Airing Cupboards & Linen Closets

Friday, November 06, 2020

Earlier this week Organized Home shared a detailed look at home organization ideas in the home of Matthew Axe and his partner Peyton Hays. I'd seen photos of this gorgeous apartment before (and even linked out to it from this blog), but the behind-the-scenes look at the organizing was new to me. 

One idea shared was to use slatted shelves instead of solid ones in a linen closet. I had never seen this shelf construction, but it makes so much sense. If you have ever lived in a humid climate or an older house, you know that clean linens can get musty if left on a shelf or inside a closet too long. Allowing air to circulate would likely alleviate some of this. 

A quick search on Pinterest found a few examples of other closets with slatted shelves, like this one from Charles Yorke above. My linen closet could easily be retrofitted with slatted shelves (and if I was handier, I could probably just slice the existing boards into slats). I am definitely adding this idea to my someday to-do list of home improvements.

My search also revealed that there is type of a closet an "airing cupboard," which is a heated cupboard where clothes and linens that have been washed and are almost dry are put so that they can become completely dry. For example, this luxe, modern airing cupboard by Humphrey Munson is outfitted with heating/dehumidifiers so that the linens dry in the cabinet—wow!

But in the past, an airing cabinet was taking advantage of existing heat. Here's what Wikipedia says:
An airing cupboard is a built-in storage space, sometimes of walk-in dimensions, containing a water heater, either an immersion heater for hot running water or a boiler for central heating water (hence, also "boiler cupboard"), or a hot water storage tank. Shelves, usually slatted to allow for circulation of heat, are positioned above or around the heater to provide room for clothing. The purpose is to allow air to circulate around the stored fabrics to prevent damp forming.

Some variants of airing cupboards also serve as the linen cupboard, the storing area of the household's clean sheets and towels.

In another version, the airing cupboard serves as a temporary drying space, either for laundry or for wet outdoor clothes and shoes. Its shelves can be used to fully remove traces of damp from dried clothing before the items are put away elsewhere in drawers and wardrobes. A moveable electrical version of this is a drying cabinet.
Tank-style hot water heaters (or boilers) give off heat, so this is a clever way to use it. Seems like an energy-saving solution to me!



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