How do you make a laundry room awesome and functional? This is something I’ve struggled with since we moved in years ago. Our laundry room was really a catch-all for anything we didn’t want seen, and also for the litter boxes, our cleaning supplies, half-used buckets of paint… well, you get the idea.
It didn’t feel like a room, it felt like storage and I didn’t like that feeling. I looked at photo after photo of beautiful laundry rooms on Pinterest and while some seemed achievable, most were either super large rooms (which our is not) or the materials that people used in their laundry rooms were high-end (which wasn’t an option for me).
Yuck. Sad. Gross. Ew. RIGHT? There is just so much stuff and nowhere to put it.
I went to the drawing board to figure out how to make this room work. I wanted it to be well thought out, but still functional for what it was – a place to do laundry, store stuff, and have the cat boxes. The first step was to add base boards. I checked around to try to get someone to do this for us because it just seemed a little out of the realm of what I’m comfortable with. I didn’t get any responses in time, so I measured the linear feet of the walls and sent John to Home Depot to buy whatever white baseboard they already had that were able to be cut and were already painted. He came back with some beautiful white baseboards that I’m guessing are plastic of some sort. We set to work cutting and measuring.
We cleared everything out of the room and got a couple of samples of Jeff Lewis’ paint. I chose two grey colors (duh): Smoke and Dusk. The yellow we originally painted the room was cute, in theory, and I hoped it would make the room more cheery. Who am I kidding though? I’m not a cheery person and yellow doesn’t “fit” me at all.
After the room was painted (I chose Dusk) we began installing the baseboards. We rented a finish nailer with an air compressor which was terrifying. As John was putting the nails into the baseboard, he made sure I wasn’t standing on the other side of the wall. (Old houses. You never know what might happen.)
A tip if you’re installing baseboards; it’s good to have a good saw, and it’s good to have the tool that measures the angles of your walls, because I don’t care how new your house is, you probably don’t have 90 degree angles where the walls meet. We had neither a good saw, nor the measuring tool, so I did a lot of guessing. Not exactly perfect, but we got the job done and the room was starting to look more like a room.
I had an open shelving unit for storage, but because we store EVERYTHING in this room, it looked super cluttered all the time. I wanted something that contained everything behind doors, but possibly didn’t look like it belonged in a laundry room. I liked the idea of adding two Billy Bookcases from IKEA with full glass doors.
They were super easy to put together, and super cheap compared to other storage units I was finding online. The knobs that came with them are pretty generic but fate brought me these gorgeous little things, and they couldn’t have worked more perfectly.
So once the bookcases were up, we were able to store everything behind closed doors, and while you can still see everything, it definitely makes the room seem more tidy.
I also chose an Algot storage system from IKEA for the opposite wall. These are open shelves and are highly configurable to whatever room you are putting them in. Our hot and cold water supply valves, the dryer vent, a window, and the dryer outlet are all on this wall, so we definitely needed something that could be moved around to fit the existing space.
Everything has a place! The laundry soap is stored above the washer! It’s the small things, really. I was trying the washer and dryer on the left side of the room so it felt different, but ended up moving them back to the right side.
Look at all that toilet paper! Now I can buy it in bulk and we actually have a place for it. It’s pretty wonderful, really. The room feels clean and not creepy, while being functional. Everything has its place and I’m so happy that it’s not embarrassing anymore! When people come over, we don’t have to close the door to hide the mess in there. All it took was some elbow grease, a little planning, and about $400. Not bad to change the mood and functionality of a room!
Now there is a not a “bad” room in the house. Sure, there are still things I want to change and ideas I have, but every room has been worked on and the house feels cohesive as you walk around it. It’s a nice feeling, although I worry what happens when it’s all done. That’s when we move, amiright? Anyone looking to rent a house? I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to let this one go. We’ve put so much work into it, but it’s just a house… right? Has anyone else experienced this? It kind of makes me feel sad, but it’s also an exciting thought to have a whole other house to get ideas for. John might kill me.
On a completely unrelated note, I just wanted to share this little picture with you that I took today. This is the chair we had redone at the end of last year and it is just so regal and beautiful. Sitting there, I noticed how great it looks with the weird gold lamp (spray painted by yours truly) and next to our couch and with the carpet. It’s easy to feel like there is always more work to do, and easy to feel like there’s never enough time or money. Lately, I’ve had a hard time being inspired and motived to work on projects, but when I saw this today, I felt re-energized. There are beautiful things all around me when I take the time to notice!
I hope everyone has a wonderful week!