Sunday, January 22, 2012

Painting the Servant's Quarter - Part I

I've started stripping and cleaning the hardware for my shutters, but I'll spare you the unsightly details and show you what I've been up to while they were soaking.

(If you're really interested, you can see past efforts here.)

My laundry room is located at the back of the house on the upper level. It used to be part of the servants quarters... come to think of it, it still is. It also serves as doggie wash & groom room and it's where we keep most of the cleaning products. Renovated by the previous owner many years ago, it is due for a freshening up.

This area would have been the sleeping quarters of the maid(s). Before running water, the laundry would have most probably been done in a part of the kitchen, close to the water pump.

The image on the left is an ad from the 1911 magazine Brian found before Christmas. More old washing machines can be seen here.

This is my laundry room.

It's a bright room and very pleasant to be in. It certainly beats going down to the dungeon to do my laundry. The armoire and chest, once Astrid's baby furniture, are now ideal for storage.

I'm not big on knotty pine, but the cupboards have good storage capacity. The laundry tubs are very convenient, especially when washing the dogs, but they're very old and one of the tubs cracked from Chaz's weight (and he's not a big dog). It's only a matter of time before the other one goes. Luckily, laundry tubs are on sale at my local hardware store.

The closet is used for storing tools, summer screens, winter windows, vacuum and steamer. Anything to avoid going down into my horrible basement.

The closet revealed old wall paper - decor taste of a distant past.

The suspended lights are very handsome - unexpected choice for a laundry room, but I'm not complaining. Also showing is the wallpaper border - decor taste from a not so distant past.

The trims are badly dinged up.

Original mouldings without a doubt.

The wall paper boarder is in the process of being stripped.

Here, I proceeded with caution, but nothing serious. One never knows with an old house.

Here is where Brian has to step in. I can't reach the area above the cupboards.
I'm thinking of painting them, but will wait until the walls have their new colour to make that decision.

Patched up holes, dents, cracks etc...

Another ad found in the century old magazine was for this cleaning product - a brand still sold today and found in my cupboard. Except for minor changes, they kept the same character logo. In the original ad, the little lady looks like she's very determined to clobber someone with that wooden laundry stick. I kind of sympathise for some reason. In the contemporary one, the determination is still there, but the stick was replaced by a toilet brush or a magic wand and a rainbow was added. That little lady's determination to tackle the job at hand is perhaps the key to her longevity.


Richard Cottrell said...

What a project. been there and done all that. I am sure it will be divine when done. Richard from My Old Historic house.

Ashley said...

I love your laundry room! I also have a soft spot for old advertisements.

We have very similar doors, hardware, and baseboards. I suspect that our bathroom/laundry room was either the servant's quarters (although I doubt very much that my house ever had a servant) or the pantry.

JC said...

Those light fixtures are beautiful! They likely date to around 1910-ish. I also kind of like the knotty pine cabinets. They could use a bit of trim, though, like a panel on the end, and some crown moulding. It looks like these were recycled from a previous kitchen. If you do decide to paint them, be sure to use something like Zinsser shellac-based primer to block the knots from bleeding through.

The Dusty Victorian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Dusty Victorian said...

Hello Richard,
I'm not sure if my laundry room will end up being divine, but I'm certain that yours is. Thank you for the vote of confidence.

The Dusty Victorian said...

Hello Ashley,
Wouldn't it be nice to have the original plans of our houses. It would answer so many questions.
Thanks for dropping in.

The Dusty Victorian said...

Hello JC,
I wasn't sure of the vintage of these lights, I'll trust your judgement. Thank you for your advise on those pine cupboards. I'm sure you could make them look divine.

Francesca said...

What a lovely place, I'll swap it anyday with the tiny apt we are renting here in Rome temporarily! I am following you from Italy!

Mark D. Ruffner said...

Hello, Anyes - I sure wish I had as big a laundry room! mine is the size of a half bath. And those lamps would be very handsome in any room.

My father used to reminisce about the "laundry day" of his childhood. Laundry was done once a month by a laundress who came to the house and worked all day at a huge vat of boiling water! It was certainly a different time!

The Dusty Victorian said...

Hello Francesca and welcome to the DV.
Thank you, but I would kill for a little place in Rome - lucky lady! Looking forward to learning more about you and your blog.

The Dusty Victorian said...

Hello Mark,
When we were living in our Vancouver condo, the washing machine and dryer were stacked in a hallway closet. I certainly appreciate what I have now.

Oh gosh, I read about how dreadful laundering was in the olden days. We have it so good, but were still complaining. No wonder the Old Dutch lady has a toughness to her, one had to be tough in those days.

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Anyes-

I just love your sunny laundry room! Mine is in our "dungeon" lol! I love how you tied those great old ads into your laundry story! I didn't know Old Dutch was still around. It'll be fun seeing your laundry room when it's done.


The Dusty Victorian said...

Hi Pam,
If my laundry area was in our basement, Brian would be doing the laundry. Great! But then again, all our clothes would be ruined.
Glad you enjoyed it.