or bathrooms. In the laundry, laminate or timber benchtops are a cost-effective alternative that is practical and look great.
When selecting your flooring, you need to look for something that’s durable and water-resistant to provide some protection against flooding, that will also work well with the flooring selections used throughout the rest of the home.
Timber floorboards will almost always end up becoming discoloured over time from water exposure. Porcelain or ceramic tiles are a more popular practical option. Luxury vinyl planks or tiles are also growing in popularity as they are a cost-effective way to emulate the look and feel of timber with better water resistance.
Your chosen appliances will also impact the functionality, aesthetics and energy efficiency of your laundry.
If you are limited for space, it’s worth considering investing in a dual function combination washer and dryer which generally requires a similar amount of space to a single stand-alone washer or dryer unit. If you have the luxury of space, you may prefer separate washer and dryer units which allow you to use both appliances at the same time.
You’ll also have the option between front and top loader machines. Front-loaders are generally the most popular option as they can be fitted neatly underneath the benchtop or stacked with a dryer unit vertically on top of one another.
When planning your layout, ensure your washer is located as close as possible to the sink to avoid plumbing issues at the time of installation.
It’s also a good idea to include a couple of practical mod cons that create a more modern and functional laundry.
Features like an integrated ironing board, in-built laundry baskets, hanging racks or even a drying cabinet. These added extras not only make for a more functional laundry, but they also appeal to buyers should you look to sell your property in the future.
Ventilation & Lighting
Ventilation and lighting are two important yet often overlooked elements of every laundry renovation.
Whether you can open a window or you install a ventilation fan, proper ventilation will ensure your laundry doesn’t become damp or mouldy over time. The amount of natural light flowing into the room will also affect how well the space can passively dry itself.
For your lighting scheme, simple and well-lit is generally the best approach. Downlights are a popular favourite. Under-cabinet strip lighting can also be a great way to add to the ambience to the space.
Planning your laundry renovation
Planning is possibly the most crucial step to being able to manage a successful laundry renovation. From formulating your design, to sourcing and selecting all your fixtures and fittings and coordinating the required trades, a laundry renovation can fast become very stressful and time-consuming without the required planning and know-how.
If you’re time-poor or would simply prefer not to manage the process yourself, it’s a smart idea to look for a business that specialises in kitchen renovations and can make the entire process simple.
Whatever approach you decide to take for your laundry renovation, if you consider each of the elements we’ve mentioned, your laundry renovation is sure to be a success!