Spring Clean | Laundry room inspiration from Brabantia

Brabantia hanging laundry bag

It really is almost Spring now isn't it?  The weather has been so unseasonably mild this year that the bulbs have been poking their heads up here for a few weeks now, and there is even blossom on the trees. One of the projects on my to-do list this Spring is tackling our utility room - of all the rooms in our house it is definitely the most neglected.

Utility rooms need to be designed to accommodate a wide range of objects and activities. Ours houses the washing machine and tumble drier plus an assortment of mismatched laundry bins and baskets, the ironing board, Albert whippet's bed (despite his persistent attempts to be allowed to sleep in the bedroom with us) and Mr P's bike and various other items of cycling apparel and accessories.

So it doesn't currently bear any resemblance to the beautifully clean, calm and orderly laundry room spaces from the latest Brabantia collection in today's post.

Brabantia foldable laundry basket

Picking out some colour coordinated storage sounds like a good place to start. I particularly like this grey foldable laundry basket,  a versatile piece which you could also easily use for storing magazines or toys, or for transporting things up and down the stairs when tidying up. It has a clean, minimal Scandi look, can be used for either wet or dry laundry and folds flat, so that it takes up hardly any space when you're not using it.

Brabantia hanging drying rack

Also on my shopping list is a drying rack. There are lots of things that I don't like to put in the tumble drier and finding somewhere to dry knitwear is always a problem as it has to be laid flat, so I'm thinking of a neat hanging drying rack that will fit over the door like this one.

Brabantia flip bin

Our laundry room is currently a fairly lifeless space, so I'd like to introduce some plants. I don't have a great track record with houseplants so I'm not sure how successful this will be in a room that experiences quite a lot of variation in temperature and conditions. If you have any suggestions for easy-to-care-for plants that would do well in a warm, humid environment I'd love to hear them.

Brabantia ironing board

I can't wait to invest in a new ironing board as the rickety old contraption we've owned for years is long overdue for an upgrade. Yes, I know it's hard to get excited about something as functional as an ironing board, but everyday tasks do become just that little bit easier when you invest in good quality, stylish practical design. Ironing isn't nearly so much of a chore since I splashed out on a decent steam generator iron a few months ago and, whilst I'm clearly never going to love ironing, I am persuaded that a new ironing board might be a further step towards learning not to loathe it quite so much.

Brabantia laundry bin

Posted in collaboration with Brabantia.

Shop the Story

Modernism Reimagined

Modernism Reimagined by Menu

I love the dark, moody, cinematic quality of these images of the latest collection from Menu. My grandparents had wood panelling fitted in their home back in the 70s. Could we be due for a revival?

Modernism Reimagined by Menu
Modernism Reimagined by Menu
Modernism Reimagined by Menu
Modernism Reimagined by Menu
Modernism Reimagined by Menu
On the Edge lamp by Menu | Modernism Reimagined

Images: Menu

The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator - the heart of the home

Samsung Home Appliances | CES 2016

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, but with the unveiling of their latest kitchen appliance, launched at CES in Las Vegas earlier this month, Samsung are seeking to position the refrigerator as the hub of the home. The new Samsung Family Hub is a fridge that is much more than just a fridge. It's basically a food management system, a family communication tool and an entertainment hub too.

If you've heard talk of futuristic refrigerators that will connect to your smartphone, be able to check the contents of your fridge and re-order supplies for you, and thought that they were either a) still some way off, or b) probably not something you'd ever consider, then the Samsung Family hub may just make you think again.

Why might you buy one? Well if you've ever stood in the milk aisle at the supermarket wondering if you still have any milk left in the fridge at home, you'll begin to understand the appeal. Two internal cameras capture an image of the contents of the fridge every time the door closes. These images can then be accessed via your smartphone so that you can check what you already have in the fridge and avoid buying duplicate items.

Samsung family hub refrigerator

A sophisticated multi-tasking home appliance with a compelling range of features, the Samsung Family Hub is designed to help you manage what's in your fridge and shop for supplies as and when you need them, while at the same time connecting you to other members of your family, allowing you to share pictures and messages with them and helping you organise tasks and appointments. Oh, and you can listen to music or watch TV on it too. It will even mirror your Samsung Smart TV, if you have one, so you can continue watching your favourite programme while cooking dinner.

Most of us probably know Samsung best for their TVs and mobile phones, but they are also one of the fastest growing brands in the home appliances sector. This latest release is part of Samsung's ongoing commitment to developing a range of smart IoT (Internet of Things) enabled home appliances. Central to the Samsung vision is the idea that these products should be easy to use and and in sync with people's lives, rather than merely seeking to show off the latest technology.

So the refrigerator is no longer simply an appliance used for food storage. Instead it becomes a device that is at the heart of the home and used for family communication and entertainment too. All of this is delivered via a large 21.5 inch touchscreen located on the upper right door of the Samsung Family Hub. Rather that covering your fridge with post-it notes, or scribbling messages on a kitchen calendar or blackboard, you can now use the Sticki app, which can be updated via your smartphone, to check the family's schedule and see what everyone is up to. It's not difficult to see how useful this might be, particularly in large, busy households where people are often coming and going at different times during the day. You can use the touchscreen to draw pictures, write personal messages for your loved ones or share pictures too.

As well as allowing you to check the contents of your fridge remotely from your smartphone, the Family Hub refrigerator also features an online shopping app that will allow you to easily top up on the items you need. There's no word as yet on which UK food retailers Samsung will be partnering with, but watch this space.

The Family Hub refrigerator is expected to be available from Spring 2016. As a design that sets the standard for this new type of appliance, it will sit towards the upper end of price bracket, and given its size may not suit those with smaller kitchens, but its easy to see how the features it incorporates might soon become widely adopted on other models.

Finally, a word on another home appliance presented by Samsung at CES. The AddWash washing machine features an extra door that allows you to pause a wash mid-cycle and pop in any forgotten items, or add extra detergent or fabric softener. I am forever discovering stray socks at the bottom of the laundry basket, so this strikes me as a good example of how thoughtful design can be used to solve annoying little every day niggles, and help make our busy lives run just that little bit more smoothly.

Samsung AddWash washing machine

*      *      *

Design Hunter is a brand ambassador for Samsung Home Appliances and this post is published in collaboration with Samsung.