Laundry is one of the few household tasks I enjoy. Something about removing stains and putting everything where it is supposed to go makes my heart flutter in a way that vacuuming doesn’t do it for me. I’m working with Tide Pods on this post (you can get them at Target.) I’ve recently started using them and I like how easy it is to throw them into the washing machine (they have the detergent, brightener and stain remover in one pod.) We recently gave our laundry room an overhaul (you can see “before” pics here) and I’ve put together a few tips on making a dirty job a little more enjoyable.
1. Everything Should be Beautiful
My sister taught me something years ago that I’ve lived by ever since. It’s this: no matter what you buy (whether it is a trashcan or a lamp) it should be beautiful. I’m always on the hunt to find the most beautiful laundry basket or ironing board. Even the most functional and plain things in our homes should make us happy. I realize its a silly thing but after about a decade of collecting I have a laundry room makes it a pleasant place to be when I’m folding laundry.
2. Repackage and Decant
I keep my laundry products like bleach and laundry detergent in simple labeled and unbranded bottles. Partly because I think it is prettier than loud packaging but also because I think it is easier to use, easier to refill and more accessible in jars. My friends think it’s a little neurotic but I swear it makes me so much happier.
3. Plan for the Piles of Laundry
I’ve realized if I’m honest with myself about my real laundry habits (instead of my aspirational ones) then I can plan for it to be more functional. For example it usually takes me a few days to get around to folding the laundry. So I bought a large industrial laundry basket to hold all the clean clothes while they wait around to get folded. The laundry room still looks organized (and not backed up) even when I’m behind.
4. Save Space
We live in the city and don’t have a lot of space in our laundry room so the first thing we did is take advantage of the stackable feature most laundry machines have. That gave us more room to add a counter to fold clothes on. Also, we don’t have a lot of space to air-dry our clothes so keeping a foldable laundry rack tucked next to the dryer gives us that freedom without a clothesline.
5. Add Art or Wallpaper
Just because it’s the laundry room doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be easy on the eyes. I add art and plants in every room in the house to make it a more enjoyable space to be.
Sponsored by Tide.
When we bought our San Francisco flat last year it was my first time ever having a dining room. I immediately started dreaming of the dinner parties I was going to throw that I never could because of the tiny apartments we always lived in. The bedrooms and kitchen took priority but this spring we started working on the dining room. Click through below to see the before and after.
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Even before we moved into our house I had been eyeing this green sofa (1) from Room and Board. I hesitated to order it because it was supposed to take over three months (I don’t have the patience for that!) and also it was expensive and there were other more boring things that were begging for my money (paint, electrical, new windows.) I finally went in to order it a few weeks ago and discovered it had been discontinued. (Apparently you can still custom order it but they increased the price $800!) I was mostly annoyed at myself for not paying attention but couldn’t bring myself to pay more for something that was significantly cheaper just a few weeks before.) That little turn of events has ignited the Great Green Sofa Search of 2014. Once I got my heart set on emerald green I couldn’t think of anything else. Here are some of the sofas I’ve been looking at:
I actually purchased the second sofa (2) last week (long and low cheap mint green sofa!) but after seeing a fabric sample in person discovered that it is more of a blue than a green. I was so sad it wasn’t the right color.
The third sofa is really beautiful (3) but I realized after looking at it for a few minutes that it is literally the exact same sofa we have but in green (they are both made by Crate and Barrel.) No go. I can’t handle having the exact same sofa so I continued my hunt.
The fourth sofa represents my Craigslist search for something vintage. I’ve been looking for a really great vintage sofa with nice lines I can reupholster. (It’s all I do in the evenings these days. ) I’ve run up against two problems there. 1. I haven’t found the right fabric yet. (My designer friends say I need to go to the Design Center to look.) And 2. By the time I spend money on a sofa, fabric, and upholstery it’s getting much more expensive than a new sofa. If I could find a cheap fabric and a great deal on a sofa it is more competitive. I’m still considering this option but waiting for the fabric and sofa to fall into place.
I also considered this IKEA sofa (5). The price is right but something about the legs bothered me and I couldn’t do it.
The last sofa I considered was this Room and Board sofa (6). I liked the lines and the silver legs the only thing is the tufted seat and cushion. Someone told me once to never get a tufted sofa as your “practical ” sofa because it isn’t comfortable. I still haven’t found what I’m looking for but am getting really serious about my hunt. Do you know of any great green sofas? I’m looking for something modern, with personality, clean lines about $2000, and comfortable. Any suggestions? Where are you green sofa??!!!
Yesterday I shared photos of the front half of the house and today is the back of the house. The back rooms are some of my favorite rooms and I think the kitchen and bathroom hold the most potential for transformation (in general the bones of the house we want to keep as-is.)
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If you follow me on Instagram then you saw the news last month that we bought a house! Technically its just a flat (not a single family home) but we couldn’t be more excited. I made a list of goals when we were first married of things I really wanted to do over the next 10 years or so. The first thing on the list was: Buy a House in San Francisco. It was very unrealistic when I made that goal so the fact that we actually did it is thrilling. I cried when it became official. It is a beautiful 3 bedroom Victorian flat near Dolores Park. The apartment is 1700 square feet with a large kitchen, dining room and even a guest bedroom. It has beautiful original details and the apartment has been very well taken care of. We would like to eventually update the kitchen and bathroom and even knock out a wall or two but we are going to put that all on hold until our bank account recovers from that hefty down payment. The apartment is amazing but isn’t perfect. It doesn’t have a parking spot or a backyard and living on top of and below neighbors (even if they are nice) isn’t ideal. But the pros outweigh the cons a million times over so we feel really good about it. It is the perfect first home for us.
If you’ve been reading this blog any amount of time then you know we have a habit of living in small spaces. Our first apartment was a one bedroom apartment in San Francisco (pictures here, I cringe when I see these BTW.) After that we moved to a medium sized one bedroom apartment on Nob Hill, we had some children and they slept in a closet. After that we moved to a two bedroom apartment in Paris (Paris has cheaper housing than San Francisco so we upgraded!) Then last Spring we moved to our current 500 square foot apartment in the Mission District of San Francisco. We won’t move into the new house for a few months but home decor has been on my mind a lot. I hope you’ll indulge me a bit as I post about the new place and the projects we have in store. I’ve been waiting to own a house for so long I can’t believe its actually here. Here is a little peek of our long San Francisco hallway.