An inefficient laundry room design can be extremely irritating! Have you ever walked into your laundry, only to walk right into all those brooms and mops that are leaning on the wall? I have. They each took a turn smacking me in the face and then rolled around everywhere – It was like a life sized game of Pick up Sticks. This post is looking at more efficient ways of planning your laundry, laundry storage ideas and layout solutions to ensure you too do not fall victim to The Cascade of Brooms!
Laundry Room Placement
First things first, where does the laundry go? If you are in the process of building a new home, lucky you – you can easily place it the laundry in a place that’s most convenient for you! Being a service type area, the laundry should ideally be placed close to other service type areas and well away from bedrooms, studies or living areas to ensure the noise of your equipment doesn’t disturb the actual LIVING being done in your home!
Most often, the laundry is placed beside the kitchen with a door leading straight to the outdoors – the most common and most practical solution. If this is not an option for you or if space is otherwise limited, you may also consider incorporating a small laundry within your kitchen or bathroom, or creating a Laundry Closet in your home, again, keeping it well away from any living or resting zones in the home. Another great solution we’re seeing becoming more popular is incorporating a laundry area either within the home’s garage or leading to the garage, acting as a transitional space between the outdoors and the home (like a Mud Room!).
Laundry Appliances & Fittings
Your next step is to select all your appliances, fittings and fixtures. When selecting your new laundry appliances, keep the following key points in mind to make a decision you will be happy with:
- Do you prefer a top or front load washing machine?
- A top load washing machine will of course, not enable the benchtop to run straight over the top, limiting your bench space and is not always the most ideal solution for those of us on the shorter side (yes, I cannot reach into the bottom of a top loader!) so test this out in the showroom before purchase!
- A front load washing machine will on the other hand, allow your benchtop to be installed directly over it, maximising your bench space in the laundry, but can be a nuisance to bend down to access.
- For smaller areas, an all-in-one combination washer/dryer may be a better fit
- Always look into reviews of your selected products prior to purchase and always check both the energy and water efficiency rating
- Select a laundry trough that suits your needs: Larger tubs or side by side tubs are perfect for soaking clothes for example however, they are not always a necessity
- Depending on your needs, you may not always need a super large laundry trough; a smaller trough can be just as effective, especially when paired with a pull out sink mixer, allowing you to easily fill your mop bucket without needing to place it in the sink first.
You will want to have selected your laundry appliances and fittings prior to settling on a design layout – Your appliances will after all, dictate the availability of your storage and bench space.
Laundry Room Design Dimensions and Layout
There are a few key dimensions to include in your design; these include:
- Benchtop Height: Your finished benchtop height is usually at 900mm above the floor. This can be adjusted if your are creating a custom designed space to suit your height otherwise, most flat pack or semi custom solutions do not offer this flexibility
- Benchtop Depth: Standard benchtop depths are 600mm however, this can be a little limiting (and is actually being pushed as far as 700mm in most laundries and kitchens!)
- Splashback Height: Normally at 600mm, this can be altered depending on your needs. For example, if you are installing a hanging rail below your overhead cabinetry you will need a little more space than the standard 600mm.
In terms of layout, the most ideal solution is to have your laundry hampers, washing machine/dryer and trough in a line beside each other, keeping the trough and washing machine side by side. Of course, this layout is strongly dependent on your space and individual needs.
Laundry Storage Needs
Even a smaller laundry such as the example shown below can pack in a ton of functional storage! Ensure you’ve allowed enough space for:
- Any necessary appliances, fittings and fixtures
- Laundry detergents, powders, etc.
- Laundry hamper/s
- A small bin (for dryer lint and the gum wrappers found in your laundry pockets!)
- An ironing board
- Household cleaning products
- Space for your brooms, mops, dustpans, vacuum cleaner and handheld vacuum cleaner
- Mop buckets
- All the extra cleaning products we often purchase in bulk (guilty…!)
- Any other bits and pieces you prefer to keep in the laundry: This might include a household tool kit, extra light bulbs, towels, small kitchen appliances, etc.
When you’ve listed everything out, there really are a lot of items found in an everyday laundry! When planning your new laundry, consider which items will be calling this space Home and make sure to plan adequate room for each to ensure a safe, organised and functional space that will hopefully make doing the laundry a little more fun (It won’t. But it just might help!)
Using your Wall Space
It is fairly common for a laundry room to have a bit of wasted wall space. This may be due to large windows being in the way of installing more overhead cabinets, or because of the way doors are placed in the space (more often than not, we see the laundry door placed directly opposite a door leading outdoors for example). Although this is the best solution in terms of traffic flow and functionality, it can get in the way of including more storage options in a smaller space.
Put your blank walls to better use! There are many solutions that will help you regain your storage space in the laundry, simply by making better use of this empty wall. Floating shelves for example, are an obvious choice provided they do not protrude into the walkway. Simply installing wall hooks (a set of robe hooks or over-the-door hooks is ideal!) is a perfect solution for hanging your brooms, mops, dustpans and more! No more leaning the brooms on the wall – Another great solution is a simple towel rail: Yes, you could use it for towels but you could also use it to hang up clothes to dry using a series of coat hangers! As pictured in the above example, there are many pull down ironing board solutions that will also enhance the usability of your space – Available from Bunning’s Warehouse, Robinhood Ironing Centres have been a long time Aussie favourite!
Pull Outs and Features
A great way to ensure you never run out of storage is to carefully plan out your options during the design stage of your new laundry. There are so many nifty solutions available, making your life that much simpler in the laundry! This example has made EXCELLENT use of these such items: There’s a pull out laundry hamper, drying rack, ironing board, a hanging rail, pull out broom hanging space and even a pull out detergent shelf (keeping these pesky items well away from the little ones!). These features all create designated spots for everything you could possibly need in the laundry, allowing for a better organised space!
A custom designed laundry room allows you the freedom to incorporate features that are designed and made specifically to suit your needs and lifestyle. The example below boasts a large custom made drying cupboard, complete with ventilation, hanging rail and drying drawers.
There are many features you can incorporate in a laundry to allow you to take advantage of every nook and cranny available, whether it be to add more flexible storage, more functional amenities or even a small appliance cupboard to keep less often used kitchen necessities close by.
Do NOT underestimate just how much bench space you’ll need in your new laundry! While planning your laundry room, take some time to list out every activity you do in the laundry: of course, there’s the actual DOING of the laundry itself, but what other activities would you use your benchtop for?
If you use an ironing mat instead of a board, then a laundry benchtop is the obvious place to use it on, making maximum bench space a crucial element in your design. Then of course, we’ll want to use that counter space to place our laundry basket on and fold up the clothes.
Laundry benchtops are also often used as extra kitchen countertop space: Small appliances such as slow cookers or bread makers are often set up in the laundry. These appliances may not get used every day and do often take up valuable space on your kitchen benchtop or kitchen storage area, so don’t neglect to factor this is in if you do use your laundry room for other household tasks too.
Interior design is all about creating the most functional as well as beautiful environment in your home and this includes custom designed spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms, joinery and laundry rooms. Our guide to laundry room design covers the basics to help you create that perfect space that will best fit your needs and lifestyle.
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Header Image Credit: Woman’s Day