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One of my friends uses the absolute worst idiom for “I understand”. Instead of using a relatively normal phrase, he likes to say, “I can smell what you’re stepping in.”
Ew. Just ew.
Anyway, I thought today would be a little fun to show you what the design plan is for the laundry room so you can, in a sense, understand where this whole effort is going. Hop on my train of thought. Pick up what I’m laying down. Whatever. You’ve already seen me install the floor tile, but we still have a long way to go before this room can be called finished. So, let’s start with what’s already been done:
- Ditra membrane installed
- New tile
- Painted window trim white (though that was actually done when I did the first makeover after moving in, and thanks to this image that was shared with me from a reader on the last post, I may even go in a different direction yet)
And what still needs to be done, along with what it all looks like:
1. As you’ve probably figured out from the picture, I’ve decided to go with a front-loading washer and dryer set. I debated the pros and cons of each (thanks in large part to all of your comments on this post, so thank you for your suggestions!), and ultimately, the idea that swayed me the most is that I know myself too well to rely on changing my habits. I want a counter in the room for folding. That needs to happen – because if I take unfolded laundry up to my bedroom, I get distracted and then things never get folded. And then they never get put away. And then Charlie tries to make a bed out of my clean laundry and I have to wash it all over again. It’s better to design around my typical behavior than create some “ideal world” design plan where I have to change to keep up with my house. We all know that’s not going to happen, so why fight it?
2. The existing shelving is functional, but really ugly. I’ve decided to rip it out and start from scratch with something a little prettier. Ripping off the existing cleats also means repairing the drywall, but I needed to do that in other areas anyway thanks to an aggressive puppy who chose the awkward corner in the walls as a new chew toy (she’s since grown up and hasn’t chewed anything like this ever again, so it’s just that one section to repair and a popped nail on the other wall).
3. As for paint, I’m going with Benjamin Moore’s Dove Wing, the same as the rest of the downstairs main areas (like the hallway and living room). It will cover over the peachy pink paint that I, for some unknown reason, really liked when I moved in (Lindsey, I blame your Pepto Bismol walls). The only difference here will be the sheen, and I’m choosing to go with a kitchen and bath paint from Valspar that has mildewcide in it – mainly because as you can tell from my old laundry room post (from when I moved in), it looks like that there was once some water damage that happened in this room, and I’d rather just play it a little safer (the paint is also zero-VOC). While the damage was repaired long before I moved in, the patch job it isn’t really up to my standards, and there are lots of lumps and bumps in the drywall that bug me. But if I have to choose between tearing things down to the studs and replacing the drywall (extending a quick laundry room project by weeks or even months), or just working with what I’ve got, I’m choosing to just make it look as best as possible and repairing where needed with a skim coat in areas that bug me the most and painting it over. If this were a different room, or if I were to plan on being in this house for decades, I might choose differently.
4. Grout and sealant on the new tiled floor will make room for the washer and dryer installation.
Once the walls are painted and the washer and dryer go in, I’ll probably stop here until the kitchen is finished and do the rest of the project in a second phase.
5. I need a folding counter, and I was so in love with the one I made for Heidi and Jon during filming with SheKnows that I think I’m going to recreate it for my own laundry room. It’s simply stained pine boards cleated and Kreg’d together to create a solid, floating surface. And a walnut stain will add some rich warm tones to the rest of the sterile-looking gray in the room.
6. I may add a hanging cabinet or two in the nookish corner to use more of the available vertical space in the room. I tried installing a hanging rod when I moved in, but I’ve since learned that I don’t really use it, so I’m re-thinking that spot. I’m almost 100% a dryer gal. And the design of the room is so awkward, there’s a lip underneath the window that is perfect for a shelf. But depending on how high the counter needs to be over the new washer and dryer, putting a wide shelf back in that spot might prove too cramped. I may wind up with something narrower for pictures or decorative items, along with shelving on either side of the window, making the best out of a bad design situation.
7. In addition to decorative shelving, the room could probably use a little color and art. Since most of the stuff that will be more permanent will be neutral, art that is bright and cheerful (and funny, like this print from ClicheZero; or simple, like this one from MiraDosen) will counterbalance my seething rage at the task at hand (since I HATE doing laundry).
8. I haven’t really picked out backsplash tile yet, but simple white subway tile will suit just fine (and the dark gray grout can be the same as the floor, probably decreasing my chances of needing more supplies, which is always nice.
9. Finally, crown and a new light fixture will dress up the ceiling. I’ve already purchased the light fixture from West Elm some time ago, but have yet to install it. I can probably knock that one out next weekend if I really wanted to.
I may add baskets, a rug, and other decorative items down the road, but hey – only so much was going to fit on that mood board. Ha.
Sounds and looks like some great ideas. I started to think with all the comments for top load that you would go with that. I am glad you are doing front load–as you said–you need a folding table. And we did the same in our first single family home (as mentioned before I’m sure) and used pine board and stained it, set on 2×4’s on wall above the W/D. Worked wonderfully. Keep in mind, laundry time can be a very quiet respite from chaos. I have nothing to do but think and fold. So take advantage of that! (I don’t hate laundry though.) Sometimes I don’t even think–just brain dead….it can be relaxing and easier on your body than alot of other home duties! A rug down the road would be great to–add more color that way. Lookin’ great!
I love laundry room makeovers! I especially love the art you picked out. I’m feeling ya ; ]
If you are going to be standing in the laundry room folding then I agree with Kristin about a rug (especially if you tiled over a concrete slab) – your feet & knees with appreciate a little softness. You might even want one of the gel runners they sell for kitchens.
Even if you don’t use the hanging rod for drip dry items it is handy for hanging shirts, slacks & dresses right out of the dryer. I carry hangers to the laundry area with the dirty laundry and carry clean clothes on hangers back to the closet. The folded clothes go in the laundry basket for the return trip. Since my laundry is in the garage we attached an inexpensive towel bar to the bottom of a high shelf.
If you need storage for bulk purchases or seldom used items you could put a shelf up high in the general area of the hanging rod I see in the picture and attach a short towel bar underneath that would be convenient for emptying the dryer. Hopefully you could make that work with some sort of closed storage on the wall we can’t see in the picture.
I think your idea of returning to the kitchen work after paint, tile & new appliances makes sense – it will still be a much more attractive place to do laundry which hopefully will make it tolerable. And you can fine tune the storage and decorative items as you see how you work with the new space!
It is going to be wonderful – can’t wait to see it all come together!
When it comes to art in the laundry room, you may want to check out this free printable from Chelsea @ Two-Twenty One:
I personally have it hanging in my bathroom, but I can see it working in the laundry room as well.
I also think this print from Etsy is pretty cute:
My son has white tile w/ dark gray grout in his kitchen. Based on seeing this (and how unhappy his wife is with it) I think you will be happier in the long run using white grout to match the tile.
I thought for sure that you deleted an “s”. Because I say that all the time….. :)
Just taking a break before the pie to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! This will all be here tomorrow. Enjoy your day!
This looks great!! Good choice on the front loaders too- I love ours. And I second (or third?) the rug suggestion- your feet will thank you!! Get something fun and colorful to go with the art (I love those, btw)
AH to have a laundry room! We have to lug our stuff from the basement, meaning a load tends to hang a little long in the dryer before we get to it. Not so great for wrinkles!
Love the graphic prints. Let’s do some frickin’ laundry!
Looks the room is going to come out great and can’t wait to see it done.
Sigh… what a pretty laundry room indeed. Not sure I would get excited about doing the laundry, but this would make it easier :-)