Left image: Megan Morton (styling) and Aimee Thompson (photography). Right image: Nick Stephenson (photography).
Plan a washing zone to suit your family and make the wash-dry-fold routine a little more bearable. We check the labels on four fresh designs.
CASE STUDY 1: the multi-functional utility room
With a rear entrance from a city laneway, this laundry also functions as a butler’s pantry and a place to clean paintbrushes and dry paintings for interior designer Carole Whiting of Carol Whiting Interiors & Design and her daughters. Architect Steven Whiting of Whiting Architects allowed a sense of space with a wall lower then ceiling height and open access to the living room beyond. Carole sourced the long stainless-steel bench from a local project that was being demolished and the space was designed around this element, with a mix of open storage containing large baskets and closed cupboards in painted MDF. The barn door, an eBay find, adds character, especially when painted in Dulux Hugo pale pink.
“A laundry should be somewhere you like to be,” says Carole. “If you are going to do chores, at least make the environment pleasant. It’s about finding the right balance between practicality and design.”
“Storage is king,” she adds. “If you have enough of it, even messy people like me can appear to be neat!”
CASE STUDY 2: the clutter-free custom design
Hampers for sorting laundry and space to set up the ironing board were on the wishlist for a Melbourne family of four. Architect John Liu of Inbetween Architecture designed this light and airy laundry in collaboration with interior designer Aldona Pajdak. White melamine joinery is set off by off pale timber look tiles from Earp Bros and a practical Caesarstone benchtop in Organic White. “The tiles provide a lovely subtle texture similar to off-form concrete, but more refined,” says John. The team went one-up on the request for sorting drawers with three large wheeled bins, complete with routed labels on the front for easy identification.
The oversized tallowwood handles were custom made by Tasmanian design studio Interia to complement the timber flooring
in the adjacent living area.
The same timber-look tiles are laid on the walls and floor. “Minimising the finishes makes the space appear larger,” says architect John Liu.
“We designed large sorting bins on castors instead of drawers. The owners can wheel them straight over to the washing machine opposite.”
CASE STUDY 3: the supersized mudroom
The salt-and-pepper polished concrete floor steals the show in this large laundry room in the Townsville home of Lucy and Andrew Cato of Cato Constructions. With an external door at one end, the space also works as a mudroom, with a bench seat and oak hooks, sourced from Not On The High Street, hung on a wall of white penny round tiles. There’s also plenty of storage with cupboards running along one wall towards the appliances (to the right, just out of sight) and space for laundry baskets under an extra sorting bench.
“We kept the finishes modest,” says Lucy of the laminate cabinetry and benchtop, “so that we could spend more elsewhere!”
“Our laundry is also a mudroom where items like schoolbags can be stored, which keeps our front entrance neat and inviting.”
CASE STUDY 4: a stylist’s happy place
“I have always loved laundry duties,” says stylist and author Megan Morton (@megan_morton on Instagram). When it came time to renovate her own, she decided on luxe marble basket-weave tiles from Di Lorenzo Tiles. The view of white appliances was not pleasing to her stylist’s eye, so Megan added a full-length curtain to conceal the machines and clutter. A custom drying rack by Willow & Wood “can take almost a whole load of washing,” says Megan, and even the laundry powders and potions are beautifully styled and labelled in glass jars.
Megan’s favourite bit? “I installed a custom shelf above the door for my favourite vases and vessels. On Saturdays, I have flowers delivered and potter in here for most of the morning washing, listening to music and arranging flowers – the best of home times!”
“A lot of my clients skimp on laundry fittings but I decided to go all out. It makes sense to me to make a room I spend so much time in enjoyable.”
Need some more laundry inspiration? Check out these spaces: