Usually one of the smaller rooms in your home, the laundry is often overlooked when renovating but it gets so much use it’s worth making it as attractive as it is practical. Here are a few things to keep in mind when giving it a make-over.
Before you begin, look at your budget and decide how much you can spend. Consider whether you are going to go with a simple update or a more involved renovation which includes gutting the laundry and starting over.
Plan your layout. Many older houses have laundries that include a large sink, an area for a top loader and a tiny bit of bench space. However, the way we use our laundry has changed over the years, and so I like to incorporate the sink into the bench. You can free up some bench space by opting for a small sink. Many people use a bucket to soak clothes, so a large sink may not be necessary anyway.
The laundry frequently ends up as the area where umbrellas, schoolbags, shoes and other odds and ends are dumped, so it’s a good chance to include some purpose-built storage areas when planning your layout. If some things can get stored elsewhere, clear them out and then decide what cabinetry or shelving you need. For example, you may want to include space for a laundry hamper in a cupboard or put some hooks on the walls for school bags, or designate an area for gumboots and shoes.
You could include some open feature shelves in your design. Pop some trendy baskets on them to store laundry products, spray bottles, cloths etc and the shelves become pretty and practical.
If you are gutting the laundry or replacing the cupboards, you will need to decide if you want to get the cabinetry made to order, or buy some off-the-shelf flat packs. You can get some great flat packs these days that can easily be jazzed up to make them unique.
Don’t be deterred by people who say they don’t last; generally, the product itself is fine but the installation has not been perfect. If you’re not so handy with the tools, consider getting a professional to install it for you.
A lot of laundries have fluorescent lighting in them, but if you know an electrician or you have room in your budget, another option is to put strip lighting underneath overhead cupboards. It adds a bit of ambience and keeps the bench well lit.
Although white is a common choice in laundries, there’s no reason you can’t have a bit of colour in there. I like to link to the rest of the house by matching the colour of the laundry cabinetry to the kitchen cabinetry.
You might decide to do something similar, or you could choose a colour you’ve used elsewhere in the house. You could also mix and match colours a bit by having a darker colour on overheads and a lighter colour on the base cabinets, or vice versa.
I always try to incorporate a cool splash-back in the laundrys I design. Because the square meterage of the splash-back is minimal, it doesn’t add a great deal to the cost to go for a more expensive and funky tile rather than a cheaper, plainer tile. It’s another way to jazz up what might be a fairly boring looking room and you will always be glad you spent the extra money.
The laundry is a place that gets a lot of use, so it’s nice to make it a place that is functional and visually appealing. How are you going to update your laundry? If you need any help with planning your changes, give us a call. We’d love to help you out.