small space solutions: laundry and linens

Downsizing from a seventeen room large home with two car garage to a nine room small and cozy home with detached “garage” has brought on some great challenges, such as where to put everything for a family of five and four sugar gliders? We’ve had to be creative. We’ve had to be cunning. We’ve had to be patient. We are still in the trial and error part of settling in and still have two storage units to empty.  Some days the task seems too large to tackle let alone ever completing.  So I go little by little.


Manderley’s second story is the Master loft and bath, a walk-in closet, and the laundry area.  At the top of the stairs, we have this little nook, too small for a desk, and too narrow for a chair, table and lamp for reading. I had to be creative and use this old coffee buffet that Himself had finished when we were first married to serve as our morning Nespresso stand and linen cabinet. A strange mix indeed.  The chrome and leather chair adds a modern twist to our 1940 bungalow, and is a nice spot for Himself to shine his shoes in the morning.  The tin holds his shoe shine polishes and brushes.


To the right of the chair is the laundry area. The two windows bring plenty of light into the loft but the space can tend to look messy, especially on our laundry days. I wanted to close off the area without losing the light or spending a big wad of money.


A simple solution was a decorative tension shower rod, two shower curtains, and shower curtain hooks from Target. I hung the rod about a foot from the top of the door frame so that the hem of the curtains barely brushed the floor.  This allows light to stream in over the top of the curtains.


I chose a neutral stipe to mimic the beadboard. The subtle orange stripe is a perfect match to our colorful paint job.  The material was light and sheer enough to let sunlight shine through.  If you are wondering about loft’s paint colors, they were chosen by the previous owners as homage to the beautiful design of one of our favorite local restaurants in the Square, Blue Talon Bistro.


The area remains sleek, bright, and cozy.  This simple solution cost about $75 and would have been cheaper if I had sewn my own curtains, but getting rid of the sewing machine was part of the downsize. Sigh.  I like this solution as it is much more affordable than the folding doors with glass inserts I was dreaming up.  The style blends nicely with the decor of our cottage and lends an easy breezy feel to the space.

We have yet to tackle the closet and hang more shelves so our stuff is still on the floor in Hefty bags. La, la, la, la, la.

We are learning as we go. If you have any suggestions on small space solutions, please share your ideas! I loved the ideas shared on my last small space post: How to declutter a small entryway, some of you even emailed me some of your ideas with links- Thank you! I will surely incorporate some of those ideas as I organize the rest of Manderley.


  1. Posted September 24, 2014 at 8:51 AM | Permalink

    So creative and it all looks cozy and welcoming after a long day. Nice job!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted September 24, 2014 at 9:00 AM | Permalink

      Thanks Jen!

  2. Deena
    Posted September 24, 2014 at 10:37 AM | Permalink

    Sorry to be off topic, but I love your cup and saucer. What a great colour.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted September 25, 2014 at 7:34 AM | Permalink

      Thank you! My Ma gave them to us, I’ll have to ask her where she got them as I remember them from when I was very little.

  3. Sharon
    Posted September 24, 2014 at 9:33 PM | Permalink

    Those wood floors are beeaaauuutiful! So warm and inviting. I don’t know if this would mess with the flow of your laundry room, since your washer and dryer are perfectly centered under those 2 windows, but I have several friends who have stacked their washer and dryer for space economy. I can only see a portion of the laundry room from the photo, so unless there is another wall to stack the washer and dryer this option wouldn’t work because you would block of an entire window and that would NOT be an improvement–let there be light!!. Anyway, if it might be an option, the extra space can be used for a cabinet with doors to store linens/towels, surplus hygiene items. Plus, you would have space on top of the cabinet for baskets that could hold items as well. Something tells me you probably already thought of this because you amaze me with your creativity and resourcefulness. Way to go! ~Sharon

    • Robin Sue
      Posted September 25, 2014 at 7:31 AM | Permalink

      Stacking is a great idea to add some space. Yes it would cover the window though. There are only about 6 inches of space on each side of the washer and dryer and we are thinking of maybe a shelf in there and we are still figuring out how to hang clothes, like sweaters and jeans, stuff that does not go in the dryer. Maybe a drying rack like back in my college days!

  4. Posted September 25, 2014 at 5:18 AM | Permalink

    This is so pretty,, what great places to cuddle up and read with a cup of coffee….and I love red……

  5. Posted September 25, 2014 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    I have no decorating sense at all Robin – love the idea of the curtain rod though – never would have thought of that!

    I know if you put “small space organization” on Pinterest, there are TONS of ideas.


    • Robin Sue
      Posted September 25, 2014 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

      I love pinterest and have been enjoying the tiny home ideas on there. Just wonder if some of them really work once life gets in the way, no one tells us that;)

  6. Posted October 6, 2014 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

    Love this! It looks great, and you did a good job at keeping a lot of natural light in the room 🙂

    • Robin Sue
      Posted October 8, 2014 at 9:54 AM | Permalink

      Thanks Jenny!

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