Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Laundry Room - The Details.

 I dashed away to Cali. right after I posted the laundry room. 
I left some loose ends as to how we did it.

It was 'The really messy project that turned out fabulous' project. 
Basically everything needed to be washed down, wiped off, swept, moved and removed, then swept again. Then measured, painted, repainted, retouched, then swept - again. 
 This went on for a good two weeks.  Thank goodness it was in the basement away from sight.  We could turn off the light and go upstairs to regain sanity.

First, the room itself.
Dingy, musty. Total drag. The before pics aren't that great. 
 At this point,  I was hoping for a miracle.
 I only snapped a few mercy pics of the poor room.

Here's a before and after of the same corner:
The wall turned out to be only a flimsy wall put up for storage - it came down.

And along the same wall, we cut out a section that was hiding the stairs.
It's hard to believe that's the same space. SO much more open.
Once the weird paneled walls were down, I painted the concrete block a pale aqua.

Now for the super messy part, but worth it.
The painting of the ceiling.  The ceiling is merely the open floor joists from the kitchen above.
The house is old-ish (1950) and the heat/air ducts are crazy down there. It is also a low ceiling so closing it in would make it even lower.  We opted to paint it with a sprayer.
The 'we' here is The Cabinet Maker - who took on the job himself. 
Ick. Have it man. He did two coats.
The dust from it traveled upstairs and all though the house..................(not fun).

It was finally time to do the floor, which I really wanted done.
The pressure was on because we REALLY needed the washer and dryer back in.
I told you in an earlier post here, how we stained the concrete.
After the initial solid stain, the squares became The Cabinet Maker's project.

To begin the squares,  he measured the middle of the room and used a chalk line to make the pattern. The squares are 2 ft. in diameter. He measured outward using the middle mark as his guide.  He then snapped each chalk line moving toward the ends of the room. This made 72 squares.  Our 12 year old son helped him snap the lines.

He REALLY wanted to tape it off, 36 squares. Which he did. 
(If you do this, remember you are actually taping the 'white' or lighter square.) 
 To give you a time-frame of when this went down - he painted the dark grey while I was off with Linda at the fabulous Oronoco sale.  When he pulled up the tape, because the cement floor is dimpled and airy - there were run marks. I about had a heart attack. But,once I got busy correcting it and hand painting in the sharp edge, it really wasn't too bad of a fix.
Whew. AND.. it DID turn out GREAT!

The doll house. 
 I saw this on Pinterest. I loved the idea. I knew it when I saw it, I'd do it.
The house was given to us by a dear aunt a few years ago. It is 80 yrs. old.
 It was hers when she was a child, made by her father.
It is heavy.
The Cabinet Maker made a special jig/shelf to hold it onto the cement wall.
He used 'Tap Con' screws, which can hold the weight. This is important. 
He tried a few other methods, none of which worked - the Tap Con screws did the trick.

He screwed holes in the concrete first, then added the boards.
Because of the roof on the doll house, it needed distance from the wall.
That is the reason for the boards.  Plus the shelf lip for support.
Then he painted them because he is Mr. Thorough.

I painted the outside cream. I left the original green trim alone.
I did paint two of the rooms because the walls needed it. I left the rest alone.

The Red Dresser.
It is the one Linda made me buy for $25. I'm obviously glad she did.
I painted it with Behr's 'ladybug' red. I replaced the knobs with vintage cookie cutters.
Yes, I still need to replace the top two... (they look like giant nipples!)
It holds my vintage cotton table cloths. Yay! Now in one place!

The exposed wall, Now closed in!

This was a huge improvement. The door has been removed.
A big challenge was all the exposed piping.
Cabinet Maker had to make a special board with all the pipe dimension cut out at the top.
It's hard to see her, but it is a complicated thing.
This is what he does best.....again, Mr. Thorough.

I found the font on It is one of the Retro fonts.
I printed out 'launderette', then enlarged it to fill at 81/2 x11 sheet.
The edges were blurred,  so I went over them with a thin black Sharpie to get a crisp line. 
I took my sheet to a print shop and had it enlarged to 48" long.
It cost $4.  At home, I traced onto the wall using transfer paper, then painted it.

The Extras.
The little white locker was in mangy condition.
I picked it up for free at a garage sale. (thanks Dianne!)
It has sat in my garage for about 2 years.
I gave it a fresh coat of paint and a '2'.  It's now a fab storage space for towels.

The cool washboard (glass!), Decorating co-captain Linda picked up for me at a g. sale.
The dress potholder I found in Oronoco for $2.
Linda dontated the little clothes pins to the cause.

The ladder was free and given to me by a friend. :)
I took it apart, painted it white and shabbied it.

The laundry basket is a step stool.  Found at an occasional sale for $15.
I painted the steps red and attached a big wire basket I already had.

The Light Fixtures.
The Cabinet Maker did tons of rewiring.
The colander and mason jar lights are explained  in further detail here.
I love those lights. They are fantastic and give plenty of light.
Before, there was only one single fluorescent fixture.

Whew. If you got through all that, you're a saint!
I just couldn't move on to my next posts until I got all that out.
See, somewhere in me is an organized person....proof!

I still have to find a good product to clean up the cement sink.
It's in rough shape.  The good news that room remains clean.
 It is bright and cheerful.
Plus, spider free.

Here's the original 'all done' post.

Take care of you and do your laundry.

xo Jeanne.


  1. that is so much work! You deserve to have such an awesome laundry room- you worked for it! You inspired me, and I started working on my laundry room- waaayyyy smaller than yours! I hope it will be as bright and cheerful as yours!

  2. I love love love your blog! I am a follower lured in by the beautiful laundry post @ Domestically Speaking link up.

  3. I'm in awe! Do you just love doing laundry now?
    That's a silly question, right? At least you can love where you are doing the laundry.

  4. OMG! I have laundry room envy!! What an amazing transformation! Vanna

  5. We are in escrow for a home that has an indoor laundry room. This will be my FIRST ever inside laundry in 35 years! It is just a little tiny LR - but, I think I will just love it! I have an old doll house that I think I will use,too. I saw the Pinterest idea - and yours, too. Thank you for this wonderful post!

  6. This is such a great makeover! I love seeing existing spaces become beautiful and functional. It is definitely giving me ideas for the unfinished basement in our home.

  7. Such a great before and after. I have the same glass container that you use for your laundry soap. Was that chalkboard paint that you used? Did it apply well to the glass?

  8. I like what you did with the place. Despite the exposed plumbing and air ducts, you've managed to give the area a nice homey feel. Hopefully, you've managed to keep things that way.

  9. Hi there...wanted to let you know your laundry room was featured on FLOR's design blog, Musings, the other day:

  10. The post was professionally written and I feel like the author has extensive knowledge in this subject. Great post about this. I am sure many visitors will find this very useful.

  11. This laundry room is beautiful. From the wall color to the perfect floor tiles. And who would have thought to use that doll house as a shelf? Awesome. Our laundry room is on the second floor and in need of a re-do. I hope some of your creative comes through me when the time comes:)

  12. This is such a cheery laundry room! How fun!

  13. How did you paint around all of your wiring and such in the unfinished ceiling? Did you just spray over it or have to work around each wire/cord?

  14. Jeanne you are a genius! This basement laundry room is so much better than any others! I love the colors you used and that floor is awesome! I have a basement laundry room as well and I'm looking for ideas... I have a low, unfinished ceiling and cement walls, the house is also old... I don't know if I can make it look as good as yours but I'm loving all the inspiration from yours. Thanks!!

  15. I love it! So cool. I have a similar sink and wondered if you'd found anything to clean it up with yet?

  16. I love love love this! Could you tell us the paint color you used on the walls, it's so pretty!!

  17. Love what you did to the ceiling! Our laundry room has a similar ceiling; also a 1950s home. Did you spay over any wires? We have a TON of wires that are just hanging around up there. I would LOVE to spray it all white but am not sure if it's safe. Any tips/suggestions? :)

  18. This is all kinds of awesome!

  19. Do you remember the name of the font you used for your Launderette sign? It's so perfect but I can't seem to find it :(

  20. I love your laundry room transformation! Could you let us know how well the floor stain has held up over the past few years?? Also, did you paint the grey squares over the white stain, or did you use stain to create the grey squares as well? Thank you!


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