First, I want to thank you for all of the great feedback on the sweet and simple nightstand drawer before | after post. I am excited that those smaller projects are just as fun for you as they are for me! I have a few more small scale organizing projects up my sleeves that I can't wait to tackle and share.
Today, I wanted to give you an update on our laundry room!
In my last laundry room update a few years ago, I excitedly shared a peel-and-stick wallpaper that I had just installed. Shortly after that, a funny thing happened. The wallpaper began to give me this strange, unsettling feeling. I was so in love with it when I found it, but then I became stuck. I attempted to source finishing touches for the room and it all seemed to compete with the paper. After awhile I began to resent the busy pattern and colors and the more I thought about it, the more I would get a pit in my stomach. I would try to convince myself that I was being ridiculous because the paper was really beautiful, and it is just a laundry room after all. I know that decor is just decor, but in the same breath, I truly believe that our surroundings impact our emotions. Just because I loved the colors and design of the wallpaper, doesn't mean it was right.
But I waited on it. I lived with it for almost two years and really tried to make it work and be sure I wasn't acting impulsively. I felt that guilt we all do when we invest in something and don't want to be wasteful. I refused to remove the paper until I could find a way to save it to reuse or pass on. Peel-and-stick paper usually comes packaged on a glossy paper backing, and after some digging, I found a wide freezer paper that is plastic coated. Turns out the freezer paper is the perfect way to take down the adhesive paper from the wall, roll it up, and save it to be reused in another way. In fact, our laundry room paper has already been repurposed in my niece's bedroom lining a bookcase and we all couldn't be happier about that.
All of that said, I still feel a combination of embarrassment, frustration, and guilt each time I take a design misstep or change something. As the queen of being hard on herself, I have been learning to give myself some slack and simply challenge myself to look at those situations as learning opportunities. Creatives evolve and change stuff all of the time. It is how we grow and stay invigorated! Guilt be gone because this wallpaper swap was a really good change for me.
I didn't intend for this post to get too heavy but I also think it is important to share all of this because I know I am not alone. Many of you are like me in that you aren't trained designers, you just enjoy chipping away at making your home a place that reflects your style and makes you feel good. I hope that this can be a fun place where we bond over that together. If you try something and you don't love it, life is too short to live with it. Change is good!
So with that, let's look at where our laundry room is today. I am not calling it a "reveal" because it is not done (no room ever is), but I will say I am finally feeling really good about the progress and excited to live with things as they are for a while. It has truly become a room that I look forward to going to and gives me this warm fuzzy content feeling.
Once the floral paper came down, I began to look at a variety of alternative peel-and-stick options to replace it with. Nothing was feeling right, but I was convinced that with my indecisiveness and my history, a temporary paper would be the best and most non-committal option.
Then I came across a Farrow and Ball Lotus wallpaper on eBay for a really great price. Two full rolls for $100 less than the typical cost of one single roll. And being that I was only doing one wall, two rolls would be plenty. I pulled the trigger because it just felt so much more in line with my ultimate vision for the room. The last paper was colorful with an extremely busy pattern. I still wanted pattern and color but now knew that a tonal option would probably give me a similar effect without overwhelming me this time. It would still offer visual interest, but wouldn't compete with all of the other elements in the room. Although the new wallpaper is installed with a paste, I reminded myself that anything can be undone. No risk, no reward.
We installed the new wallpaper about five months ago now and I still get happy butterflies every time I walk into the room. It feels so much more refined and timeless while still offering something interesting and beautiful. (We followed this wallpaper installation tutorial here.)
After that, things very slowly started to fall into place. And although the rest of the changes we made were not big ones, they were still impactful.
For example, I realized that the open glass doors of the paint cabinet were visually competing with the open glass cabinet doors over the sink. Having multiple door styles in the room really created a weird imbalance, especially because the space is small and windowless. I initially tried to add a frosting to the inside of the glass, which helped, but eventually just primed and painted them so that the cabinet could just sort of fade away and hide the clutter behind the doors (I wouldn't normally do something like that on a nice piece of furniture, but this cabinet was DIY'd by us years ago and serves the purpose of storing all of our paint supplies, so it was a nice fast fix in this instance). There is a lot of white in this space which is good being that there are no windows, but I have been keeping my eyes open at thrift stores and on FB Marketplace for an interesting old cabinet to bring in another layer of character.
When we first DIY'd our built-in wall, we partnered with Home Depot to come up with some custom storage for our laundry room. We have never stopped loving the storage that the entire wall offers; we use it for cleaning supplies, beach gear, seasonal items, sewing supplies, laundry hanging, and now even for feeding our pups. We modified it a while back to add some decorative shiplap backing and laundry baskets, which gave it a fresher look. Five plus years in it had become clear that we could have initially used a better method for making the cabinet doors. The doors we originally constructed were quite heavy, built from MDF, hung with external hinges, and weren't perfectly square. So this summer we built all new doors!
The new doors are infinitely better. They cleaned up the look of our built-in and the panels are now truly inset (I plan to share how we built them soon). We also installed concealed hinges which makes such a wonderful difference. At that same time, the entire unit received a fresh coat of paint, trim, caulk, a new acrylic hanging rod, and a built-in feeding station. Yes, yes, and yes!
Isn't that hanging rod lovely? I have been so inspired by my friends Grace from A Storied Style and Kristin from The Hunted Interior, and their use of acrylic for hanging rods, handles, window hardware, etc.., that I had to find a place to do the same. I found an inexpensive piece of acrylic on Amazon, as well as the mounting hardware. We added three total brackets to be sure the rod could hold the weight of our clothes, and so far so great!
The counter is a piece of butcher block that is extremely solid and ties to the floating shelf above the washer and dryer.
For the pup feeding area, we researched the best eating height for our dogs and installed a pull-out shelf that we cut to insert their bowl inside (we used a basic white laminate shelf paired with these drawer slides). The bowl is just floating in there so it can easily be removed and washed at the nearby sink after feedings.
Originally I wanted to store their food in the drawer below, but pet food really should be stored in its original packaging or an airtight container that can be easily cleaned. So now the drawer just holds all of their supplies, which also works out really great! Their food is sealed in a rolling bin in the tall cleaning cabinet.
The wire baskets continue to function really well for our family. We use them when the clothes come out of the dryer to bring the folded/hanging clothes back to our rooms to be put away. The larger woven basket is for linens for delicate wash items.
As we continue around the room, I added a pair of really pretty brass hooks to hold towels and beach/summer gear. I use hand towels all over this room for cleaning the feeding area, drying the bowls after washings, wiping down the washer door, and of course for general hand drying. Multiple hooks are a must!
The art above the hooks is a print from Juniper print shop; the colors are so great and it reminds me of many scenic drives that we have taken over the years.
The room is all white so that the wallpaper can be the star. But the back of the door was begging for something, so it received a coat of Benjamin Moore's Newburg Green. It is a stunner of a color and I want to use it again and again. I also added an over-the-door organizer for the iron and ironing board. We still need to change all of the hinges to black throughout the entire lower level.
Our washer and dryer are Maytag and they have been workhorses for us for over ten years now. As a family of five, we do laundry every single day so we couldn't be happier about the amount of use we have gotten out them so far. We lowered our hookups and built them in a few years ago and it was one of the best things we could have done. The folding counter has been such a game-changer to my laundry routine; I absolutely love all of the space there is to spread out and fold piles of towels or to layout my sweaters to air dry. Being that the units are now built-in, I am a little nervous for the day the washer/dryer goes out and we have to upgrade. I will be sure to share what that process looks like should that happen down the road (no jinxing it!).
The counter we selected is holding up great, no bowing or wear and tear from the daily use. Of course, I would have loved to have installed solid surface counters, but these were so much more budget-friendly and serve us perfectly well.
Laundry detergent and whitener are stored in lidded glass canisters...
While the smaller essentials such as dryer balls, delicate wash, stain remover, and a lint brush, are all stored in a handy wire basket.
I continue to be a superfan of the deep stainless sink; it has been used for dish washings, mop bucket fillings, stain soakings, and paint supply cleanings. It cleans up so nicely and is everything I could ask for.
As far as the faucet goes, although there is a pull-down nozzle, there is very little spraying power so that will probably get swapped out at some point. The faucet itself is of high quality and a really beautiful option.
Sidenote: Aren't those flowers absolutely beautiful? They are the prettiest colors and I clipped them straight from our yard. #staysummerforever
I shared the organization of the sink cabinet here, and how we installed a decorative toe kick here. That decorative toe kick still makes my heart race; little details are so important.
The cabinet above the sink holds all of our frequently used home maintenance items; lightbulbs, extra paper products, sewing boxes, puppy linens, stain remover, etc...
Last but not least, how sweet is that little wooden rail of hooks? That is another DIY and I will share that tutorial soon as well. It was incredibly easy and inexpensive and it turned out to be one of my favorite accessories in the entire space.
Bit by bit, one project at a time, our laundry room has evolved and changed so much over the years. This room is used multiple times per day so it is nice to have it fully functioning and feeling more complete. Chores are definitely more enjoyable when you are feeling good in your surroundings!
Laundry Room Wall/Built-In Color: Benjamin Moore Simply White Laundry Room Door: Benjamin Moore Newburg Green #StorageSolutions #OurProjects/DIY #Laundry #OurAbode