As practical as the laundry room needs to be, as one of the smallest rooms in the house, there is no reason why it cannot make a big impact. Consider stepping away from uniformly designed laundry spaces and hop on the back of some of these fantastic trends. Think carefully about what exactly the room is going to be used for and personalise it accordingly.
Shrink the sink
If you rarely hand wash in the laundry tub, then there is no reason you would need to have one in the laundry. At the end of the day, it only takes up unnecessary space if you are not even using it as it was meant. Bathroom-size sinks are becoming more the norm to allow for extra bench space, which in this day and age seems the more practical of the two options. Custom infill panels can also cover the sink when it is not being used to give you more available bench space. Consider buying your sink in black or white rather than the standard stainless steel often found in the laundry to add a bit of flair.
The reality is you can never have too much storage space, so always plan for a little bit extra. The laundry is also a useful room to store all of your linens and cleaning products, and that's just for starters. When designing the layout, you might want to consider the addition of a drying cupboard, too. With suitable vents, you can dry your clothing without being at the mercy of a rainy day. A built-in laundry hamper can also be incredibly handy when it comes to wash day, as can a built-in laundry chute.
Washer and dryer combos
For smaller homes with fewer inhabitants, washer and dryer combos can allow you to have more room in the laundry. With one less major appliance in the house, you can adopt the European style of laundry room so the area can then double as a space for your beloved pet, craft room, or even an extra bathroom for the guests. Also, aim for energy efficient appliances to help save money in the long-term and freshen up the look with bright coloured appliance colours.
Add bench seating
Mudroom laundries are quite common in Australia and are particularly useful thanks to the addition of bench seating. You can sit down to put your shoes on (and take them off) and use the space as a multi-purpose room to hang your jackets and coats for ease of entering and leaving the house. They can also be custom made to fill any nook and cranny that you have available.
Marry the laundry and kitchen design
If you love the look of your kitchen, then there is no reason you cannot continue the look and feel of your favoured design directly to the laundry. The continuity of design can give your home a boost, and while it doesn't have to be identical, you can opt to use the same bench top, paintwork or cabinetry to tie in the two rooms. Stoneware is rising in popularity for benchtops in the laundry, and don't solely belong in the kitchen anymore.
Tiles have always been a popular choice for bathrooms, kitchens and laundries. However, textured tiles will give you a three-dimensional pattern which is modern and eye-catching. Don't be shy about choosing large, bold designs to maintain the contemporary feel. The use of coloured grout surrounding the tiles is also becoming more commonplace and adds an exciting look to the final finish.
Decorative Fixtures and Fittings
Tapware need not be drab as there are so many interesting fixtures and fittings that can really make a difference in the overall scheme of things. Swing taps tend to be quite practical in laundries, although don't feel you are limited to only the one choice. Shop around and choose something that fits your needs. A pull-out spray tap allows for more versatility when it comes to cleaning the pooch and the mud off your boots but each to their own – it's definitely a personal choice.
Monochromatic tones work well in any room of the house, particularly the laundry room. It offers simplicity when it comes to choosing the finer features and can work well in whatever colour base you choose. Whether you prefer the neutrality of grey or blue, or want a pop of orange or green, a monochromatic look is a good place to start. Tone on tone works well for those opting for a simpler, minimalistic approach to design.
You can add a touch of the natural with wooden countertops, stone tiles and woven laundry bins – and that's just for starters. Pair it with a jute rug, reed baskets, natural textured blind or bamboo light fittings - whatever will work to create visual interest upon first glance. You can even add a subtle hint of greenery with a plant. Aloe and bamboo will work well in smaller spaces, or you can opt for a more luxurious fern if the conditions are right.
Brighten the room
If you don't have the benefit of natural light through a window, then make sure there is plenty of task lighting to help make the chores easier. No one wants to be doing their washing and drying in a dark and dank environment, particularly when there are some many beautiful lighting options out there. If the room is small, then a flush mounted ceiling light may be necessary, but again there are a myriad of colours to contrast and complement whatever scheme you have in mind. If you have a larger room, then let your imagination take you places and opt for a chandelier or pendant to brighten the entire space.