A bit of planning, and thinking through some storage options when installing a new laundry can make for an efficient, smooth-functioning household. Here are some things to consider before you design one.
Customers who buy a new kitchen from us, often put in a new laundry at the same time. After all, it has the same components – cabinets, benchtop, sink and storage. But the big reasons for doing it at the same time is consistent design, cost savings and the one-time hassle. But there’s another incentive to do the laundry alongside the kitchen. If it is designed around home organisation and simplifying your life, it completes a very important component of your renovation or new build.
So, what’s the best way to design a laundry?
It’s not very different from thinking through a new kitchen design.
Start with the space you have. Is it a small apartment and is the laundry a couple of cupboards just off the kitchen? Is it a family home with room to put in a good-sized laundry? Or is it somewhere in between – a niche or alcove that can fit a small custom-designed laundry? Regardless of the space, it’s possible to have an efficient laundry, simply with some intelligent designing.
Let’s start with the family-sized laundry. Mostly laundries are proportioned like a small galley kitchen. The key elements usually are:
- the appliances – the washing machine and dryer
- storage for a few sorting baskets
- cupboard to store an ironing board or steamer iron
- some space for cleaning material
- A sink and under-sink storage
The advantage of designing the laundry like a galley is that it allows for an entire wall of cabinetry. However, a good designer will be able to maximise the potential of whatever space you have.
Think big with the laundry. Every family is different in how they use the laundry, but if you are renovating, it is a good idea to consider all your storage needs. Why? Because a well-organised laundry can make it easier to find things. For instance:
- If you have not been able to accommodate all your storage needs in the kitchen can you allocate a cupboard in the laundry…maybe for the large champagne chiller that comes out only at Christmas or all those extra flower vases you rarely use? If not, is there room to put in overhead cabinetry?
- Usually a laundry has access to either the garage or is near an external door – that means it can double up as the ‘mud room,’ a place for kids to store their sports kit, school bags and school hats.
- A must-have is a dedicated space for all your cleaning equipment. All those spray bottles, the furniture polish, the rags. If you can have tall broom cupboard, that’s a plus.
In a nutshell, imagine your laundry as more than a place to do the washing. Put it at the centre of your home organization system.
Use different types of cabinetry: Once you’ve decided on what you will store in the laundry, think through the best kind of cabinetry for ease of retrieval.
- Are hats, socks and kitchen towels easier to keep and retrieve from a drawer rather than cupboard shelf? In that case, consider adding a few drawers to the cabinetry under the bench.
- For items you rarely need – yes, that champagne chiller – consider overhead cabinetry.
- Items you need all the time – would you prefer a shelf? Such as for the laundry detergent. Add in a few shelves, either above the sink, or next to a wall of cupboards. The room under the laundry sink is often wasted because the space is not smartly used. Will a few tiers hold assorted bottles?
- Think through the size and quantity of items you will be storing. That will help you decide on how deep you’d like the cabinetry to be, and how far apart the internal shelving should be.
It sounds like a tall order to accommodate so much in such little space. But a lot of storage can be created with wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling cabinets, especially if it is smartly designed for maximum utility.
Don’t scrimp on the accessories. Just as you should go for the best accessories in the kitchen, so should you with the laundry. A well-organised laundry does become a high traffic area, and so go to the top end for the benchtop, the sink, taps, handles and drawer systems. It won’t blow out your overall budget and it will be money well spent in the long run.
The best way to start refining your vision and preferences for a new laundry is to see it in the right setting, which is a showroom. Seeing the different displays allows you to experience what your final product will be like. You may see storage solutions you had not considered previously, or may see a tap that would be perfect for handwashing precious garments. The visit will open a world of possibilities. So, drop into one of our showrooms or call to set up an appointment and we’d be happy to show you around.