So, how much do we all know about secret laundry business?
Essential it is the room from which our clothes and linen appear in neat clean piles ready for our robes again, but it does a greater service than just that in the household: greater deeds than its usually diminutive size would indicate!
Passive Solar Design would dictate its placement on the south side of the home as we attempt to action the jobs there as quick as possible. Like the bathrooms, a generous garden space for appealing aesthetics would be appreciated. A story was told of an inner city terrace home with a hedge of perfumed lavender plants used for laying clothes on for drying! Great idea! Usually there is the ubiquitous rotary or linear, adjustable, sometimes removable, steel and wire, air moved devise that is beautifully solar powered! For foot comfort and thermal mass to aid the drying, paving on ground is recommended. But here, talking about drying clothes, is way ahead of our laundry.....
Let the sequential list of main activities speak for itself: collection of items to be washed, (96% from bathrooms, 3.5% kitchen tea towels and 0.5% table clothes...these going straight out of fashion when little people come into the home, OOHH and 95.5% of the above statistic is from said little people!) Next sorting, soaking, hand washing or spot cleaning, washing machine (and isn't it great that front loaders have come along way in a few years) then baskets, more sorting needed, then tumble dryer, above mentioned solar devise or moveable horses (airing frames). That is the flow sequence for best, easiest, smartest laundry design.
And the statistics above show that the laundry is best positioned near the bathrooms: who wants dead socks, or worse (especially those little people's items) taken through past their lunch in kitchen!
Above and beyond we can include cupboards for brooms, linen, benching for folding, sorting (what again!) other things, drinks fridge or freezer, recyclables collections etc.
What else do we often find in a laundry: cats, dogs, fishing, gardening, esky, travel, cases, tents, sleeping bags, etc, hobbies i.e. painting equipment for house or artists, sewing, ironing, and of course if that is not enough there is the sporting equipment and the accoutrements for all these too. Oopps forgot the Christmas tree!
If we had realised that we keep all this stuff, we should have made the room three times the size. Alternatively provide elsewhere in the home four or five meters of cupboard space.
In America they often provide what they call a "mud" room for taking off boots, riding gear, or just entering as per the old fashioned tradesmen's entrance. It is a really good idea especially if horses, garden or beach is part of life.
So folks if you are looking at plans please ensure the laundry is proportional for the size of the home and number of occupants and it provides plenty of space and storage.
PS: The above statistics are of the "85% of all stats are created" variety!
Margot Kirke is a qualified architectural drafts person with a passion for practical living, making the best use of space and use of natural light and warmth.