The laundry is one of the hardest-working areas of the home yet sometimes it’s not as practical, efficient or user-friendly as it could be. It’s also one of the areas often overlooked or low on the priority list come renovation time. If you are considering a complete laundry renovation or a slight remodel, there are many ways to give this important space a cost-effective makeover, as well as improve its functionality and visual appeal — and it doesn’t have to break the bank.
Here are some handy tips to help give your laundry space a new lease of life.
Planning makes perfect
Having a clear plan for your laundry makeover is crucial. Firstly, start by making a list of what you need to change and put everything in order of priority. While washing might be your laundry’s main function, there are other important areas to consider such as bench space and storage, so start to think outside of the box and how you may have been compensating for your laundry’s lack of functionality.
Here are some questions to kickstart your thinking:
● Do you have enough bench space for sorting and folding?
● Is your flooring waterproof, non-slip, durable, and easy to clean? Does it have sufficient drainage?
● Do you need space to install a tumble dryer, or more floor area for an air dryer?
● Do you have a good variety of large and small cupboards, i.e. tall spaces for brooms and mops, and small, deep areas for laundry products? When considering functional storage options, also think about whether you want more room for household items, including those for sport, school, pets, and the garden.
● Does your laundry allow enough space to do your ironing?
● Is your sink big and deep enough for hand washing and soaking?
● Does your laundry have enough light and ventilation?
Set a budget
There’s often a misconception that renovations have to be costly when in actual fact they don’t — all it takes is a bit of planning, research and creativity. Once you have identified and prioritised the areas you want to improve, it’s important that you decide how much you are willing to spend. There’s no point in going shopping or engaging with tradesmen if you aren’t clear on the finances, as this is likely to be one of the first things you will be asked.
Invest some time in looking at a variety of laundry designs. Start by browsing the internet, social media, as well as home and lifestyle magazines. You might also find it valuable to go to home and hardware stores and look at different laundry layouts and storage options — these will help you to visualise how certain designs and styles will look in your own space. Think about whether you need to completely remodel your laundry to achieve your desired outcome, or if small but smart changes can get the same result. Multiple sources of inspiration can show you what’s currently in style and give you creative ideas that won’t blow your budget but be wary of passing trends that may date quickly.
Once you have a clear idea of how you want to revamp your laundry space, and before you make any purchases or commitments, it pays to seek advice from your local hardware store and obtain quotes from several tradesmen. This will help you to compare the different materials that are available and price up your options. Shop around for discounted or discontinued stock and look for bargains online — you might be surprised by the number of avenues you have to source materials, which could help keep costs down.
Perhaps your laundry is functional, but you want to make it more modern or visually appealing. If so, a great place to start is with your cabinets and cupboards. Here, you can replace your cabinets completely or retain their structure but refresh the exterior. If you are being budget-conscious, then refacing can be an affordable way to give your cabinetry a new look — you can cover doors with stylish, plastic wraps or give them a fresh coat of paint. Small finishes can also give your laundry a more contemporary look and feel. For example, consider updating your hardware and fixtures, including powerpoint covers, light switches, handles and tapware. The same applies to accessories and appliances — choosing pieces that are the same material or style can create an impressive and well-coordinated space. When it comes to benches and splashbacks, be sure to consider options that are durable, especially in the presence of moisture and cleaning products. There are many budget-friendly and practical materials that are easy to take care of and also create a great aesthetic. For benches, materials include laminate, wood, stone or marble. For splashbacks, consider coloured, patterned or textured tiles, stainless steel, glass, or marble lookalikes.
There are many aspects of a laundry makeover that don’t need to be done by a professional, so if you’re keen to DIY, or have a handy friend or family member that can help, you can save some money and have fun in the process. You might want to try wallpaper or new paint for the walls or ceiling, a plastic wrap for the cabinet doors, or new doorknobs and handles. However, be sure to enlist the help of a qualified professional for any electrical or plumbing work.
For all of your property needs, contact your local Peter Blackshaw office.