Renovating the Laundry

Possibly the most unassuming yet essential room in the house is the good old laundry.

The laundry is one of those functional rooms that can easily be dull and uninspired. It’s not like guests will be traipsing through when visiting. More likely the average family laundry has become the hidden all-purpose room; floor strewn with dirty laundry; muddy footy boots kicked to the corner and a drying rack overloaded with clothes hampering access to the washer and dryer. And if you’re truly unlucky and don’t have a utility closet; add a mop and bucket and other laundry paraphernalia to your list. Ughhh!!

It does not have to be like this! A well designed laundry can not only be a thing of beauty but become an organised clean-up command centre.

So much time is spent meticulously planning and designing the kitchen and bathroom but what about that essential third ‘wet room’? A laundry needs just as much attention as it requires plumbing, electrical and venting.

This is where having conceptual plans drawn will help to plan the layout of your laundry to maximise form and function. Above all else its purpose is function and a smart laundry design can help simplify your household chores; store drying clothes and cleaning products; and can even provide a spot for you to groom pets.

Based on its location and your needs, the laundry can also double up as a storage area. Adding additional cabinets, closets and bench space can be factored into the design if you are limited with space in the house.

Space saving ideas like stacking dryer on top of the washer (as long as your washer is a front loader) or side by side washer and dryer positioned under the sink allows for extra cabinets and more bench space. Laundry baskets and hampers should be within easy reach while the ironing board should be stored near a power point.

There is no hard and fast rule when designing a laundry as long as it’s the right ‘fit’ for the user. If space and cost is an issue and you don’t have a heavy laundry schedule then adding a European laundry makes a lot of sense. Known as the hidden laundry or laundry in a cupboard, it doesn’t require an allocated room. Instead it lets you borrow some work space from a different area, often hallways, kitchen or bathrooms and typically hidden in a cupboard or behind bi fold doors.

Below is a laundry we created for a client who was having a ground floor extension added to her weatherboard house. She originally had a small laundry and toilet situated at the back of house which was not convenient. As the clients laundry needs were minimal, the decision to add a European laundry was not only ideal but allowed her to contain it in the hallway close to the master bedroom. Compact European laundry does not mean having to go without. In this instance there was even a separate utility cupboard next to the European laundry. 

Before photo of Laundry in weatherboard house before the ground floor extension in Northcote

Clients new European Laundry with bi fold doors

European laundry and utility cupboard in the new created hallway of ground floor extension in Northcote

The average Australian home is large and can easily dedicate room for a full sized laundry. European laundry’s are favourable when space is limited and are more popular in flats and apartments.

Let’s face it, spending time in the laundry is a given, so why not take the time to fine tune the design and make time spent as enjoyable as possible.