Categorised as ‘functional’ rather than ‘aesthetic’, the laundry room doesn’t get a lot of attention during the home design process.
However, considering the amount of time one spends in the laundry almost everyday – depending on the size of the household – why not make the experience more enjoyable?
Electrolux ambassador and Swedish interior designer, Anna-Carin McNamara shares her top laundry design tips – for any budget or size in mind.
1. Create a vision
Anna-Carin’s first and perhaps most vital step to designing the laundry is to have “a clear vision measure up and then have it drawn up accurately. Don’t be afraid to try as many variations as you can think of on paper!” That accuracy will be critical when it comes to functional layouts and ventilation.
2. Choose your washing machine
The quintessential addition to every laundry is the washing machine; without one, it’s just another room. When choosing this star appliance, Anna-Carin recommends considering household size and habits.
“When choosing my washing machine, I knew I wanted to optimise efficiency considering I have three grown kids who live at home and do their own washing on allocated days,” she says.
Anna-Carin uses the 7.5kg/4.5kg Washer Dryer Combo (EWW7524ADWA) saying it ticks all the boxes. “Having two washer/dryers is ideal. I also love that there’s no condensation and it’s gentle on our clothes – no excess fluff. The refresh function is an absolute lifesaver for moments when clothes are not dirty enough to wash but just need a freshening up.”
3. Plan every square millimetre
If size was no limit, Anna Carin says her dream laundry setup would be one overlooking a beautiful tranquil garden with doors straight out to a clothes rail in the sun, masses of bench and hanging space, plus room for plants, art and music.
“But we’ve got to be realistic,” she laughs. Instead, in her own newly renovated laundry, which she describes as “tiny, functional and bright”, Anna-Carin recommends her favourite, the 7.5kg/4.5kg Washer Dryer Combo.
“The appliance is under 600mm, which in a tiny space like my own laundry, is super important. You have to plan to optimise space in laundries and add mirrors,” she says.
4. Follow the rules for functionality
There are four design rules Anna-Carin recommends, with another a preference if possible. “Consider bench space for washing baskets, shelves for washing products, a swivel tap so that the soaking bucket can be used and a hanging rack to dry shirts,” she says. If your space allows it, she also advises elevating your washing machine and dryer for easy loading and unloading.
5. Experiment with the design
With functionality considered, Anna-Carin says aesthetics play a role in elevating the laundry from the plain, simple room as it was once known.
“Add something beautiful – a plant, a wall light, an artwork, that gives the space some personality,” she says, adding, “don’t try too hard though with too many materials, because it can become overwhelming, so I recommend sticking to three – one for the floor, one for the walls and one for the joinery.”
6. Itemise your budget
Anna-Carin recommends a minimum of $8,000 for a laundry redesign, while a bigger budget of $25,000 will allow for higher quality materials and fixtures, with more custom joinery.
“My personal laundry redesign took six weeks with a budget of $15,000. Keep in mind the costliest aspect is always the labour. Even though materials in terms of design may cost a bit more, I always tend to choose ones that I find beautiful because you actually don’t need that much.”
Here’s her high-level breakdown of trades and items needed: