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Loveable laundries

From the Resene decorating blog

Is your laundry a place where you tend to throw clothes into the washing machine and run? Is it a messy room full of clothes that you’d rather avoid? The laundry is often the afterthought in a home, in a cold part of the home that receives little natural light.

A blue and white laundry that blends in with the hallway wallpaper

Consider the view of your entire interior from your laundry and choose colours that will complement this. Here, the blue walls of the laundry blissfully blend in with the hallway wallpaper through the doorway. The walls of this laundry room are in Resene Abacus, which plays off the historical wallpaper in the powder room beyond. The architraves and ceilings are in Resene Eighth Parchment. For traditional wallpaper, ask about Masons Handprinted Wallpaper at your local Resene ColorShop, which features classic designs which can be ordered in a Resene colour combination of your choice. Project by Design Federation, image by Rachel Wybrow.

The truth is that you can have a loveable laundry in which you enjoy spending your time. So say goodbye to the cramped, unloved laundry you’re used to and say hello to a vibrant, newly organised space that will inspire.

After all, it’s this space that allows us to wear clean, ironed clothes every day, and thus it’s very much a necessity. So even though it might be the most functional and practical space in the home, why not make it beautiful too?

Although much of its aesthetic will depend on how much space you have available to work with, with some good planning and the right choice in paint, you can transform this room no matter how small it is.

First of all, look at the overall aesthetic of your entire home. Is it minimalist, luxe, bold, cottage or beachy in style? What colours dictate this look? Is it a soft palette of white with pale timber throughout? Dark and sumptuous? Bright and adventurous?

Once you’ve determined your home’s signature style, you can pin down which of these elements you’d like to bring into your laundry to allow for continuity throughout your home. Will your laundry walls be in a similar tone to the rest of the walls in the house? Consider the paint colours, where colour makes its home and similar fixtures and fittings that can echo your chosen style in the laundry.

Next, how do you want your laundry to feel – mood-enhancing and cheerful? Gentle and breezy? Cosy and cocoon-like? Pick your colours according to how you want to feel and try and harmonise them with your home’s overall aesthetic.

For uplifting hues, go for yellows and pinks, such as Resene Wax Flower, buttery Resene Mellow Yellow. If a more beachy, laid-back scheme is your preference, opt for Resene Sea Fog, Resene Escape, Resene Mystery or Resene Lazy River. Perhaps an earthy, warm setting in sunset shades is more your liking, in which case bring in Resene Bone, Resene Cashmere, Resene Sakura with Resene Eight Spanish White or Resene Moccasin. Or go pale with Resene Despacito with Resene Half Blanc, blended with marble surfaces and brass fittings. A nostalgic feel can be captured with shades such as the aqua-grey of Resene Ashanti for a restful setting.

If you’re bringing in a coloured or patterned tile, pick out a hue from it that you can use on your walls. Beautiful combinations for laundries are blue and white, green and white – they’re fresh, rejuvenating schemes that evoke serenity, calmness, and fitting for an organised space. If rich hues make your heart sing and exist throughout your home then bring them into your laundry too.

A laundry room using dusky tones

A laundry room with sunny yellow walls

Dark laundry: Continue your wall colour onto the front of your cabinets for a seamless, all-encompassing feel. Embrace dusky tones, as seen here in this laundry in grey-plum tones, proving that a stunning laundry need not always be white. Walls and the above bench cabinetry in Resene Rocky Mountain.  Yellow laundry: The sunny Resene Hive on the walls of this laundry bring a welcome feel-good factor. Coating the internal wall the same happy hue lends an element of surprise when opening the bi-fold doors.

In terms of cabinetry, let yours blend with those in the rest of your home. Do you feature minimalist, handle-free cabinets throughout? Or Shaker-style cupboards? Provide some consistency between rooms. The same applies to fittings such as brass accents or tongue and groove panelling. If you’re wanting to keep your walls neutral, an easy way to bring colour is by painting the front of your cupboard doors only.

Ensure there is enough surface space on the bench for folding clothes and don’t forget a hanging rod on which to dry damp clothes.

Storage is vital in a laundry, including shelves for folded clothes, a drying rack for damp items, and cupboard space for detergent bottles and brushes. Keep some open shelving available for pretty boxes and baskets of items that you regularly use, for easy access. Paint your baskets and boxes so they blend in with your colour scheme or provide a pop of colour if against a neutral setting. The label accordingly. If you paint them in Resene FX Chalkboard Paint or Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen, you can write on them with chalk and wipe with a cloth when need be. Open storage mixed with cupboards, will allow the room to feel more open too.

As stylist Annick Larkin says, it's all in the details when it comes to enhancing a space. “Add some personality to your laundry with the tapware. Matte black can make a design statement, while brushed metallics can add a touch of luxury. To create a slimline aesthetic in the laundry, the chunky tubs of the past have been abandoned for inset sinks. It’s a minimalistic approach which still provides functionality for soaking or pre-rinsing.”

What you do have on display, present it in way that appeals visually. “Whether you make your own, or purchase your washing powders, display them in pretty mason jars or large glass canisters. Use Resene FX Chalkboard Paint to create a simple label you can write on, to the front of each of the jars. Put together a pretty vignette on the laundry bench using hand soap, hand cream and a timber scrubbing brush, scented candle and some rolled towels. Seagrass baskets can add a lovely natural texture to a laundry to give it that styled, yet lived-in look, and these baskets can also be painted. Try painting the bottom third of the basket – opt for Resene Balderdash, Resene Wafer or Resene Half Dusted Blue for a splash of colour or keep it simple with Resene Alabaster (white) or Resene Nocturnal (black).”

You may have dated tiles that cost too much to replace, but there is a solution, Annick says. “Replacing tiles can be expensive, so give them a refresh with Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer and then fresh coats of Resene paint – use Resene Walk-on for the floor and Resene Lustacryl or Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen on walls. Why not try a deep moody tone such as Resene Indian Ink to contrast your whiteware.”

Tired-looking cabinetry can be revamped easily too. “Paint over dated cabinetry – if you want a crisp and clean look opt for fresh whites such as Resene Eighth Rice Cake, Resene Half Wan White or Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream. I recently painted my laundry walls and over bench cabinetry in Resene Rocky Mountain and I love the warmth it brings to the space.”

Give a thought to what can be seen. There may be elements you can hide, which will make a space appear more clutter-free and spacious. “Water taps and washing machine hoses can now be hidden in cabinetry,” Annick says. “Talk to your plumber on ways to hide the plumbing away from view to create a seamless space, without the clutter of hoses in view.”

Annick also suggests adding a Resene Wallpaper to one of the laundry walls to bring colour and personality to the space. “Just because the chore of washing clothes is boring, it doesn’t mean the walls have to be bland too. If budget is tight, a simple yet effective way to liven up your laundry is through painting out your white electrical outlet covers. Simply pop off with a screwdriver and paint in your choice of Resene colour. A Resene testpot is all you’ll need!”

Greenery can work wonders in the laundry too, instantly beautifying the space and breathing new life. “The laundry is an ideal spot to add some greenery to freshen the interior,” Annick says. “Open shelves are the perfect foundation for a hanging Devil’s Ivy. Ferns and Chain Of Hearts also thrive in a humid environment like the laundry. For an extra pop of colour paint out the planters in a solid Resene hue or add patterns such as polka dots in your choice of Resene paint.”

With all of these features in place, your laundry will be an attractive space in which doing the washing and folding clothes will feel like less of a chore, and more of a pleasant experience.

Resene Despacito

Resene Rocky Mountain

Resene Mystery

Resene Lazy River

February 24, 2021

For more ideas and expert advice for your laundry, visit your local Resene ColorShop.

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