The laundry room is officially done! Well there is still one thing on the list, which now that I write this, I worry we may never do, but alas it is done!
So what did we do to get to this point?
Let’s start with the new drywall ceilings. Big pain, but worthwhile. We ended up going with a flat ceiling because I like it best, though I will say it makes it significantly harder to make it not look janky. The laundry room is an odd space in that it has two separate areas that have a drywall ceiling and the rest is open/unfinished with all the house’s plumbing and wiring visible. Since we didn’t want to lose easy access to all that, plus we are in no way skilled enough to make unfinished into finished we only fixed the existing ceilings. Shown in blue.
We also changed out both of the existing lights. The one originally here was a boob light that we had to take the glass part off because it kept overheating and burning out the bulbs. It also was held together with tinfoil for whatever reason. I found this beauty at Menards, which has surprisingly decent light selection. It came with some cute super dim vintage bulbs which we changed out for some much brighter LED bulbs.
The other part about the ceiling that we were stumped on for a bit was how to not make it look so shoddy next to the wood plank walls. We ended up using quarter round not only for a more finished look, but also to cover a few largish cracks. And what the quarter round couldn’t bridge, nothing a little (or a healthy dose) of caulk couldn’t fix. I would highly recommend learning how to effectively caulk if you don’t know already. It is the great equalizer for all things wonky. Didn’t make a perfect cut- caulk will fix it. Square hole in the ceiling isn’t covered by the circle fixture- caulk it. See? If you are a the kind of person who says “good enough,” but still want it to look nice, this is a totally worthwhile skill. Two hot tips – 1) Under-do it initially, it will be less mess and you can always add more caulk. 2) Use baby wipes, especially for filling nail holes, it will wipe off the extra so you don’t have to go back and sand or paint over it.
Want a little glimpse into how Brett and I do projects together? This was our final to-do list. Not only can you see the one outstanding item, but look at number one. Crossed off no big deal. I tell Brett come check this out! (The subtext was that he was to check it out, say it looked awesome, say I was uniquely skilled, I was totally fine if he ad-libbed a bit, but I was pretty set on the messaging ) Brett instead heard ‘could you carefully critique the thing that I am so over and done with so that I could do it some more?’ Now I don’t know if you are a list person, but I am. And like any good list maker I love to cross things off. So when Brett said it looked okay, but not great… (now I don’t want you too nervous so I’ll give a spoiler- we are still happily married, even if the next parts sounds a bit hairy)…So while maintaining eye contact with my beloved husband I added number 9 to the list “Caulk light again to Brett’s satisfaction.” This time the subtext was if you want it a certain way have at it. And guess what folks? He got the subtext!
Here is the other light we added in. It was quite tricky to get a halfway decent picture of it. This one I bought at Ikea back in phase one of laundry room. The former light was just a bare bulb tucked part way into the wall. We kept the junction box in the same spot (minus the jutting into the wall part) and then added a hook so we could hang the pendant in the center of the little square of drywall. Another thing we did to improve this area was to take out some plywood and added wood to frame out the beam that cut through there. It allowed more light through the space, making it almost like a transom window. Please appreciate that Brett and I painted some of the cords running through there, but only enough to cover any orange.
The next massive undertaking was the floors. I know I left you in suspense from last time and now you had to read everything above here only to finally find out the solution we came up with….
Foam floor tiles! Yup, the kind people usually use for workout spaces or daycares. Now before you think I am crazy, listen to the perks: it’s basically like an anti fatigue mat covering the entire laundry room, easy installation, works over weird uneven floor, great for two wild kids to wrestle on… Am I selling you yet? Now I don’t know that people usually install it how we did, using a razor blade to make exact cuts and then finishing it with baseboard, but I have to say I am quite pleased. I think it helped that we found tiles that had a pretty gray print, making it feel less like a crossfit gym (not a place you want to find yourself typically- unless you are into that sort of thing, which don’t worry we already all know if that is you).
You can see the seams, but it doesn’t bug me in the slightest. We did make sure to have all the lines run the same direction (except of course on one of the trickiest cuts that we screwed up and didn’t notice until the next day). Also for about a 1$ a square foot, the price wasn’t bad. We got in the 3/8ths inch thickness which was plenty thick even for covering uneven vinyl tiles underneath. The only downside is the tiles are slightly more prone to curling up at the seams. We might add some carpet tape to secure them to the cement/vinyl down the road, but for now its pretty slight. I’d imagine the thicker 5/8th inch version would do less of that, but we wanted the 3/8ths because it matched the height of the neighboring bar floor (and lets be honest it was cheaper and who doesn’t love cheaper.)
Okay now that you’ve seen glimpses, here is the whole thing completed!
I finally got to hang my late aunt’s hand crank clothes wringer. I’ve had it for 10 years and to finally give it a home and to think of her while folding clothes gives me all kinds of joy. It is quite a burly piece, so I am hoping the hooks, which can hold 95 pounds a piece, and the pieces of wire, which can do 40 pounds a piece, are in it for the long haul. It adds some nice warm wood tones to the white walls.
Before we called it last winter we added an old left over rod and sprayed it black to crisp it up. Now we can hang our clothes straight out of the dryer, since goodness knows we rarely iron, except for job interviews, we always iron for those! We carried the floor under the washer and dryer too. It was a bit of a doozy, tilting and lifting and trying not to puncture the floor, but it was totally worthwhile. It feels so much cleaner and finished. The other unforeseen perk is they rattle and shake significantly less than when they were just on the concrete. The single black hook is from CB2.
The wall behind the washer and dryer remains cinder block with all kinds of pipes and cords running through, but it didn’t stop me from adding a few cute things. The old brass iron is from my aunt too. Under the stairs Brett built a perfect little shelf for storing detergent, lint and any money I make while doing the laundry. The detergent is the only orange I’ll allow now that we’ve finally gotten rid of the oppressively orange walls from before. I can’t and won’t put any of the original horrible orange laundry room in this post, but feel free to check out the before here.
Brett bought me this picture for Mother’s day last year (well I bought it, but around mother’s day, so same thing). It’s from Juniper’s Print Shop. I think it is called August, but it reminded me clothes in the washer and it was just so happy and bright. I had it printed from Snapfish in a 20×30, which ended up being pretty cheap, since they always have some kind of 50-60% off coupon. The frame was just a simple white frame from Michael’s since they always have coupons too. And the tulips, well I think every Minnesotan just needs some glimmer of hope that spring will come. Does anyone even like March? Maybe it is a decent month elsewhere, but nothing good happens until April…
Here is looking the other way towards the bar, not too much changed from before, except for the floor and ceiling. You might notice the missing threshold, the final thing left to do (that we both know may never get done).
And that is all folks. It’s a pretty happy space now. I’ve conveniently left out the unfinished ceiling parts, the angles toward the utilities, but I promise you there is not one lick of orange left on the walls and that gives me great satisfaction!
Our next big project is getting grass in the backyard and building a pergola. We are just 3 feet of snow melting away from that!