Doing the laundry can be a chore. There’s a lot of stuff, from the actual machines to the laundry basket, ironing board and products and it’s all very functional. For me a big issue is that the washing machine (and tumble dryer if you need one) are large appliances and take up a lot of space in a kitchen that you might prefer to have for other things such as crockery or foodstuffs. Equally, a lack of space might mean that the different components are in different locations which isn’t very efficient. You might want a space that is better organised. Along with pantries, utility rooms, otherwise known as laundry rooms, have become the latest “must have” with searches on Pinterest apparently up by 35%.
A dedicated laundry room is highly desireable especially for families and will add value to a property and make it more saleable so it’s worth considering extending or even reconfiguring the layout of your existing space in order to create one. If you are planning a kitchen refurbishment and space permits, consider sacrificing part of the kitchen itself in order to create a dedicated laundry area perhaps at one end. Seek advice from an architectural designer if necessary. They can provide input on how to make the most of what you have as well as extensions.
Here are some ideas on how to create a more functional and attractive laundry space.
Utilise Unused Spaces
Look around your property and identify any spaces that are unused or could be better used for laundry. We have tended to have laundry rooms adjacent to kitchens. Yet bathrooms and bedrooms (where the laundry is generated) are mostly upstairs so perhaps it actually makes more sense to have your laundry space upstairs, especially if you do your ironing in a spare bedroom. Do you have a cupboard on the landing that could be converted? These are often next door to the bathroom and may have housed the hot water cylinder so plumbing should be quite straightforward. With appropriate support, washing machines and tumble dryers can be stacked on top of each other.
Other possible locations are an under utilised downstairs shower room, an understairs cupboard or even an area in the kitchen which, with the help of bespoke joinery, can be adapted.
Repurposing existing spaces rather than extending or converting will be cheaper. The previous paragraph suggests ways to do this. Hiding appliances and other paraphernalia in cupboards gives a much tidier and more streamlined look. If you need in install new cabinets consider buying second hand, the important factor is the condition rather than the appearance. If your laundry area is in your existing kitchen but in a separate section then the style and/ or colour doesn’t necessarily have to match the existing cabinetry, a contrast can add a sense of individuality. If you want to integrate the cabinetry with your existing units establish whether additional doors can be purchased without carcasses. If the dimensions match you may be able to fit those doors to cheaper carcasses. If you are fitting out a space that doesn’t need to integrate with your kitchen then this definitely gives you scope to use second hand or budget options.
As referred to above, consider stacking washing machine and tumble dryer on top of each other rather than side by side. In addition, make the full use of the ceiling height by which I mean having units that go right up to the ceiling. The extra height allows you not only to house appliances but add shelving above or to the side to create extra storage – imagine being able to have things like laundry products or cleaning products to hand. This, in turn, frees up space in other cupboards.
The Instagram Factor
In the age of Instagram it’s probably not surprising that even the most mundane of tasks – washing – has attracted a following with #laundryroom acquiring 596,000 posts at the time of writing. Whether we want to be competitive or simply want to make the experience of doing the laundry more efficient and pleasureable you can add those elements that make the space more attractive. If you are doing the ironing in what has been a functional utility room then that’s quite a lot of time you are going to spend in there so why not elevate it to a laundry room. This includes adding some of the following – attractive laundry baskets, peg bucket, a pretty ironing board cover, under – counter curtains, peg rail or even an old fashioned clothes airer.
Would you like help creating the perfect laundry room or other laundry options? Call me on 07745 876182 to arrange a free 30 minute chat with no obligation. I cover the Wirral, Cheshire, North West and North Wales. Just looking for inspiration then my E Design service could be the perfect solution.