Tuesday, April 30

Laundry room re-do

One of my favorite smells in all the world is clean laundry.  Doesn't it stand to reason, then, that I would like to do laundry?  And that my laundry room would be a lovely space?

Not so much.

As ashamed as I am to admit it, here's how my laundry room looked just a few weeks ago.  Ugh.

Several years ago I re-did this space and added a number of decorative elements.  Actually, there were too many decorative elements.  The room was cluttered even when it was clean.  My friend Becky from Organizing Made Fun wrote a post emphasizing the need to de-clutter and explaining how she does it.  That gave me the kick in the pants I needed to clean out this mess.  With Becky as my online guide, I de-cluttered this space.

My laundry room is the smallest room in our home, and it had become the most maligned space.  Pretty much all I ever did was to complain about how small and inadequate it was.  Then one day I was flipping through some magazines from the World War II era (a favorite pastime of mine), and I realized that rather than complaining I should be grateful for this light, bright, well-equipped space.

That exercise in thankfulness led me to want a more vintage look for the room, just to help remind me of my blessings.  So here's my laundry room today.

Now, when I first realized that I wanted a new look for this room, there were a couple of things standing in my way.  I had no money set aside to spend on it.  And I had very little time to work on it.   Still, I wanted a new look!

I began with gathering inspiration online.  But to be honest, most of the "inspiration" photos I gathered ended up depressing me rather than inspiring me.  Custom cabinetry, expensive countertops, chandeliers--those were all beyond my reach.  Then I ran back across this post from Kim at Sand and Sisal.  Kim's laundry room is rightfully famous--it's gorgeous and it's been featured in a magazine--but it was her philosophy about laundry rooms that helped me the most.  Quoting Kim here, "The room had to be a happy color. I didn’t want a sophisticated neutral color, I mean who the heck feels sophisticated while doing laundry?"

Thank you, Kim!  You inspired me to go for what I really wanted and needed.  Here are some photos of my unsophisticated but very happy laundry room.

The sorting and folding station I created several years ago.  It's just two baskets (one for darks and one for whites) and a shelf that I mounted directly to the wall.  Not fancy, but it works.  I found the clock on clearance on Target; it's perfect for this room.  The rug I've had for years; I was so pleased that it works with the new decor.


Last week I shared the wall I art I made from pieces of a vintage tablecloth.  The rest of the tablecloth I used to create a café curtain for the window.  I simply cut the tablecloth in half, sewed a simple rod pocket into one side, and threaded a café rod through the pocket.  Instant window treatment!  Now I can keep the blinds open for natural light but still have privacy.  Love that!  And with this cheerful fabric as my principal feature, I didn't need to re-paint.  The wall color is Benjamin Moore's "Blue Hydrangea."

You can read here how I created the clothespin sunburst mirror for just a few dollars.  It's a great accent piece for a laundry room!

My "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster is a reproduction of the original created by the British Ministry of Information in World War II.  I purchased a reproduction "Keep Calm" poster for just £3.60 directly from Barter Books, the bookshop that re-discovered the poster.  It's perfect for my laundry room--the wartime era poster goes well with my vintage fabrics, the red is just the right color, and the sentiment is spot on!  When I feel overwhelmed by the amount of dirty laundry, I just try to keep calm and carry on.

To frame the poster inexpensively, I bought an off-the-shelf poster frame at a craft store with a 50% off coupon.  That made the frame less than $15.  Then I simply had custom mat cut at a local frame shop, which cost about $12.  I framed it all myself, and I have a just the look I wanted for very little money.

I like having a lamp in the laundry room.  Sometimes we keep our doggies locked in this room when we have company.  I turn off the overhead light and turn on the lamp; the low light helps them to stay calm.  This lamp was a Goodwill find; all I did was to hot-glue some rick-rack onto the shade for a fun retro look.  Along with the lamp, a plant, an antique iron and a housekeeper's box I've had for years complete a pleasing countertop vignette.   Now maybe I'll keep this counter clear rather than stacking it with junk.

A few little touches and tricks I use in this small laundry room:

I found this little galvanized bucket in the One Spot (the $2.50 part) at Target; it's a great place to keep socks whose twins have gone missing.  I used to have a big basket for this purpose, but I found that I was just filling up the big basket and never actually getting around to matching the socks.  No more!  If matches don't show up pretty quickly, I'm going to consign odd socks to the rag bag.

This tiny galvanized tub holds clothespins and loose change on top of the dryer.  This was also a One Spot (the $1.00 part) find.  I like the way it looks like an old washtub.  I like to keep clothespins close at hand.  All other laundry supplies are tucked away in the cupboards above the machines.

There are hanging rods on either side of my washer and dryer, but sometimes I need another place to hang an item.  I placed a wreath hanger from the dollar store over a closet door in the room; it's just right for hanging odd things such as a belt or empty hangers.  It's strong enough to hold heavy things, too.  Two of these hung a few inches apart would make a great hanger for an ironing board.  And you could paint them a fun color or simply paint them the same color as the door; maybe I'll get around to that some day.

There's a bit of space between my dryer and the cupboard beside it; I've found it's an excellent place to store flat items such as posterboard.  This is also where I keep the whiteboard I use for photo shoots.  

Total spent on this makeover: about $60.00 for the poster, clock, frames, curtain rod, and buckets.  For all other items I shopped the house.

Just for fun, here's one last look.  We went from this:

To this:

What do you think?  What's the state of things in your laundry room?

I'm joining these wonderful parties:

Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style


  1. Would you believe I have never had a laundry room in my entire life? Nope..always a washer and dryer in the gargage where I sweltered in the heat and froze in the cold Winter months.
    This is just lovely! What a great job you did. It inspires me..but..not possible... :(
    Nice inspiring post!

  2. Oh my word, this is totally inspiring. I am with you, I don't have one of those gorgeous luxury laundry rooms you see, in fact, mine is much smaller than yours, but I am Blessed to have the washer and dryer, so I agree, count your blessing and enjoy. you have turned yours into such a fabulous space. I love it. Hugs, Marty

  3. Oh goodness Richella, it looks fabulous, so neat, lovely and happy looking too! I'd do my laundry there with no problem..maybe even humming a tune or two, lol.. Yes, my laundry room is pretty, neat and small, like yours and I love it too, so I am also blessed. I redid ours last August and I'm still enjoying it, as I know you will, honey! Big hugs,

  4. I love how cheerful that room is! I have been thinking of repainting my laundry room and now I am thinking I might go for a more cheerful color too! I love your mirror! You are lucky that your hoses don't show behind the machine. Mine are so obvious and drive me nuts every time I walk in there! I am sure you must enjoy doing laundry in that pretty room now!

  5. I love your laundry room! So pretty! I have that same "Keep Calm And Carry On" poster. I really like your tablecloth cafe curtain idea. I never thought to move the curtain to the bottom of the window for privacy. Great idea! I re-did my laundry room a few years ago, but it's really small. I am still very grateful for it though. The only thing I wish it had was a sink. That would have been handy when my whole family had a stomach virus a few weeks ago. :) Lots of laundry going on that week. LOL!

  6. I love this! I agree with the happy color and I love the Keep Calm sign! I am in love with the clothespin sunburst mirror, I need one of those! A great look for an affordable price!

  7. I think you are spot on in making this a happy space, Richella. I love the color of the room and the accent colors are so cheerful. I have a couple of hooks to hang things right out of the dryer, but I really like your idea of the wreath hanger. That would give me so much more space and then I wouldn't be using the door handles -- ours are levers, so....not really satisfactory! I think your room turned out wonderfully!

  8. That WWII era laundry room? The one in the cellar, most likely? Um, that's mine. I try to throw the laundry in and grab stuff out of the dryer and get out of there as quickly as I can. I should send you a picture. It's nasty.

  9. I love your new look Richella! It's a "happy" room and for me, that's a must when I'm doing laundry..which btw is my least favorite thing to do.

  10. So cute!!! I re-did my laundry room last summer and still love how it turned out. It's so nice to do my laundry in a fresh, clean, tidy space. Great job friend! Lisa~

  11. Nicely done! Cheerful and functional. I think I can smell the clean! :-)

  12. so pretty and clean. looks great....and i love that clothes pin wreath/mirror. very cute!

    Jennifer @ Decorated Chaos

  13. I think it looks fresh and very spring like. I like the Keep Calm poster, I also enjoy doing laundry and even ironing : )
    Thanks for leaving me a comment on my furniture crisis. God is good and he always makes a way.
    I am looking into the next project for sprucing up our home.
    Blessings, Roxy

  14. Great changes and what a difference. Love the mirror.


  15. Very cheerful laundry room. The curtains turned out great. Many favorite little things in this room. Great job!

  16. I love the red and blue vintagey feel. :) I'm a total sucker for that color palette lately. What a cheery place to do laundry...thank you for sharing!

    Have a great day!


  17. Love it Richella!!!! Bright, and Cheerful and Retro! A Happy Place to do laundry!!!! Good job.

    Love, Linda

  18. It turned out beautifully Richella. I love your vintage tablecloth. That is a good idea to frame some of it. I will remember that tip.

  19. It turned out to be fabulous!!!! So many great ideas and projects in your laundry room!

  20. love your room, nice size, I have a little laundry room that I love, but yours is a nice size, I only have room for washer and dryer and cupboards above, it is off our bedroom and I do laundry every night. My ironing board is in a cupboard beside the laundry room. Thank you for sharing, I love it all...

  21. What a fantastic transformation! My laundry room (closet) desperately needs some attention! It is so full of clutter that I can barely even get in there! Maybe you will be the kick in the pants that I need to get this space cleaned out. . . Life to the full! Melissa

  22. Love it! I'm still in a someday state of having a laundry room but when I do this will definitely be one of my inspirations.  I'd  love to have you link this to Titus 2 Tuesday this week on Cornerstone Confessions.. I hope to see you there. 

  23. Richella, I LOVE it. So fresh and clean and happy. :) I adore the clock especially and the touches of red (and ric rac!!) Hugs to you, my friend~

  24. Your space is one where I'd actually enjoy doing the dreaded task of laundry. A folding station is just what I need.

  25. while I do like the makeover, what I like most is the attitude makeover. appreciating what you have and making the very best of it. perhaps it is so noticeable to me because I tend to not always see what I have even though most of the time I am a content and thankful person. thank you

  26. It has so much character--I think it is fabulous! My washer/dryer is in an old, dark, and scary Michigan basement. I would soooo love to have your laundry room.


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I read every one; they make my day. If you have a specific question, please be sure your email address is attached to your profile or leave your email address in the comment; I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Every blessing!