Loads of Charm!
When we moved into our house, we renovated the upstairs, and one of our goals was to bring the laundry up from the basement. With the kids, we do so much laundry that I knew this would be a huge improvement for us: no lugging baskets up and down the stairs, no descending into the damp basement daily.
And, indeed, we love having the laundry close to our bedrooms – well, as much as one can use the word “love” in association with dirty clothes and folding. The laundry area moved to a small hallway next to the kids’ bathroom, which makes it easy for them to drop their things in the hamper when changing. The new location also means that we can quickly start loads, without going out of our way, and we can sort and fold in the comfort of a bedroom.
Of course, there are limitations to the new laundry arrangement, too. Because the area was added on, rather than part of the original house design, it’s small: just enough room for a stacked washer and dryer and a few shelves. And because it’s in the hallway, the laundry area is constantly visible – no shutting the doors to hide clutter!
On the bright side, decorating a small space is a doable project!
Most of the examples of laundry room designs feature full rooms, and it was hard to apply those ideas to our little space. When I saw a laundry closet makeover by Amy at eat.sleep.decorate., I felt like it was just the inspiration I needed!
I don’t always like designs to be symmetrical, but I think simplicity works well in a small space. Labels are another key feature, as they help in both finding things quickly and in keeping things organized – you (and your family members – nah, who am I kidding?) are more likely to return things to their proper place, when it’s clearly labelled. Finally, a touch of art on the wall really makes this laundry area feel like a part of the home, rather than just a utilitarian necessity.
The result of this little project is functional and pretty!
So, when you are thinking of home decorating ideas, don’t overlook your laundry area, no matter how small. It’s a place where we all spend a lot of time, so I hope you got some inspiration to make your laundry area a pleasant place to be, too!
Take inventory of what you need in the space. For us, this included:
Hampers for dirty clothes – I like to have separate ones for colors and whites, which makes starting loads easier, though we occasionally get things reshuffled by our toddler!
Baskets for clean clothes – I have one labeled for each child and a few extras.
Detergent, stain remover
Bags – mesh ones for delicates and wet-bags for cloth diapers.
Container for coins and other pocket treasures.
Other – garment drying racks, towels, cleaning supplies, etc..
Then I collected a variety of storage baskets to fit with the blue and white color scheme. Like the symmetry, a very simple color scheme works here, because it makes the area look less “busy.” I made some fabric-covered boxes for the top shelf and the rest were items we had around the house. I love using the “root” basket for collecting coins and other odd items from pockets. It has a bit more style than you would expect for the laundry room, but I wasn’t using it for anything else at the moment, and its rustic shape and material contrasts nicely with the neat white and blue. I moved around the shelves a little, to make things more accessible, too.
I decided to print simple labels in black and white on this paper with blue and white clouds. I “laminated” them with clear contact paper and attached them to the containers either with clothespins or rickrack ribbon. For those, I punched holes, attached them to the baskets with safety pins, then hid the pins with a bit of ribbon.
And for the final touch, some art! There are a lot of great ideas out there for laundry area art – vintage soap ads, wooden signs, etc.. I decided to do a simple wall decal. I’ve been hooked on decals since I did one in our nursery.
To make my decal, I cut a piece of white contact paper the size of the area I wanted to cover. On the back, I sketched my design. If you try this, remember that the finished decal will be a mirror image of your drawing – not an issue in this case, but definitely important if you are doing letters! Also, I freely disclose that I have never tried using contact paper to make a decal, and I’m not entirely sure that it is safe for the wall, but it is supposed to be removable, and from a quick browsing of the internet, it looks like other people have tried this, so I was willing to assume the risk (daredevil, I know!).