Depending on the amount of room you have in your home, the laundry can go from purely functional to seriously fabulous in the style stakes. No-one knows this better than serial successful house flippers Erin, Lana and Bonnie from Three Birds Renovations, who have just finished renovating their 9th house renovation in a row!
They’ve seen a laundry or two and always look to renovate with the buyer in mind, but also understand what will work best in the bigger picture of the home’s functionality, as they tackle their own 'forever homes' one by one.
House 9 was originally built and designed as a family home and within the scope of the whole-home renovation, the Three Birds explore the age-old question of whether to save or splurge on the laundry? From the layout to appliances and tiles, here are their recommendations for where you should be injecting cash into the laundry and when to keep it in your pocket for a rainy day (or a fabulous sofa).
“What’s funny about laundries is that we’re in them almost daily, yet people often approach these spaces as an afterthought,” explains Three Birds Renovations Co-founder and Marketing Director Lana Taylor. Whilst there are no hard and fast rules about how much a laundry should cost, there’s a good guide to consider to help you stick to a budget.
“The best place to start is either with how the room looks or how it works, but every decision is interlinked. It’s not a linear sequence and you need all those elements to all work together,” says Lana.
In planning your budget consider the following:
- Whether it’s a new build or renovation
- Whether it’s the makeover of an existing footprint or a complete overhaul
- The size of the space and the materials you choose
“Your tiles, benchtop, cabinetry and tapware choices could take your reno into the tens of thousands or you could do it on the cheap for under $5k,”Lana Taylor
Here are the Three Birds Renovations top tips for when to save and when to splurge:
You can never plan too much! This should define what you want the design to look like and how you want to feel in your new space.
Save: Use flat pack cabinetry
Look at flat-pack cabinetry options that suit your needs and engineer a timber slab from your local hardware store, which you can keep natural or paint all white.
Splurge: Double tub
If you have the space, dedicate more space to the laundry instead of making it a pokey and ill-equipped afterthought. Natural light is always a good idea.
- Allow room to store washing powder tucked away in cupboards, rather than out on a bench.
- Include a tall cupboard for the ironing board and broom (with a light) and bench space for sorting and folding clothes.
"Your choice of a top or front loader washing machine will straight away impact your layout and design. We love a front loader because we prefer how they look and they can also be stacked or under-bench to save on space."
Splurge: Choose a matching set
"We always like to purchase the same brand of washer and dryer to ensure a seamless aesthetic. It also means you can purchase handy accessories like pull-out benches and pedestal draws for your washer to sit on and maximise space within your laundry."
"Create a moodboard to ensure that all your laundry elements complement each other. Continue to revisit your decisions but don’t actually buy anything until you’ve decided on all elements."
Save: Save on tiles
"Don’t waste your budget on tiles if you’re strapped for cash. You can use simple 60x60cm porcelain marble-look tiles on the floor, with a tile skirt and painted walls. Subway tiles always look great for a splash back and there are some very affordable choices around."
Splurge: Invest in feature tiles
"On the other hand, because it’s typically a small room, you can actually get away with adding more design features for less. Invest in those fabulous feature tiles from Sardinia for your splashback - because it’s such a small area you get more impact."
“When you find a tap you love, add it to your moodboard and make sure it matches your tiles.”
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