Friday, 22 March 2013

Work In Progress--Who Whos and Shrooms Laundry Room

Hello my dearest darlings!  I hope you've all had a loverly week!  Other than working, I spent a good bit of mine in the laundry room.  Not actually doing laundry...well, I did a bit...but trying to get the room itself in a bit better order decor-wise so that I could make some larger decisions about some changes
The house, as a whole, is being taken down into the sixties.  My hope is that, eventually, the house will have a "brand new in 1964" look to it.  A lot of the original features, though put in sometime from the early-mid '70s will be easily absorbed into this look.  Others....not so much.

Case in point, the laundry room, which I've decided to keep as the one room that retains much of the early '70s vibe of the least for now.

The main feature of the room is the carpet.  While a good bit of the carpet in the house has been pulled up and replaced with hardwood, my budget for doing so was a bit short, so the rooms with carpet in better condition have been left.  The carpet in the laundry room is pretty darn pristine....and oh so late 60s/early 70s flower power...or is it starbursts....or maybe snowflakes???!.....

Whatever they're supposed to be, they're bloody brill and that's all there is to it!

I took the original curtains from the kitchen because they just screamed tacky '70s and put them in this room in place of the heavy butter yellow pleated pretties that were there.  

It lightened up the room instantly and the browns and oranges look so right in here!  Mom told me the other day that she'd seen the same curtains in an old movie from the '70s, but couldn't remember which one!  Think, Mom!  Think!!

The washer and dryer that were in the room when I moved in were the originals.  The washer was, unfortunately, done.  Something about a bearing...or baring...I don't know.  Not my area!  So we had to get a new one.  The dryer works, but my grandfather had stacked junk on top of it and there were some areas of rust on the top.  Not only did it look bad, but it presented a stain hazard to any clothing that might get put on top of it.  So I had an epiphany....cover it with flowers!!

 I'd bought some old '60s shelf liner months ago and decided, since there wasn't much of it, I could just cut out bits to cover the problem areas...

 Cute, no?  I still have a bit and will probably continue with one or two here and there on the cabinets and such once they're all installed.
Speaking of cabinets, I bought these Youngstowns from a friend of my mom who, at 93, is preparing to move out of the house she's lived in since the '50s.

They'd been relegated to her basement in the early '70s, so they're not in perfect condition...but close to it.  They're also from two different time periods.  Two of the larger bottom cabinets (and two of the wall cabinets as well), while they're the same model # as the boomerang handled ones, have very art deco handles as well as black tops instead of the grey cracked ice of the others.  

I think I may try and find more of the boomerang handles and when I eventually paint these guys, I'll swap them out so they'll all match.  The tops of all of them are a little rough, so I'll probably replace them all with a lovely formica.

There's also a bunch of upper cabinets that are at the moment sitting in my basement until I can get my dad to come help me install them.  If he doesn't come soon, I may just go ahead and paint them all...if we can ever get some warm weather!  Any suggestions for colour?  I don't want to keep them white...that's just boresville!  I've been thinking of bittersweet, maybe.  Or aqua just to add a big pop of another colour into the mix?  Or maybe a mixture of bittersweet, green, and white?

Another cool piece that seemed meant to be in this room is the swivel rocker I found one day while I was moving things from my parents' house to here.

I decided to pop into one of my favourite thrift stores on the way.  As I pulled up I saw this tacky cutie patootie out front.  I thought to myself how loverly she'd be in my laundry room and when I realized what great condition the cover and it's great orange, yellow, and green print was in (it seriously looks brand spanking new!), I decided that I loved it.
"Ok," I told myself.  "If it's less than $20, you should get it.  Surely it won't be more than that."
The price tag (a sheet of notebook paper taped to the back), had blown backward from the breeze that day and as I approached, I noticed that it looked to have a lot of writing on it.  "Great," I thought, "Someone knows this is pristine mid-century colonial revival.  Guess it won't be coming cheap."
Imagine my thrill when I flipped the paper over and read:

'Free to a good home.  Please take me with you!'

I literally RAN into the shop and asked if in fact this gorgeous little lemon was really free!  It was!  The lady offered to help me with loading it into my car.  When she saw that I drive a Mini, she had her doubts.  When she saw it was full of boxes, she doubted even more!  I assured her that I was the queen of Mini Tetris and that it would indeed fit!  After a good ten minutes of scooootching and shifting, the little darling was in!  SCORE!!

Look at that print.....

The wooden arms are a little worn and I'm tempted to paint them either orange, green, or white.  We'll see....

Since there was so much owl and mushroom decor in the house originally, I thought I might as well use it in my happy '70s laundry room, especially as the colours tended to be the same browns, greens, and oranges that were already creeping into the room.  I've already mentioned that my grandmother was a kitsch's a little of the incriminating evidence:

My mom actually made these cute little crewel mushroom pictures back in the early '70s!


She also made this mushroom wall hanging.  She said she made it for herself from a kit and used it in this house when she and my dad lived in it in the early-mid '70s while it was being built.  She left it (as well as the two above) when they moved out in early '77.  My grandmother apparently didn't like this one when she moved in and was selling it in a yard sale in the late '70s when my OTHER grandmother fell in love with it and bought it from her.  It hung in the space between her kitchen and the door into the hallway for most of my childhood.  I found it boxed up when we were cleaning out her house and now here it is, back where it started:

 The copyright on the back of the burlap reads:
Columbia Minerva Corp.
Erica Wilson 1971

Mom can't take credit for this monstrosity though!  Isn't he horrible?  And lovely?  The mushroom towel is from a set I found and kept from my other grandmother.

I want to frame these guys eventually, but for now the little string hangers work fine!

 And more owls:

Mom made the 3-D 'Owl In The Plastic Bubble' for my grandparents in the late '70s.  There's a pheasant that matches it!

So there's the happy '70s laundry room so far.  I'll keep you posted as it comes along!
Hope you have a loverly weekend, chickens!


  1. I do declare - I do believe that you have the cutest laundry room that I have ever seen! The carpet? Amazing. That idea with the flower stickers? Inspired! Do you keep laundry powder and stuff in the canisters? Either/or...well done!

    p.s. Why was that chair free? That's crazy.

    1. The canisters hold clothespins and dryer sheets at the mo! I love them!
      I wondered the same thing about the chair! I even asked the lady what was wrong with it! She assured me that nothing was wrong with it, they'd just had it for a few weeks and no one had taken an interest in it except to remark that it was 'so ugly' (What?! It's beautiful!) and they needed it out of the way to make room for things that people 'would actually buy'. Whatever. They're loss is my gain! And I love her! She swivels and rocks like a champ and is crazy comfortable!

  2. What a smart idea with the flower decals...I am SO doing that! And I love your cabinets and all your little mushroom tidbits. All in all, a swell of a laundry room!!

    1. I can't wait to finish it! My dad has promised that he'll help me hang the matching upper cabinets in a week or two (that's actually one of them just to the left of the fab chair!). Once that's done, it'll look smash!