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. Growing up I had laundry in the garage, with direct access from the house by way of a door in the kitchen. When Patrick and I got married, our apartment in Portland had a shared laundry room for each floor, but thankfully it was just next door to our apartment. 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 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.
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 California souvenir aprons from it. While the aprons serve a purpose, I probably would have done this anyway, as it adds a lot of personality to the space.
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.
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. Not a fan of cacti? You can get hedgehogs or puffer fish too! I use woolen dryer balls for more delicate items that go in the dryer, which you can buy (including Amazon) or you can make your own.
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.
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. I also just fell in love with it because it was shaped like a clothes pin. 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.
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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7 comments on “Our 1954 Home: Laundry Room”
I love your pipe-hiding solution! And that Western-themed vintage glass shade is so you. On a practical note, I’ve wondered how well dryer ball work, so I’m happy to have a recommendation from someone other than an anonymous reviewer. Thank you!
I love that you used a curtain instead of a door. It’s a really ingenious solution AND it allows for airflow into the room for faster air drying!
What a great laundry room!
I my self can not stand hand washing. And the laundry room in my building is to creepy to go to since there are no windows and the tenants also have a key to the room.
A few times while I was doing the laundry this guy would end up showing up at the same time I did my laundry and at the same random time I was in the Laundry room.
There is a local laundry mat close to my home but not close enough for me to make the trek every day. I only go there to wash large items and bought a steamer to steam my vintage coats, and other items that I would not have time to wash at the laundry mat.
So, I started looking on line for a portable washing machine. Since I read in a vintage magazine the women of the home back in the 1940s also had a portable washing machines for their hand washing.
I looked on Ebay and low and behold they are selling vintage ones. I placed my bid for a couple and was out bid on each one.
Then I noticed there were modern style portable washing machines. And it was SO much more cheaper. I bought one and was able to put it into my push cart and wheel it all the way home from work.
Its called the wonder washer portable washing machine. I’ve had this little beauty for 13 years and counting. I also looked at the Amazon reviews so I would know what not to do when using this little but mighty machine, the washer holds up to one twin size. WOOHOO! I also got a wooden foldable drying rack so it would not end up damaging my bathtub.
After a couple of years of use I got tired of my clothes ending up damp after being hung in the bathroom all day.
I went for another hunt on the internet and found a youtube video that showed a portable dryer. I found this one on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Mini-Portable-Countertop-Spin-Dryer/dp/B002HT0958/ref=pd_rhf_ee_s_cp_0_4?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B002HT0958&pd_rd_r=HV6G91JDSMMCTBB14DZW&pd_rd_w=uFINA&pd_rd_wg=4LdEw&psc=1&refRID=HV6G91JDSMMCTBB14DZW only problem is its not super easy to use. I learned that some of the clothes have to be turned into a tube and shaped into a dough nut shape in order to spin. And some clothing can only be dropped in other wise it will not spin properly. And my ruff handling has broken the lid, yet I’ve still gotten it to work.
The clothes come out dry like they would’ve come from a regular washing machine, and it also holds up to a twin size sheet.
And even though the ad on Amazon calls it a table top dryer. That is simply not true, unless you are a very tall. I keep my dryer in the bathroom and in order to reach the opening I place the dryer on my closed toilet lid. place a bucket next to the pipe to catch the water.
And I still hand my clothes in the bathroom.
Since I did damage the dryer. I will some times hang my wet clothing in the bathtub with a rope clothes line made of twine and my foldable wooden clothes rack.
My favorite liquid soap to use ecover delicates laundry detergent, its super concentrated and a little goes a long. I also like to add a color safe powder bleach to the wash too. Clorox 2: Remove tough stains and brighten clothes with Clorox 2 Laundry Stain Remover and Color Booster in a powder formula, I use a about a palm size amount pre-wash. In my portable washer, I read powdered soap cleans better and is less hard on the washing machine.
For the washer at the laundry mat I use a powdered soap pod and dryer sheets. I’ll have to get some of those dryer balls.
I forgot to mention. I also use a fan that I put on the floor of my bathroom, to also help dry my clothes when I do not have time to use the portable dryer.
I love your idea. It looks adorable. I also hang my delicate items in the restrooms shower curtain rod. I don’t care for it either, but as of right now it’s the only choice I have. My washer and dryer are in the garage, luckily our garage is attached to the house. One day I would love to create a wall divider from the garage and washer and dryer. Kind of a faux room. Your home looks adorable. 🙂
If you don’t absolutely need a pocket door (maybe for cancelling out machine noise) I don’t think you should do it.
The curtain in the photo really adds to the vintage aesthetic in my opinion.
Wow! I absolutly LOVE your sign! Your laundry room is so fun and practical
Talk about LIFE GOALS!!!!