How to extend style into your Laundry while maintaining function

Matt Wineera, AREINZ
Matt Wineera, AREINZ
Published on July 1, 2018

Kitchens and bathrooms have been the stars of the show for a while, but if the kitchen is a Beyonce, the bathroom an Adele, then laundries are back-up singers. They’re necessary; they need to do their job well, and the more impressive the star, the higher quality the back-up needs to be.

In other words, if you’re putting a lot of effort into kitchens and bathrooms, you need to extend the style and detail to a lesser yet still considered extent to that highly used and functional space – the laundry.

You can take cues directly from your kitchen. Shaker-style doors in the kitchen? Then shaker profiles will work well in your laundry. If you have a contemporary minimalist look, Scandi, Japandi or industrial look in the kitchen, then apply the same style in the laundry.

Your laundry can be so much more than just a dumping ground. You will need to consider design, layout and joinery detailing in the laundry just as carefully as the kitchen. How much storage space do you need, and where? Is face-level storage important, or do you prefer everything under the bench.

What components can you put in, like laundry hampers, pullout ironing boards or laundry shoots? Do you prefer open shelves or cupboards or a mix? How much bench space do you require, and do you need hanging space for delicate fabrics? You need to think about how you will work in the laundry and what you will need to do so. If you’re able to do that your laundry will elevate itself from a chore to a pleasure. Maybe that’s overstating, but you get the idea.

Where kitchens are almost universally expensive, by making savvy choices in your laundry you can get a great result for less. You shouldn’t scrimp on the appliances: get the best quality you can, which serves your family’s needs.

If you have a contemporary minimalist look, Scandi, Japandi or industrial look in the kitchen, then apply the same style in the laundry.

If that’s a washer-dryer combo for a single person or a couple in a smaller floor plan, your laundry needs to be designed around it. If you have a big family, and you need a washer, dryer, drying cabinet, steamer and other paraphernalia, that is your design constraint. Invest in appliances of the highest possible quality – the better they are, the longer they last.

So, where to save money? Compared to the publicly accessible and entertainment-oriented kitchen, the laundry is a quiet recluse; viewed only when it’s used, so while you should care about the look being consistent with the kitchen, you can trim the fat with cheaper inclusions, like benchtops, taps and handles.

If you’re using black or coloured metallic in your kitchen, you can easily specify chrome or brushed stainless in your laundry. As long as the laundry is consistent then it’s OK to have a different metal, providing it doesn’t clash with anything within the line of sight in the room, or as you pass by the entrance to the space.

If you’re putting a lot of effort into your kitchen and bathrooms, you need to extend the style and detail to your laundry.

Where your kitchen might have natural stone or high-end engineered stone benchtops, you can look at the lower-cost types of engineered stone, or use a different material such as acrylic or laminates.

As long as you’re considering the finishes as part of a palette for the whole home, you can use a cheaper product without cheapening the look.

The key is to plan the laundry finishes, such as door profiles, handles, tapware, splashbacks and benchtops as carefully as you do in the kitchen, in keeping with your kitchen palette.

Styling is an important element in your entire home; the laundry being no exception. I know you’re thinking – a laundry needs to function first and styling isn’t important – but the former is true throughout a home. Styling should speak to usage, provide utility and improve the visual appeal.

In the laundry that means putting some thought into the things you need to work well. This could be canisters for laundry powders or the type of hangers or pegs you buy. It could be that you make a stylish choice of laundry basket or boxes for sorting the odds and ends.

Being functional doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. In fact, beautiful and functional should be your desired outcome in the laundry as much as any other space in your home.

article courtesy domain.com.au -by Darren Palmer

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