There are few things that give me more of a low hum of domestic pleasure than a well organised laundry cupboard. The calming delight of opening the door to fine reams of perfectly pressed pillow cases neatly stacked, bed linens in individual piles, towels in their soft and fluffy glory… you get the gist.
Like all fantasies of domestic bliss, mine miss the mark by a mile, mainly due to a combination of rushing, laziness and lack of space. I know how to do it, but I have chosen atmosphere over function. The bed linen lives in a dimly lit Chinese cupboard tucked away in the children’s bedroom, where gaining access is a weekly task along the lines of Mission: Impossible. My clothes live in a set of vintage metal sports lockers — in what I laughingly call my ‘dressing room’ — which in reality also provide storage for empty cardboard boxes, suitcases and extra glasses for parties, etc. Oh the joy of city living.
I love designing these areas for my clients, who tend to be more organised and tidy than me. If we’re able to start from scratch, I try to run a hot pipe through the laundry cupboard to create an ambient temperature, and plan for slatted shelving and plenty of light. We label the shelves with brass tags (from Midori) so you can really get into it. My former mother-in-law a brilliant, meticulous woman with three children and a very busy life — used to put the linen for each bed in one of the pillow cases from the relevant set, making it very easy to deal with in a hurry.
I encourage clients to hang Tabacco Toscano scented tablets from Santa Maria Novella
With dressing rooms, we start by asking people to really put their minds to how much clothing they have and what they actually wear. Then we design accordingly: how many pieces they’d have hanging, short and long, how much clothing is folded, how many shoes, etc. We line cupboards with cedar to attempt to prevent moths, ventilate with smart brass grilles and see if we can incorporate a chair and a table to lay things out on — and obviously the biggest mirror we can find. I encourage clients to hang Tabacco Toscano scented wax tablets from Santa Maria Novella in among the rails and use Neal’s Yard aromatherapy calming spray in the laundry for the extra hit of well-being. It’s the definition of clean and serene.