Mad About . . .

The Laundry Room Makeover

23rd July 2015

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A few weeks ago I was at a client’s house working through plans for her kitchen and she asked me to take a look at her laundry room. It was, in essence, a large cupboard (much like my own) but she wanted to know how to kit it out with lovely things that would make the laundry a bit less of a chore.

It also, as it was such a tiny space, had to be extremely organised. Never as the saying a place for everything and everything in its place been more apt. I directed her to Garden Trading which I often refer to as a source for useful stuff that doesn’t have to look beautiful but somehow makes those boring jobs a little easier if it does.

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Imagine my surprise then, when two days later I received an email from Garden Trading asking if I would like to work with them on a post. Well it had to be the laundry room didn’t it? Having a laundry, or utility room is a bit of a luxury in the UK. Americans take them for granted and vast swathes of Pinterest are devoted to how to style them and decorate them.

laundry basket

Here in the UK, we might try and incorporate one if there’s a bit of leftover space but you won’t find one in every house by any means. Mine came about as a result of a happy accident. The previous owners had built out into the side return but had never bothered to move the soil pipe which had just been boxed into the corner of the downstairs bathroom (the house was two flats). We knew this was going to be the kitchen and we didn’t fancy having it in there. But nor could we afford to move it. The solution was to leave it boxed in and build a tiny room/large cupboard around it that could house the boiler and the washing machine.

I’m so pleased we did it although of course now I wish it were bigger as it seems to need elastic walls for all the stuff that just gets thrown in there.

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However, the point is that even if you just have a laundry cupboard, you can hang the ironing board on the wall or back of the door and make sure that everything is put in baskets or boxes on shelves so that you can find what you need straight away.

I love the glass jars with wooden pegs and the tin bucket for storing washing liquid and all that sort of thing. If I had a higher ceiling in my laundry room I would definitely have a Sheila hanging down but in the mean time one of these X dryers is brilliant if you have jumpers that benefit from being dried flat.

garden trading laundry

A wooden ironing board has long been a fantasy of mine. My mother found one years ago in a junk shop (back when such things existed and hadn’t been rebranded as antique or vintage). She paid a fiver for it and I was always rather fond of it. Sadly it disappeared some years ago – I expect she threw it away to replace it with a lighter metal one but I have always rather missed it. This modern one is a thing of beauty although it is quite heavy.

Right, I’m off to organise my laundry space. There’ll be no more messy jumbles in my house…..


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  • poppy 23rd July 2015 at 8:56 am

    looks great, why shouldn’t an ironging board be a thing of beauty – sure beats my ikea version!

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 23rd July 2015 at 9:26 am

      It’s lovely isn’t it, although quite heavy!

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