Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Home Is Where the Heart Is - A finished Laundry

We've done it, I have a finished laundry! After showing you my "well on the way to being finished" laundry, I got the motivation to actually finish it and it was a breeze. One trip to Bunnings Hardware, an hour of bossing Roge around (co-ordinating?) whilst he put the doors and handles on and 10 minutes to stick the vinyl tiles on behind the sink (yes vinyl - I will explain soon.)

The paper lantern light shade was a left over from the beach shack and the hanging plant holder a hand me down from my mother in law.

Woohoo, some big white doors to cover over the very "busy" contents of my linen cupboard. So streamlined, it's sooo satisfying.

Looking left is so much tidier too. I cleared out anything that I didn't need to keep (all the boxes etc) and by tidying up the contents of the linen cupboard, I was able to fit more in so I was able to move all my sewing machines into the cupboard. I still didn't have enough room to fit in my Fowles fruit preserver but it doesn't get in the way by sitting here on the top of the shelf behind the door.

Ok so vinyl tiles eh! You're probably thinking that I'm just lazy and didn't want to do a proper tile job. Well in fact, it's simply a temporary measure. When we do the new house extension, the laundry window is going to be replaced. So I figured there was no point doing proper tiling only for it it be ruined when the builders hack away at the window so the vinyl tiles are there in the mean time to cover up the ugly plaster and silicone. At $1.33 for one tile (and I only needed one) I think it works well and it was easy to install as it's self adhesive. It's basically like a big sticker!

I took a few minutes to re fold the linen and rearrange some of the shelves which gave me a bit more shelf space for other stuff.

And a spring clean under the laundry sink. Shelves wiped and useless bits and pieces thrown out. All very feng shui satisfying!

I'm aware that unless you have a reasonably new laundry, most peoples laundry are likely to be a dungeon under your house or a damp room at the back of the house that has little to no decent storage. My laundry certainly didn't start much differently but with a little effort and a few dollars, has become somewhere nice to wash the clothes and keep all the linen. If you're interested in achieving something similar then I have a few suggestions for you:

1 - Make a plan and work out your budget. Depending on what you can spend will determine what finishes and products you can use. Lets assume you want a laundry along the lines of mine.

2 - Prepare the walls. I had to fill in the old door to outside and have the room plastered. This cost me $900. Hopefully you already have plastered or timber lined walls. If you do, paint them all one colour, I'd suggest white or a slight grey for a nice clean looking pallet and a good base for your decorating.

3 - Invest in some good storage. I don't like laundry troughs so I replaced mine with a simple Bunnings flat pack cupboard with a sink. The caesar-stone bench-top was a left over piece from my kitchen. Most likely you won't have a scrap like mine so go to a stone mason and see if they have a scrap or seconds piece that they want to offload for cheap. You won't need a big piece so more than likely you will find a good discounted option. My new laundry sink and cupboards cost about $400. I kept the plumbing all in the same place so there wasn't any expensive plumbing relocation costs and was able to re connect the plumbing myself hence saving the cost of employing a plumber.

4 - My linen cupboards are again Bunnings flat pack. It's instal-it-yourself stuff and it's really easy to do. Each cupboard will take you approx. 15 minutes to screw together, easy. I chose a more expensive kitchen pantry sized cupboard because the shelves were deeper and I was able to fit more in. The cupboards cost about $550 for all three and another $445 for doors and handles (which as you know I bought at a later stage when I could afford them as they were only really the finishing touch.) However you don't have to go for the more expensive option. Bunnings also do a laundry range which is heaps cheaper. About $150 for a double door cupboard and $99 for the single door. They are however a bit less quality and not as high and deep. You will need to weigh this up when you are planning your laundry. I suggest that they would suit you if you're on a limited budget, a renter or if it's a temporary solution until you do a major reno in years to come.

5 - Buy some wall hooks to hang bags, clothes horses, ironing boards to get them off the floor. It looks neater and you're not tripping over them all the time. You can find specific hooks in the laundry section of Bunnings to hang the ironing board for approx. $10 and there is a garage storage section (also at Bunnings) which has a great range of heavy duty (but affordable) hooks that you can use to hang all your brooms, mops etc. I always tend to shop at Bunnings because it is convenient for me but any good hardware store will have these things.

6 - Tiles and floor coverings. My floors were already polished but if yours aren't, there are heaps of options. Click together wooden flooring is easy to instal yourself, as is lino. The vinyl tiles that I used on the wall behind my laundry sink can be used as floor tiles too and at $1.33 each they are a cheap and suitable solution if you don't want to spend a fortune. They come in lots of fun finishes like faux wood, marble, slate and lime. They also have the classic white and black patchwork square look which I quite like personally.

7 - Decorate. Just because it's a laundry doesn't mean you can't put a fresh bunch of flowers in the room or a hanging plant like mine. Why not a picture on the wall? The possibilities are endless. Make it seem like a room that is lived in, not just a functional room.

There you have it. A few suggestions on how to achieve a functional laundry and it's isn't break the bank expensive. It's not a huge time sucker either and can be done one section at a time so it's not too disruptive to your life. My laundry has been achieved over 2 years, it didn't happen in a weekend but then that said, it would only take two people a weekend to achieve what we've done. Hopefully I've inspired you to tidy under the sink if nothing else!


  1. It looks fabulous, Alex! I think you should come visit ... and re-do my laundry while you're here. In the meantime, inspired by you, I might hang a plant in there to make it feel more loved. xox

    1. Not a maiden hair fern, they're hopeless and die! Yes I'm really happy with the result Sheryl, finally it feels very functional but tidy and for a clutter-phobe like myself, that is very satisfying!

      I hope you're well? It looks like you've been doing heaps too from what I can see on your blog. Say hi to the family for me.