Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Laundry Room Decorating: A Cheerful Haven for Ironing

When we first saw this house (before we bought it), the laundry room was used like a closet. Tiers of jam-packed clothes racks went around the room, and the windows were shuttered with hanging garments. Although it had been done up with a laundry themed border, the closed window blinds and clutter made the room a cave to escape from - quickly.

With little more than paint, sunlight, and a few photographs, it's become one of my favorite places in the house. I love ironing in this room. I keep the blinds open to let the sun stream in, and can look out upon the neighborhood and a shady yard while I press our shirts.

Did you ever notice that all over the world, laundry is done in exactly the same ways? These photos show laundry hanging on lines to dry outside an apartment in Cuba, an Adobe in Bolivia, hung by soliders from a military tank in Israel, and an American sailor guarding uniform shirts drying on regimented clotheslines.

I bought the photos from Allposters.com and framed them with inexpensive mats and frames (that I spray painted white) from Hobby Lobby. All Posters has a great selection of laundry photos, and I ordered each of them in the same size. Remember when choosing to get ones that have similar orientations - either horizontal or vertical - if you want them to match as I have done. There were some superb ones that were oriented vertically, but because I had my heart set on using the tank, the others needed to be horizontal as well. As an aside, they had fantastic customer service, and I will buy from them again.

It took some doing to scrape off the 4 layers of different wallpaper border that had been successively painted and papered over! The wall you don't see was turned into a make-do floor to ceiling cabinet by the previous owners, with deep shelves and whole sheets of plywood on hinges for doors, which close with screen hooks. I just painted them the same color as the walls
and they melt away from view.

A vintage globe bank collects the change that comes out of pockets. The graniteware bucket has hydrangeas on it and serves as a little waste basket, catching the dryer lint. It sits on a white washcloth so that it won't mar the top of the dryer.

Above the windows, hanging plant brackets hold the coat hangers while I am ironing, then fold away when done. I got these brackets at the Dollar Store for $1.50 each, whereas special decorative hooks from the home improvement stores were around $12 each. These work perfectly for their purpose.

I save those little packets of silica gel and lay in the window sills to absorb moisture in case the windows sweat in winter. I deliberately choose to keep the window treatments plain, mini blinds only, partly because of the hooks above them while ironing, but also to make it easier to keep the room clean and dust free. Curtains tend to hide windows and collect cobwebs. With just blinds, I can open them up and the light streams in over clean sills and through clear windows.

Everything as much as possible is up off the floor to make cleaning easy, including the tiny bakers rack that holds laundry supplies, and since the shelves are wire, they don't get dusty. The rack for the iron and ironing board also came from the dollar store, as did the ticking clothespin bag (and the clothes pins). Take a walk down the laundry aisle in your dollar
stores and older grocery stores - you will be amazed!

The embroidered blue bird laundry bag is a vintage one. This is also the room in which I keep a vintage calendar that corresponds to the current year. It is a perfect escape tool for daydreaming while ironing - happy days indeed!


  1. Lovely! And color me insanely jealous. :) You'd be horrified if you saw my dark, damp basement set-up. Enjoy your new space! Blessings, Debra

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  3. Thanks so much Debra. These old homes always surprise us with how they turn out. I can't wait to watch what you do to your basement when you get to that project. :-)


  4. If I had a laundry room like that I might not dread it so. It's beautiful! I love, love, love the idea of a bank to catch the loose change. I may steal that. ;)

  5. Aw thanks Amanda! I must admit, when my 3 boys were at home, the laundry was never ending so there wasn't much time to think about making a cute space for it, so my first bank above the washer was a coffee can with a slot in the lid! Heh!



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