For the past week, I’ve been looking for excuses to do laundry.
“I should probably wash all of our blankets before the summer…”
“Ooo! Here’s some stuff I wore for five minutes. I’ll just take this to the laundry room…”
Our laundry room. What a journey it’s been!
For the five years we’ve lived here, the room has smelled like rodent urine and has been the place where we’ve stashed all our tools and junk. If you had the unlucky task of going in there, then you got in and out quick…before something bit you!
In the beginning, we didn’t even use our laundry room because we didn’t own a washer and dryer. Here I am back in April 2011, proudly doing a load of laundry in my own darn house after 8 months of trucking dirty clothes to a friend’s house. (P.S. A great big THANK-YOU to Matt and Bethany for those 8 months!)
Last December we decided that 2015 would be the Year of the Big, Fat Laundry Room Makeover, so we called in our handyman. Jeff worked a miracle replacing walls, rerouting the lighting, tweaking plumbing and rebuilding the floor. Five months later the room is done, and now I can’t find enough excuses to tiptoe in there and sigh with pleasure.
READY TO SEE THE AFTER??
Here’s the room before:
And here is the room all made over!
Ripping out the bulky, misplaced cabinets and painting everything white opened up the space and made it much more cheery.
Here’s a deeper look into the details of my happy place…
Remember those ugly utility closet doors I called “The Three Stooges”? We decided not to replace them for simplicity’s sake, and it turned out that a coat of paint and some vintage aprons were all they needed.
The closet on the very end was a filthy waste of a space where mice went to die. It also contained an inoperable water-softening system which gobbled up precious storage space. My heart’s been a-yearnin’ for a pantry to store all my canning and catering equipment so Jeff built walls, installed a light and TADAA!
Three things I love about my “Canning Closet”:
- The color! I ran out of white paint so I rummaged through my stash and chose a deep turquoise for the walls. So cheery!
- The over-the-door shoe rack! Before the laundry room makeover, I had to hunt through a plastic shoe box for a screwdriver or hammer. Now all our tools are visible and easily accessible.
- The extra space! No more canning lids spilling all over the place or jars taking up cabinets. Thanks to a small, sturdy set of white plastic shelves (thanks Leatha and Betty!) I can store all my canning and catering supplies as well as our extra chairs and table leaves in one spot.
A couple years ago, a friend of mine made these sweet little paintings of Brody and Baby Girl. I’ve tried hanging them everywhere in the house, but they just didn’t fit anywhere until now.
Those painted kitty grins make me smile every time I pass by them. 🙂
This rug also makes me smile. I found it at TJ Maxx for $15 and it blends all the colors of the room to a “T”…J. 😉
The flooring itself has been painted with an oil-based porch paint. This was the cheapest and most sensible option since half the floors are concrete and half are wood. Can you imagine the grout-cracking nightmare as a result of tiling over this combo??
Since our laundry room makeover cost around $3000, I wanted to spend as little as possible on the accessories while still achieving the look I wanted. Here’s the low-down on this low-cost corner:
- Shelving: Former porch planks from our porch makeover; lightly white-washed, $0. Brackets, Lowe’s $20 for 4.
- Detergent containers: Canning jars painted with a couple layers of chalkboard paint, $0. 1/2 gallon glass canister, Wal-Mart $6.
- Basket and silver plate, Goodwill $5 total. Cigar box, $0.
- Watering cans, $0.
- Glass bottles and silver pots, $0.
- Broken-pitcher-turned-planter, $0.
- Frame, $5. Linen monogrammed towel (gifted from sis-in-law, Emily), $0.
- “warsh” board $0.
What light through yonder window breaks?
Tis the light through yonder vintage apron valance.
Every couple years, I thin our crape myrtles branches and keep them back for all sorts of projects. If you’re tossing yours, I beseech you–KEEP THEM!! This particular branch had the perfect bowed shape for a makeshift curtain rod which I suspended from hooks in the ceiling. The aprons were merely stitched along the top and draped over the branch. (Thank you, Cindy, for these lovely aprons and the effortless curtain idea!)
DRYING & FOLDING AREA
I prefer to hang-dry the majority of my clothes, but there was never any space for a hanging bar with our former bulky cabinet set-up. Never have I been so psyched to own a $10 metal closet bar! Nor have I ever been so psyched about a table to fold my laundry on. 🙂
A couple weeks ago, I spotted the most adorable wooden ironing board at a consignment sale and decided the board would make a neat-o wall motif. However, the piece was $40 and I didn’t want to destroy it anyway. Back to our stash of porch boards! Mr. Smith cut a plank to look like an ironing board which I then white-washed and adorned with lettering and bra-hanging hooks. 🙂
It’s been a long time coming but I knew this day would arrive eventually. Back in May of 2012, I had a friend (thanks Mandi!) take these “before” photos in hopes that the “after” pic would soon follow:
That “after” pic only took 3 years…
…but it was well worth the wait!
Not only do we have a beautiful space to liven up our mundane chores, we also have a museum of sorts by which to remember all of the generous contributions of our friends.
Are YOU living in a fixer-upper? Don’t be afraid to invite your friends into your journey. There’s some good memories to be made during the process and louder cheers once the renovations are complete. 🙂
Here’s to “loads” more good memories! 😉