The day we moved in to our terrace house in London, I wandered around our new home scratching my head. I looked in every nook, cranny and cupboard for the washing machine water connection. In desperation I even scoured upstairs in the bedroom cupboards. It was nowhere to be found though…I was a little astounded and slightly panicked! Where were we going to do all our washing? I had to come up with a plan quickly. I’m not a huge fan of having the washing machine in the kitchen – the noise of the spin cycle puts my head in a spin as well as the washing. We did have an outdoor toilet attached to the back of the house…
Outdoor toilet? Little laundry? Outdoor toilet? Little laundry? This was not a hard decision to make…this was the perfect place to have our laundry, even as little as it would be! We called a plumber in immediately and had the toilet removed and the plumbing altered for a washing machine. This little area was a low priority for many years as we worked away on other areas inside the house, so it remained quite functional but quite ugly too.
When we renovated our kitchen and dining room, we had the back of the house rendered and for the first time the laundry had the capacity to be water tight. The window that wouldn’t close and the wonky door were the only things standing in the way.
I decided to do away with the window. I had our very skilled carpenter take out the window, leaving the frame. He then installed some beading so I could have a fixed pane of glass. We also bought a new door, which he cut down to size and hung.
Internally, this little area needed some TLC. The cistern for the toilet was mounted on a sheet of wood and when it was removed, the wall went along with it. I filled the hole with some bonding plaster and smoothed it all over. Even though this area is covered I treated the interior like an exterior space with regard to paint choices. The existing paint hadn’t stayed on well…it probably didn’t like the cold winters…so I used exterior masonry paint and it has held up really well.
I wanted to have tiles going up the wall to the point of the wooden baton running along the wall. I used my Tesco points to buy the tiles, which is such a cost effective way of getting tiles. I chose the same tiles as the bathroom and the kitchen. In the bathroom I mixed different colours randomly, in the kitchen I chose to use just one of the colours and here in the laundry, I did a couple of stripes in the darker colours towards the top and the remainder of the wall a pale colours. I love the tiles…because the space is so small, the tiles don’t show any evidence of bumps that a painted wall would do. On the floor I laid black slate tiles…I was drawn to their uneven texture.
Just because this space is outside and small, I still have made sure it has its fair share of lovely decorative pieces. On the outside, I have a simple cast iron ‘Laundry’ sign. On the inside I hang my washing basket on a beautiful peacock hook, which Timothy got me for Mother’s Day, and my pegs are stored in a peg bag my sister made for me using a vintage tea towel.
While sorting the washing, there is even a nice view to be had by looking out the little window.
I put two simple shelves in the laundry. One full depth one, matching the depth of the washing machine, is used to hold the powder and the baskets for sorting. There is a smaller shelf up above it, where I have my other washing products and an Orla Kiely ceramic jar I use as a rubbish bin. I don’t have a lot of ‘domestic’ things to store here. Items, such as vacuums and cleaning products, which might usually be stored in a laundry are stored in the house. This space is just about washing!
When all the washing has been done, everything has a home…even the clothes airer has a home!
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