James’s tips for a laundry you’ll love to spend time in.
James Treble shares his tips for turning a dirty secret into an organised, beautiful space.
THE LAUNDRY USED TO BE that room at the end of the hall, stacked with dirty clothes waiting to be washed and random cleaning products. Those days are gone. The laundry has become an important part of the family home and needs to be well thought out. It’s also high on the list of wants for purchasers, so getting it right will not only help keep you organised and save time, it can add value. Here are my top tips for achieving your best possible laundry.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT APPLIANCES
Consider what best suits your family’s needs as it’s not always a case of big is better. For example, a toploader will allow you to drop in and lift out clothes without bending over, whereas a front-loader takes up less space and allows valuable bench space above. Some brands have matching washing machines and dryers that stack one above the other, but wallmounting your dryer may provide you with value-adding bench space.
If you have a tight space, a washer/ dryer may work for you. It takes longer between loads but saves space. The dryer will need to let out the hot air, as well as fluff and dust, so you’ll need to consider ventilation. Ducting to outside is usually recommended.
There are many styles of washing machines but it’s worth spending on a quality brand with a good warranty and energy rating with low water usage, as even a small family can get through a lot of weekly washes.
MAXIMISE STORAGE OPTIONS
Even in the largest of homes, well-designed storage allows you to find a place for everything and stay clutterfree. The most basic requirement is storage for laundry powder/detergents and other cleaning aids. This may be as simple as shelving under the laundry
tub or a super-organised space with designated containers clearly marked. Try and include a broom cupboard and look to overhead shelving or cabinets for all those nasty chemicals, pegs and shoe polishes.
The most common laundry tap is the wall-mounted swing tap with
adjustable spout. It’s practical as you can move it out of the way while using the sink, and slide the spout outwards when filling a mop bucket, leaving it on the floor and saving your back. Also, consider a pull-out spray mixer mounted on the tub instead of the wall.
For the washing machine tapware that connects your washing machine hoses to the water supply, why not install them under the tub in your cabinet for a modern, clean look.
Then, if there are any water issues, you can simply open the base cabinet and turn off the taps. Hiding the taps will also free up the bench space above if you have a front-loader.
GET THE FINISHES RIGHT
Don’t be afraid to use timber grain or coloured laminates for your laundry cabinetry. The cost difference isn’t massive and it can elevate your look from standard white to “wow”.
People often select standard white tiles for the splashback, too, but you can add thousands in perceived value by turning up the “volume” a little. Subway tiles look fantastic, or consider marble
mosaic tiles to make a statement. A laundry splashback is usually under 1 sq m, so even when looking at $80 a sq m, it won’t break the bank. The same applies to the flooring, so why not make an impact with it and turn your laundry into a space you love?
Shelve it Go for open storage above the bench.
EMBOSSED Laundry basket tin, $12, from Kmart. HAND WOVEN Verso Design “Lastu” small square basket in Black Leather, $80, from Designstuff.
Town Talk White Orchid fine fabric wash, $19.95, from VGM International.
Timber top The wood finish coordinates with the rest of this home.
If there’s space, include a rail for airing or drying.