Rita Konig offers advice on where to position laundry rooms, and how to get the most out of them
It is a funny thing, but estate agents seem to attach little value to laundry rooms and yet, to me, they add so much to a house. When I see a well-appointed laundry room, I positively swoon. I have put them in cupboards and cellars - and the better positioned they are, the better your house will run. In a previous flat, I installed a wall of cupboards in my tiny entrance hall, behind which was a washing machine and tumble dryer with a counter over it and shelves above for bedlinen. In family houses, I recommend putting them close to the bedrooms so that the laundry can be done near to where it all comes from and has to go back to. It is not necessarily the most practical thing to have them in the basement or near the kitchen.
I think that while the look should be bright, clean and ordered, it's worth making them pretty, too. I laid tiles from in mine, which was quite an extravagance, but it makes going in there so much nicer; pattern in a small space is never a bad idea. I also have a lot of tongue and groove, which disguises a wall of airing cupboards.
Brass rails are terribly useful - I have one that runs the length of my laundry and it is invaluable for hanging things to dry (sadly, I do not have the height for a lazy mary). There is a low-voltage heating bar below running along the skirting. I highly recommend two washing machines in family houses with more than three people. This is not as unecological as it sounds - you just do things in half the time. It is maddening waiting for a load of whites to end in order to put in a load of colours or delicates.
The lovely thing about a laundry room is that you can have your ironing board hanging on the wall rather than struggling to shove it back in a cupboard. And if you have the luxury of space, think of an ironing table in the middle of the room - so useful for folding sheets. Ironing is a slight obsession of mine. does an ironing press, which makes dealing with things like sheets, tablecloths and napkins very easy. I have a small hand-held steamer and am planning to upgrade to a professional one. All these things take up a bit of space, but reduce the dry-cleaning bills.
Since having a child, I have discovered (mostly thanks to my old nanny) some fabulous stain removers. Ace fabric stain remover is gentle enough that you can use it on silk, cashmere and baby clothes - it is amazing. You can find it most supermarkets.
I also have a freezer in my laundry. It can be a good place to have an extra fridge or freezer for drinks and ice, too. When a laundry room is far from the kitchen, I like to put in a kettle and coffee machine. They are especially useful if it is near the bedrooms - it is nice to be able to make coffee upstairs in the morning before venturing downstairs.
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