Urban intensification has prompted a boom in multi-unit developments. Townhouse consents are up almost 38% according to a recent StatsNZ report. There’s also been an explosion of standalone dwellings in backyard subdivisions and infill sites.
What all these developments have in common is a smaller footprint than the typical Kiwi home. This can lead to compromising on amenities that New Zealand families take for granted. So layouts may seek to maximise living spaces by getting rid of the traditional laundry room. Wash tubs and appliances will be tucked away in cupboards or relegated to the garage.
But there’s another approach to consider. One that could help townhouse designs stand out from a multitude of cookie-cutter developments coming onto the market. Small laundries can be smart laundries.
Instead of eliminating the laundry room, design a compact one — and add smart storage. This will appeal to clients who seek something more than a simple ‘lock up and leave’ lifestyle. Having a dedicated room where clothes can be washed and cleaning products neatly stored will resonate with those who want a highly functional townhouse with minimal clutter.
The key to designing a small but extremely useable space is Blum’s range of smart storage and cabinetry accessories. Here are some options to consider:
Pull-out shelves lock into place and take the weight of a washing basket
In a traditional laundry, there are benchtops for the homeowner to place baskets of clothes at waist level. That’s the first casualty when the washing machine is relegated to a cupboard.
Instead of doing away with the laundry and requiring users to bend down or balance heavy loads of washing, provide them with a MOVENTO pull-out shelf that’s built into the cabinetry.
With the smoothly gliding MOVENTO runner system, a stable work surface that can bear loads of 40 or 60 kg is created. Combine the shelf with a Pull-out shelf lock to lock it in place when fully extended. This stable workbench adds no real estate because it slots back into the cabinetry with a light press.
Use SPACE STEP to create extra storage space from floor to ceiling
Every apartment or townhouse could use more storage space. So give residents the ability to keep laundry products and household accessories out of sight with cabinetry from floor to ceiling.
Then specify Blum’s SPACE STEP plinth solution to provide access to high-level cupboards as well as extra storage at ground level.
Thanks to motion technologies by Blum, SPACE STEP opens with ease. It’s available with either the SERVO-DRIVE electrical opening support system or the TIP-ON BLUMOTION mechanical opening system. SPACE STEP closes softly and effortlessly with soft-close BLUMOTION.
As with Blum’s pull-out shelving solution, it’s an ingenious addition that can provide a little X-factor in an otherwise utilitarian area.
How to dry clothing without a clothes dryer: the pull-out clothes horse
Blum has also developed the concept of a pull-out rack that lets residents air laundry indoors without the power demands and space requirements of a clothes dryer appliance, using the MOVENTO runner system like a SPACE TWIN.
It’s engineered to fold away when not in use, so there’s no clutter and no permanent addition to the laundry space. Townhouse dwellers looking to reduce their energy consumption will appreciate an air-drying facility that’s easily pulled out when required and stowed away with minimal fuss.
By combining Blum motion technologies with fresh thinking on storage, designers can provide their clients with the luxury of a separate laundry room, even when space is at a premium.