For the majority of homeowners living in an HDB in Singapore, our service yard is for one service only: washing our laundry. Typically relegated to the back of the kitchen, the room – should we even call it that? – is often a neglected part of the home. Its design an afterthought and seldom introduced to our housewarming guests – “have you seen my service yard?” isn’t a common icebreaker.
But for folks who do their own laundry, the service yard – and de facto laundry room – is a necessary space and one that we will spend quite a bit of time each week. In order to make our chores a little less dreary, follow these tips to create an effective and efficient service yard that you’ll be proud to show your guests.
For homeowners with small service yards, free up floor space while maximising your vertical walls with overhead shelves and cabinets. Open shelves make it easier to reach for things, while closed cabinets keep unsightly things out of sight. Use them to stow your laundry supplies or laundered clothes. Use smaller storage like baskets and boxes to keep loose odds and ends organised.
Design: Liid Studio
Create a workstation
Consider doing all your laundry tasks in the same area. This helps to combine all your supplies in one space and allows you to get your chores done efficiently and quickly. Create a service yard that you can amass, sort, wash, dry, fold and iron your clothes. Get a workstation for folding your clothes and one that you can double as an ironing board. If you’re short on space, install a countertop right over your washer and dryer, or create a pull-out table.
Design: Rezt & Relax Interior
Design: Ace Space Design
Design: DB Studio
Sort out a laundry system
Follow a system that sorts out your laundry before you wash them, rather than dumping everything into a single hamper and then sorting later. Place labelled (or colour coded) sorting bins/baskets/bags – go for ones that can be stacked up or hung up to save space – near your washers so you can transfer them to the machine effortlessly during laundry day. Have separate bags for collecting cleaned, ironed and folded clothes to be put away later.
Place a sink next to your washer
While many of our service yards are located next to the kitchen, washing our delicates in our kitchen sink isn’t the most hygienic practice. Consider installing a sink in your service yard for clothes that are stained or need to be hand-washed if you don’t have a bathroom sink nearby to do so.
Design: Three-d Conceptwerke
Design: Chapter B
Additional places for air drying clothes
Many of our HDBs come with overhead drying racks, but if those aren’t sufficient enough or if you want a designated space for hanging up smaller pieces of clothing, mount additional drying racks and bars on the wall. Consider getting ones that can be folded up when not in used to save even more space.
Design: Artist Room
Stack ’em high
If you’re getting a separate washer and dryer rather than a combo washer, stack them up to make the most of your small service yard. Do note that the machines will have to be front-loaders and check with the manufacturers to see if they’re designed to be stackable.
Design: Meter Cube