The Laundry Room (isawesomenow)

You guys.   I’ve been restoring all of my past photos as I mentioned in my last post and I tackled our House Tour page the other day.  It was TOTALLY the giant kick in the pants that I needed to get a move on.  The photos on there are so outdated and I’m SO proud of how far we’ve come since I published many of those photos that I seriously can’t wait to update you guys on all the changes we’ve made in the past year.   Thus, I hereby dub this the beginning of our Catch-Up Period.    I took photos of our laundry room and toilet room the other day, so these will be the next spaces I’ll show you.

And today… laundry room.   Oh. Yes.

Our laundry room is not a space that I’ve discussed much on the blog.  Namely, because it was a basic white box located off of our breakfast nook.  Nothing of interest.  Nothing to see. One giant yawn.

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Am I right??  Of course I am.

It came to us with a white sink cabinet… aaaaaand that’s about it.  Otherwise, it was a blank slate.

Mudroom progress

We’re lucky in that this room is a decent size and boasts a pretty large closet (which we used as a pantry up until our kitchen reno) and a toilet room, which is convenient to the pool.    The door straight ahead in the pic above is an exterior door that leads to our covered back patio, but you’d never know by looking at it.   The previous owners replaced it, but with a solid door.   That looked like it led to a garage.

I knew from the second I saw it that the space was absolutely yearning for a door with a full length window.   Needy laundry room?  Yep.  You bet.   I mean, it just made sense to let in some natural light and enjoy the view of our patio, since WE COULD.  I mean, not everyone is fortunate enough to have a potential portal to a pretty view.   And, sadly, said portal was just going to waste, wallowing in a mortal sea of artificial light  (…like how I’m getting all profound with my verbiage today? (Isaidverbiage) — I feel like I should be wearing a beret with far too much eye makeup.). 😉

Aaaaanyways, the funny part is that when the time came to install the new door, both the measurer and the installer who came out on separate occasions, both seemed thoroughly confused when I showed them the door we were replacing.  They ALSO thought that it led to a garage and wondered why we wanted a window to that.  Ha!  But, alas, I’m getting ahead of myself.    Let’s step back.

For a while (like, 2.5 years), the laundry room looked like this…

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… Blah.  Mismatched.   With our only storage being an unfinished wood shelf that we stuck in the space…

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Because of its basic blankness, the room was severely lacking in function.   It was constantly collecting piles of stuff since there was nowhere to really store or hang anything.  Coats and bags were shoved onto the wood shelving unit or piled on the floor.  Detergent and other laundry paraphernalia sat on the dryer.   I couldn’t.even.stand.it.  Also, because this space accesses the closest bathroom to the pool and the kitchen from the back patio, it is a space that is frequented by guests when we have get-togethers.  No closing the door and brushing the dysfunction under the rug when company arrives so to speak.   And let’s face it… this wasn’t exactly the impression that I was wanting to give them.   So, when we found out that we were expecting our little nugget, I made it clear that we NEEDED to make this room work for us.   I mean, new baby = crazy laundry and if I’m going to have to spend years of my life in this space, then darnnit, it’d better function and make me happy.  Yeah.

Plus, it drove me nuts that this room felt like an afterthought as I stared at it from the kitchen table while drinking my coffee each morning.  Yes.  I’m sorry to say that the first photo above was my view at meals for over two years.    The room felt dark and cavernous and bland and all of the things that the rest of the house didn’t.

I have to tell you that we have a more extensive, built-in plan for the sink and mud areas that we want to incorporate down the line, but given some rather large expenses that we’ve had recently, we opted for a more budget-friendly makeover to tide us over.

And guys, we think it’s pretty great.

I mean, the space actually functions now and we’re totally loving it.   So, lets get down to it.

 

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Way better right???   That door is a GAME-CHANGER, lemme tell ya.   The full-lite window opened up the space in a way that far surpassed my expectations.   This corner of our home can breathe now.   It’s how it should’ve always been.

Much of the work on this space happened before Henry was born, though I did paint the space and complete a few finishing touches afterwards (giant preggo belly + ladder + clumsiness = NO).    The space is painted the same color as the kitchen for cohesiveness (Silverbirch by Glidden).

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I knew from the getgo that I wanted to utilize simple metal shelving brackets (sold at any home improvement store), paired with stained wood shelves over the washer and dryer.   I knew this from Day One.  Just like adding the door. … So, years later we finally got on that.  😉  It was important to me that we use adjustable shelving as our plan is to replace our current washer and dryer with sweet-looking front loaders once our current ones crap out, that will then be draped with a lovely waterfall-edge butcher-block countertop.  The adjustable shelves will allow for this without having to worry about rehanging/rebuying stuff.  Plus, they look cool.  Just sayin’.

 

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I went with a black finish on the brackets and Varathane’s Early American stain on the shelves to coordinate with the kitchen shelving in the adjoining room.    I hung a laundry symbol cheat sheet that I’ve had for years, and added storage boxes from Ikea which hold towels, chargers/headphones, and other odds-and-ends.   The canisters act as storage for dryer sheets/stain remover and a makeshift trash container for dryer lint.

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Over the vanity, I switched out the more traditional red mirror, for a simpler one that we’ve had for years.  I’d love to hang a round mirror here to break up the straight lines, but I figured waste not, want not.  That being said, if I find one at the right price, it’s on.   I also added matte black pulls to tie in with the kitchen.

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Looking back towards the breakfast nook, we kept the wood shelf, though I stained it to match the shelves.   Above it hangs a vintage painting that I thrifted.    We created a small “mud area” beside the shelf by mounting stained 1×4’s with white hooks for coats and bags (that I found on clearance at Target a few years ago) and smaller cup hooks for keys.   A magnet board keeps Lucas’s weekly homework, party invitations, and other items that we need quick and easy access to in view.

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The shelving unit got a huge dose of organization for paperwork and random stuff….

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A box for longer term paperwork is above the dryer, but these bins here corral most of the random paperwork that we see daily.   The organizer on the top shelf holds paperwork specific to each person in our family, plus a tray for “to be addressed” items like bills and such.

This system works so well for us.  No more piles of paper.  No more losing track of time-sensitive materials.   Everything has a place and I adore it.   I can quickly stash our daily paper trail where it belongs and the world can be right again.  I even bought a label maker.   I excitedly professed my newfound love for this inanimate bundle of organization to my cousin and she responded that she needed to leave my house as my feelings for my label maker made her uncomfortable.  Heehee!   My family is hilarious.

In case you’re a sucker for a sexy room-to-room shot…

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Also,  check out that natural light bathing our vanity in warmth and happiness!!!   (Too much? Never.)

Finally, I know you’re probably worried about my view from the breakfast nook.   Well, fear no more…

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I’m not great at photographing windows, but you get the gist.   I can see into our backyard from both the laundry room AND the picture window in our dining room.   The fact that Lucas is also in this shot is a bonus.  You are welcome.   He’s playing with Lego Batman, in case you’re wondering.   His favorite toy of the moment.

So, that’s our laundry room as it stands now and we couldn’t be happier…  That door, though.   Gah.   Best decision that we’ve made yet.   🙂

 

 

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Laundry/Mudroom Progress

I need to take Claritin D more often.

It makes me organize. It’s like me + Claritin D = organizational soulmates.

Of course, when it wears off I’m all…

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But for the first few hours, I’m like an organizing, calorie-burnin’ machine of hyperness.

After organizing No Man’s Land, the craft closet and Lucas’s room, I had every intention of taking a little break. Then, I caught The Black Plague (or maybe that’s just me being dramatic) and thought I was dying.  So, I took a Claritin D out of desperation and went from a useless lump on the sofa to the flippin’ energizer bunny for about 2 hours time before the germies caught back up to me, rendering me once again completely useless.

In my drug-induced haze, I decided to tackle the laundry room. I’ve never posted about this space before (aside from a few pics in our house tour), so let’s start from the beginning(ish). After we moved in, I painted our beige walls with a blue-grey Oops paint and then snapped this picture….

But, there was a problem (Imagine the following scenario with the top shelf ONLY like in the picture above.)…

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The original shelf and cabinet were way too tall for my vertically-challenged self (and that’s me on my tip-toes, ya’ll).

So, we DIYed two additional shelves by having 1×10 unfinished shelf boards cut down to size at Home Depot. I primed and painted everything with leftover trim paint left by our builder. We used cute ikea brackets for the middle shelf and cheapo L brackets on the lower to allow us to get the bottom shelf as close to the washer and dryer as possible (they’re low enough that you can’t see them easily anyways)….

This get-up worked much better for us, but over time, the room turned into this…

Just full o’ crapola.

That nasty looking stuff in the large beverage dispenser is old laundry detergent. Once upon a time ago, I decided to be brilliant and poured my detergent in there. I’d seen the idea on Pinterest, and thus, figured it HAD to be genius. Alas, not so much. Turns out the detergent we use looks completely nasty. People often asked (with expressions of poorly-suppressed dubiousness) what the urine-looking substance in the jar was. Then, after a while, the detergent started to separate. I wonder if it’s like hydrogen peroxide where it loses it’s potency if not sealed from light or something. Now, I know that laundry detergent comes in opaque containers for good reason. Thus, ours will forever stay in the store-bought jugs. And Pinterest is not always right. It was a noble try, though.

Instead of being a grown-up and cleaning out the jar in a timely manner, I decided it simply pretend it didn’t exist by hiding it behind closed doors. Gosh, I’m gross. So, it was time. I finally cleaned out the jar thoroughly and freed up a ton of glorious cabinet space.

I went through all the baskets and rid ourselves of unused junk. Most of the stuff just really needed to be put back in their respective rooms. The laundry room had pretty much become a catch-all drop-zone of laziness. Then, I gave everything a thorough wipe down with my water/vinegar spray. I even went so far as to magic erase the smudges off the washer and dryer. Spic n’ span. Oh, yeah.

Then, I put stuff back in ways that made much more sense.

Now that the cabinets were clean, I had room for detergent, bleach, etc, so they’re no longer out in the open. I decided to reuse a short glass cylinder for storage of smaller items instead of a basket because, as previously demonstrated, I’m short.  And could never see what was in the solid basket that was in there before, so I figured clear storage would be best.  I left most of the top shelf empty for when we restock paper towels.

Here’s a full view of the newly clean space….

One basket now stores sidewalk chalk, bubbles, water balloons and other outdoor toys for Lucas, one basket holds batteries, and a third holds things like sunblock and other odds and ends. The top baskets are empty for growth.

As far as I’m concerned, leaving the decor as-is isn’t an option.  The differing brown tones kill me. I’ve said various versions of this statement in SO many other posts…. Mismatching brown undertones is one of my biggest pet-peeves and it’s an ongoing issue in this house. Our last house had a very Tuscan color scheme with browns, taupes, greens, reds, etc. and we had a huge mudroom with floor to ceiling shelves.  I’d purchased tons of baskets to organize them, which is why I have SO many baskets leftover in various tones of brown. I refuse to buy new ones because that’s just a waste, so I’m reusing what I’ve got.

Now, I’ll let you in on a little secret… I’ve already made the decor changes.   I’ll have another post up soon with details.  I just didn’t want this post to reach novel-length, so I decided to split it in half.

To round out our mudroom tour, we have my DIY pear art (the inspiration for which I got here) that I completed pre-blog, along with some fun paperclip hooks that I found on clearance at Target.

On this tiny wall, I simply hung an old mail sorter with hooks for keys, sunglasses, wallets, etc.

For the most part, our laundry/mudroom works really well for us. I’d like to figure out some shoe storage solutions in the future, though. And possibly some hanging storage behind the door to the kitchen (not shown) for brooms, mops, etc.

In any case, I’d say this organizational stint was a success being that Joey’s first statement upon seeing it was “Wow!  Who knew our mudroom was so big?” (Itsnot. Butthanksbabe.).   🙂

So, what kind of organization projects have you guys got going on?  Any mudroom revamps?   Anybody else enjoy the effects of Claritin D? 🙂