I have always prioritised the laundry room in my renovation projects. In London, we actually went through the tedious process of applying for council approval for the sole purpose of extending the house enough to build a laundry/mud room off the garden (here’s a photo from that room!). I’ve always felt like the laundry room should be a pretty space, with windows for an outlook — after all, with five kids it’s where I spend a lot of time — it should be an inspiring space to be in! I’ve also always wanted the laundry space to be close to our living areas, because I wanted it easily accessible and also because we had small children to keep an eye on, and I couldn’t be too far away from them.
When designing our new beach house, we had to make a choice whether to carve out space in the small footprint of our home for a laundry room or to put it at the back of the garage. I really agonised over this decision, because the garage is typically not the most glamorous spot to fold laundry, and I worried it would be too separate from the house, making it an annoying task. I also worried that the distance would make it more of a task for the kids to put their dirty clothes in the laundry bin… and we’d end up with clothes left all over the house.
In the end, we chose the garage. And surprisingly, I’m not too mad about it. In fact, it’s actually kind of handy to have it separate from the house — a dedicated zone for all things laundry and cleaning. I don’t mind when the sink is full of wet beach towels or when the laundry basket is brimming with dirty laundry; out of sight = out of mind. We put laundry baskets in the bedrooms for kids to put their dirty clothes, so that solved the issue of clothes landing on the floor. And I love that we were able to maximise the tall ceilings in the garage to allow for lots of wall storage. And it’s nice that we didn’t have to compromise on interior space too. And secretly, I don’t mind folding laundry in the garage, because it’s nice and quiet in there away from the chaos of my big family. (Now that my kids are all older, I don’t have to keep a constant eye on them, so there’s no need to be within earshot.)
So I guess where you put your laundry room really comes down to your specific space, your personal needs and wishes, and the flow and rhythms of your family.
Below I’ve shared details of our new laundry room. Keep in mind that, because it’s in the garage, I chose finishes and fittings that were more durable, wipeable and moisture-resistant.
Cabinets: Standard range melamine by Laminex with matching edge tape in colour ‘Olivine’ and natural finish
Bench tops: We saved money and went with an off-cut of a porcelain marble-look slab from the stonemason. I’ve never used a ‘fake’ stone before, but in this room it’s handy to have something that is really durable, stain-resistant and non-chip.
I’ll be sharing many more design decisions, details and sourcing tips in my upcoming Renovation Ready live 2-day workshop, which takes place on May 4th and 5th. I’ve teamed up with my good friend, Natalie Walton, an interior designer and stylist, to share all that we’ve learned to get your renovation right. We’ll be sharing renovation tips, steps and the mistakes to avoid when renovating. For more information, go to Renovation Ready.