Life on a Mini Farm,  Remodeling,  Repurposing

Making Laundry Fun*

Most of our home is western/rustic, but I wanted to make the room where we spend a LOT of time (sigh…), the laundry room, bright, cheery and a little bit whimsical.

When we moved in, the room had a built-in desk at the end – great idea, but it left little room for anything else – and a rickety utility sink. Those two items were the first to come out. If you’d been a fly on the wall when I was taking out the desk, you may have heard words that would singe your ear hairs – they really had it nailed and screwed into the walls! It took lots of time, a phone call to my dad for advice (Larry was at work), a couple pairs of vice grips and a crowbar – sheesh! We also removed the existing cabinets over the washer/dryer area – those are now in the shop. The oak coat rack, a real head-banging piece (don’t ask how I know) was sold at a yard sale.

Surprisingly (not really), we had to repair and re-texture the walls where the desk and cabinets had been. We changed out the existing light fixture and added one more. Then we painted the room, ceiling and all, yellow.

Next was installation of a ‘new’ cabinet. After painting the cabinet with shelves we removed during the kitchen remodel (Cooking Up a Kitchen), we hung it over the washer/dryer area.

The light green color pairs nicely with the yellow walls. We painted a sink cabinet we found at Restore the same green, then installed it where the old sink had been.

We changed out the door hardware with our preferred oil-rubbed bronze color, and installed oil-rubbed bronze sink fixtures and cabinet hardware, too.

The window shade was in great shape, but filthy. Since we had nothing to lose (if my plan didn’t work we would have to replace them anyway), I decided to clean them. We did this with all the shades in the house, but these are top-quality shades (Hunter Douglas and Smith & Noble) – the previous owners did not skimp on them. And, they were all light-colored. I took the shades out and hung them on the clothesline, sprayed them with the hose, then spritzed them with Clorox Clean-Up with Bleach, let them sit a few minutes, then rinsed thoroughly. We left them on the clothesline to dry, then re-hung. They looked great! (Disclaimer: Do not try this unless you are willing to replace yours if this fails.)

Larry built a small shelving unit to hold laundry baskets. They are at the end of the room, so hidden by the washer and dryer.

Then the exciting part – decorating!

We had some old washboards that my great-grandma gave us years ago, so I hot-glued some flowers and little bees on them, then placed them on the wall next to a canvas print made at Costco. The photo is my grandmother as a little girl on the family farm in Iowa, doing her doll’s laundry.. Who knows, maybe that washboard in her washing pan is one of the ones on our wall?!

The shelves on the cabinet were the most fun! Fairy houses were all over the craft stores at the time, so I decided to build one for the laundry room. A trip to our local Ben Franklin’s store provided all the pieces.

We had this little spinning rack in our ‘project stash’ and decided to make a mini clothesline with it. An Etsy crafter provided the digital dress designs. I printed and cut them out, then attached them to the ‘clothesline’ with mini pink clothespins.

The third shelf holds a photo of myself with our girls on Mother’s Day the first year we lived here, and a mason jar with flowers.

We hung one of the teacup chandeliers that we make and sell to add more whimsy. This, our first one, is now at our guest house, but we’ll replace it next year when we start production on them again!

We didn’t change the flooring, even though we don’t particularly care for the color, because it’s durable and in good shape. (Please ignore the missing baseboards in the corner – they’re there now!) Several robe hooks were added on the wall to hang hats, jackets and purses.

For a final touch, we added a vinyl sign (cut with the Cricut) and a valance made from fabric in my stash.

Although laundry is still not a favorite chore, the cheerful laundry room makes it more bearable!

*Laundry is not fun.

See you next time!

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