Historically homes built in the 19th century like ours had families wash clothing outside. With the introduction of washers (ringer and then electric) the machines landed out of sight on a back porch. Later, the porch would typically be enclosed.
In the case of our farm house, a side porch had been converted into a laundry and mudroom by the previous owner. Initially, I didn’t want to touch this room but it wasn’t long before some problems began to surface. First the shuttered windows (when open) squeezed the amount of floor space. Consequently the shutters remained closed and cut down on the natural light. Then there was the traffic flow. When you used the entry door it would hit the master bedroom door. The closet (that held the hot water heater, washer & dryer) with its double doors was no better. They constantly banged into the kitchen one. Such a perplexing space to solve both inside and outside. I finally came up with a plan that I felt would work.
This is how it looked when we moved in-
The changes we made-
The new layout is a vast improvement. Windows now let in more light and no more banging doors. Our master bedroom has much needed privacy. Relocating the laundry room off the bedroom has proven to be a decision I’m really glad we made.
Design details- We used ‘Harwood Putty’ on the walls and ‘Dark Olive’ on the floors from Benjamin Moore Paints. The salvage wood posts are not structural but relate to real ones in the rest of the house. A two hundred year old door was the perfect fit for the utility closet. Most of the antiques were mine or sourced locally. They include old window, pine cabinet, desk, chair, handmade rug, UK metal farm figurines, baskets and ironing board. I just purchased a 1920s light fixture (not shown) for over the washer and dryer.
(Photos- Martha Browne)
Note- The mudroom will be shown in a later issue of Country Mouse.