Monday, 06 February 2017 01:37

Love Your Laundry

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Love Your Laundry
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As a perfunctory space, the laundry is often overlooked when it comes to design flair and innovation. A little creative thinking, however, can ensure your home’s dominant aesthetic is reflected in this oft-neglected room. As Lara Bailey discovers, there’s no reason why your laundry needs to be unsightly.

As kitchens have evolved to become a focal point for entertaining, and bathrooms have similarly adapted from modest to sumptuous, it’s easy to forget that not too long ago, the focus of these rooms was purely practical and aesthetics often took a back seat. Now we expect our bathrooms and kitchens to look great as well as function flawlessly, and it’s time to extend this thinking to our laundries!

While washing clothes is a chore no-one enjoys, having a pleasant environment to do it in will certainly make the experience more bearable. So often, we pour effort into making the main living areas of our home look beautiful, only to leave the laundry a dingy mess that tends to accumulate clutter and items that don’t have a permanent home. Here, Melbourne Home Design + Living looks at the ways you can rethink this important space, and why it pays to learn to love your laundry.

A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING

If you don’t have room for your children’s muddy gumboots, last year’s Christmas decorations or the vacuum cleaner, chances are they’ll end up being haphazardly stockpiled in the laundry – along with plenty of other things if you don’t have a garage or storage in your home is limited. While the laundry is often cluttered, however, it is also commonly a poorly-utilised space in terms of storage. Instead of cramming things into the cupboard or leaving them piled in a corner, having proper storage installed can make your laundry a real asset, as well as much tidier.

Even if your laundry is small, you probably have room for cabinetry above and/or next to your washer and dryer, as well as on a parallel wall or in an underappreciated corner or two. By installing drawers, doors and shelves in these spots, you suddenly have a home for all the items that are contributing to the jumbled mess on the floor. Shelves near the washing machine are perfect for storing washing powder and fabric softener, as well as keeping them – and other poisonous products – well out of children’s reach (add to this the fact that the laundry is a lot less enticing to kids than kitchen cupboards and it’s win/win in the safety stakes).
Incorporating hardy, easy to clean baskets means you can pop backpacks and picnic rugs away in designated areas and negates the need to go rummaging to find things amid a huge pile.

PET PALACE

The laundry sometimes doubles as a pet bedroom. Whether your cat or dog sleeps there at night or has access to it during the day, a few little steps will make the laundry much more accommodating for your beloved four-legged friend. Allocate a space for your dog’s bed or a tower for your cat to climb on so they have their own space to play and rest, and don’t let mess or clutter intrude.

Committing to having the laundry function as a part-time pet home will help you keep it tidy and remember to ensure hazardous materials are inaccessible to both animals and children. As pets tend to drop fur as well, allowing them access to the laundry will also encourage you to clean it regularly!

DUAL PURPOSE

Whether it’s a necessity because of space restrictions or you’d simply like to make the most of what you have available, a great idea is to have a room that functions as a laundry as well as a study or kitchenette, for example. If it’s cleverly designed, facilities won’t have to be sacrificed and the fusion of two different types of workspace can be flawless.

If you have the space, your designer can integrate your laundry with a butler’s kitchen, for example. With banks of bench space and room for a washing machine and dryer next to the sink, your laundry can be combined with a butler’s pantry or kitchenette so the space is tucked away from the main part of the house and efficiently and effectively operates with two distinct purposes.

For visual continuity, the cabinetry installed in the butler’s pantry/laundry can be the same as that installed in the main kitchen, which leads to our next point.

MATCHING SET

Often joinery from a new kitchen is continued in a home’s bathroom/s and or living areas to ensure visual flow and continuity, and a great way to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your laundry is to have the same cabinetry (or paint, or tiles, or handles, etc.) from the kitchen and bathroom used in the laundry as well.

Custom cabinetry will not only improve visual flow but also bring real beauty to what could otherwise be an uninspired space. Although the laundry is never going to have to cope
with the level of foot traffic or attention a bathroom and kitchen receive, it can still benefit from quality aesthetic appeal. Whether it’s a statement sink from the kitchen that also appears in the laundry, or the same two-pack paint on the cabinet doors, taking the time to have a laundry designed in a way that aligns with the rest of your home will pay off in the long-run.

THE BEST IT CAN BE

It’s unlikely the laundry will ever garner the design attention that a home’s kitchen, bathroom and living areas receive, but simple steps can help it reach its full potential. Incorporating clever storage options will mean a reduction in clutter, while compact items like a fold-away ironing board or drying racks will provide a streamlined, tidy way to make the most out of a space that is so often overlooked.

To further enhance your laundry, try to ensure natural light is able to filter in through the windows (this will not only help dry your clothes but also enhance the ambience of the space) and keep it tidy to ensure it doesn’t fall by the wayside.

With some planning, thought and TLC, your laundry can be a beautiful space as well as a functional one – and who knows? You may just learn to love it.

Read 185 times Last modified on Monday, 20 February 2017 05:51