My Renovation: The Laundry Room

A laundry room fitted with two front loading wachine machines and with wooden finish vanity cabinets. The room comes with a big glass window and has a reading table and chair.

You spend a considerable amount of your time in your laundry room, undertaking a necessary but mundane chore. Add some joy to your life by finally making this space of your home as efficient and aesthetically pleasing as possible.

With that in mind, it’s important that your laundry has a practical layout, functional appliances and plenty of bench space for clothes, baskets and other laundry essentials. Unfortunately, for many homes, the laundry is a last-minute thought and the floor plan is usually less than desirable and less than user-friendly.

Step 1: Design and plan your laundry room remodel

Before you start, take some time to think about why you’ve decided to remodel your laundry room, and use that to influence your planning process. How do you want the space to function? Are you looking to update the room’s aesthetic? Laundry rooms aren’t always just about washing and drying clothes, a laundry room design process is based on the laundry room activities. So while you’re planning, think about the other functions you want your laundry room to serve and make sure you create room for those things. Many people make their laundry room function as mudrooms; storage rooms for brooms, cleaning products, vacuum cleaner and sports gear; butler pantries; command centers for organising family calendars and mail; pet rooms; and more.

Create a Layout That Works for You

The most important things to account for are space for the appliances and a logical workflow. Think about how you normally do laundry as you plan the layout.

Consider these questions:

  • Should you have a folding station next to or on top of the dryer?
  • How will cabinets factor into the design?
  • Do you need space for a hanging rod?
  • Will you need to move plumbing and electrical for the appliances or to add a sink?
  • Do you need a spot for an ironing board?
  • Does the room provide enough natural light, or do you need to add a light fixture or a window?
  • Where will you keep the laundry baskets?

Step 2: Pick your materials and select your appliances

The selection of your appliances, or your existing appliances, will greatly affect other decisions for your space. If you’re springing for new appliances, take some time to consider if you’d prefer a side-by-side or stacked washer and dryer combo. Stacked appliances can save space, but shorter people might need a step stool to reach the top controls. Also, consider if you prefer front-loading machines or top-loaders.

As far as colours are concerned, make sure you’re absolutely in love with the hue and that you’ll be able to coordinate it with the rest of your decor.

The flooring materials you choose should be resilient and durable. Find something that’s water-resistant and low-maintenance. As for countertop material, stick with something durable, such as quartz stone. You want a material that can stand up to spilled detergents and bleach.

With laundries being relatively small spaces, choosing beautiful tiles won’t break the bank. A laundry renovation is a perfect opportunity to get creative. Splashbacks can make a dramatic impact.

You might also consider including a sink in your laundry room. If you haven't got much space it will be a trade-off between a sink and counter space. If your budget and space allow for it, consider getting a deep sink to easily soak clothes or hand wash delicate items.

You will also need to define which storage option would work best in your laundry room:

  • Wall Cabinet
  • Base Cabinet
  • Storage Cupboard
  • Tall Cabinet
  • Benchtop
  • Open Shelves Cabinet
  • Freestanding Cabinet

In addition, round off your completed and fully remodelled laundry room with accessories that make wash day easier and more enjoyable, such as an ironing board hanger.

Step 3: Create a budget

Before beginning any home project, decide how much you’re willing to spend as you start planning, and keep that figure in focus as you look at different materials and design the room’s layout.

When creating your budget, start with the big expenses: cabinets, flooring and appliances. These will provide the function. To save money, decide what you can keep and what you need to replace. However, if you’re moving your laundry room to a new location in your home, you’ll have to think about plumbing, venting, knocking down walls and more, all of which add significantly to the cost.

Step 4: Prepare for the laundry room renovation

After determining the general scope of your project, you’ll probably have an idea of whether you need to hire a professional for help. A professional can help you think through problems and offer solutions you might not have thought of, such as adding a window.

You can probably do some of the renovation work yourself, but be realistic about your abilities. Make sure you know what you’re doing before diving in. If you’re installing or moving plumbing and electrical, definitely hire a professional. If you’re knocking down walls, it’s probably best not to try that yourself.

Step 5: Construction documents, estimates, demolition and installation

At this stage, the process for remodelling or making over your laundry room is similar to any other renovation project. You’ll be perusing floor plans, elevations and other relevant drawings.

Make sure you save all construction documents, warranties, receipts and product information so you can properly maintain and care for your appliances and other features.

Step 6: Decorate and Enjoy

Now that your laundry room is completed, personalise it with hampers, soap holders, hanging plants, family pictures or art.

Whether you have a dedicated room or a small closet to work with your laundry should reflect your personal style and fit in with your existing home decor.

Who says your laundry must be a boring black and white room? When renovating your home, you always have the option to transform any space into one that reflects your personality.