We know the saying, “out of sight, out of mind” – and that’s usually what happens to our service yards. These spaces are usually out of the line of sight of guests and dedicated to housing the washing machine, dryer, and the pile of things that we don’t have energy to deal with at the moment.
But get this: our laundry rooms are actually brimming with potential to be just as aesthetic as the rest of the home. From concealed cabinets to a study nook, here are eight nifty ideas to transform your HDB service yard that’ll take laundry day up a notch.
1. As a seamless extension of the kitchen
Image adapted from: The 80s Studio, @faezahmokhtar
Older resale flats don’t exactly have a distinction between the kitchen and the service yard. That means the washing and cooking all happens in one place. If you don’t want the washing appliances on blatant display, tuck them away under the kitchen counter for a seamless look and the impression of a bigger kitchen.
For this, you’ll want to shortlist the washing machine and dryer options you’ve set your sights on beforehand, so your interior designer or contractor can plan for the kitchen carpentry around it.
Image adapted from: Somewhere Slower, @omnidesign.sg
If you’ve got a dedicated service yard space, you could also make use of vertical space to maximise storage. Install floating shelves above your appliances to create more room for all your laundry and cleaning necessities.
Another neat trick is to set aside some space for a pre-wash sink and an open countertop for ironing or folding clean laundry.
Image adapted from: @lemonfridgestudio, Pinterest
Newer BTOs have the service yards in a separate room right next to the kitchen. For a seamless, larger looking space, switch up your doorway with a classy gold-rimmed glass partition or an arch that’ll make the space more welcoming and chic.
2. Stack appliances to create more floor space
Image credit: Pinterest
Those in smaller homes might be wondering how to fit both a washer and dryer into the space, consider this neat hack. Pick out stackable front-load washer and dryer models to create a vertical laundry set up. This frees up the room horizontally, giving you more floor space for kitchen tasks.
3. Concealed space for washer, dryer and other household items
Image credit: Jojotastic
The service yard is easily the most cluttered area in any home, considering how we’re probably piling clean clothes, dirty laundry, and laundry paraphernalia all in one small space. A quick and easy decluttering solution is to conceal your entire laundry area within a storeroom.
Create a large laundry cabinet by sectioning off one part of the service yard or kitchen with stylish sliding doors that can fully conceal the laundry room and even the water piping system at any time. Better yet, use soundproof doors to block out the rumbling sounds during a laundry cycle. Your guests will be left wondering where you even wash your clothes.
4. Create a lush indoor garden or a tiny sunroom
Image adapted from: Pinterest, Minimo
The service yard doesn’t have to be restricted to laundry and soaps. If you haven’t got enough space in the corridor due to safety guidelines. Bring the greenery in with some astroturf and potted plants, and turn the service yard into your own mini backyard garden.
Image adapted from: @thepastelabode, Historisa De Casa
For the case of executive maisonettes that have the luxury of a larger service yard, homeowners can transform this nook into a cosy oasis.
All that’s left is to pull in a lounge chair and you’ve got a quiet chill spot right by the window for a relaxing afternoon. For homes with windows facing the east, there’s the added privilege of watching the sunrise with a cup of coffee. Hit up some of these carpentry firms if you’re interested in a custom bar counter or built-in seats.
5. Make it double up as a study nook
Image adapted from: We Heart It, Shelterness
Most service yards get good lighting because they are situated next to windows for optimal drying. If you’re planning to fit your laundry machine under your kitchen countertop, you can consider transforming this narrow space into a quiet, sun-drenched study. A great option when you need a little more privacy if both you and your partner are perpetually working from home.
6. Dedicate it to your pets
Image credit: Houzz, Pinterest
If you’re not a fan of your canine doing the post-bath wet-dog shake in the bedroom, then you might want to give this alternative a thought. The service yard is the perfect place to install a pet-friendly wash bay so you won’t have to share the bathroom.
For our curious feline friends, you can easily transform the service yard into a catio by placing floating shelves around the space.
7. Use foldable ironing boards and smart laundry racks
Automated laundry rack and foldable ironing board
Image credit: @danielletan89
Tiny service yards pose one large problem – there’s barely any space to hang laundry, fold, and iron all in one place. Declutter the bulk that’s a result of standalone ironing boards and clothes racks by incorporating them into your built-ins. Automated laundry racks are a fuss-free and organised way to dry laundry above ground. There’s even foldable ironing boards which stow away easily in a small drawer.
Image credit: Remodelaholic
Beyond laundry baskets and cabinets, you can also make use of the empty walls to maximise your service yard’s storage capacity. Installing a pegboard can not only help to make the space less cluttered, it adds character to an otherwise stark service yard.
8. Convert the space into a bedroom
Image credit: Yanko Design
Executive maisonette homeowners can get creative with their service yards by converting it into a cosy single bedroom. Smaller service yards can also be transformed into a tiny bedroom with a wall-mounted bed or lounge chair.
Here’s some extra space saving tips – have storage under the bed or build shelves to make use of the wall space above the bed.
HDB service yard ideas to maximise space
HDB service yards come in all shapes and sizes. These plain canvases hold much potential – whether it’s contemporary or countryside, here’s some inspiration if you want to completely transform and repurpose your service yard.
For more home renovation ideas:
Cover image adapted from: Jojotastic, @danielletan89, @thepastelabode
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