Thursday, February 23, 2012

Our Super Awesome, Tiny Laundry Room That We Love

It's done, it's done! The laundry room is done! Well, 95% done. But done enough. 

Okay, before I post the rest of the pictures and our process of converting a *laundry* closet into a laundry room, there are a few things I think I should let you know. 

1. I don't plan things well. When it comes to decorating/design, I work as I go. I have a general idea of how I want something to look... but I can't sketch the finished project before it starts. 

2. I obsess about little things. I will decorate and re-decorate until I like it. 

3. Jake is the man. 

So here we go... there was a closet in our house that used to be a laundry closet but had been converted into just a regular closet. (This picture was taken after we took shelves out of the closet and took the bi-fold doors off).

Jake did a whole lot of work to make it into a room. Leveling out the walls and ceiling was quite the challenge.  Jake also moved the hole for the light to the center of the room (you'll see it moved a few pictures down). 

Then the room was textured and primed. 

Then I painted it a pretty aqua color... Carolina Inn Club Aqua 5004-3B by Valspar. 

I really wanted to have a chandelier in here. Jake didn't. I pleaded and argued that when he starts doing laundry he can have a say in how the room looks. He still said no. But I threw it in the shopping cart (at Ikea) and that was the last conversation we had about it. He installed the light (with a little finagling because it came with a long chain (think dining room light) and we needed it to be right up against the ceiling). We ended up using a plate from the light that used to be over the kitchen sink. 

Jake also installed the cabinets. By himself. He's the man. 

A good friend of ours (that owns a tile saw) came over and laid the tile for us. I wanted a neutral color because of my tendencies to re-decorate often. Two days later we did the grout. 

Jake put in the baseboards and then started to work on flipping the hookups from the garage side of the wall to the laundry room side. In the picture on the right you can see Jake's pant leg... he was in the garage. That's where the dryer outlet went. 

Right now, I just need to say... Jake is the man. 

He pulled the w/d away from the wall and flipped the hookups. It was a little more involved than a few written words can explain... but he did it. 

 You can see the dryer outlet pretty clearly and the dryer vent is down and to the right... the water pipes were back in the other section of the wall (behind the cordless drill). 

We discovered that the 'laundry room' has been in the garage since late 1997 or early 1998. For 15 years the w/d have been in the garage! This cardboard box was in the wall, covering the hole for the dryer vent and there was an outlet box in the wall from a local hardware store that had the price tag/date (1997) still on it. 

But Jake worked his magic and changed it back to the way it should be. 

Then it was time to put the washer and dryer in. What a glorious day that was! But the laundry room wasn't finished yet. 

I needed to pick out a backsplash. When we were picking out the cabinets (style/type/size...) I didn't want to just do two double-door box cabinets because I thought that this would close in the space too much. Instead, we did two single door cabinets and then a smaller cabinet up top. I planned on doing a backsplash and then putting a shelf between the two single door cabinets. 

As for the backsplash, I looked online first. I discovered that I really liked penny tile. I wanted to do white penny tile. I called the store ahead of time (Home Depot) to make sure that they had them. They were a special order item but they did have a display board in store. 

I didn't want to special order them because we needed 13 square feet and special order tile comes in boxes of 10 sqft. So I went to Lowes to check out what they had in stock. 

I liked a glass tile they had. It was a reasonable price, but I didn't totally love the way it looked on the display board (very top). I thought it was a bit too contemporary for my taste. 

I found a clear glass penny tile that I liked but I was afraid that the mortar lines behind it would show through.... and it was kind-of expensive. I went across the street (literally) to Home Depot and thought about ordering my white penny tile. Two boxes of that would still be cheaper than 13 of the glass penny tile. I found the display board and decided that I didn't really love the white. It didn't have the same boarder/outline that the green and blue tiles had. I loved the green penny tile but I didn't want to be too match-matchy. 

I found another display board of some special order stainless steel tiles and I WAS IN LOVE. How perfect would that be. But at $22/sqft and having to order two boxes it would be $440 for a decorative backsplash... because, I know, the backsplash is pointless. I kept looking because I knew there had to be something else that I would like. Then I found a huge display wall of more tile. I really liked one of them (and it was the cheapest of the bunch) but they were all special order. I was kind-of mad. It seemed like they only carried 'not-my-style' tile in the store. So I went home empty handed. 

Then a few days later I went to my chiropractor appointment (in the same town as Jake's office) and I stopped by Jake's office to say Hi. He was in need of a lunch break and needed some things at Home Depot (just two blocks away) so we went together. And guess what... the Home Depot in his town had the tile that I liked and it wasn't special order! So we picked up 13 tiles and a glass cutter. 

We put in the tile one night when Everett was sleeping. 

It looked so good! We couldn't stop going in there just to turn the light on and stare at our tile. The next day I did the grout. It was super hard because the tiles are so close together. The biggest mistake I made was leaving my wedding ring on... and not washing it before the grout dried. Ooops. 

Jake put the crown molding above the cabinets and he ran into a minor problem. When he was measuring how far to lower the cabinets (when installing them) he measured how far down the crown molding was in our living room. He didn't realize until much later... but he didn't take into consideration that our living room is vaulted. So technically the cabinets should have been hung a little lower so that the crown molding would fit right. The only way to make it work was to put the crown molding in upside down (because of the angles on it and such). 

Once it was up, he caulked it too. He also put in the door and did the trim around the inside and outside of the door. 

(The right half isn't caulked yet... just a visual on how much of a difference it makes. )

You know how sometimes things just work out?... well it's a good thing Jake measured for the crown molding wrong because if the cabinets were any lower we wouldn't be able to open the lid on our washer. How lucky are we?!

Jake put the shelf up for me a few days ago and I've been madly in love ever since. With the shelf. And Jake, of course. 

I purposely designed the cabinets to where I could put a shelf between them but I wanted it to look good AND be useful. So I have a beverage dispenser full of clear laundry detergent (with a measuring cup) and another jar full of oxy clean (with the measuring cup inside) which are both things that I use on a daily basis. It's practical and looks cool (I think so, anyways).  

As for the other shelf... I decorated it a few times until I got it right.  I LOVE the aqua/red combo but I just didn't LOVE the way the it looked in the laundry room and on the shelf. (But I still LOVE the picture and I have 'plans' to use it elsewhere.) 

So I dug through my things until I found something that I did LOVE... even if it doesn't make since. I had a tough time justifying putting the word 'relax' into my laundry room. It just doesn't have anything to do with laundry... but the colors matched and it looked a lot better than what I had before.

I put knobs on the cabinet doors yesterday (two different sizes- you can see them in the first picture). I said that we are 95% done because we still have to put the knob on the door, and paint the door, baseboards, crown molding, and trim. 

We are so happy with the way the laundry room turned out. We are so proud of it and sometimes it's hard to believe that we Jake created it out of a closet. It's so nice to be able to do laundry inside of the house now! Everett loves it too...

(You can see why we needed a glass cutter for the tiles in the picture above. Jake had to cut some of the tiles so they would fit right up against the wall.)

 Everett loves this room so much that he even wants to play toys in there. (Seriously... I didn't stage it.)

As for our laundry baskets... they are the drink buckets that we bought for Everett's first survival party and had leftover. The white bucket for the white clothes and the silver bucket for the colors. It's nice how things just work out. And talking about things working out... there is just enough room to swing the door closed... (not like the door is ever closed anyway- the room looks too good to close it off :)

The buckets not only look cool... they are functional too. Perfect for soaking dirty, smelly things (like sports bras) in oxy clean. I'm all for things being useful and still looking good!

It's been a process to create this laundry room, but it was SO worth it. It's crazy to look at pictures like this and see how far we've come!

And that's our super awesome, tiny laundry room that we love. 


  1. I LOVE it! Especially the tile!

  2. K. Now bring it over to my house. I LOVE IT!

  3. This is AMAZING!!!!!! I can not believe you guys started with one thing and ended with something TOTALLy different. I'm so impressed. I love the colors, the decorations, and the beautiful simplicity of it! It should be in a magazine. Also, I'm trying to think of fitting words using the letters in 'relax' so you could switch the letters around for a more laundry-fitting word...but I've got nothing. I guess it's always nice to remember to relax while doing laundry! Such a cool room!

  4. Wow, this should be in a magazine! I don't know anyone that has decorated their laundry room with such things as a chandelier lol! I was thinking of painting ours but was like "meh, its just laundry" but now I feel like I need to take a trip to ikea hahaha!

  5. Just found your blog from a search for Carolina Club Inn Aqua. We are about to paint our bedroom in it. LOVE your laundry room makeover!!!! So soothing!

  6. Just found your blog from a search for Carolina Club Inn Aqua. We are about to paint our bedroom in it. LOVE your laundry room makeover!!!! So soothing!

  7. WOW! LOVELY ROOM! I've been looking for the EXACT glass tile! Can you please tell me what the name of the glass tile you used for the backsplash? Thank you!

  8. Very well done! Your husband was really great about finishing up everything to look just perfect.

    Question: how do you like the buckets for laundry hampers? Are you having any issues with rust? Do you use them to tote wet clothes from the washing machine to an outdoor clothesline or anything like that? Would love to know -- they are so fantastic looking, but I'm nervous about whether I will miss the functionality of my [ugly] plastic ones if I make the splurge. Thank you in advance!

  9. Absolutely DIVINE! Love love love the tile ...thanks for sharing :)