Laundry Day

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Greetings!!  I apologise for the dearth of posts lately. Alas, my blog’s become the cobbler’s daughter with no Louboutins.

 

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I’ve been totally immersed in a big design project, the focus the last few weeks being on plumbing fixtures. I realise to some, these two words alone sound like an awfully long day, but hopefully to others (you crazy kindred spirits you) a wildly fascinating topic.

I mean, have you looked at sinks, faucets and toilets lately??

 

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LED waterfall faucet via VDomos

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The  Starck Axor V’s crystal faucet head allows you to see the vortex of hot & cold water meeting for the first time. It’s like the Match.com of the plumbing world. Philippe Starck for Hansgrohe.

 

The ways in which one can deliver H2o to any room in the house now are limitless ( budgets, California water-flow restrictions and load bearing walls aside 😉 )

 

Anyway, rather than skulking around avoiding my blog like a freshman boy dodges laundry, I thought I’d merge real life with Slim and take you along for the spin (see what I did there?)

 

Laundry Room

This is what I love about the internet-I typed in ‘Christmas laundry room’ and this came up.  Folding clothes on the counter? forgetaboudit-it’s Christmas time. Let elves do the heavy lifting.

Besides, who thinks of the holiday season without thinking of laundry?  Cut me a break here- come up with a better segue and you’ll  receive a bottle of pine-scented fabric softener.

 

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Truth be told, isn’t laundry a subject near and dear to our hearts? The very fabric of our lives as it were?

 

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‘Freshman Home from College Laundry’

I never promised you a rose garden every post.

 

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You have to love boys.

 

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via Vogue

But back to ‘Laundry Day’. It sounds so antiquated now, but how many visceral memories do you associate with that term?

Besides the time my pet mouse gave birth on the top of the laundry basket, which didn’t go over too well, my most vivid memory is my mom sitting at an ironing board watching TV. I can still smell the tang of spray starch, the scent of hot iron against damp cotton. Pressing my father’s shirts and linen handkerchiefs (no kleenex tissues for an Englishman) she cautioned me when I got married to ‘start off in the style I wished to stay accustomed’. In other words, don’t be ironing shirts if you’re not willing to be committed to it forevermore.  Ha! My parents are in fact still married (was it the handkerchiefs?) but life and marriage have changed. A lot.

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Washing machines now have more cycles than the tour de France, irons resemble mini space shuttles and faucets play music from your iPhone while spewing rainbows of LED light mixed with pre-softened, pre-temperature controlled water.

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designer; Amanda Jones, cabinet maker Salisbury Artisans, CT.

Though it’s function might not be terribly exciting, the laundry room is as fun a room to design as any other in the house.

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via Pinterest

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Pinterest

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I’ve always wanted a Sheila Maid ever since I saw an original Victorian one my friend’s laundry room in the U.K.  Such a great idea.

A few other ideas for the laundry;

-If you are doing new construction; any way to get a laundry chute? I wish I had one.

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-Invest in a BIG multi purpose sink. If you can find a vintage one, like this old zinc beauty I found for next to nothing, even better. Hello Downton Abbey. A pull out nozzle faucet is the best choice here. Do as I say, not as I do.

– can the room double as a potting room, mud room, a place to put your ridiculously noisy ice-maker, a ‘pet salon’ with a sink or shower for four legged friends?

-hooks, hooks and more hooks.

-a plant or two to bring life and nature into the space.

-and a charging station to get all those unsightly cords, plugs and chargers out of the kitchen.

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No need to play it safe. I chose cherry red for our barn laundry. These babies are my mid-life crisis Ferrari. Every time I walk by them they make me happy.

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A quick spin around all that’s available out there might have you considering adding a bar to your laundry (hey-there are worse ideas)

Did you know, for example, that Samsung makes a wi-fi enabled front-loading washer? Not sure what that even means, but it sounds cool.

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Do keep your detergents etc. in easy to reach attractive dispensers. Not that the Tide bottle isn’t a thing of beauty.

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This is one of the most popular laundry room pics on Pinterest. I think the appeal lies in something as simple as the oversized glass jars holding detergent, clothespins, and naturally…starfish

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Link on Etsy

There are tons of fun decals to be found on Etsy but it’s simple enough to just create your own…or better yet, get the kids involved. It might be the only time they ever go in there 🙂

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via Pinterest

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There’s also the new Whirlpool 10 minute clothes ‘freshening’ system  SWASH

Could it possibly work? You first.  I’m not a big fan of dry-cleaning or any chemicals in my clothes so I’m somewhat skeptical. If anyone has tried one yet, please let us know.

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Of course there’s nothing  quite like the luxury of laundry dried naturally.

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Nature as usual, does it best.

 

 

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And how could I possibly resist adding this??

Neil Young “Man Needs a Maid”

 

Next up…I don’t know…toilets and tinsel? I’m dancing as fast as I can here People.

 

More on the Barn Laundry Room; “Thin Red Line”

 

And for much more fun laundry related stuff have you visited “The Laundress” site?

 

*first image via Tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

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50 Comments

  1. Loved all the images and especially that one with the wooden door and the separate cubbies for separating. I always envied those with laundry shoots as a kid. Seemed like the coolest thing in the whole world, though few homes in California had basements or anything like a laundry shoot. Exciting about your project. I hope you share when it’s done. I agree also the vintage faucets look amazing, but the one with pull-out hoses are so necessary! xx Kim

  2. If you want your water to look like a rainbow, search [LED faucet light] on eBay. Under five dollars, no power needed (the water stream makes the LED work), and some will change color depending on water temperature.

  3. I luv the post…memories….I grew up on a farm and one of my chores as a child was to help mama do the laundry…..wet clothes air-drying …..wish I could share a day doing laundry with my wonderful mother again…..but she has gone to Heaven….she & I would have loved one of those beautiful laundry rooms on the farm…..that would have been icing on the cake.

  4. Hilarious; yet tortuous (can we still say that?) I would give my life for a beautifully designed laundry room. Why is that space so neglected, abused & Sears catalogue rather than King’s Road?

  5. how timely…we have a house under construction and I have spent a gazillion hours looking/deciding all of the plumbing fixtures, laundry choices and every other item needed…I yearn for my old Maytag; truly, these new machines make me want to pull my hair out. I can’t even figure out how to do a spin only cycle… Only thing that has consoled me doing the laundry these days is using Patchouli scented Zum clean…heaven in a bottle. Gorgeous images as always Slim. If you are holding the reins for design, then I know the product will be fabulous. I need my fixtures by late spring…are you planning for a spring reveal? 🙂

  6. HATE HOUSEWORk, but I don’t consider laundry, work – strangely love it! This is a post for this would-be laundress, who surely had ancestors working downstairs in some English pile!
    But beware hanging linens outdoors – I loved doing so, until a bat flew up from my best sheets and bit me on the lip. I KID you not, and I can attest that rabies shot HURT!
    Enjoy those big boy piles…someday they’ll be gone. SNIFF!

  7. Interesting blog, Slim. I do my laundry at LEAST every other week. I am fortunate in that I have a public laundry room in the basement of my building. A friend of mine hardly ever did his laundry and he would joke:”I do my laundry every single year whether it needs it or not!” 😉

  8. When I lived in New Mexico, we had a clothes line out back and oh to dry the sheets, blankets, clothes out there made it all smell so good! But one day, a girlfriend had dropped me off from playing tennis and she saw all the clothes on the line and she tentatively says to me “Are you, like, poor? Can you not afford a dryer?” I was so taken aback by the comment I didn’t respond for a bit, and I asked her “Haven’t you ever smelled clothes dried on a clothes line?” Alas, in this day and age of home owners associations, we aren’t even allowed to have a clothes line!
    Loved, loved your post.

  9. Ahhh, you got the music back on, love it!! So you are “plumbing” a barn, is this the boy barn you talked about many a moons ago??
    Doing laundry never seemed as much fun as after your blog!
    🙂

  10. Quelle inspiration. I am happiest when I have white ruffled sheets blowing in the
    breeze on my clothesline…sometimes on a warm summer day…and sometimes
    on a frigid day in winter. But laundry in a ball gown, oh my!

  11. How funny my post of yesterday talks about ironing and handkerchiefs too!GREAT MINDS think a like!I’m certain you will figure it all out and the accessories in your remodel or new abode will be SMASHING!MERRY CHRISTMAS………

  12. LOVE your photos, as always …. the fixtures you have posted are stunning !!! I love the sign that reads “laundry means loved ones are nearby” … so true !! ( can I just mention here, that MY loved ones come with … hockey gear ! Luckily they are old enough to do it themselves … not that they do, but they are old enough. 😕 )

    I have a Miele washer and dryer set …. love the washer … HATE the dryer. It sounds like a 747 spooling up for take off. Clearly Miele has had some issues with it as they don’t even make it any more …. nor do they even want to talk to me about it. For those of you looking for machines, I would not buy Miele again …..

    Thanks for another great post !!

    • Which model dryer do you have? And I assume your Miele washing machine a front loader. While I would like the additional counter space a front-loading machine affords — and I am in some serious love with my Miele dishwasher — I just can’t believe it cleans clothes as well as a top loader. Plus, I’ve heard horror stories about the smells that develop as a result of water getting trapped beneath the door gasket. Have you or anyone else here had to address these issues? BTW: I have a Whirlpool Cabrio washer and I totally recommend it. I also have the matching dryer which I would recommend if the drum was stainless steel instead of enamel on steel. Rust happens, you know?

      • Hi Samantha
        I’m not sure if ‘”Kim” the sister’ will see your comment, but I will add my cents for what it’s worth. I only buy front loading washing machines now, even though I still think top loaders are preferable. Why? Because #1 I live in California and they assure us that front loaders use considerably less water. Also, supposedly the spin cycle is easier on your laundry in a front loader (though in good quality washers this shouldn’t be an issue) and #2 I really appreciate the extra counter top space- which in our house is seldom used for just laundry! Lastly, absolutely, water collecting at the bottom of the door gasket IS an issue. WHY can’t they fix that?? We usually leave the door slightly ajar until it dries out.
        PS. I LOVE my Miele dishwasher too. Except it’s so incredibly quiet that everyone opens it while it’s mid-cycle!

  13. I had a laundry chute in my old house and loved it — missed it so much when I moved! My kids were little when I lived there — you wouldn’t believe what ended up down the chute! There was always a surprise when I did the laundry. Thankfully they stopped short of stuffing each other down it 🙂 I wanted one in my current house, but at least where I live, it is against the building code because of fire danger. Oh well!

  14. Slim My mother always loved putting the freshly clean sheets on the clothesline to dry in the breeze…wonderful memories!! I do wish I had the space for a fab laundry room!
    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

  15. Woke up to this post and thought, “Now what could Slim possibly do with laundry”? You made it glamorous and funny – just as you do with everything you share with us. Thanks Slim.

  16. Love this post! There are such great ideas out there for laundry rooms. Currently building a new house and a fabulous laundry room is on my must have list. I have been saving this wonderful 100 yr old cast iron double farm sink for it for 5yrs. It is a must in my house—will definitely take into consideration the pull-out spray suggestion for it.

  17. Oh yu bring back so many memories. My mother using a wash board to wash then the excitement of an actual washing machine. Always drying clothes on the line with wooden clothes pins. Luckly we were in LA, with great weather. Those were fun times to hang up laundry beside my mom. Thanks for the memories.

  18. Your posts always brighten my day. I have to tell you, though, that my teen-age daughters’ bedrooms have surpassed anything my boys could create at the same ages. They have so many more clothes! It isn’t until they reach the “Laundry today, or naked tomorrow” point that they give in and start a load. I just keep their bedroom doors closed ; )
    Thanks for making me smile.

  19. How fun these all are! I have actually been in the laundry room that is all aqua and it is dreamy! It’s in Marble Falls, Texas!

  20. That’s laundry chute, by the way. Had one in the house we lived in for 27 years and just sold. The boys loved sending things down it when they were young. Now that we’ve moved into our mountain cabin, I’m planning on closing in our back porch for a laundry/mudroom/flower room and, yes, library (too many books, too little shelves – it’s a small cabin). My inspiration picture is one you showed above – the Southern Living Idea House room in aqua painted wood.

  21. A wifi enabled washer? Oh god, I’m in trouble. I can’t even run our television equipment properly. If the washer and dryer get too complicated, I’ll be using it as justification to find a nice laundromat that folds.
    I do love your red machines! Hot stuff:)

  22. In my dream house I would have a separate laundry room. In London space is at such a premium that a separate room can’t justify a washing machine. But so thankful that days aren’t set aside for laundry as was the case for hundred of years!

  23. Love, love your red appliances…I dry all our washing on a line in the back garden, I like a fresh air dried towel especially …,all that rough pile !

    My mother used to sit and iron watching TV too

  24. We had a laundry chute in on of our homes when I was a young child. This post brought back fond memories. My sister and I used to send the cats down the chute! Terrible sounding, but great fun to three and five year olds! Might I add, no animals ever harmed! All good clean fun!

  25. What a great reminder of bygone days… My mom standing at the ironing board, Winston cigarette pursed between her lips, iron in one hand water & sprinkler bottle (made from a 7-Up bottle) in the other, eyes glued to ‘The Secret Storm’ on the black-and-white TV. The lovely scent of the heat from the iron hitting the cotton sheets & handkerchiefs. Thanks for the memories!

  26. First…the boy clothes pile up…yes in deed…i have that…is that why he keeps asking me for socks and underwear…maybe so…i’m thinking a little music in there..i could fold to lou reed..meyer”s geranium fabic softer a friend of mine…

  27. “Thanks for the memories…” hanging laundry fresh from the wringer machine in my grandma’s back yard surrounded by lush floral gardens, incredible scents, ‘new’ fully-adjustable ironing boards so you could sit and iron and now having a husband who does the laundry daily, wastes copious amounts of water but is a huge time saver to me. And as for the ‘Sheila Maid’? I would welcome a real live one of those into my life!!
    Always chuckling while reading your posts! Thank you for all of them and a very Merry Christmas to all of you.

  28. I always dream of the field of lavender grown just to spread my laundry to dry……heaven! And ironed EVERYTHING!!!
    MH

  29. Oh I love this post Slim. I have a fascination with laundry and I discovered it by looking at the photos I take… whenever I travel (a) laundry pic/s always emerges. We are currently building and we have dedicated space for two laundries… enough said!!! Dread the day when they are not required as much… that image is spot on – it means loved ones are near. Merry Christmas xo

  30. You even make a laundry room theme inspirational, entertaining, amusing, and lovely. Yours is the only blog I always read and it never disappoints. Wishing you and the family a very happy, healthy 2015.

  31. When you first posted this in December I did not have the time to read all of it (probably doing laundry), but I saved it because I am preparing to start a couple of large projects myself. If the kitchen is the heart of the home then the laundry room is surely one of the most important coronary arteries. Yeah, I have a son in college and no, I was not shocked by your photo of the piles of laundry. I have the most amazing washing machine and dryer (knock wood), and I wish that when I got it I would have starting keeping a written list of every load that I have put in it. Seriously, over the past several years I must have loaded and unloaded those machines thousands of times. I am just so thankful that they have not broken down (knock wood, again). During one of my washing binges I thought to myself, why don’t washing machines have a built in counter that keeps track of that information for me. Then I realized that there is no way any man would ever design a washing machine with a built in load counter, too much information, right! Speaking of washing machines what is it with the British and their dysfunctional washing machines? My daughter lives in London and every time I visit her I am amazed at just how stupid their washer/dryer machines are designed. It takes forever to wash a load and then try to dry it in the same machine that turns into a dryer, no, sorry, it doesn’t work! Apparently, having laundry drying on racks in your living room is “spot on” in even the most desirable London post code. I have a question about your barn laundry room with the snazzy red washer and dryer. I see that you have the word “rolls” seared into the side of the shelving boards. It appears that you do indeed have rolls of something (paper towels) on the shelves. Just wondering if you used reclaimed wood for the shelves? I know what you are thinking, and yes I do have a life! Take care, and yes, after writing this I think that the laundry room should have a bar!

  32. Hi Sharon
    Firstly, let’s address the most important thought expressed here- absolutely I agree-every laundry room should have a bar! especially communal ones!
    Secondly, I think your idea to install a ‘load counter’ on washing machines is rather ingenious- it would certainly be a great testimony to the longevity of the unit and the manufacturer could dine out on those numbers if their machines were as trusty as yours (who makes your machines, btw?) I also agree that European style washers & dryers are lame compared to ours. In my mind what they are saving you in water, they cost you in electricity, not to mention the inconvenience of taking like 3 days to do one load.
    Lastly, the shelves in my barn laundry are old scaffolding boards that already had the word “rolls” burned into the side. Of course I had to take that directive literally, hence all the paper towels.

    PS. Why do you assume that only men are designing washing machines ??I 😉

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