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Blog Cabin

Dec 13

Examining the Built-In Ironing Board

A few weeks ago, a group of Blog Cabin folks were chatting about some of the home’s details when the recessed ironing board in the kitchen sparked an interesting conversation. It’s a beautiful wooden board or folding table that lifts right into the wall next to the stove. A few of us couldn’t imagine having our laundry area and cooking space in such close quarters, while others have fond memories of their grandparents folding laundry on the kitchen countertops. Since many recessed ironing boards were built into American homes in the 1920s, it only makes sense that our Blog Cabin 2014 has one, too.

Blog Cabin 2014 Ironing Board

Blog Cabin 2014 Kitchen

What’s your take on this built-in beauty? Do you have one now, or have you had one in the past? Do you admire its space-saving ability but would rather stash it elsewhere? Let’s talk about it.

  • Posted at 4:08 pm on December 12, 2013
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274 Comments

  1. Ironing???? Who Irons? Iron is something I take for anemia. I hope with all the fancy shmancy washing, steaming, laundry appliances that this archaic chore has vanished along with clothes lines.

    Ashtabulannie on December 13, 2013 at 4:17 pm
    • LOL, Holiemom! I sure can't argue with that! Ironing was never one of my favorite chores either. It is nice to have a handy place to do quick touch ups though. So I do love the little built in ironing board my DH dreamed up. I certainly don't slave over it for hours these days though!

      SID on December 13, 2013 at 4:59 pm
    • I hear ya SID, Instead of an Ironing board install a rod in the laundry room. Take the cloths out while still a bit damp and hang them up on hangers to complete drying. Never Iron again. Ironing what a pain in the …… Back then they only had cotton fabrics, thank gawd for polyester!

      Ashtabulannie on December 13, 2013 at 5:09 pm
    • we do not need an ironing board with all our advanced materials, but what can we put there….hum…………….

      twoTERRIERs on December 13, 2013 at 6:59 pm
    • and better than that who the he.. wants to iron):)

      twoTERRIERs on December 13, 2013 at 7:00 pm
    • and now we need to get on to the discussion about pink and blue christmas trees:):)

      twoTERRIERs on December 13, 2013 at 7:05 pm
    • Someone having a baby? Sent from my iPhone

      Ashtabulannie on December 14, 2013 at 5:50 pm
    • Clothes lines have not vanished! In fact I will never live in a place that doesn't allow them. The UV rays of the sun on the clothes do things a dryer and even steam cannot. I'll go with banishing the iron, though! I don't iron except on rare occasions and there is no other alternative.

      grammagail on December 14, 2013 at 10:35 am
    • Yes, keep the Iron right in the kitchen please!!! I still Iron school clothes, work clothes ,Table clothes, pillow cases, exct….. I do not believe taking clothes to the dry cleaners because of the chemicals. many people have gone back to Good ole Ironing , it is very relaxing :)

      Susan on December 16, 2013 at 1:49 am
    • I love to iron my holiday table cloths and a few favorite shirts! Brings back fond memories of my mum, also there is nothing more wonderful than bringing in clothes from the line, they smell wonderful! I have one at the cottage for all the towels that get used every day!!!

      Katie on December 16, 2013 at 9:55 am
    • Hate ironing and I sure don't want a big clunky old ironing board in my kitchen…yuck! Banish it forever I say. I know DIY will make this house fantastic in the end, but so far I am just not feeling the love for this cabin that I felt for the 2011 and 2013 cabins. Am I alone in this?

      Windsmurf on December 16, 2013 at 10:38 am
    • I hear ya Windsmurf. Problem is we don't have a strong attachment as to WHERE exactly this house will be placed. Real estate is about Location location location. No context in which to place this old piece of sticks and bricks. We don't have the big picture. So focusing on such minutiae as this…. interesting…. but only for a short time. Better to have put this in context with several additional architectural features of this house . ie And this particular item limits the discussion between mostly women.Kinda lame. And I am not learning about builds in old Florida. Like more substance. Not fluff.We are a smart bunch of people here. We would like to learn more about things which will actually help us make our homes better and incorporate innovative products. Unless they got a big Ironing board sponsor for this build??? I dont hate ironing it's just not a significant part of my life. I do dishes but I dont need a week long discussion on drain boards.

      Ashtabulannie on December 16, 2013 at 11:39 am
    • HM, I think this is a minor distraction for us until the building is moved. We're all wanting to see a video on the house move and the new location. They need to shake a leg!
      WCG

      Wind Chime Girl on December 16, 2013 at 8:08 pm
    • WCG, Yep totally a way to keep us occupied and distracted and keep traffic coming to the blog site. $$$$$

      Ashtabulannie on December 16, 2013 at 8:41 pm
    • Yes, I just saw your later comment on this thread being a diversionary tactic. Bingo.

      Wind Chime Girl on December 16, 2013 at 9:02 pm
    • Totally agree. I'm not sure there is such a thing as a big ironing board sponsor, so that's probably not what prompted the discussion. Just picking out little points of potential interest until they get to the real meat.

      Windsmurf on December 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm
    • One of the things I loved about BC 2013 was how they incorporated local antiques into the design, keeping many of the home's original pieces. Although BC 2014 didn't come with a treasure trove of items, it might be fun to learn about the history of the area and visit some of the local antique shops to get our creative juices flowing. I'm sure the "crashers" will be doing this for their respective episodes, but some early peeks would be appreciated. ;-)

      TwoCorgis on December 17, 2013 at 4:26 pm
    • I agree, Windsmurf. Right now, it is hard for some of us to see the potential in this home and there are a lot of questions about what will stay and what will go – including the brick foundation. It's hard to feel the love. That said, I kind of like these little tidbits. A built-in like the ironing board makes me wonder what other treasures might be found here. I don't think it makes sense to keep it as an ironing board, but re-purposing it into another functional piece, or even as an art piece, could be fun. I'm hoping that we see the move next but, if not, I would love to see another built-in feature or fixture that might lend some charm to this place.

      TwoCorgis on December 17, 2013 at 4:20 pm
    • NEVER!! :)
      I would love the ironing board AND a clothesline outside the kitchen window, too; just like my grandmother had. Besides, it would be a waste of those Gulf Coast winds as they make there way to the Atlantic if you didn't put one up. :)

      BFP7280 on December 29, 2013 at 8:09 pm
    • We wear cotton almost exclusively, so naturally I iron. I also use all cotton sheets and iron them with lavender linen water. Nothing on earth compares with climbing into a bed with freshly ironed linens. Ironing is my favorite household chore. It is essentially mindless, so I set up the board and stool in front of the TV, turn on Netflix and chill.

      Michele on January 9, 2014 at 3:48 pm
  2. Keep it. Cool history of the house. Relocate it from the kitchen to the laundry room. There is a laundry room I hope-not in the kitchen!

    jackinmotion on December 13, 2013 at 4:38 pm
    • Most of these I saw in FL homes were used as serving side boards and for cooling pies as they came out of the oven. Most had an ironing board on the back porch where the ringer washer was and where plenty of windows were, and back yard clothes lines were close.

      MrMoogy on January 5, 2014 at 4:20 pm
    • I think you have a great idea. I would probably make the space into a food storage and I would relocate the original ironing board into a laundry room and have it opening down over a clothing folding table.Sometimes we all use the iron for ironing hemming tape, letters or designs on t-shirts, or other craft things. I also have this invisioned with a lot of space and cabinet storage for supplies, towels,etc. It would also be nice to have a mudroom entrance in this same area.Just a thought.

      barbarahd1 on January 7, 2014 at 4:30 pm
    • Keeping the ironing board and relocating it to the laundry room is a fabulous idea

      Catsmom on January 8, 2014 at 8:28 pm
  3. Kayla, I do love that built in ironing board, but have to agree with others that its kitchen location just isn't practical for a modern kitchen. I fondly remember these from my grandparents homes (the milk cabinet too), in fact hubby recently custom built an ironing board cabinet into a laundry room wall after we moved into our new house. His version is more compact but very convenient for a quick touch up press. For those that are not handy with tools, similar compact ironing closets can be purchased online from Home Depot and Lowe's. In-wall installation of one of these should be a fairly easy DIY project.:D

    SID on December 13, 2013 at 4:53 pm
    • Sid, sorry i disagree it should be left in the kitchen,due to, most families are in the kitchen early mornings before heading out the door to work, school, church, exct……. that is still the gathering place, yes even in these modern days , families are still eating breakfast before hurrying out the door. :)

      Susan on December 16, 2013 at 2:05 am
  4. I said this in another post, but I will say it again. a old house we lived in in Los Angels, had one, in the kitchen, but the ironing board was removed and shelves were put in for a spice rack. Since it wasn't very deep it worked great. If and when I iron it is in the kitchen. But that's not that often. If it needs to be ironed I don't buy it LOL.. But my mom ironed everything even our socks.

    vicki_in_Utah on December 13, 2013 at 5:07 pm
  5. how I love reading these comments past and present, good and bad (all peoples opion) and memeries in their lives. I to remember ironing but with a board but how I still hated it. Bottle of wter and it seemed liked everything in house ironed but drink-soda- and got to watch soap opera. Seemed like like was simple but anyway love this place and will love everything. if I get busy- everyone Safe and Happy __Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth–

    bogartandbacall on December 13, 2013 at 5:33 pm
    • Hey, Girl, welcome back!
      Merry Christmas to you.
      WCG

      Wind Chime Girl on December 13, 2013 at 11:12 pm
  6. I definitely think it should be kept – and preferably in the kitchen. No, I wouldn't use it as an ironing board – who still irons? Unless I've washed curtains or have a sewing project and need to iron seams, the iron never makes an appearance in my house. However, I think this interesting feature of the home could make an interesting design piece. Can you see it as a shelf for holding cookbooks or something? Or maybe facing the other way to make a door barrier of some kind? I don't know – I'm not a designer and we wouldn't want to waste any space – but I think someone with some talent in this area could come up with a good plan.

    TwoCorgis on December 13, 2013 at 5:43 pm
    • Two Corjis, you said "who still irons?" well you just named three different reasons you would iron ,-curtains, sewing project, and seems. Eventually people will be saying who still uses cookbooks in these modern days, when they can use their tablets on a stand sitting on the counter top. I do agree , leave it in the Kitchen. :) :)

      Susan on December 16, 2013 at 2:26 am
    • Susan, that's two reasons – ironing the seams for a sewing project and ironing freshly washed curtains. That said, I don't currently have any curtains requiring ironing. That leaves the rare sewing project. For those, I put down a heat-resistant cover on my craft table and iron right on that. I haven't pulled out the ironing board since I moved 7 1/2 years ago. Why do I keep it? Probably for the same reason I still have cookbooks even though I tend to look up most recipes on my iPad – because you never know when you'll have to go old school. LOL!

      TwoCorgis on December 16, 2013 at 2:41 am
    • Unfortunately, I'm a frequent iron-er as much as I hate it. I don't have a washer/dryer in my loft, so that's my best option. Dinosaur status?! :P

      Kayla@HGTV on December 16, 2013 at 10:50 am
    • I agree it should be kept, but not as an ironing board…perhaps re-purpose as the fireplace mantle? or if there is not enough wood, a shelf like you suggested. I see the designers blowing that wall where the ironing board is to open up the kitchen to the dining room and living room.

      ruthjs on January 5, 2014 at 9:48 am
  7. My parents had one in our c1923 home. We'd enter the house through the "back room" and pass through the laundry area into a dining area, and there it was in a wall on the left. Good thing there was a "no running in the house" rule, for if it was down you could run right into it! Ours also had a little mini-board on a bracket that you could use for sleeves, etc.

    L_Everett on December 13, 2013 at 6:12 pm
  8. so funny…this is the way they used to do it….i love swedish built-ins, but not so sure about this one however it may make an ideal conversion…hum maybe a retracting spice cabinet…..or aluminum foil cabinet…wow…will think on this for a few day

    twoTERRIERs on December 13, 2013 at 6:57 pm
  9. I think it should stay with it's home. But, the kitchen is a little small for cooking and ironing =/ Time to knock out a wall :D

    DebbieBrush on December 13, 2013 at 7:22 pm
  10. I'm new on this blog so here it goes. The drop down ironing board is a thing of the past but it could be relocated to the laundry room. I guess I'm a dinosaur because I still occasionally iron. I like natural fabrics.

    Christine on December 13, 2013 at 8:08 pm
    • Looks like I'll have to also be counted among the dinosaurs! For me polyester is only good for bathing suits and gym wear. It is highly flammable, and its production and disposal is harmful to the environment. Natural fibers are so much more comfortable, and if promptly removed from the dryer or folded damp over a rod to dry they usually need at most a quick touch up with an iron.B)<3

      SID on December 14, 2013 at 1:03 pm
    • I'm thinking there are a lot of us dinosaurs here . . . But don't put me in the back room to do my ironing. If I'm ironing, I'm in the front room so everyone can enjoy my toil!

      Wind Chime Girl on December 14, 2013 at 8:56 pm
    • I, too, still iron, I find it to be relaxing and a good excuse to watch tv! I think you should keep the built in as part of the house, move it to the laundry room if you don't want it in the kitchen. That space would make a wonderful spice rack/pantry for small items.

      Candyland on December 27, 2013 at 4:45 pm
    • Everyone must be wearing wrinkled clothing or knits! All my warm-weather clothes are cotton or linen, and I iron them. My current home was built in 1948, and most of the homes at that time had the washer in the kitchen. A dryer was retro-fitted in mine at some later date. Since the washer is a trashcan width away from the stove, I can wash and fry chicken at the same time! (But I don't) There is a pulldown ironing board in the hall by the bedrooms, and it is so much handier than hauling out and setting up a board.

      PatNoWrinkles on January 1, 2014 at 12:30 pm

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Blog Cabin is the groundbreaking multimedia experience based on a very simple idea: You Design It, We Build It, You Could Win It! This truly interactive series asks Internet users to vote on the design features for a real vacation getaway. Expert hosts from DIY Network series will be on hand to rebuild the 1920s lakeside house that will become a luxurious home for a lucky sweepstakes winner. Plus, a one-hour Blog Cabin special, hosted by tool expert Chris Grundy, will highlight the incredible transformation.
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