Designing lovely laundries – our top talking points for you and your clients

Oct 17, 2023 | KBDi Awards, Laundry Design

Designing a laundry that is both functional and aesthetically on point requires careful planning and considered design decisions. Following are some key points to put to your client when designing a new laundry space.

Location and Space

The location of the laundry may be set in stone, but if you have an opportunity to relocate the space, consider your client’s laundry habits.

If they’re into energy saving and prefer an old-school air dry, proximity to the clothesline may be the most critical factor.

Is your client a multi-tasking type who wants the washing facilities closer to the kitchen? Highly fragranced washing detergents can emit an overwhelming odour that may not work well with food preparation and consumption.

If the laundry will be located near living or sleeping spaces, consider soundproofing measures to buffer the noise from appliances.

Consider the NCC requirements for room heights. Learn more here.

Workflow and Layout

The laundry layout should accommodate an efficient workflow with a logical order for washing, drying and folding. Your clients may wish to iron or steam clothes in the laundry room, too, so make sure you allow for this if it’s on their wish list.

Place the washer and dryer near each other to simplify the task of heaving heavy loads of washing from one machine to another.

Storage, storage, storage: what will your client want to store in the laundry? Linen, washing detergents, cleaning supplies, clothes baskets, pegs and more will need a suitable home. What else will your client need to access in this space?


Select energy-efficient and appropriately sized washing and drying machines.

Consider front-loading machines which are more water and energy-efficient and can be stacked to save space.

Always refer to the appliance manufacturer’s installation instructions.

Plumbing and Electrical

Ensure you meet the NCC requirements for laundries (refer to this article for more information).


Provide adequate ventilation to prevent moisture and odours from accumulating.

Install an exhaust fan or openable windows, if possible.


Install bright, task-specific lighting to ensure good visibility when sorting and folding laundry.

Include ambient lighting for a pleasant atmosphere.


Choose durable, easy-to-clean, code-compliant flooring that will withstand water and frequent foot traffic.

See all NCC requirements related to laundry floors in this article.

Future-Proofing and Accessibility

Plan for future needs, such as accommodating a larger family or new appliances.

Ensure the laundry room is accessible to all household members, considering ergonomics and safety features.

The 2023 KBDi Designer Awards included some spectacular laundries that ticked all the boxes set out above. The category was generously sponsored by Shaws by Perrin & Rowe. General Manager Michael Swyny was delighted to present the trophy to the winners, Birdblack Design.

The judges loved the beachy vibe of this coastal home laundry. A sandy-coloured palette sets the scene, and matt and natural finishes add just the right type of texture. Brushed copper fixtures and fittings link the laundry to the adjoining renovated spaces, and fluted tiles discretely dress a curved corner. The layout is well-planned and practical, and the end result is perfect.


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