Darren Palmer on his top laundry tips


Famed designer and TV personality Darren Palmer gives us his top tips for laundry design

On the recent series of The Block, the contestants cleaned up with their laundry design and Darren Palmer, alongside other judges, were were thrilled to see six very different and exciting designs that really pushed the envelope – showing that laundry design doesn’t have to play it safe.

Darren Palmer was kind enough to reveal to Complete Home his top considerations when creating a laundry that’s both functional and fashionable:

Looking at what’s new

There are endless style options that you can choose for your laundry – from Scandi and Hamptons to modern and industrial.
A recent trend in laundry design is coordinating the style and finishes of your laundry to match other ‘wet’ areas of your home, such as the kitchen. This provides a seamless transition from the other areas of your home into this essential working space.

Another big trend in traditional homes is that of the mudroom. If you’re squeezed for space, the laundry is a great way to create the mudroom look in a space that often transitions to the exterior of your home.

A stylish mudroom includes upholstered seating, shaker style doors, elegant aged brass handles and even VJ panelling – lifting your laundry from the functional to the indulgent.

“Don’t be afraid to be bold with your design choices. You can create any number of looks if you start with simple grey or white cabinetry as your base – then accessorise creatively. Cup handles, aged brass and porcelain sinks work to jazz up a traditional look,” says Darren.

While matt black, subway tiles or brick with oak can give you that industrial edge. Smooth silky marble (or marble look) with bright chrome can also give your laundry that smart and classic look. You just need to work in with the rest of your home’s style or theme and apply the appropriate details.

JS_76753-RET-Main Laundry image

1. Layout

Just like a kitchen, you have a variety of choices when it comes to the layout of your laundry – namely U shaped, L shaped or galley. The shape and configuration of your floorplan will dictate which layout is best for you.

In a dedicated laundry, keeping the space ‘open’ is key – both from a functional and aesthetical point-of-view. When planning, consider the location of the most-used elements in your laundry – such as appliances, benchtops and the sink – plus what will be in your line-of-sight as you enter the space.

Appliances and the sink should be kept together for plumbing purposes. And ideally, you want a design that keeps appliances concealed or out of your initial line-of-sight.

2. Storage

Storage is king in the laundry. If you design your laundry correctly, it can be so much more than just a place to launder your clothing.

Maximise cabinetry as much as possible (without comprising your ability to move around the room of course). If space permits, consider tall cupboards to store items such as brooms and mops.
Wall cupboards are more practical than drawers in a laundry. However, consider an internal drawer, as this will allow easy storage of items like washing powders and pegs.

If you introduce open shelving to your laundry design, you can both increase storage space and create a stylish nook in what is usually considered a purely functional space. Add special touches – such as plants, candles, folded towels and stylish canisters for your washing powders and pegs – to garner instant ‘wow’ and interest in your laundry.


3. Bench space

Along with storage, creating enough usable bench space is an important consideration in any laundry design. Be sure to position the benchtop to facilitate cleaning chores. This way, clothes can be pulled from laundry hampers or your washer and dryer and immediately sorted on the benchtop.

Caesarstone benchtops, manufactured from 93% natural quartz, are a great option for laundries (and kitchens). They’re highly resistant to stains and scratches, and are very easy to clean. You can choose from a variety of colours – from marble-looks to beautiful and durable representations of contemporary concrete.

If working on a tight budget, you should consider contemporary laminate benchtops as a viable and aesthetically pleasing option.

They’ve come a long way in recent years, and you can achieve marble or timber looks for a fraction of the price. Karlie and Will featured the new Natural Halifax Oak in their winning laundry (below). It’s a new addition to the Freedom Kitchens’ range – beautifully replicating the appearance and texture of solid oak, without the maintenance issues.


4. Appliances

Your selection of appliances and how you fit-out this space will affect the way you use your laundry.

You may opt for a pair of front-loading appliances. You can fit these beneath a benchtop or simply stack a washer and dryer. Either option is a great space-saving solution that will depend on your available space and layout. Should you wish to conceal your appliances in the laundry, consider stacking them to allow the addition of an extra shelf or cupboard.

As mentioned earlier, consider coordinating the style and finishes of your laundry to match other ‘wet’ areas of your home – such as the kitchen. This provides a seamless transition from the other areas of your home into this essential working space.

Additionally, using the same materials as your kitchen and even bundling the two projects together can save you money in production, and also add significant value to your home.

Book a free in-home design appointment with a professional Freedom Kitchens’ designer. For more inspiration, follow @freedom_kitchens on Instagram or download the new summer catalogue.

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