Interior Design on Your Own Time

Archive for the ‘laundry organization’ Category

I bet you thought that cabinet knobs were only good for opening cabinets, right?  Or that soap dishes can be used only in the bathroom.  But what if you discovered that you could use some of your favorite cabinet hardware and home accessories for alternate uses that can improve both the look and efficiency of your space?  I happen to love reading Real Simple magazine, and they have a section called New Uses for Old Things.  In there, they offer incredibly creative ideas about how to use things that you’d find in your house for new purposes.  In tribute to Real Simple, I’d like to offer a few ways you can use kitchen cabinet hardware to improve the way your home functions (beautifully, of course).

1-  Cabinet knobs.

Old Use: opening cabinet doors and drawers.

New Use: hanging kitchen linens.

There’s no question that cabinet knobs are generally used for opening cabinetry.  But homeowners can also use cabinet knobs as towel hooks, or places to hang potholders.  Of course, I wouldn’t advocate hanging something off of every cabinet knob that you own, but there’s definitely no harm in using one or two to get some of your kitchen linens off of the countertop.  Why have a cluttered counter or risk dirtying your linens with spills, when you can keep your things easily within reach and safely away from your workspace?

2-  Appliance Pulls

Old Use: opening refrigerators or dishwashers with heavy doors.

New Use: as a convenient towel rack.

The goal of a towel rack is to keep your towels close at hand.  And while many homeowners prefer to store their kitchen towels tucked inside a cabinet, towels that are hidden away may be difficult to reach when hands are dirty or wet.  Instead, homeowners use appliance pulls as external towel racks in the kitchen.  Choose an appliance pull or appliance handle that matches your existing cabinet hardware, and mount it on the side of your kitchen island to create an instantly accessible (and classy) kitchen towel rack.

3- Wall mounted soap dish

Old Use: holding your soap in the shower.

New Use: housing your sponge in the kitchen.

Homeowners who have kitchen sinks that are against a backsplash (as opposed to on an island, for example) can find a permanent home for their sponge on a soap dish mounted directly into the backsplash.  This solution is ideal for those who don’t have drawers for their sponges and those who are tired of constantly finding their sponge floating in a pool of dirty water.  No need for suction cup sponge holders that constantly lose their grip or sponge holders that create clutter on the counter.  Bathroom soap dishes are available in endless finishes and styles- find one that matches your kitchen décor and enjoy a more organized sink area immediately.

4-  Pull out laundry hampers

Old Use: keeping laundry off the bathroom floor.

New Use: keeping kitchen linens out of sight.

Although many people complain that they don’t have enough cabinet space in their kitchen, many also complain that the look of their kitchen is constantly sullied with wet or dirty rags, towels and aprons. Installing pull out laundry hampers in a kitchen cabinet is a great way to keep your kitchen clean without having wet rags piled up in every corner.  Clean out a cabinet by getting rid of items you don’t need and moving some items from lower cabinets into higher ones.  Then, install a pull out laundry hamper in a bottom cabinet.  Choose a model with air vents to prevent your kitchen towels from getting moldy in the event that you forget to empty the wet linens.  This creative system will prevent you from having to run constantly to the laundry room- and will make it easier to stash used linen napkins and tablecloths too!

Advertisements

I just returned home from a romantic getaway weekend…with my husband and four kids. OK, it wasn’t so romantic, because my husband was working all weekend (at the hotel) and the kids were exhausted from the trip…but it was definitely a getaway. Now that we’re home though, I’ve got to dig myself out from under this pile of laundry. If there’s anything that ruins the look of a home, it’s piles of laundry. Right now, my house has clothing everywhere- clean laundry, dirty laundry, folded piles that I haven’t put away yet- you name it, we’ve got it. And yet, the designer in me knows that I’ve got to overcome this obstacle- and to start making use of all the laundry organization products that are taking up space in my laundry room.

There are a few laundry organization products that I know will make it easy to dig myself out from these piles. You may be surprised to discover that some things that make your house beautiful aren’t actually designer products on their own!

1- The first important laundry organization product is a good laundry hamper which can keep the piles to a minimum. I keep one pretty much in every room of the house. I have a fun pop-up laundry hamper in my kids’ bathroom, and a really nice ‘fancy’ hamper in the master bedroom. I used to have a hidden laundry hamper in my bathroom when I was a kid, but unfortunately, our current home doesn’t lend itself to that. Maybe in the future…

2- The second critical element for prevailing over the mess is a relatively manageable laundry storage system. I love the idea of using cedar chests to store clothing for two reasons: Firstly, they’re just gorgeous. Secondly, cedar chests are great when you just need to stash your clothing without making sure they’re perfectly folded (or color coded). I know I’m supposed to be advocating home perfection, but let’s face it- sometimes it’s important to just hide your stuff.

3- The last element (for now) of a successful laundry organization system is having the right shelving in both your laundry room and in your closet. I’m a big fanatic about closet organization, so you’ll have to stay tuned for my thoughts on that- but having the right shelving in the laundry room can keep things organized. All too many times I’ve lost my detergent, stain stick or fabric softener amidst the pile of clothing- keeping laundry products organized on shelves above or on the side of your laundry machine is an easy way to stay on top of laundry room clutter.