l o v e l y t h i n g s


laundry rooms and small houses

On the cover of the most recent IKEA catalog,  the caption says, "A home does not need to be big, just smart."  That is so true.  I know some people love big houses, but for me, I like small, smart ones.   One space that is so important is the laundry room.  When we were building our house I had many conversations with our architect about this.  I said I did not need a large space, although that would be heaven.  There are some fabulous laundry rooms out there...Mary Anne from Classic.Casual.Home did a post on them here.

Here's my short list on what I must have:

1.  a window
2.  a bar to hang things on hangers when they are drying
3.  room for a drying rack for things that cannot be placed on hangers
4.  a clothes sorter
5.  a full size washer and dryer

Things I would like to have:

1.  upstairs laundry room in a two story house
2.  a sink

There's not a lot of space in this tiny room, but it functions beautifully.  It has a bar to the left for hanging clothes for drying, room for a sorter since I stacked the washer/dryer and a drying rack.  There's even space for a very small sink.   The architect had the W/D side by side with a door that opened in to the right.  Hello....did he not hear a word I said?  I even sent him the photo of my previous laundry room. (bottom of post)
The solution to a door that opened into the room....double doors that open out and sit flush against the space on either side when they are left open.  By having doors that open out it did not lose any space inside the tiny room.  There's no space to fold clean laundry, but since the laundry rooms is upstairs, there's plenty of beds to fold and sort laundry.  And since it's upstairs, we kept the small stack-able washer/dryer in the garage for sandy beach towels.
This was our laundry room in our previous home in Connecticut.  It was by no means perfect, but I knew what worked and what I needed to make it functional.  It had a pocket door so that was not an issue.  I have all the important items on my list:  Window, bar to hang, folding rack, clothes sorter, full size washer and dryer.  Since I did not need to stack it in this space, I can fold on top of the machines.  I do laundry almost everyday.  We are a family of four and so that means we have about 6 to 8 items each per day.  Workout clothes, regular clothes, Pajamas, plus underwear, towels and linens.  And that's times 4....I think we are a pretty average family, but does everyone have this much laundry?  Do you have a day of the week for this one chore for you or someone else to accomplish?  I do it everyday because that way it never feels overwhelming.  Having my laundry room upstairs makes it that much easier to put clothing away, so it never feels daunting.  What are your laundry tricks?


  1. How did we all know that your laundry room was going to be amazing? I love all the kids' art, I had that all over my house, too. The only thing I could think of that I miss from my California laundry room was a shelving unit to one side of the washer/dryer where I could stack all the folded clothes, (and there were mountains of them because we had 2 teenage girls who changed clothes every 15 minutes), and that kept them all out of the way until they got taken back to their respective rooms.

  2. Small and efficient is fine with me too. I like a stackable unit and what I have found is when I have a place to fold (like my daughter's kitchen table we were storing for her) I tend to let the folding stack up. Now that I am left without the folding 'table' I tend to fold as I go which is better anyway.
    I do have a metal tub just under my utility sink for clean, dry clothes in case I am in a hurry. My must have list also includes a place to hang as we only dry our clothes for 10 minutes or so to get rid of wrinkles and then hang ... that way ... VERY little ironing is needed. Your kids' artwork is just perfect and makes your laundry room a very happy space ;)

  3. oh i remember those days. 3 boys = lots of dirty clothes. i love your little efficient space. i need to get a hanging pole. what did you use annie? where did you get it? love the bright orange print too. cheerful.

  4. Just beautiful! I adore your house posts!

  5. Oh this is so great! I have most of those list items already.
    My husband just put a window in for me last weekend and I feel so happy with natural light coming in...
    I have the rack, and a rod for hangers...now I need a ceiling, some lighting, flooring and walls!

    I'll post about the reno when we get done.

    Thanks a bunch Annie for the inspirational images.

  6. That pole is genius! Why didn't I think of that?! I'd like to know where you got it too.

  7. Hi! First time I comment here. I came over from the Hostess' bungalow.
    I just imagine those The Laundress black/white bottles with detergents on your shelf, perfect!
    I like your laundry room. "Mine" is a room every one in our house uses, it's in the cellar and 25 families/people live in the house where I live!

    You might enjoy this posting on the recent IKEA campain:

    I have not seem anything of your house besides the laundry room, I think I might want to take a tour. :-)

  8. Our "laundry room" is in the basement and it's horrible. I can't wait to have a real house of our own. Love those double doors!

  9. Love all your kids art work. You did a great job.