I’ve been married to Dave for more than 40 years and I have NEVER seen him get THIS EXCITED over … laundry?
The basement is the worst area of our home and the laundry room was the worst room in the basement. It was neither functional nor attractive. It had terrible lighting. Over the years, it had become a collection point for clutter. I dreaded doing laundry every week mostly because the space was so awful. I don’t have a “before” shot to share with you, but—trust me—it was bad.
We started with the lighting. The room featured an overhead fluorescent light that came with the home when it was built in the 1980’s. The light was too small for the room so it was always a little bit dark and dismal back in the corner where our washing machine and dryer are located.
Dave removed the fluorescent light and installed new recessed lighting. That alone made a world of difference! I could finally SEE in this room—and what I saw wasn’t pretty.
The floor was peel-and-stick tile also from the 1980’s. It was ugly. Dave installed a new wood floor.
At one point in time, this room was used as Courtney’s art studio. She painted poetry and stars and swirly clouds all over the walls. It was artsy all right—but not my style! We painted the entire room a bright white.
The worst feature in this room had to be the cabinets. There were no upper cabinets, just a bulky builder’s-grade cabinet in the lower corner that actually blocked access to our dryer. We had to switch the placement of the washer and dryer because when we purchased the home, we could not open the dryer door. The cabinet was in the way.
The problem with the switch? Now I had to bend over and around the cabinet to put clothes in and out of the washing machine. Not the end of the world—after all, I did it for 20+ years—but not functional or convenient AT ALL.
We gutted the cabinet and installed new white cabinets just in the upper area. They are out of the way of the appliances and they provide a lot more storage than we had in the old set-up.
Since we didn’t install lower cabinets, I wanted to do something really funky with the wall treatment to add color against all of the white in the room. I saw a great idea on Pinterest where somebody used pallet wood to create a wall that looked like a patchwork quilt.
We used fence boards and went a little bit crazy with color and pattern. We painted some of the boards and decoupaged colorful napkins on others. We did whatever we felt like doing with whatever color we thought was bright and pretty. Somehow it all came together in the end to form a funky bohemian-inspired pattern on the wall.
We moved my vintage buffet from the dining room. (I’ll have to find a new one to fill the spot upstairs!) We also added a vintage table so I have a dedicated place to fold clothes.
(The salesman asked me why I was buying such an elaborate sink for a laundry room instead of a standard washroom sink. “Because I like this one,” I replied.)
Our old sink leaked so badly, we finally shut off the water to it—about 10 years ago. If I needed water, I would just walk around the corner to the bathroom. It was do-able, but it wasn’t convenient.
Now it is like heaven to do my laundry. I never thought I would use the words “heaven” and “laundry” in the same sentence, but it is true. A few simple design changes made this room so functional and the facelift made it pretty. I actually enjoy doing my laundry now.
(Wow! I never thought I would say THAT either!)
I think it is easy to learn how to just make do in your home like we did in our laundry room, especially when you have lived in the same place for more than 20 years like we have.
But I don’t think that is really living.
I think it is important to keep your home updated so it is functional AND pretty. I no longer want to make do with a broken sink or cabinets that block access to the dryer. I no longer want to just live with wall treatments that were stylish 20 years ago, but hopelessly outdated now.
The laundry room is a small room, but the renovation made a big difference in our day-to-day life. After all, you can only avoid doing laundry for so long. Eventually you are going to need clean underwear!
I challenge you to look around your own home. Is there something that you have been making do with for awhile now? Don’t just live with it!
Think about how you can fix it, replace it or update it … and take the time to do it! A functional and beautiful home makes a big difference for you and your family.