Category Archives: Laundry Room

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Loving Our Homes

Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, I thought it would be nice to take a moment to stop and appreciate our homes for all of the warmth and security they give us.  As a designer who is always looking at images and plans for beautiful spaces, sometimes I get caught up in everything I want to do to change our home.

I have all these ideas to make it better and often focus more on the problems our home has than on all of its great attributes.  So, at least for today, I want to think about what makes our home special.

I like the idea of taking a minute to write down three things about your house that you are thankful for.  It could be that you are thankful for a kitchen that supports you in making food for your family.  A refrigerator that keeps your food cold and fresh, or a table where your family can all sit down and have a meal together.  I am grateful for the sliding doors leading out to our backyard and garage.  They allow me to see the kids playing outside, and they let in beautiful sunlight to warm the kitchen.

sliding door in sun

It might also help to focus on all of the areas you have already improved your home.  Instead of stressing about the horribly desolate laundry room, I can focus on the beautiful bathroom we just carefully remodeled.  The kitchen floors might still be ugly, but the cabinets and shelves are a huge improvement from when we moved in.  Taking before and after photos can help remind you of all the love and hard work you may have been pouring into your home.

Think about the connections you make with family and friends in your home. The games you play around the coffee table, the forts you build with sheets and sofa cushions, and the conversations with your friends and family around the dinner table.  If we appreciate and focus on the small joys, it helps us to see the beauty in all of our home’s imperfections.

dining table

As I look around my home, I see a lot of messes.  But if I look at the meaning behind the messes, I can be thankful for many things.  The legos strewn all over the kid’s room means that my five-year-old daughter is building and creating, using fine-motor skills and her incredible imagination.    IMG_5548

The fort in the corner of the living room was a labor of love between my three-year-old son and his daddy.  

Landry grin

The stack of bills on my desk means that we have heat and water, and a roof over our heads.  We are living life, and that is why there are a few messes.

If you like to take pictures, one way to appreciate our homes more is to carry your camera around and take photos of the little things that really matter.

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What makes you smile?  It could be the dog napping in the sun, your kids playing together, a good book waiting to be read or the chairs you lovingly painted to bring color into your home.  I think we would all be surprised at how many positive and wonderful things are happening in our imperfect homes!

 

Laundry Room Idea Board

Laundry Room Idea Board

This room may be a work in progress for awhile, since I am still working on painting the exterior of our house.  But, it always helps to get the ideas going, and then when it is too hot outside, I have more motivation to go to work on the basement laundry room!  Here are some ideas so far:

1. Possible colors for floor and walls.  I am pretty positive the walls will be white, but the floor may change.  I am currently thinking a soft yellow-green, sort of based off the ‘grass’ colors in the screen (#7).

2. Black and White leaf drapes.  I have these already and am using them in our living room.  But, we really could use another set to really cover the picture window, so I am thinking of moving them to the laundry room.  I will put them on rings so they open and close easily.

3. I love the idea of painting the utility sink.  I am not sure our colors will be the same, but I do like the pop of red (or a red-orange) with the light gray legs.

4.  I really like the look of soaps dispensed into smaller containers (since we get ours at Costco, size large). Our soap is liquid, but the baking soda, etc would look nice in jars like this.  I am looking for a fun pump for the liquid detergent.  Smaller sizes will also fit better on the shelves I would like to add above the washer and dryer.

5. We want to add narrow shelves above the washer and dryer to store the cleaning supplies and possibly my extensive spray paint collection.  We will likely repurpose a shelf that Jeremiah just removed from the garage.

6.  I need to organize my paint and supplies.  Nothing is more frustrating for me than knowing I have a product or color and not being able to find it.  Jeremiah built a workbench that currently houses the paint, but it really needs some organization.

7. Our furnace and water heater are highly visible from the entrance to the laundry room.  I would love to buy or make a privacy screen like this to hide them while still being easily accessible.  A curtain system would also work.

8.  An inexpensive and colorful rug adds a feeling of softness while being easily cleaned and dried in case of any water overflows.

9. The humor and retro feeling of this sign fits our family’s aesthetic.

10. This image I found online reminded me of hanging clothes out on the line with my mom as a kid.

 

That’s it so far.  Things will likely change, but making Idea Boards gets me thinking of a direction anyway.  I am excited about this project because there is just so much potential in that room!

Laundry Room: ‘Before’ pics

Yes my friends, this is where I do my average of 400 loads of laundry per year…

Our laundry room is extremely neglected and uninspiring.  But, it has great potential and I am extremely grateful to have well-functioning machines to keep our clothes clean.  There are two decent-sized windows and it is a generously sized space (more than the size of our kitchen and dining area combined).  With a minimal budget for laundry room renovation, I have been thinking of ways that will increase the appeal and function of the room while also cleaning up and organizing the entire space.

1. Declutter the entire room.  The generous size of the laundry room is nice for storage, but it also means the laundry room is a convenient dumping ground for items we don’t know what else to do with.  I predict a thrift store donation run or three in my near future.

2. Give it a good scrub.  The place where we clean our clothes is by far the dirtiest room in our home.  It is time for some serious cleaning, from the ceiling to the floor.  Our dryer has lint and spilled stain remover on its top, and the washer could use a good scrub in the little nooks and crannies.

3. Paint.  Painting the concrete floor a bright color and giving the walls a fresh coat of paint will rejuvenate the entire room.  I considered painting the ceiling’s exposed floor joists, but I don’t really mind the look of the wood enough to go through the multiple coats of primer and paint it would take to get good coverage.  There is a dividing wall along the stairs with a row of border paper that is definitely getting a face-lift though! I thought it was ducks, but it is floral/cottage.  Either way, not our style!

4. Add function and organization with shelving and storage.  Jer already built a large folding station/workbench along one wall, which is currently housing all of my paint and painting supplies, along with a tool chest and miscellaneous items waiting to be donated.  We will be adding shelves or cabinets above the washer and dryer for storing detergents and other cleaning supplies.  A utility sink, drying rack, folding space and some hanging rods are other conveniences that help a laundry room work more efficiently.  Our current hanging device works really well, but needs some aesthetic work.

5. Don’t forget the details!  Adding art, rugs, window coverings and good (and pretty) lighting will make this room more comfortable to be in.

With some elbow grease and imagination, you can turn an often-neglected space into a fun and organized room you won’t mind spending a little time in.  Have you transformed a basement laundry room?  I would love to hear all about it!  Stop by in a few days for a look at my Laundry Room Idea Board.