1. Consider your needs
The first step to planning your dream laundry is to make sure it serves its purpose. Consider exactly what you’ll do there; in addition to washing clothes, will you also need space to fold and iron? Do you want it to double duty as a mud room? Do you need to store cleaning equipment such as the vacuum cleaner and broom? Feed or wash pets?
A large laundry room will give you extra space to hang and air clothes and give the kids somewhere to drop dirty uniforms and sports kits.
Make sure your design incorporates space for your must-haves while providing sufficient floor space to move around comfortably. Also consider door openings; a front opening washer and dryer should open in a direction that doesn’t block traffic flow and the laundry door should not block your movements when open.
Having enough space to iron will help keep your laundry confined to one room before being put away.
Position the benchtop in a spot that facilitates cleaning chores and ensure that it’s set at the right height – the average height is 900 millimetres, but you may need to raise it a little higher if you’re tall and don’t fancy bending. Include as much bench space as the laundry allows – you’ll appreciate the extra space when you’re sorting through mountains of clean washing.
2. Add practical features
If you plan to air dry clothes or hang ironed items, include a hanging rail in your design. Alternatively, consider a ceiling- or wall-mounted clothes fairer.
A hanging rail creates a useful place to hang and air your clothes as seen at our Montague Grand display home
A generously sized tub can be used for everything from soaking clothes to handwashing delicates – a deep and wide undermounted style is the most practical option. Aim to position it near the washing machine so that soaked items can go straight into the machine.
An undermount washtub paired with a stylish engineered stone bench top will exude style and offer practicality. Image courtesy of Adairs.
Don’t forget to include enough power points – and in the right spots – to accommodate tasks such as ironing and recharging the cordless vacuum cleaner. Consider including one or two inside the cupboards where these appliances are stored.
3. Pre-sort washing
Pull-out hampers with dedicated space for whites, darks and delicates can be a lifesaver in the laundry – clothes are ready to be tossed straight into the machine, with no time-consuming separating required. As they’re built into your joinery, they also keep dirty washing neatly tucked out of sight.
4. Choose the right appliances
The washer and dryer are the workhorses of your laundry, so it pays to choose well. First, make sure you select the right size; the average capacity is 7-8kg but you can now find machines up to 12kg that allow you to do bigger and fewer loads.
Also consider whether you want a front- or top-loading washing machine. Front loaders can go under a benchtop and many models can be stacked or wall-mounted to save space. If your laundry is small, you may prefer a two-in-one front loader that both washes and dries.
For a seamless look, conceal the washer and dryer behind integrated cabinetry doors. Image courtesy of Fisher & Paykel
Top loaders are generally cheaper than front loaders and make it easy to pop that stray sock into the machine in the middle of a load. However, they need to be floor-mounted and require space above for the lid to open.
Consider functionality too; do you want a machine that allows you to refresh items or run fast washes in 20 minutes or so? Do you need programmes to gently wash and dry ultra delicates and fine woollens? Water- or energy-saving functionality? Auto-dosing functionality so the washer automatically chooses the right setting? A programme for heavily-soiled sports gear? You’ll find all of this functionality and more in today’s models.
The latest appliances can save you both time and money thanks to their energy efficient programs and short cycle times.
Dryers have come a long way too – no longer the energy guzzlers they once were, you can now find models with up to a 10-star energy rating. Heat-pump dryers are the most energy-efficient and gentlest on clothes. They cost more to buy than condenser or traditional vented dryers, but you’ll reap the savings in running costs.
5. Include plenty of functional storage
Well-considered storage keeps all your laundry essentials neatly organised and your benchtops clear. At the planning stage, assess exactly what you need to store and design wall- and floor-mounted cupboards and shelves to suit. Include tall cupboards for any bulky items, such as the vacuum cleaner and broom. And make the most of your vertical space by taking cupboards as high as possible.
Storage is key. Wall mounted and under bench cupboards in the Canterbury provide space for everything to be packed away for a neat and tidy space.
Having a mix of open and closed storage allows you to keep cleaning products hidden away and more attractive items, such as baskets and folded towels, on display.
Need more storage? Hooks on the walls and back of the laundry door provide the perfect spots to hang the ironing board, pet leads and other essentials.
6. Add luxe touches
Elevate your laundry from a purely practical space to one that exudes style with a few luxurious touches. Consider adding a beautiful tiled or terrazzo splashback, designer hardware to cabinetry doors, brushed-brass tapware, greenery or artwork. You don’t have to incorporate a lot – even one or two touches will turn your laundry into a space you’ll enjoy spending time in.
The stylish tiled splashback and black door hardware in the Langholm’s laundry elevates the space to make washday a pleasure.
7. Bring in light
Make your laundry as inviting and workable as possible (while cutting energy costs) by maximising natural light. You can achieve this by specifying generous windows and flexible coverings, such as venetian blinds, which can be angled or raised to let sunlight flow in. Specifying a glass exterior door will boost natural light further.
A double width glazed sliding door with venetian blinds floods the laundry of the Matisse with natural light.
Also include good overhead artificial lighting so you can perform laundry tasks efficiently and LED strip lighting above benchtops to spotlight work areas.
Looking for more laundry inspiration? The Carlisle Homes Interior Inspiration Gallery is a great resource for comparing specific design solutions for the laundry. Click here to visit the laundry gallery. Alternatively, you can arrange an appointment to view a Carlisle Homes display home by visiting the Carlisle Homes website.