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Freshen up your laundry

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Along with cleaning the bathroom, doing the laundry tops many people’s list of worst jobs on the weekly to-do list. Other than the joyless task of sorting through dirty clothing, it’s often done in a space that has not seen much design love.

Hence, the laundry is usually the last room in the house to get a makeover, with the basic necessitie­s, such as a waterproof floor, stainless steel tub, a washing machine and dryer, deemed adequate. But having to spend regular periods of time in such a joyless space can only add to the aversion of doing laundry, says interior architectu­re designer AnnaCarin McNamara.

“We tend to spend money in places like the kitchen, which we can show off to people, but then we don’t bother setting up the laundry properly, even though we spend so much time in there,” she says.

But now the laundry is changing from a once dull and drab space into a modern multi-purpose utility which can act as an extension of other areas, such as the kitchen.

Aside from being a well-ventilated space, hardy cabinets and stone benchtops are necessity to protect against water spills and condensati­on f from th the d dryer.

Given our abundant sunshine a drying room is not something Australian­s have been accustomed to including in their laundry, but it is a popular northern European solution to the wet weather washing juggle, and the concept is finally gaining popularity locally.

Not only does a drying room provide a dedicated space for airing clothes indoors, it is a practical alternativ­e to the costs and carbon emissions that come with using highenergy clothes dryers.

For small loads, a simple hanging rack works.

“It also dries things more delicately and cares for the clothing better,” says Anna-Carin.

Many renovated and new homes now continue the elegant materials and surfaces used in the bathroom or kitchen to connect the home’s spaces to give a seamless design.

“Laundries are definitely being viewed as extensions of the kitchen space. For example, if someone features a Laminex Essastone benchtop in the kitchen, while they may not have the budget or choose to extend the stone-style product into the laundry, there are plenty of matching laminate products that tie the colour scheme in,” says Hickinboth­am’s design director, Ruth Vagnarelli.

Modern cupboard f finishes, such as high-gloss doors or th the use of contrastin­g t ti colours, l i is also an attractive and up-to-the-minute style which is easily achieved and better still at a reasonable cost.

A mosaic tile or glass splashback and/or stone benchtops, if the budget allows, are other striking ways to smarten up the space.

“More people are installing utility benches with front-loading washing machines and dryers stored under. This frees up the space to have a big bench, which is not only ideal for folding washing, cleaning shoes et cetera, but also doubles as an added storage space when entertaini­ng,” Ruth says.

“It is the butler’s pantry without having a butler’s pantry. People use the trough to wash dishes or fill it with ice as an instant ‘Esky’. It is ideal for people who only require a butler’s pantry now and again.”

The position of the laundry within the home also has been changing, and more often they are being situated adjacent the kitchen for convenienc­e, with outdoor access to a side yard.

It then has the ability to become a multi-purpose room or butler’s pantry, perhaps with a second fridge for drinks.

Placing it near the kitchen or bathroom can also save money.

“Also, adjacent to wet areas saves on plumbing,” Ruth says.

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