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  The photos on there are so outdated and I’m SO proud of how far we’ve come since I published many of those photos that I seriously can’t wait to update you guys on all the changes we’ve made in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…

Mudroom progress

… 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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“So, I begrudgingly styled shelves the other day.” – Me

Okay.  I have a confession to make.

Although, I’m obviously a lover of all things home… (*coughcough!*) I do NOT like styling shelves.

No joke.  I really don’t.

It’s the one area of decor that I consistently view as a chore.  Maybe it’s because it takes me forever.  Maybe it’s because I’m picky.  I dunno.  All I can say is that I often look upon those beautifully styled shelves on Pinterest and other blogs with sad, wistful expressions on my face as I think about the hours and hours it’d take me to achieve something remotely close to that.  Seriously…. You never realized that any shelf display that’s ever been posted on this blog took me decades to complete, did you?  And then I realize… wait.  MAYBE those shelf displays took THEM hours, too!!!   It’s quite possible, ya know.   That’s the thing about the internet.   You only have to share the bits that you want to.  You can publish an amazing before and after post and completely glaze over the many weeks and bad language that contributed to that shelf-styling.  I know that I’ve certainly been guilty of that over the past year.  So, here it is.   My admission:

I, Christina Spragins, do not happily style shelves with blissful smiles on my face.   I bribe myself with cookies and force myself to do it with a constant stream of complaints under my breath.

There.  I said it.  I feel better now.

But, and this is a big BUT (I like big ‘Buts’ and I cannot lie…. Oy. Focus, Christina.)… I’m always glad I did it in the end.  It’s like a workout.  I dread it.  Endure it.  Then, strut my stuff like it’s going outta style because I DID IT and survived to tell the tale.

So anyways, after I completed the dining room decor changes described in this post (as seen in this pic)…

…those empty shelves screamed at me.  Repeatedly.   They sounded like those squeaky-voiced ringtones… you know the ones: “Hey! Letme outta ya pocket!”.  Except the message that I got was more like “Hey, I’m NAKED!!! Andnotinagoodway!”   Yep. In case you’re wondering, THAT is the voice of an Ikea Lack shelf.  High-pitched, squeaky, and full of rage.

After weeks of this (told ya… I’m behind on posts), I figured that I’d better get on it.  Obviously, waiting for the shelves to style themselves wasn’t working.  So, it was time to work the magic (Heehee!).

I started by gathering anything that I thought might work in the space.   I collected all the things.  They went on the dining table.   And I began.  I took a few pictures throughout, but honestly, I made so many changes that I missed many stages of shelf-readiness.  The process was a lot of “place an item, step back, place an item, step back”.  I worked on it intermittently throughout the day and continued to play with it throughout the weekend.  I will say that I climbed up and down that chair so frequently that I could barely walk the next day.   You didn’t realize that shelf-styling makes you buff, did you?  Now you know. You are welcome.

Here’s where I started.   I wanted to incorporate dishware since it’s a dining space, so I started there…

I placed larger items first, then started playing around with smaller ones…

I experimented with green, but decided that it didn’t flow with the space.  Plus, that bamboo bowl was drawing my eye right to it, so it had to go.   I tried again and ended up here…

Again, like the yellow bowl, the yellow bike wasn’t working.  It was showboating.  I couldn’t draw my eye away from it.  So, I went more neutral…

It’s not that I hated this one… It was just too busy for the space when I accounted for the painting on the adjoining wall, so I cleared off the top shelf and started again…

I loved the mirror up there.   It doesn’t convey properly in pictures, but the mirror really does a lot for the space in person.  Plus, it pulls out the red tones in the painting on the adjoining wall.    I added a few more touches in the form of a ceramic milk jug and wood car…

But didn’t love the car, so I took it off…

But this felt unbalanced, so I grabbed a few white bowls from the kitchen and a bamboo plant…

And scene.

I was reasonably happy with it for the time being (I’ve since straightened that crooked bamboo)…

Here’s a farther shot…

The flowers on the table totally clash.  I realize this.  But, Joey gave them to me, so I forgive them.  Next up for this space will be painting the table white. Woo-hoo!  I think that’s really going to brighten the space a lot.    Oh yeah, and since I’m admitting that I’m crazy behind on posts, I’ve already modified these shelves again (sort of) for Christmas. They’re more sparkly now.  So, that update is coming soon, too.  Stay tuned…

 

TDC Before and After