Lockdown Projects 101 - Redesigning Your Laundry
Lockdown affords us a little extra time to tackle those wish list projects around the home. So, let’s start with a laundry refurbishment.
The laundry is often the most forgotten room in the house. It’s where your dirty clothes hamper hides out, the mop and bucket, and often the odds and ends left in the pockets of your clothes.
In short, it’s a bit of a disaster – but it no longer needs to be.
If you are looking to buy some new appliances, or are simply bored with the current layout, there are a number of things you can do to make your laundry more fresh and functional.
Step 1 – Prepping your laundry makeover
First of all, you will need to determine what is essential and what is not.
- Create a safe storage space for your ironing board, vacuum cleaner, cleaning products and useful accessories;
- Create more bench space;
- Install a drying rail if space allows;
- Make use of vertical space by installing shelves, rails or hooks;
- Match the fixtures between your laundry, kitchen and bathroom for consistency.
- Buying appliances based on looks or those you haven’t researched thoroughly;
- Purchasing appliances before you have finalised your laundry layout;
- Improper waterproofing. As this is a wet area, you will need to ensure the correct waterproofing procedures are applied.
Step 2 – Designing your new laundry
Now that we’ve determined the basic rules of a new laundry makeover, it’s time for the fun part: figuring out the most ideal layout for your home. Here we compare the features and benefits of five popular laundry designs.
Now that you’ve decided upon the laundry layout that works best for your needs, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty details of what to include in your laundry, and how.
Step 3 – Laundry Features and Equipment
Much like the ‘are you a dog person or a cat person?’ question, now is the time to ask yourself, ‘am I a front-loader or top-loader kind of person?’
While a front-loader washing machine is typically cheaper to run in the long-term, more energy and water efficient, and boasts an array of useful settings, it is more suited to smaller spaces. It is also compact enough to fit underneath a bench top, mounted to a wall or stacked with a dryer.
A top-loader washing machine on the other hand is often more affordable at the outset, has a larger capacity, can be opened mid-cycle and offers faster wash cycles.
So if you are a single, a couple or a small family with a more compact laundry space, the front-loading washing machine may be the ideal appliance for you. However, if you are washing for a large (or growing) family and have the space for a larger appliance, the top-loader washing machine will be your best bet.
Similar to washing machines, clothes dryers come in a variety of styles to suit your laundry makeover to a ‘t’. The four main varieties are: heat pump, condenser, vented and sensor.
If you’re living in an apartment a heat pump dryer would be a great option – they don’t create hot air, nor moisture, so no venting is needed. They’re also the most energy efficient option so will save you $ over the lifetime of your dryer.
Condenser dryers also don’t require outside venting, but their drying method increases moisture in the air so a well-ventilated laundry room is needed in this case. Still, these are a good apartment or short term rental property option to consider.
The most well-known style of clothes dryer is the trusty vented dryer. They’re cheap and easy to use so handy for someone on a budget. However, the downside is a vented dryer generates a lot of warm, moist air so typically need a ducting vent installed to pump this air outside. At best, they need a very well ventilated laundry room to stop mould growth forming on walls and ceilings. The budget price point is definitely a winner for those counting their pennies.
Vented dryers can also come with sensors that detect when clothing is dry and switch off once their job is done. This can save you money when compared to timed dryers that will continue doing their thing until the timer is up. The downside is, you guessed it, they are vented dryers so tend to encourage a wet and mould-loving laundry room. These are best kept for laundry spaces that allow adequate ventilation or where ducting can be installed.
Creating Bench and Storage Space
Now that your washing machine and clothes dryer have been chosen, it is time to add the finishing touches. Turn your laundry into a functional space by adding shelves and cabinets, hooks and drying racks where unused space allows.
Store your laundry baskets and ironing boards out of sight, and include some high-up open shelves for easy access to things like detergents and fabric softeners.
If you include a variety of cabinet or cupboard sizes in your laundry, you’ll have a wider storage selection to place those awkwardly large items, such as your vacuum cleaner or mop and bucket.
To make exceptional use of your vertical space, consider installing an airing rack up high (yes, I’m talking about hanging your shirts from the space between the ceiling and your head).
If you are renovating your laundry from scratch, make sure your benches are 650mm deep to make way for a large laundry sink (useful – trust me!). Not only is a deep tub super handy, these measurements incorporate the necessary hoses and connections related to your laundry appliances, so the broader bench is vital.
Now that you’ve got the basics down pat, it’s time to go forth my friends, and start conjuring up ideas for your laundry redesign! Remember, functionality is everything, so sufficient space and quality appliances are what you truly need to create your practical and stylish new laundry.