For such a small room, the laundry room redo was quite the project! But I’m so excited to (finally) present the big laundry room reveal today!
I’m going to show you the changes here and then I’m going to have some additional posts coming up about how I created the DIY folding countertop, the drama in painting (and repainting) the doors, and the source list for storage and other items in this room. (Click on the italicized text to go to those posts.)
Let’s start at the beginning. Here’s our laundry room before the makeover:
Doesn’t that make you want to run and do laundry?? (Note sarcasm.)
The storage was ample but not organized. We just kind of threw stuff in here when we moved in and most of it stayed there. A lot of stuff got put there when I didn’t know where else to put it.
The walls were blah beige and still had some screws in them from an old shelf that’s no longer there.
But I feel like even the most utilitarian rooms, like a laundry room, should be comfortable and, well, pretty. This room clearly needed a makeover!
There were some things I knew I needed to address when I was planning how to redo this room:
- Color! I love color, and this room was just beige, beige, and more beige. I wanted a soft color that leaned toward gray (the bright, light gray, not the kind on the trim, doors, and kitchen cabinets) but had a little color in it like blue or violet.
- Trim: As explained in this post about problems with the kitchen and laundry room and this post about my plans for the kitchen and laundry room, the laundry room and kitchen had gray trim and doors – even though the trim and doors in the rest of the house are white. I wanted to paint the trim and doors in the laundry room white to match the rest of the house (I have a thing that the trim should all be the same) and to brighten up the room.
- Storage: The shelves worked, but weren’t attractive. Since the laundry room is open to the kitchen, I wanted the storage to be something that’s somewhat nice to look at every day.
- Countertop: I really wanted a countertop above the machines so I had a place to fold clothes, and also to keep detergent and other necessities nearby.
First, the color: this was a challenge. In this post, I explain how I went through six or seven samples to choose the paint color.
As I explained in the post about choosing the paint color, it turns out the answer to that question was “none of the above.” The colors were either too blue or too gray.
So, I tried again. The winning color surprised me. It’s called (I can’t believe it) “Violet Sparkle” by Benjamin Moore.
Despite its name, there is no sparkle to it. (Whew! Confession: I hate glitter.) It’s really just a light gray-violet color. It’s perfect – just the right amount of color with a bright, light gray tone.
I painted the trim white semi-gloss, then the walls with an eggshell finish (so it’s easy to clean). Color, paint done! Check!
Next up was deciding what storage to include. Before, we had stainless steel wire shelving, which worked fine, but wasn’t particularly nice to look at, and the shelves were cluttered.
We had this rustic cabinet that I love in our breakfast room, so I thought I’d try it in here. It’s smaller, but has a door on it, to keep the stuff contained.
But it just didn’t work. For one thing, the dogs bowls are on the adjacent wall, and that meant that we couldn’t open the storage cabinet door without moving the bowls (or, in my case, hitting them and splattering water everywhere). Strike one. For another thing, there just wasn’t enough storage there. It was pretty, but not functional. Strike two. And last, I missed it in the breakfast room. I really liked it there instead. Strike three: it goes back to the breakfast room.
We have wire storage shelves in the pantry, too, but they have a black finish instead of stainless. Also, they are a bit smaller (less wide) than the stainless shelves. So, I swapped them. The pantry got a larger shelving unit, which is good, and the laundry room now has black shelves, which coordinates with the colors there, while having enough room for all the stuff we store there.
My antique washboards stayed – I love them. (Both are finds from estate sales – here are five things to know when shopping estate sales.)
For storage on the shelves, I used baskets I already had to corral stuff, like lightbulbs:
I spray-painted manilla paper tags with chalkboard spray paint for the labels.
Cleaning supplies and flashlights are on the next shelf up:
And then I put my cookbooks on the next shelf. Why cookbooks on the laundry room shelves?
Two reasons: first, they all fit there. Before, I had half of them in the kitchen and half in the dining room. The result was that I never looked at the ones in the dining room. This way, they’re all together, and right next to the kitchen (since the laundry room opens up to the kitchen).
Second, they add a burst of color to otherwise boring storage.
For the stuff that was on the shelves before and isn’t now:
- Paint got moved to the basement, which is newly organized.
- Toilet paper got moved to the bathrooms, where it belongs.
- Water bottles and thermoses went to the pantry, where they belong.
Last thing: the countertop. I’ve written a separate post on how I created this counter for folding and baskets, because this post is getting really long (you are still with me, right?? Hello?). I’ll give you a little preview though…
…and tell you that it only cost me $6.95. I know, right?!? Score!
Isn’t this laundry caddy cute?? I got it at Marshalls for about $10. It’s perfect to keep laundry supplies nearby and in one spot.
I added a new rug (the gray one in the photo, above), because the old one was icky, and we need a rug with a non-skid back in there so that, when the dogs dribble water, I don’t slip and the water doesn’t ruin the wood floors.
And now, the laundry room is complete.
Or, is it???
The doors are a problem. They were gray, same as the trim:
I primed the doors first because they were painted with oil-based paint before. (I used Zinsser primer – they didn’t pay me to say that. I just like it best.)
You can really see here how the gray is pretty dark.
I painted and painted…but the white semi-gloss I was using didn’t cover. I switched brands, based on many recommendations, to Benjamin Moore semi-gloss white trim paint, and it covered the trim like a charm.
The doors are another story. They aren’t finished and they look less than lovely. I’ll share their story later…The fix for them is coming soon.
But for now, we have a pretty, functional, and nearly complete laundry room.
Click here for how I made the DIY laundry folding counter – you won’t believe what I made it out of!
Now that the laundry room is done, it’s time to move to the kitchen. I’m going to paint all the trim in the kitchen white so that, finally, truly, happily, all the trim in our home is the same.
What do you think?