Sort It: stealing space
Creating a place to dry laundry from unused areas
This is going to sound terribly practical but an issue many of my clients struggle with is finding space to dry laundry inside during the winter months.
If you have a utility room that’s large enough to cope with several clothes horses, then that’s ideal, but for most people this isn’t the case. Laundry and everything associated with it is bulky and, if your house is anything like mine, the washing machine is in constant use and the laundry can very quickly take over.
Over the years we’ve come up with a number of solutions to tackle this problem, all of which involve stealing space from unused areas or spaces elsewhere in the house.
In American homes, the laundry room is typically on the upper floor near the bedrooms and bathrooms. This makes sense, really, as it is close to where the laundry accumulates.
Box room conversion
I recently converted my box room into a laundry space – the room had been the nursery but with my youngest now four, it was destined to become a room without a purpose, a pet hate of mine, so I decided to put it to good use.
By simply running a full wall of wardrobes along one side of the room, I have enough space to hold everything and also provide overflow storage for coats etc.
I filled the wardrobes with a mix of shelves to take baskets and some hooks to hang the ironing board and other laundry paraphernalia that had been stored in various locations throughout the house, maximising the storage space as much as possible.
Not only did this solve a real issue in my home but it freed up valuable storage space elsewhere.
You don’t need to sacrifice a whole room to create a laundry space. We refurbished an apartment where there was no alternative but to dry clothes in the living room. This was really affecting our client’s quality of life and enjoyment of her home.
We looked at the apartment and its overall layout and found that the kitchen was very poorly laid out. Our client had so little prep space that she actually used the ironing board as an additional work surface.
The hot press backed on to the kitchen so we proposed to extend this space to allow us to put the washing machine in there, freeing up valuable space in the kitchen and also provide space for storing everything to do with the laundry and space to dry clothes.
We did this by taking the corner units out of the kitchen. Corner units never really work as they are difficult to access and it is next to impossible to find anything without completely emptying the whole cupboard. The counter tops tend to become filled with stuff, making them redundant.
We then opened the hot press into this corner space to create the laundry room. With the corner units gone, we now had two walls to run our cupboards up to, we created one wall of full-height units which gave much better storage in the kitchen.
Once again by solving the laundry issue, the rest of the home benefited. It really is the little things that make a difference.