Our 1954 Home: Laundry Room

Having a vintage wardrobe means laundry is vital to its lifespan. While I do a good deal of hand-washing, I still use a washer for some items. This meant that the location of the laundry hook-ups was vital in selecting a home. In Oregon I grew up with laundry in the garage, with direct access from the house by way of a door in the kitchen. At our apartment in Portland I had to walk to a laundry room, but thankfully it was just next door to our unit. When we moved to Orange I was adamant we have in-unit laundry. And when it came time it buy a house I really wanted a laundry room, but it wasn’t a make-or-break deal. I just wanted direct access to my laundry. Quickly homes were nixed because the laundry hook-ups were outside! Which was unheard of in rainy ol’ Oregon, but apparently a thing here in California, and something I wasn’t going to put up with. We also ran across several homes where the laundry hook-ups were in the garage, but garage was detached; also a no-go for me. The home we bought has in fact a detached garage, but also features a laundry room! Thank goodness! So today I’m sharing my laundry set-up and how I spruced the place up to make this chore a little more enjoyable!

Our 1954 Home: Laundry Room text over a look at the vintage aprons that hang above the washer and dryer. A vintage washboard hangs above the sink in the back.

Our laundry room is off of the kitchen, and originally featured a door to gain access. However, due to the location of the hook-ups this meant you had to close the door to actually use the washer! So one of the first things we did was remove the door. Ideally I would love to install a pocket door here, but for the time being we put up curtains we found at Target.

A look into the laundry room from the kitchen. Green and pale yellow check flooring extend into the laundry room. Pale coral curtains hang in the doorway to the left, and just peeking from the laundry room a clothing bar hold clothing that is hanging to dry.

After years of having to wash my stuff in what other people had selected, I finally had the joy of choosing my own washer and dryer. After much research I settled on a front-load washer and dryer from LG. There are many settings, and front-load machines are not has hard on clothing. However, front-load machines are often smaller, and you have the option to purchase stands, which provide storage and height, but cost a pretty penny. I opted not to purchase them, but that left the unsightly pipes behind the washer and dryer visible! To remedy this I made a faux laundry line and hung some of my vintage souvenir aprons from it.

Me, standing in the laundry room reaching for a bottle of detergent, wearing a yellow dress with blue trim, and a blue and white apron featuring images of a woman doing laundry.

A look at the vintage linens above the washer and dryer. Two Knott's Berry Farm ones, a red one featuring landmarks of Hollywood and Los Angels, another featuring a map of California, and another with icons of Hollywood.

A built in sink with cream colored tile offers a place for hand washing. Hanging above an apron of Hollywood, and on the wall a vintage washboard.

A look at the vintage linens above the washer and dryer. Two Knott's Berry Farm ones, a red one featuring landmarks of Hollywood and Los Angels, another featuring a map of California, and another with icons of Hollywood.

Standing in the laundry room, wearing a yellow dress with blue trim and a blue and white apron featuring a cartoon illustration of a woman doing laundry and getting her hair done.

While the aprons serve a purpose, I probably would have done this anyway, as it adds a lot of personality to the space. What to do this yourself? But perhaps don’t want to do aprons? Small linens such as hand towels, cloth napkins or handkerchiefs would create the same vibe.

A tighter shot of the two Knott's Berry Farm aprons, each are a color scheme of red, yellow, and black. They feature icons of the park, like the stagecoach, Sad Eye Joe, the Birdcage, and the Saloon.

Close-up of the red apron. Across the top it reads "Hollywood Los Angeles" and across the bottom "California." The illustrations include the Hollywood Bowl, Farmer's Market, Grauman's Theater, Sad Eye Joe of Knott's Berry Farm, Los Angeles City Hall, and Olvera Street.

A closer look at the map of California apron, in red, yellow, and blue illustrations of various icons of the state, like the redwoods, oil wells, bears, skiers, Death Valley, and cowboys.

Most of our clothing we hang dry, as it not only ensures longevity, it is also more energy efficient. Up until now I used the shower curtain rod in the bathroom to hang clothing, but this house doesn’t have a shower that features a curtain rod, but there was a space under some of the cabinets and Patrick installed a rod for me to hang clothing. Besides, I never much liked clothing hanging in the bathroom.

A look at the bar where clothing hangs to dry.

Myself standing in the laundry room checking on clothing I have hung up to dry.

Another a money saving tip is the use of dryer balls. I bought these cactus ones on Amazon, and keep them in a cute little metal tub that reminded me of an old wash tub, purchased at Michaels. These little cacti help separate items and reduce static, just like dryer sheets. I still use dryer sheets though for more delicate items. Not a fan of cacti? You can get hedgehogs or puffer fish too! There are woolen dryer balls as well, which you can buy (including Amazon) or you can make your own.

Close-up of myself holding a small metal tub of plastic cacti used in the dryer.

While the aprons added a nice touch I wanted to make the laundry room a bit cozier, and started looking for items. Awhile ago my dad gave me some vintage glass shades, and to my joy one of them fit the fixture in the laundry room! The western imagery fit well with the illustrations on the vintage aprons, especially the Knott’s Berry Farm ones.

A vintage glass lamp shade features embossed cowboys and cacti.

While at Michaels one day I found this super cute laundry sign (it is sadly not on their website.) I normally don’t buy new, faux vintage items, but signage is becoming increasingly more expensive, and rare. Then I thought it would be cute to add a vintage washboard, and found this glass washboard at one of the antique malls in Orange.

To the left a vintage washboard hangs on the wall, above the door a large clothes pin shaped sign reads "Laundry Co Wash Dry Fold Est. 1955"

A close up of the vintage washboard, made of wood and glass, reads "Mission Glass" across the top in black letters.

Interested in gussying up for laundry space? A variety of faux vintage laundry signs are available at craft stores as well as stores like HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, and Cost Plus World Market. Amazon also carries a selection. You can often find vintage washboards at antique malls, as well as Etsy. You can also buy new ones that have that old-timey feel on Amazon.

I hope you enjoyed this installment of Our 1954 Home!

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

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