Your laundry doesn’t have to be the Cinderella of your home. Follow our five tips for a zone that is as stylish as it is functional.
1 MULTI-FUNCTION APPLIANCES
The humble tumble dryer and washing machine have come a long way.
Combined appliances like Fisher & Paykel’s Washer Dryer Combo (pictured above), which washes and dries a load in under three hours, save time and precious laundry space. It’s also very efficient, says Fisher & Paykel’s Lan Nguyen. “The 8.5kg/5kg model has a 5-star water rating, a 3.5-star energy rating for the dry cycle, and a 4-star energy rating for the wash cycle.”
Meanwhile, Bosch’s ActiveOxygen washer removes bacteria from clothes without any additional chemicals besides your regular laundry detergent – and in cold water. Great news for those among us who loathe hand-washing delicates! Its Refresh Program also banishes aromas that have clung to clothes from pubs and restaurants – without the use of water – which is perfect for items that don’t necessarily need to be washed.
MORE WASHER/DRYER COMBOS >
2 CLEVER CONCEALMENT
While laundry design typically focuses on hiding mess, the ultimate trick is disguising the entire laundry altogether! Common in compact European homes, concealed laundries are a smart, space-saving solution.
This guest bathroom (pictured above) by The Designory hides appliances in a cupboard alongside a concealed sink.
“The client wanted the room to look beautiful first, but be packed with functionality behind the scenes,” explains Director Melissa Bonney. The luxurious bathroom includes a long bench, cupboards and a hanging rail for laundry duties, which can be scaled back when there are guests.
The Block alumni Kyal and Kara Demmrich maximise living space in a 60-square-metre holiday studio by making the bathroom multipurpose (pictured opposite). “The room primarily functions as a bathroom, and the laundry is not used on a daily basis,” says Kara.
“If you’re considering concealing your washer/dryer, ensure you’re going to be happy to open and close cabinetry often.”
3 DESIGN FEATURES
Can cool design elements make doing the laundry a less irksome task? Simone Mathews of BAM Interior Design thinks so. She enlivened this laundry (pictured above and left) with lighthearted artwork and exposed copper pipes that appear to abseil down the wall to the sink.
This laundry is simultaneously serious about storage, with cabinetry including a drawer under the sink (“often people find a cupboard awkward with the pipes”). An antique timber coat rack complements the rustic tapware and ties in with the style of the home.
Homeowner Shelley Gunton turned an existing brick wall into a design feature by whitewashing it, and installing striking timber and black cabinetry (pictured below). “The open shelves are great for easy-to-reach items, but also work as a space for styling. The matching washer and dryer give it symmetry.”
Simone and Shelley agree that greenery lifts a laundry zone. Small touches such as trays, baskets, towels, wall hooks, and storage containers also add character. “They have the different textures and functions that make a space look complete,” says Shelley.
4 HANGING AROUND
In petite laundry spaces, sometimes the only way is up: The ingenious hanging drying rack by New Zealand studio George and Willy (pictured opposite) operates on a pulley system, so you can hoist your laundry up and out of the way, and the warm air trapped in your ceiling space will help it dry.
Wall hooks, hanging rails and even traditional-style clothes airers provide other practical options for drying on rainy days. In a dual bathroom/laundry, try a generous towel rack (shown above in this clever zone by MJK Building), which can accommodate laundry as well as towels.
MORE HANGING OPTIONS >
5 STYLISH STORAGE
A laundry can become a dumping ground for all kinds of miscellaneous household items – from pet paraphernalia to sports equipment – and of course, piles of washing. Clever designs like these however, transform a utility space into a zone that’s both hardworking and handsome.
Anna Smith of Annabode + Co. stacked her washer and dryer (pictured above), maximising space for cabinetry and closets that hide her water heater, skis, bikes, paint cans, lightbulbs, old blankets, camping equipment, craft stuff, cleaning supplies and more – impressive!
Meanwhile, a copper-wire basket and glass canisters keep laundry supplies within easy reach. “Glass canisters elevate everyday objects like clothes pegs,” says Anna. “And it's helpful for when we have guests – they don't have to hunt for anything.”
Hanging racks, as seen in these laundries by smarterBATHROOMS+ and professional renovators Kara and Kyal Demmrich provide handy space for delicates, kids’ clothes, school uniforms and ironing. “The ironing board is recessed into the opposite wall, and we customised the door front to match the rest of the laundry,” explains smarterBATHROOMS+ Design Manager Vanessa Cook, whose laundry design (pictured above) also makes room for dog necessities, tennis racquets and sports shoes.
All three also incorporate open shelving, which is, as Kara points out, “a great way to break up the clinical feel of the laundry, and an opportunity to provide style and personality.”
MORE STORAGE SOLUTIONS >