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1. The laundry is the workhorse of your house and can take on many guises. Designer Marilyn Shaw has a full-page checklist which she says quickly makes clients realise just how hard a laundry had to work. Is your laundry a kitchen overflow space, taking the second fridge or freezer and bulk pantry goods? Or is it a transition zone from the garage and garden, holding sports gear or wet coats; acting as a gardener’s clean-up area or flower-arranging spot; somewhere to wipe muddy shoes or towel sown a wet dog? The work you do in your laundry will determine its size and layout.

2. Mark Elmore, chief designer at Fisher & Paykel, says that while laundries can be squeezed into garages, bathrooms or cupboards, there is a swing back to using a dedicated room with multiple functions, plan to locate the laundry closest to the greatest demand for its services: near the kitchen it the laundry handles its overflow; the bedrooms or bathrooms for easy disposal of wet towels and dirty clothes; or the back door, it you regularly hang washing on the line.

3. The washing machine is the key to your laundry. Washing efficiency is important, but also consider ease of use – do you prefer to bob down before a front-loading machine or to dig down into a top-loader? The dimensions of new machine are bigger than previously, so designer Sue Gillbanks, of Kitchens By Design, suggests that you allow extra space if you plan to upgrade your machine in the future.

4. Consider the efficiency of your laundry appliances for both electricity and water use. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority stipulates Minimum Energy Performance Standards for appliances, so look for the yellow and red Energy Rating label. The more stars on the label, the less energy the appliance needs to achieve the same level of performance. Save money by running dryers at night when costs are lower. Check out these useful websites: www.eeca.govt.nz or go to www.energyrating.gov.au for appliance ratings.

5. The E.E.C.A. estimates that two-thirds of Kiwi homes have dryers. When space allows, designer Marilyn Shaw urges clients not to wall-hang the dryer, but to mount it on a plinth on the floor, creating good bench space. Alternatively, enclose the dryer with a cabinet and bench for a clean, no-fluff area (be sure to allow room to slide the machine in and out). The latest dryers are top-loading, making it easy to handle clothes from washer to dryer.

6. Laundries quickly build up moisture, which needs to be vented to the outside to prevent damp and mould forming in the house. Mark Elmore recommends phoning your appliance manufacturer’s helpline for venting specifications. If you like to use an airing rack to dry clothes, set it up in a covered porch or carport, so that moisture is not released into the house.

7. Top kitchen designers are now commissioned to lay out their clients’ laundries, too. Sue Gillbanks plans plenty of storage, not just for linens or brooms, but also for vases, recycling, sports gear and crafts or hobbies.

8. Laundry and kitchen designers have access to a dazzling array of accessories – ask your designer to look for pull-out ironing boards that fit into a drawer or flop down from a cupboard; under shelf baskets which hold folded washing for each member of the family, and flash rubbish and recycling bins. Julie Walker, of Design Consultancy, favours plastic bins or caddies for sorting cleaning gear – household cleaners in one, shoe cleaners in another.

9. Bench and cabinet surfaces need to be waterproof and easy to clean. Designers recommend using the same finishes as in the kitchen – laminate, two-pot lacquer or enamel paint. Try to carry through the same bench surfaces from the kitchen or, as designer Marilyn Shaw does, plump for hard-wearing stainless steel.

10. Make sure floors have non-slip surfaces – designer Julie Walker always specifies non-slip tiles or vinyls. Plan at least one high cupboard to keep poisons or dangerous tools out of reach of children, and install childproof locks on lower cupboards. Plenty of hooks or shelves will keep the inevitable junk off the floor and so help to prevent trips or falls. Good lighting is important, too.

11. Our designers recommend that wet- area flooring continue from the kitchen, in vinyl, cork, or tile. Renee Jacobsen, of Jacobsen Creative Surfaces, notes a trend away from small tiles to larger squares (450mm square) or rectangles (300mm x600mm). Specify kerakoll grout, which contains a mould retardant, or ask for epoxy grout for flexibility and stain resistance. “Rectified” splash back tiles are now available – these tiles have a flatter surface and can be butted together without obvious lines of grout, to give a seamless look.

12. As the laundry is a hard-working knockabout space, Taubmans’ Michael Corbett recommends the new acrylic enamels, such as Ultra Proof, for ease of maintenance. Modern paints contain mould-retardant chemicals, so make sure your painter doesn’t mix in an additional anti-mould agent. To get a waterproof finish, be sure to sand and clean the factory dust from cabinets and wallboards before applying the first sealer coat.

13. Laminate walls are a popular option for laundries. Designer Julie Walker uses a fashionable metallic-look Seratone by Flectcher Wood Panels for a waterproof, easy-clean surface, finished with stylish aluminum joining strips.

14. At least one deep tub is a laundry essential, with many designers specifying two if the laundry is also used for clean-up jobs from the kitchen or workshop. Look for the new vitreous china tubs (easy to maintain) and extras such as ribbed washboard-style surfaces, which help when cleaning tough stains. Make sure the washing machine outlet doesn’t empty into the tub – this is a hygiene issue, especially if the tub is used for other purposes – and make sure your tub has and over flow fitted, to prevent accidental flooring.

15. Laundry taps have finally caught up with the kitchen beauties. Stuart Gray of Methven suggests a swivel head tap, with or without a pullout head, for easy use. He also recommends asking your plumber to check the right water temperature is set, to save money and energy.

16. To avoid heat loss, laundry windows should be covered. Stick to Roman blinds (with a thermal lining) or wooden Venetians for a water-resistant but attractive finish, suggests Melanie Hawkins of Maurice Kain Textiles.

17. Think of the inside story, too. Designer Marilyn Shaw often installs a good old-fashioned drying cupboard, with a specialised thermostatically controlled heater. Julie Walker recommends slatted shelves for stored linen, which improves the air circulation (add a splash of lavender water or use sachets for fragrance).

18. If your budget doesn’t include build-in cupboards, enhance your storage with adjustable shelving. Wall-hung Storex units take wire baskets, drawers, shelves and more, while wooden Lundia shelves can be finished in a variety of colours and stains. Add plenty of hooks on walls and doors to take hats, coats bags, dog leads and gardening gear.

19. Despite its utilitarian reputation, a laundry can still be fun. Grow a row of herbs on a sunny windowsill (lavender or rosemary are washday classics), laminate kids’ art for the walls, bring in bright-coloured or stylish neutral baskets, or pretty fabric ironing-board covers and peg bags. Treat yourself to delicious scented waters to use in the iron – these waters are usually distilled, which is good for the appliance.

20. Many fabrics today don’t survive tumble-drying. Designer Julie Walker adds a hanging rod for drip-drying smalls or ironing – this means fewer creases in your clothes. Consider a small heated towel rail or specially heated shelves for drying wet outdoor clothing.

21. A laundry is a transition space, so designer Sue Gillbanks suggests letting your colour schemes flow on from the kitchen or adjacent rooms. But add punch by using a stronger shade of the colour palette or more of the accent colours you’ve used elsewhere in your home. Try using your accent colours in accessories such as plastic bins and baskets or in colourful pot plant containers. Use your imagination and have fun!

22. A wall of narrow cupboards holds vases, bulk pantry supplies and kids’ craft material – plan to have as much storage as possible in your laundry.

23. Add a hanging rail for no-crease frying – there’s still plenty of bench space below for sorting clothes or cleaning up after time in the garden.

24. This multi-functional laundry was converted from a small bedroom. Designer Marilyn Shaw Created a logical work flow, lifting the drying into a wall, so there’s no stooping when loading wet washing.

25. Deep drawers under the dryer take dirty clothes or ironing, while the ironing board stows away neatly in a drawer.

26. Many laundries are multi-purpose – here, a shower and toilet are cleverly hidden behind a partition to separate functions and provide privacy.

27. Ensure your drier is vented to the outside, not into the ceiling cavity or back into the laundry, to avoid the build-up of humidity and mould.

28. Workaday cupboards, in laminate to match the walls, can be wiped clean and always look smart.

29. Check the Energy Rating label when buying appliances. The red and yellow labels give an indication of the energy efficiency of the product.

Where To From Here?
Hopefully, this report has given you some insight into a small part of decorating your home. It may also have prompted a whole new set of questions.

To get all of the answers you need, simply give me, Kristina Cope, a call on (09) 578-0704 or (021)-641-530 to schedule your free, no-hassle, straight talk consultation. I will arrange a time convenient for you, and it shouldn’t take long at all.

In about 30 minutes, you’ll receive more time and money saving interior design, decorating information than most people learn in a lifetime!

By now, you’ve probably figured out that I am not like most Interior Designers or Architects. (I am qualified in both fields). I concentrate on providing quality information to those who need it.

“But why would you just give away all of this valuable information?”

I know that you may be asking that question in your mind. I know it’s not what most Interior Designers do, and it may seem a little odd. It’s just that I have learned that good things happen when you concentrate on really helping people.

Yes, I make my living consulting to clients as their interior designer, and yes, it would be my pleasure to work for you to transform your house into a home you love to bring friends, business associates, and guests’ home to.


A half-hour is all it takes to get the information you need to make smart decisions for your future. We'll discuss what you want to accomplish, and look at the different options that you have.

Well, I’ve said just about all I can say. The next step is up to you. As I said before, there is absolutely no cost or obligation attached to your free consultation.

Pick up the phone and call me now, while you are thinking about it. I know that you may be a little skeptical, but one phone call isn’t much to risk, especially when you could save yourself lots of aggravation and thousands of dollars!

You can reach me at (09) 578-0704 or (021)-641-530, or send me an email with some suggested times and dates you are available to get together with me.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Kristina Cope DipInt, BArch
Interior Designer
P.S. Procrastination keeps more people from ever reaching their dreams than anything else. Don’t miss out on information that can make all the difference!