Putting a new spin on the laundry

If you need extra space for crafts, hobbies, homework, home admin or just surfing the Internet, why not take a new look at your laundry?
“In increasingly compact new homes,” says Harcourts Africa CEO Martin Schultheiss, “there is often competition for space, with crafts taking over the dining table, or homework being done on the kitchen counter and the family computer taking up space in the living room.
“However, with some planning, the laundry room or space can be better utilised to solve many of these problems.”
Ideas for remodelling the laundry include:
* Drawing up a new floor plan. This may involve removing a wall and creating an open-plan kitchen/ laundry/ home office and it will show where your appliances will be installed and what storage and workspace you want.
* Pick the right flooring material. This should of course be water resistant but it should also be easy to clean and in keeping with the rest of your home, especially if it is now open-plan. 
* Decide on lighting. Laundries usually contain fluorescents to enable you to see what you are washing, ironing and mending, but these lights may not be enough if the space is doubling up as an office or crafts centre so check if you need additional fittings.
* Plan in as much storage space as you can. Make use of the space above your washing machine and dryer, put cupboards, drawers or perhaps a roll-away craft table under the counter where you fold laundry and install a hanging rail for freshly ironed clothes or drip-dry items. Make space for a desk or a worktop if you want one, and shelves to hold files or hobby materials.
* Install the right appliances. Apart from taking up less space, front-loading washing machines are generally more eco-friendly in terms of water and power usage. They also use less detergent and spin more water out of your clothes so they take less time to dry.

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