My laundry room is rather large, and evocative of a British tack room. Well, except it has the dreadful “boob” light, still. I looked all over your blog and couldn’t find anything on laundry rooms. So, maybe a future post re: laundry rooms that aren’t all country cutsie? I also need lighting inspiration.
This is just bloody brilliant. Two back-to-back posts about areas of the home that are really not my area of expertise. Well, that’s about to change. (I hope) Plus, I had to look up “tack room.” I really am a hillbilly. Tack room has to do with horses which I’m sure everyone knows but me. Sorry Duncan, the horse. (He’s my friend who recently moved to Florida) ;]
Of course, when it comes to laundry rooms, I know what I like and I know what I don’t like.
But, it’s funny. Well, not funny ha ha, however, I’ve never actually lived in a house with a real laundry room.
However, I realized as I began to research the post, that this statement is not true. It’s just that I blocked it out. And, for a very good reason which you’re about to find out. When I was a little girl, we had THE scariest laundry room in the history of all mankind. I’m quite positive.
If you’d like a visual of the exterior of my childhood home in Evansville, IN, click here. Since my mom passed away, my sister and I have grown exceptionally nostalgic. Since she’s 9.5 years older, she’s able to tell me things I can’t remember. And, since she went to college when I was eight, I’m talking about things she knows less about.
So, Laurel tell us about your scary laundry room?
Okay, but prepare yourself… because it is verrrrry scary.
First, you had to walk down the steepest flight of stairs, which when I was four was like climbing down a cliff. If you can imagine this; once when my aunt, uncle and cousins were visiting, she mistook the basement door for a closet and fell straight to the bottom.
I can still hear her screaming. Fortunately, she only slightly fractured her ankle. Those steps were covered in linoleum with a metal nosing. And, over the years, much of the linoleum crumbled away, leaving the stairs just that much more treacherous.
At the bottom of the stairs, if one went right, there was the main basement space.
It was always wet. But, sometimes it was super wet.
My folks took great pains to try and have it fixed. Alas, it was always damp and the dehumidifier ran continuously. We used the basement to watch TV and even though there was a ping table, not much else. Oh, and don’t cringe, but there was actually a very out-of-tune piano down there. I think they must’ve thrown it down there, and then built the house around it.
The house was built in 1954. And, we moved there near the end of 1959.
However, if we were going down the steep stairs and at the bottom made a sharp left, there lived the scary laundry room.
It was unfinished, thus the walls were made of gray cinder block. The floor was poured concrete. There was a single bare light bulb in the middle of the room.
Get the picture?
As you walked through the door, straight ahead lived the hot water heater.
But to the left was the disgusting sump-pump. I seem to recall having nightmares about falling into it.
Then, when we first lived there, we had the world’s oldest, rustiest washing machine. It came complete with a rusty wringer that was always falling off.
Wait. That was it! And the gross sinks. The pipes and the hose! It’s all there! Only I’m sure ours was rustier.
Like this one. Yes, rusty, just like this hunk o’ junk. By the way they are selling ??? this on Ebay for $399? Are they barking mad? They’ll be lucky if a junk dealer will take it off their hands for 50 bucks. I mean that thing must be rife with tetanus!
But, this is what our wringer looked like. I’m quite positive. It was so weird– and ancient.
Did you know, that they still sell wringers? I bet some of you use them too. Actually handy gadget when hand washing. I just roll those things up in a towel and then step on the towel. Hey, it works!
And, of course, there was an old rusty washboard.
Do you want to see one of the first electric washing machines?
Here it is. It was manufactured by Thor a day or two before I was born.
No, just kidding. It was around 1907.
After a time, I believe my mom put her foot down and we got one of these. This one is a Hoovermatic twin washing tub. Cool!
Ironically, considering the sump-pump, big sinks, messy washing machine, etc., the laundry room was the driest part of the basement. Dry, but phenomenally utilitarian and ugly.
However, I rarely went into that depressing laundry room. And, here’s why.
You never knew what else might be lurking down there. For instance, for quite a time there were these too gross for words, uhhh… guinea pigs soaking in formaldehyde that my sister then, in high school brought home.
You know, they don’t make kids do stuff like that anymore. At least not in New York. Some states they still do. And, they don’t make our kids sit there and watch their sadistic 9th grade bio teacher torture a living frog. Sicko! Like, is there a point except to freak us out?
Oh, I’m sorry. Please forgive me… I got carried away there. But, that is my scary laundry room story.
The only other laundry room I’ve ever had was a washer and dryer inside a closet in our townhome in Goldens Bridge. At least it was on the second floor! However, it was a basic as can be.
Let’s go back in time to some of the “laundry rooms” of yore.
Oh, honey, honey… Are you looking at me? Yes, I’m afraid that this is your life. I hope you don’t mind a little unsolicited advice. Okay? But, may I recommend putting that bowl up a little higher? It’ll save your back some. She looks like the sort that is going to ignore that.
Still, many of the laundry rooms were outside. Well, weather permitting.
Just had to get in a detail shot of Monsieur Manet’s exquisite work. Those colors!
john-singer-sargent:la-biancheria-1910 – wiki art – laundry hanging – water color
Lavandieres Edouard Leon Cortes – 1930 – oil on canvas- Leighton Fine Art
Feeling better now? Me too! Believe me. I could do an entire post about laundry room art and photos.
However, I know that you want to see some laundry rooms and I do have some for you. Time has gotten away from me, so what I think I will do is share the images with a few thoughts. And, then I’ll open it up to you if you want to see more.
Or, if for instance, if you want to know more sources such as lighting, tile, appliances, etc. And, if there’s enough interest, I’ll do a follow-up post with as much as I can get to on your wish lists. How does that sound?
Let’s begin with laundry room number one
Remember Nancy Keyes amazing kitchen? If you’ve never seen it, you must. And even if you have seen it, you must see it again.
Well, see the skirted bar in the image above from a little space just off the kitchen? What do you suppose lives behind the skirt?
A beautiful Maytag front loading washer and dryer!
Now, I have an interesting factoid for you.
The Whirlpool Corporation owns Maytag and many of the other major appliance brands at this point in time. But, most of you probably don’t know that the first big Whirlpool production plant was located beginning in 1955 in my childhood town of Evansville, IN.
That plant was still in operation until 2009.
Okay, time for more beautiful laundry rooms!
We can’t see the washing machine and dryer, but I just love that big, gleaming aluminum sink juxtaposed against the beautiful tile wall and herringbone brick floor. That’s reminding me of the a similar brick floor here.
This one has it all. Beautiful tiles, cabinetry fixtures and lighting.
I love hidden washers and dryers! And, this is such a terrific thing to do if you need to have your laundry room in a space where you don’t want to have to look at it all of the time.
Here’s the same shot with the doors closed
How gorgeous is this! I know, it looks like a kitchen, but it’s the laundry room!
Wallpaper is always a fabulous addition for a laundry room
How fun and fresh is this laundry room! The wallpaper makes it.
West Bay Homes-black and white laundry room is always a timeless look.
Well, that’s it for now. Please let me know if you want more on this topic and what you’d like to know more about. Operators are standing by. haha. Well, just me.
There’s a nice surprise waiting for you in Hot Sales. And, it’s about the S & L massive sale. There’s an inside promo code if you see this before midnight west coast time. Otherwise, the code is changing tomorrow. We’ll be updating it then.