For many of us who live in HDB flats or small condos, the struggle is real to make the most of that laundry room/utility space that we call the service yard. The designated area is more often than not tiny—hardly enough space to move around once you plonk a washer and dryer in it. To learn how to make things work in that limited square footage, we gleaned off 15 design hacks from these small but mighty service yards found in Singapore apartments.
1. Combine open and closed storage
In order to keep things light and airy in your small service yard, go with both exposed and closed storage options. There are other advantages to this: you will still be able to hide your clutter out of sight, but still have the option of open storage that provides convenience and ease of reach.
Design: Dots ‘n’ Tots Interior Design
2. Incorporate a mirror
Mirrors and small spaces go hand in hand like kaya and butter, so it’s never a bad idea to install one if you are struggling with limited square footage. Not only does a mirror help to visually expand walls, placing it next to a window can amplify the effect of natural light, allowing your service yard to appear brighter.
Design: Design 4 Space
3. Install a hanging bar
Even if you don’t air dry your clothes, having a hanging bar in your service yard is beneficial for many reasons. It helps to sort out your hangers, hold freshly laundered clothes before you move them into your wardrobe, and provide the perfect spot to de-wrinkle your outfits naturally after you take them out from the dryer.
Design: Free Space Intent
4. Stick with a simple colour palette
To keep your sanity intact, make sure you keep your small space as clutter free as possible. An easy way to do so is to adopt a simple colour palette. A clean foundation helps to reduce visual clutter so you don’t get overwhelmed every time you step into your service yard. We like good old monochrome, which is a classic yet chic colour scheme. Throw in wood elements for a sense of cosiness and warmth.
Design: The Merry Men Interiors
5. Don’t be afraid to be interesting
That is not to say you can’t experiment with patterns and colours in your small service yard. Try to go for more graphic motifs, that offer a sense of order. Here, the designer went with a Scandinavian patterned flooring for the service yard, which adds a cheeriness to the room. To allow the tiles to really pop, the rest of the walls were kept a neutral white.
Design: The Local Inn.terior
6. Keep essentials organised
The service yard will likely be a storage facility for many things, including laundry essentials, cleaning agents and other housekeeping supplies. They can turn into a clutter fest if you don’t keep them organised. Bins and baskets are a good choice for organising them, since they enable you to sort them out into categories. They are also flexible enough that they provide a sort of catch-all for different sized things. Find identical or similar-looking organisers to keep the overall look uniformed and neat.
Design: Jesswan Interior
7. Hide everything away
The great thing about a small service yard is that you can hide it all away behind sliding doors, and no one will be none the wiser! It helps to keep out the visual clutter and mess from the rest of the home. Always a good idea if you are not particularly savvy with keeping things organised.
8. Do up a work surface
Installing a work surface in your small service yard helps to maximise the utilisation of the space. You could use the worktop to fold and iron your clothes, or use it as a platform for your essentials. If your service yard is next to the kitchen, it could also serve as an extra countertop.
Design: Style Living Interior
9. Keep things moving
In a small space, you want to keep things versatile and flexible, which is why we are totally on board with this mobile workstation in this service yard. Encompassing an ironing board at the top and cubby holes for storing essentials at the bottom, it can be manoeuvred around the space for greater efficiency and tucked away neatly under a countertop when not in use.
Design: Design 4 Space
10. Make your service yard multipurpose
This service yard made the most of the space by setting aside part of the area as a cosy breakfast nook. Decked out in outdoor furniture, a faux green wall and an herb garden, the space now feels like a living area rather than just a utility room.
Design: Meraki Interior
11. Set aside room for sorting laundry
In a small service yard, you want things to run as efficiently as possible, and having baskets that sort out your laundry will make things go a lot smoother on laundry day. The best part? It also gets everyone in the family involved. Most people sort their laundry by colour before they throw them in the washer, but consider also sorting by fabric types. You don’t want to throw delicate materials together with tougher fabrics like jeans as they usually require a different wash cycle.
Design: Swiss Interior Design
12. Make use of every inch of space
Even the teeniest of space can be useful. Just take a leaf from this small service yard, where its designer took the awkwardly narrow gap between the wall and the washer and turned it into a mini cabinet for storing laundry room essentials.
Design: The 80’s Studio
13. Ensure that it’s well-lit
Your service yard might be a small space, but don’t neglect to plan for proper lighting. Having just one general ambient light might not be sufficient. Overhead cabinets can cast a significant amount of shadow over your worktop if you have one. Consider installing task lighting e.g. under-cabinet LED lights that can help to illuminate the top of your worktop.
Design: Chapter B
14. Use vertical space
Think vertical when it comes to planning out storage for a small space. Not only does it help to ease up floor estate, it also makes use of space that is often under-utilised. One good way is to build your cabinets all the way to the top of the ceiling. Store less frequently used items up at the top compartments, while keeping everyday use essentials at a convenient height.
Design: Tab Gallery
15. Make your ceiling appear taller
Going with a darker colour at the bottom half of your space and a lighter shade at the top helps to give the impression of a taller ceiling. It also makes things more interesting in your small service yard, without needing to take up any extra space.
Design: Comfort Home Renovation
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