Monday, July 13, 2009

Laundry Room Redo

I love a laundry room. We spent three years in a one bedroom apartment with a washer and dryer stacked in the kitchen. Nothing like folding your drawers on the kitchen counter. :) Not to mention the four years of communal laundry in college, where upon returning to the laundry room you might find someone had neatly folded all your freshly laundered clothes, and on another occasion find your still damp clothes deposited into the trash can in your absence!

My Mama has a little laundry room stuck into the eaves on the back of the house... home to camel crickets and the warm, downy fresh atmosphere of a hot dryer. When we were little and Mama would ask us to transfer the laundry to the dryer, we used to grab a sibling and play "loader". One would scoop the wet laundry out of the washer while the loader had to hold out their hands and catch it, then toss it into the dryer. Now that I am living in my own house, and doing my own laundry, I wish someone would come play loader with me. :) In effort to attract a partner for the game, I decided to spruce up our laundry room.

When we moved into our new home, the laundry room had filthy wire shelves on three walls and a builder basic vanity cabinet with the doors hanging off. A big gold mirror completed the ensemble.

Before we moved in...ick!


But there was ample room for our washer and dryer that we bought used (notice the dents on the side) :) and a half bath to boot. The basement room became Bandit's food room, as well. (UP! TO THE FOOD ROOM!! ;)) The sad, neglected little room was begging for a makeover. Those wire shelves had to go! Everytime I stood up from the dryer, I whacked my head on them! And everyone knows that if you have an empty shelf, you will find something to put on it. They were covered in junk!

BEFORE...please note the conflicting decor, mostly leftover from our college days:


After initially painting the vanity black, adding new hardware and an oval mirror, a color scheme emerged. I decided to add some yellow stripes to make the room appear taller, but also warmer and more cheerful. After clearing the room and spackling the many holes from all those shelf anchors, the base color went up on all the walls ("Flax" by Olympic). It took two coats of the pale yellow to cover.

I spent the following day taping off stripes. I calculated the stripe width for each different wall so none of the stripes would have to wrap around a corner--the walls each have a slightly different width of stripe, but not so great that you notice. The taping part was pretty easy (and fun) using delicate painter's tape (for taping on fresh paint only 24 hours dry) and a laser level (LOVE IT!) I did run out of tape though, and had to break until I could get more. :)

The last step was to paint the darker color in between the tape lines. When the second color ("Golden Slumber" by Olympic) went on, I was afraid it was too light and you wouldn't be able to see the subtle stripe effect. As soon as the paint dried and the tape was peeled off, the two tone stripes were revealed!

I read a lot of different opinions about removing painter's tape. Some say to take the tape off when the paint is wet, but that threatens to make a huge mess with wet paint from the tape on your hands, clothes and freshly painted walls!  So, I waited until the paint was just dry and because I only had one coat of paint over the tape, the lines were crisp and clean, no bleed through. There were a few spots where the tape took up the paint over spackled areas, but that was my fault for not letting the spackle dry thoroughly before the first coat. Just a little touch up. :) I love my stripes! I'm toying with the idea of doing the same thing in another room, (maybe the dining room?) except instead of two colors... do it with two sheens. Flat walls with satiny stripes over it.  How glamorous! :)

Lastly, I topped off the paint job with crisp white trim and a freshly painted door to make the colors pop. Goodbye blah beige! After my father and I finished the solid pine cabinet we built to go over the washer/dryer, all that was left was to accessorize! :) A few finishing touches went in—black and white pictures of the kitten, some art, and Laundry letters in case anyone wandering past forgot where they were going. :) I even painted my hot pink laundry basket white with Krylon Fusion spray paint. Good stuff!

Voila! My Cheery Laundry Room:



Future upgrades may include a laminate or tile floor to replace the linoleum, a black display shelf across from the cabinet, a folding counter with space underneath for hampers, new ceiling tiles, new light fixtures, and I intend to swap the washer and dryer so I don't have to unload clothes across the washer door into the dryer.

Anyone want to come play "loader"?