October 18, 2010

Kitchen Laundry Solution

A while back on my personal blog, I shared a connundrum I was having over kitchen laundry.  We recently started giving up paper-towels. I was never a huge paper-towel user in the first place, but I was a disposable wipe person and I was getting more and more ashamed at the amount of wipes I was tossing out with the trash and I figured there had to be a better way.  Turns out, there is.  Having a stash of dish towels in one of our kitchen drawers has revolutionized our kitchen cleaning.  Especially with a toddler in the house, spills are planned into our day and now I can rest easy knowing that I am using a much more planet-friendly system of wiping up spills with cloths intead of wipes or paper towels.

That said, we go through a lot of dish cloths in a day.  For a while, I was tossing them in a heap next to the door to our basement (you can see them in the pictures below).  But that was neither sanitary nor aesthetically pleasing so I was searching for a better solution that wouldn't entail opening up the door to the basement and chucking them down the stairs towards the laundry.

(Bonus – that super awesome mat infront of our sink is actually three 'Finer Things' FLOR tiles!)

As you can see from these series of pictures, we didn't really have a whole lot of space to work with to put either a hamper or a series of hooks in…

This nook near the basement door seemed to be the best place for our solution…the next step was figuring out what solution to go with.

I wanted to be able to just toss the cloths away without having to open anything.  I also wanted the ability to hang really wet things up to dry before having them sit in whatever bin we ended up with so that things wouldn't get smelly.  Lastly, I wanted it to look nice. Call me vain, but the kitchen in our home is really my sanctuary (please no comments on how my sanctuary seems to be depressingly cluttered and messy) so I wanted to be able to keep it as pleasing to my eye as possible.

My first idea was to use a beadboard drying rack like this one from Ballard Designs.  But I didn't like how the cloths would potentially drip all over my floor in this manner, nor did I particularly like the idea of all of my cloths just hanging on the wall out in the open…I mean, they're for cleaning up spills…who wants dirty dish cloths displayed like art on their kitchen wall?

Next, I thought that maybe this slide out hamper from Home Decorators Collection would be a good addition to the rack above.  This way once the cloths were dry, I could put them in the hamper.  But I wasn't sold on how the drying rack was so much wider than the hamper and how top heavy that would look.  Besides, the two together were starting to become a rather expensive kitchen laundry option.

Lastly, my number one option was to 'hack' this Sandnes shoe cabinet from Ikea.  The cabinet itself is sold in a side-by-side set of two drawers, but I thought I could cut the whole thing in half and somehow patch up the cut side so it wouldn't look so hacked…yeah…uh…I'm not crafty…

Well, it turns out I didn't need to think so hard about this.  On a chance trip to the Container Store, I came across this Bamboo Umbrella Stand.  It has a small profile, it has a metal plate at the bottom to keep it from being tippy, it is easy to lay a towel across the side of it to dry, it is tall so it holds a fair amount of towels and the airy design helps the towels keep from getting musty.

Bonus: it didn't even displace the kitty food station!

It just goes to show you that there truly is a place for everything.  I am glad I didn't make any attempts at an Ikea Hack (although I still want to do one at some point in my life….it just seems like fun) but I think my Container-Store-Umbrella-Stand hack is just as noteworthy.

Have you ever repurposed something to address a need in your home?

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8 Responses to “Kitchen Laundry Solution”

  1. Songbird Says:
    October 18th, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    That is a very cool solution! I'm afraid I leave mine in a heap on the top basement step…

  2. Two Chicks Nest Says:
    October 18th, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    What a functional solution and it looks nice too! Good job!

  3. Kristy Says:
    October 18th, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Good find!

  4. Negative Nancy Says:
    October 18th, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    You just solved _my_ kitchen towel problem.  Even better, I was already headed to the Container Store area of town this weekend!!!!

  5. Jen Says:
    October 19th, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Love it!  I have a small bamboo basket, identical, from the container store and I use it in our guest bathroom for the hand towels.  Our hand towels are hand crocheted by an old friend in Nova Scotia.  This solution is attractive and practical!

  6. LB Says:
    October 20th, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Funcitonal and looks great! 

  7. Carrie Says:
    October 21st, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Great idea!  And nice of kitty to pose for the picture:)  On a side note, I am a big paper towel user and have recently started feeding them (along with other kitchen scraps) to the worms in our composter. 

  8. Catherine Says:
    October 29th, 2010 at 11:52 am

    I love the repurposed umbrella stand