Thursday, 13 March 2014

Making a Laundry Room.

Everyone needs somewhere to do their laundry right? 

A place where the washing machine can be stored. Somewhere to house the hoover (sorry, vacuum cleaner for my non-British friends), the broom, the mop, the bucket, the ironing board, and all the paraphernalia that is associated with housekeeping. And as I love housework so much (not), I prefer to keep these items hidden from view, along with my ironing pile so that I can't see it spilling over the top of the basket, or hear  it gently whispering that it needs doing! 

Having said that, this little area has always been my domain in our house, and had to be included in both the planning and construction of the two major house renovations we undertook back in Blighty. Similarly, the first place that we lived together, a little cottage in the sticks, had its own laundry room: attached to the back wall of the kitchen, you had to access it from the outside - not much fun in the winter, I can tell you. Even here in Costa Rica, when we first arrived and were looking at properties to rent, the kids always joked when seeing the laundry rooms  "Oh look, that's Mum's room". (DH, quite wisely, is not brave enough to say such a thing!). You may tut-tut at the sexist jokes that amuse my boys, as do I, but it does actually mean that I have my very own private space, right in the middle of the house. A spot that I can call my own and that I can go to and hide from arguing kids and grumpy men. A zone, albeit a small and possibly invisible one, where nobody ever manages to find me! I'm assuming such a space is a dream place for most women and/or mothers because in Mallorca, where we had a large, communal laundry room shared by a number of apartments, it didn't matter what time of day or night you ventured down there, you nearly always found some mum or other hiding from their family on the pretence of doing the laundry!

The Before and After shot, but the wrong way round!

Anyway, here at La Casita, the plumbing for the washing machine, along with more than adequate lighting, was already installed in the hallway inglenook, so it made complete sense to utilise the area and turn it into a laundry room. I mean why make more work for yourself by moving all the fixtures when all that's needed is a little imagination? But being in the hallway, close to the front door, the problem was how to hide the proposed laundry area from view. A decorative curtain, beaded or made with shells that we have found on the beach perhaps? Most likely too much hassle, as the strands would be forever getting in the way whilst trying to load the clothes into the washing machine. Bi-fold doors even? No, all the products we found in the various DIY shops were far too flimsy for a rental property. So wooden sliding doors were the sensible option, not necessarily my favourite choice, but ideal for the space.

With no windows in the alcove, we decided on louvered doors, which would allow the air to circulate, preventing any horrid smells that may arise from lingering, damp washing. Three pine doors were purchased along with the runners to make the sliding frame. DH, happy to have a project, set to work rubbing down. As we didn't want to make the hallway too dark and dingy, but still wanted them to contrast with the white of the interior walls, we decided on the 'weathered' look. So as to avoid any runs or paint brush marks, DH, keen to use his paint gun and compressor again, sprayed all three doors with a white paint-wash (a mix of 50:50 paint to water). Me, as a finished product, I would have liked them left a little rough around the edges, but DH is not so inclined and sprayed a final layer of sealer on top - "makes them easier to clean", so he says - and thankfully they still look matt and not shiny.

A hidden laundry space. 
Next, a small false wall had to be built from the ceiling down, so that the top runners had something to attach too. The builders did this for us and then set to hanging the doors: firstly one of them was hung upside down, so it didn't match the other two, and then the wrong way round! Another small detail to test us!

Hey-ho, not to worry, Pura Vida etc., etc.! They are finally hung correctly and look (and of course feel) pretty smooth - nice work DH. 

Now all we need to do is put up some shelves and then furnish it with exciting things like a washing machine. 

Yippee! Can't wait!!

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