This is a project that has been in progress since we moved to Richmond, VA back in July 2009. I say it has been in the works for that long because I actually painted the walls just days before our new washer and dryer arrived. Then, shortly after, I installed the shelves and hanging bars. A few days later I cleaned and papered the shelves in the bank of cupboards opposite the washing area. Whew! Remembering what it took to make all of that happen while about 8 months pregnant makes me dizzy. But, I was determined to have a decent laundry area since I new heaps of it was in my very near future. Plus, this is what we were working with on move-in day.
(The right side of the galley laundry area as you enter from the garage door.)
(Here is a shot looking back toward the garage door from where the washing machine now sits.)
(Looking back into the galley laundry area from the back hallway to the family room and opposite the garage door.)
(The left side of the room from the garage entry with a sunny window to the back yard.)
(The scene just below the window on the back wall. Lots of dings and dirt to clean and cover with paint before the new machines arrive.)
(One last shot of the dirty mayhem.)
It was all white, white and white with lots of dirt and grime mixed in. Since settling in I have dreamt of the many ways I could remake the space for much better flow, but because that requires knocking down a wall, adding another and some plumbing and electrical work, I don’t see it happening any time soon. Oh well. In the meantime I decided to try to cutify (yes, I made that up) this area to make my time there a little less sad and stressed. Sad, because it was a drab space and stressed because it’s a galley with the back entry from our dirty old garage. So, I am constantly combating dirt and gunk in the same place I am trying to clean our clothing- yuck! The first step was to paint the walls. To save money I just mixed the white and brown paint I had used in the nursery to create a nice taupe. Then I used some of the leftover glossy white paint from that same project to give the grimy cream colored trim a nice new, bright color. The window and doors got the glossy white treatment, but the baseboards were coated in the same dark chocolate brown as the nursery. The floor in this room is a dull creamy white linoleum with a simple square tile design. The “grout” lines appear to be a mauve color, but it could just be that they have faded over time. Either way, the light floor shows dirt before you can even walk across it and the mauve wasn’t doing anything for us. So, I bought some inexpensive chocolate brown rag rugs from Target to cover this eyesore. They are easy to shake out and then they can be tossed into the washer and dryer to really get the dirt out. I also moved our cream colored shag door mat from the front entryway into this space, not only because I bought a new rug for the entry (as seen here), but because we really needed another spot to wipe our shoes before coming any further into the house. This was all stage one in the laundry room makeover and we lived with just these changes until earlier this year.
Several months ago I decided to use some of my vintage fabrics and finds to make the space a little more inviting. First, I attacked the big, VERY useful, but super ugly washtub. I wanted to skirt it and had this idea that I could just whip up something tiered and slightly ruffled, slap it on and be done. And, the project pretty much went just like that. ;o)
I scrounged up some complimentary fabrics and with a little measuring stitched them together. Then I added some heavy-duty hook and loop tape (which I found out they make in set lengths specifically for skirting tables and such!) to the tub, and then the top band of the skirt. Done! Now, the tub looks a bit nicer and I can hide a bin of cleaning supplies out of sight (and out of the way from the floor of the adjacent closet-yeah!).
Next, I decided to use a vintage laundry bag with neat hand embroidery to create a café curtain for the really sunny window. I actually enjoy how sunny this space usually is, but sometimes when I am working in there it’s blinding. As with most of the rooms in our house, we still employ the lovely accordion-style, builder’s blinds to keep the sun out. In order to hide that fact, I also added a coordinating valance that just covers the stack of blinds when they are pulled to the tippy top.
(Sorry, bright day = bright spot shots. But, you guys get the drift.)
It’s attached with vintage clothes pins to a clothesline stretched between the shelf brackets on either side of the window. I enjoy seeing this little treasure I picked up years ago every day, but when the sun moves across the yard and it’s possible to open things up, I just pull back a corner and use one of the pins to hold the curtain open.
To learn more about this project click here.
Speaking of clothes pins, although I don’t hang clothing up on a line, I do use clothespins to keep things on the hangers while they dry. So, I used some of the same vintage fabrics from the tub skirt to create a hanging bag to hold my supply.
This handy little bag is attached to a vintage hangar that, again, I have had for years. I think it’s pretty perfect for our laundry space!
The last vintage item I pulled together for the laundry nook is a magnetic message board made from an old scrub board.
This piece had been left in our last home we owned back in Nashville, TN. Rather than tossing it out I had used it for my laundry inspired craft fair displays and it managed to make the trip here to Richmond, VA.
The only other thing I added to the area are a couple of baskets from Target that we already owned and covered storage boxes for the shelves above the hanging bars. They are used to hold seasonal things, like our beach and pool gear. Here is the post about how those came together. As far as the shelves and hanging bars, I just bought wood and dowels, cut them to fit the spaces on either side of the window, painted them glossy white, and hung them up on closet brackets. I added small wooden finials to the ends of the hanging bars just for fun and to give them a more polished, less homemade look.
Some big plans are in the works for the counter and cupboard area directly across from the washer and dryer, but that is for another time. You know, after I tackle the million other things I have on the list!
How do you guys brighten the drudgery of laundry day?
PS- Stayed tuned for more detailed info on how I created the magnet board, the clothespin bag, the storage boxes, the curtains and the sink tub skirt. It’s sure to rock your world….at least a little, or maybe not. :0)